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Image Courtesy of Tierra Hotels/JamieEnsey

Chile has long been an evocative spot, especially for the intrepid traveler. Regardless of your reason for visiting, there are several different directions to head in, in Chile as there is easy access throughout the country, for both the soft or extreme adventurer. Most travelers typically visit at least two to three regions within the country once there.

 

On this Chilean adventure, we head in three different directions. We kick things off in the capital city of Santiago to absorb all of the European allure; the clean cuisine, the urban art, and architecture and the fabulous Chilean wines all the while being inspired by a few local women that we will meet along the way.

 

Once in the Atacama, we soak in the desert ambiance, the high altitude adventure and the soul-sating silence in the area. We finish things off in one of the world’s top spots and in one of Chile’s most highly lauded properties in the heart of Patagonia. Expect horseback riding, glacier kayaking and hiking along with a sunset soak in the pool on site.

 

The bespoke level of activity is yours to create with a vast menu of options available for you to choose from at the two Tierra properties. Each day you design your adventure destiny with the on-site guides. Options and adventure are endless. The experience is life-changing.

 

 

Chilean Adventure

April 17th - April 27th, 2020

$5,739 USD

Group size: 12-20

Gallery credits: Image Courtesy of Tierra Hotels/JamieEnsey

Adventure Details

 

About the Trip

 There are several places and ways to flex your sense of adventure on this trip to Chile.  From the vibrant city streets of Santiago to The Atacama's moon and lunar-like landscapes to the undulating dunes, vast valleys, salt flats, snow-capped mountains, volcanoes and the hot springs in The Atacama to the jagged peaks and glacier fjords of Patagonia. The ambiance is evocative and the activities run the gamut. It's an adventure lover's dream and a dreamers oasis.

(This is on a first come basis. Don't wait until the final deadline to book as there will be other travelers at the two properties in Patagonia and Atacama. If you wait too long to book, there may no longer be rooms available at that late date.)

Trip Basics

                                                   

Dates - April 17th - April 27th, 2020

            

Days - 11 Days/10 Nights

                                                  

Size - Minimum 12, Maximum 20

                                                            

Style - Adventure, Wellness & Culture

                                               

Needs - 30% deposit required to hold your spot. Deadline February 20th, 2019

(A first-come basis. Spots may fill up earlier.)

                                                           

Treats - Exceptional adventure, stunning settings & spas

 

Accommodations - Chic Boutique & Luxe City Hotels. Eco-Luxury Lodges in the Atacama & in Patagonia                                                           

                                                           

Host - Karen Loftus 

                                                          

Fees - $5,739 USD (shared), $7,761 USD (single)

Day to Day Itinerary

 

Day 1 | April 17th, 2020

Santiago

Upon arrival in Santiago at the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International airport, you will make your way through Customs and Immigration and exit through the green doors marked 'Meeting Point’. Our representative will be there waiting for you holding a sign with your name on it. You will then be taken to Santiago city center and directly to your hotel. Santiago is typically a point of entry into Chile. However, it is well worth taking the day or two to soak in the urban appeal before we head for adventure in the Atacama and in Patagonia.

 

Similar to Buenos Aires, the city has strong European influences in its architecture, its people and its lifestyle as many wealthy Chileans spent half of their year in Paris at the turn of the 20th century. Santiago remains a very cosmopolitan city today with an abundance of bars, restaurants, cafes, colonial architecture, museums, old graveyards, floral shops, food markets, flea markets, and large parks. Like any great city, there are several bohemian hubs throughout and a great mix of neighborhoods as well, from upmarket to arty. You can capture it on foot or on a biking tour. On wheels, the city feels like an urban art gallery, as graffiti art is prevalent throughout the city.

If opting for a low-key approach upon arrival, your chic boutique hotel, The Luciano K is an art deco oasis and a pitch-perfect start to any stay in Santiago. Centrally located in the Barrio Lastarria neighborhood, this creative enclave is known for its hip high-end restaurants and a bevy of cafes, theaters, markets, monuments, and museums. It’s located across the street from Parque Forestal, their sprawling urban park and within walking distance to Bellas Artes Museum, Municipal Theatre, Plaza de Armas, Moneda Palace, the zoo, Plaza Mulato Gil and Central Market, which is a must.

 

If up for an eno adventure outside the city, you can experience the local Chilean vines, a mere 30 minutes outside of Santiago in Casablanca Valley at the Matetic Winery, Chile’s largest fully organic and biodynamic winery. Bike through their vineyards and experience these cool climate wines at an extensive tasting or over an abundant lunch. Regardless, the day and the night are at your leisure and on your own to rest and recalibrate or to hit the ground running to explore this capital city and cultural hub and its vibrant surrounds. (Expenses on and off the property and throughout the city are on your own this first day and night.)

