Desert Adventure 13 Days
Welcome to your Chilean Desert Adventure! This trip is perfect for anyone looking to explore the stunning landscape of Chile’s extraordinary deserts as well as some of the country’s most interesting cities.
A long, narrow ribbon of land, skimming the Pacific Ocean and clinging to the edge of the continent, Chile is a 4000 kilometre stretch of beautifully contrasting landscape and extraordinary scenery. Blessed with snow-capped mountain peaks, charred desert land, ice-laced landscape, ethereal glaciers, and smouldering volcanoes, Chile is the land of fire and ice, a raging beauty of mythical standards.
One of the safest and most affluent countries in South America, Chile is incredibly welcoming of visitors. With an endless list of outdoor activities, Chile offers travellers bird-watching, hiking, wine tours, skiing, horse trekking, white-water rafting, kayaking, jeep rides, volcano climbing, as well as some of the most spectacular sights in South America.
To the north, is the barren but beautiful Atacama Desert. The driest place on earth and a spectacular vision. Fifty times drier than Death Valley, California, parts of the Atacama have never even seen rainfall. The Atacama, however, is not simply scorched soil, travel deep into the desert and discover the oasis town of San Pedro, an ideal base for desert explorations. From San Pedro, head south to see to Chile’s largest salt flat, a bright white spectacle often flecked pink with colonies of flamingos. North of the town, rest the steaming El Tatio geysers, particularly stunning at sunrise, and the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon), an otherworldly landscape that feels like it should belong in science fiction. Witness the Valle at sunset and watch it transform into an entrancing palette of golds, reds, and violets. Any wildlife-lovers should head to the highlands of the altiplano, an area abundant in roaming alpacas, llamas and vicuñas, as well as endangered Andean condors and flamingos.
Farther south, at the base of the Andes lies the Chilean capital of Santiago. A vast metropolis of office blocks and grey buildings, dotted with fine museums, charming parks, tempting cuisine, and a blossoming art scene. Santiago is a perfect starting point for exploring the nearby world famous vineyards or hitting the Andean slopes.
South of Santiago is one of Chile’s most picturesque areas, the Lake District around Puerto Montt. Named for its abundance of glacial lakes, here you can explore thermal springs, conical volcanoes, and extraordinary national parks. Chile’s most magnificent national park, Torres del Paine lies south of this region, in the spectacularly windsweptPatagonia. Named after its soaring, elegant mountain peaks, Torres del Paine is an area packed full of arresting natural beauty and ideal for anyone seeking outdoor adventure. This UNESCO biosphere is also home to guanacos, ñandús, Andean condors, and the elusive Andean puma.
From the scorching Atacama Desert in the north, to the windswept Patagonia in the south, brimming with remarkable national parks, lush vineyards, and moonscape valleys, Chile is a land of variety able to satisfy even the most particular of tastes.