- The Uyuni Salt Flats in an Airstream caravan: a road-trip in style, a travelling room with a view looking out onto Bolivia
- From thrilling Valparaiso and Santiago to the mineral silence of the desert: a Chile of contrasts
- Private tour of Santiago, visit to a winery, street-art walk in Valparaiso: all in the itinerary
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THE HIGHLANDS OF CHILE AND BOLIVIA
ON THE CHILE ITINERARYThere is a blend of pre-planned trips and moments of freedom to fully appreciate the places along the way. In Santiago, get to grips with the city and its history in the company of a private guide. A local will then help give an insight into Valparaiso's street art; a walk interspersed by visits to galleries and a meeting with a local artist, with access to their workshop. Between the two cities lie Chile's vineyards in an estate in the Rosario valley, open to the influences of the ocean. Take a horse or bike ride, visit the vineyard and sample the wares. And the accommodation in the Atacama Desert, a true piece of paradise in harmony with the surrounding mineral landscape - includes daily guided activities and access to the spa.
BOLIVIA, THE ICONIC AIRSTREAMThe Airstream camper is renowned around the world for its lightweight shell. This unique structure provides stability and sturdiness, combined with a light weight and a long service life. It all makes for a lightweight, sturdy home that stands the test of time. These highly luxurious dwellings with wooden interiors come with leather seats and electronics, a double bed or twin beds and some have a sofa bed and air con... In the Uyuni Salt Flats, an even more exclusive experience awaits: a several-day stay in a unique caravan, with a private cook and an expert guide for daily 4x4 outings. Experience of a chic road-trip, a rolling vantage point, in perfect harmony with nature.
Flight to Santiago
Overnight flight, arriving the next day.
Welcome on arrival and private transfer to the central and bohemian district of Lastarria, not far from the Parque Forestal. Overnight accommodation at an elegant residence combining the Chilean style of the early 20th century with French neoclassical influences. The roof-top bar features a spacious terrace and swimming pool and offers a beautiful view of the city. The table offers gourmet cuisine popular with the locals, while the spa (3,200 sq. ft wellness space) offers carefully designed treatments to recover from the flight.
Includes a private tour of Santiago. Earthquakes spared few buildings from the colonial era - the Casa Colorada, the Igelsia de San Francisco being among the most famous. The architectural tone of Santiago is therefore quite neo (classical, gothic...), with Art Nouveau intrusions. However, with the white peaks of the Cordillera mountain range as a backdrop, Chile's capital does not lack visual appeal. With an expert guide and a driver visit the centre, home to La Moneda, the presidential palace, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption (1748-1800), the popular shop-lined streets of Huérfanos and Ahumada, and San Cristobal Hill.
Optional tour of the city by bike, with private guide.
Santiago - Valparaiso
A day in a winery in the Rosario Valley. The wines produced here blend the influences of the Pacific Ocean and granite soils. Grapevines are grown organically and biodynamically. The different plots contain Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Malbec... The day is accompanied by an expert guide, including horse or bike rides on the estate, a visit to the vineyard, lunch and, of course, wine tasting.
From the estate, private transfer to Valparaiso for a two-night stay in a little gem in the city: a historic Hispanic mansion, overlooking the ocean, converted into a charming hotel. Like the mansion, the area is dotted with the fine houses of wealthy merchants, from the time when the Strait of Magellan was a necessary passage for sailing from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Here, among the cascading gardens and the pool overlooking the sea, there is a certain feel of the Mediterranean. The restaurant has read the script, offering sumptuous ceviche and other fresh ocean catch.
The great Chilean port has been a legendary destination since the great days of sailing ships. The flat part (El Plan) has a regular urban layout and a rich administrative and commercial architecture (19th-early 20th century); on the slopes of the hills (Cerros) which form a beautiful natural amphitheatre, the small colourful dwellings covered in corrugated iron seem to be stacked on top of each other. There is a certain picturesque chaos to their erratic layout along steep alleyways... Go up into the hills taking the historic lifts, the funiculars, the first of which was built in 1883 in Cerro Concepcion. This is a city with a unique feel, and a colourful hustle and bustle - with the ocean as a backdrop.
Street art tour in Valparaiso with a local guide. Inspired by their infectious enthusiasm, travel together through Alegre and Concepcion Hills to the popular old port district, discovering the artists and stories behind the city's most beautiful murals. Along the way, pay a visit to main art galleries and Giova's studio, a graffiti artist belonging to Valparaiso's new generation of urban artists, who showcases his work and his take on the city's artistic scene.
Optional - A tour of Valparaiso by night, with a local guide.
Valparaiso - San Pedro de Atacama
Private transfer to Santiago airport and flight to Calama. New private transfer to San Pedro, and five-night stay in a gem of a setting. How the hotel has been incorporated into the rocky location is outstanding. Stone, adobe, wood, fabrics, and leather form a rustic, sophisticated and comfortable design. The architecture and gardens were entrusted to some of the best Chilean specialists, in order to bring aesthetics and principles of sustainability into perfect alignment in this fragile environment. In the evening in particular, the light show is spectacular; at night, the pool and lagoons reflect a sky teeming with stars. The rooms, which are simple and elegant, allow you to enjoy the delectable peace of the desert at night. The restaurant serves organic produce wherever possible, used in creative dishes. The spa does wonders with its mud and expert therapists.
San Pedro de Atacama
The Atacama Desert is one of the driest deserts in the world, and because of the dry air, the skies are exceptionally clear. San Pedro has an oasis. The church, made of adobe brick, is one of the oldest in the country (17th century). During these three days, you will visit the Museo Arqueologico R.P. Gustavo Le Paige, which documents in detail the ingenious civilisation of the Atacama Indians. Then visit the pre-Columbian sites of Quitor and Tulor too. It would also be a great idea to explore the salt flat lagoons, which harbour large colonies of flamingos. The salt concentration of the Laguna Cejar has the same effect on the body as the Dead Sea. Early in the morning, the geothermal site of El Tatio, with its steam columns, is an impressive site.
Included in the itinerary - Full board, access to swimming pools, whirlpool baths and sauna, a one-day activity or two daily activities offered each day by the hotel.
San Pedro de Atacama - The Uyuni Salt Flats
Transfer to Hito Cajon (14,700ft), the border crossing between Chile and Bolivia. Welcome by the private expert guide and leave by 4x4 for Uyuni. Spend two nights there in iconic accommodation: an Airstream camper. It features wood panelled interior, leather seats and electronics. And, of course, it comes with air-conditioning. Soft bedding, sofa, bathroom, kitchenette, minibar, etc., not forgetting bicycles and a telescope! There is certainly no lack of creature comforts. A luxury road trip. The expedition comes with its own private chef. The unique environment of the salt flats is what makes this adventure special. The visual effect of the blazing sun on the camper's aluminium shell is breathtaking.
The Uyuni Salt Flats
The Uyuni Salt Flats It is the world's largest salt desert, perched at an altitude of just under 12,000 ft. Just over 4,000 square miles, with 64 billion tonnes of salt, and large lithium deposits. This two-dimensional landscape is a huge sheet of intense white under the blue sky. Walking on it is a disconcerting experience. There is the reassuring sight of Incahuasi Hill (house of the Inca) and its giant cacti, breaking the salt flats' perplexing spell. There are few places with such a disorientating effect.
The trip includes - Full board, entrance to the sites; the itinerary can be tailored to suit the individual.
The Uyuni Salt Flats - Santiago
After a final breakfast aboard the Airstream, private transfers to Calama Airport and flight to Santiago. In the evening, stay in the centre.
Santiago - Return flight
Private transfer to the airport and catch your flight home. Overnight flight, arriving the next day.
A la carte
VALPARAISO BY NIGHT
Become a local on a night out and embrace the colourful vibe of Valparaiso's nightlife. Accompanied by a local, have a chat and enjoy a drink or attend one of the many events, concerts, shows and poetry recitals that make up the port city's nightlife, the capital of bohemian culture in Chile.
WITH A FEW EXTRA DAYS - THE TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK
The large Chilean National Park of Torres del Paine is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Stunning landscapes and a variety of environments are the hallmarks of the southern provinces of Magallanes and Ultima Esperanza. The National Geographic ranked the park as the world's fifth most beautiful place. Highlights include Lake Pehoe and Lake Grey at Salto Grande, the waterfall of the Paine River between Lake Nordenskjold and Lake Pehoe, and the Torres, the three granite peaks (8,500, 9,200 and 9,400ft) that gave the park its name.
Optional - Three days/two nights, between Santiago and Valparaiso
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