Day 2 - Day 6 | April 18th - 22nd, 2020

Santiago, Sierra de Atacama

If up for an early run or a sunrise stroll, you have easy access to the park right across the street from our boutique hotel. If you have yet to take advantage of the Terrazza K or the rooftop, grab a coffee, a  book, a  journal or simply yourself and head on up. Soak in the views and the urban ambiance before we head to the Atacama, the driest desert on earth.

 

After your breakfast at the hotel, we head back out to the Santiago airport, a mere 20 minutes away from the city center to catch our flight onward to San Pedro de Atacama. Upon our arrival in Calama, we will be met and transferred to San Pedro de Atacama (1 1/2 hours shared with other hotels guests).  

 

We will be staying at Tierra Atacama Adventure and Spa Hotel. The title says it all as this is the place to go for those that like to rev it up as much as they like to wind it down.

It’s rest and relaxation in the absolute idyllic sense with spa treatments done in the sand, by the pool or under the stars after a day of pure adventure from adrenaline-filled to active and interesting. Regardless of the activity, the scenery remains otherworldly and surreal at every turn. It looks and feels like each landscape is trying to one-up the next. You can expect it all from the moon and lunar-like landscapes to undulating dunes and vast valleys to salt flats, snow-capped mountains, volcanoes, and hot springs. There are plenty of ways to flex one’s sense of adventure in the many settings. Even better there are several levels from novice to full tilt participants.

Your bespoke journey begins upon arrival at Tierra Atacama, an esteemed member of National Geographic's Unique Lodges of the World. Once checked in, it’s nap time. You look at the map with the attentive guides on site and peruse your adventure options. Then simply fill in your dance card. The best part is that this is truly an individualized adventure as each guest on the trip can choose what they want each day. It is not set by nor necessarily with the group.

 

Similar to a safari schedule you are often up and out at sunrise and sunset and in some rare occasions out on an all-day excursion. They offer a number of ways to take in the various landscapes from hiking to biking and horseback riding or sandboarding in Death Valley or Moon Valley. Other activities are scenic such as stargazing which the region is known for.

Image Courtesy of Tierra Hotels/JamieEnsey

There are Chilean flamingos, a salt bed and a dead sea like spot, perfect for a reflective float with a chilled Pisco planted in the sand. A big highlight is the very early morning excursion to El Tatio, a geyser field located several hours away within the Andes Mountains, at an altitude of 14,190 feet. The altitude on property at Tierra is at 7,900 feet.

 

With our five day, four night itinerary, a few key things that tend to be explored in a window like this are the Atacama Salt Flats, Moon Valley, The Hots Springs and Atacama Astronomy Tour, Horseback riding in the Atacama Desert, a Full-day Tour of the Tara Salt Flat and of course the iconic Tatio Geysers. You can look at the options on the Tierra Atacama website site and do some planning in advance.

Image Courtesy of Tierra Hotels/JamieEnsey

As far as health and wellness and the spa side of things, there is an impressive spa on site with treatments available inside or out. There’s yoga available for our group on site on a daily basis. The pool and patio, as well as your own veranda, are top spots to dial it down in between excursions or in place of one. A 15-minute walk into the town of San Pedro de Atacama is essential at some point in your stay as it is darling little village filled with local charm and character with top shops many with well-curated clothing and curious as well as hip authentic local restaurants and bars.

 

 

The food on property at Tierra Atacama is exceptional. It reflects the clean cuisine that Chile is known for. There’s plenty of Chilean wines on pour and of course, a Pisco sour is never far out of reach. If you’ve had a Peruvian Pisco but have never had a Chilean, you must try as they are vastly different. Keep your preference to yourself as it is a big point of pride for both countries. 

Image Courtesy of Tierra Hotels/JamieEnsey

If you don’t opt for a stargazing excursion be sure to pop out on your final night as the region draws gazers from across the globe. You can see all, including the Southern Cross, as well as the different Atacameñan constellations, such as the Andean Llama. It’s a good time to count your lucky stars before we depart in the morning.

Day 7 | April 22nd, 2020 
Sierra de Atacama, Santiago

Image Courtesy of Ritz Carlton Santiago

After an early morning breakfast at the hotel, we head back to the airport to fly back to Santiago. We are met at the Santiago airport and transferred to The Ritz Carlton in Santiago for the night. It is located in Las Condes District, otherwise known as 'Sanhattan' as it is in the financial district. We have a one day, one-night window back in the Chilean city. After all of the rest, relaxation and adventure activity in the Atacama, you can get your big city buzz back on by running around the city catching up on what you may have missed. You can also opt to simply dial it down and enjoy The Ritz Carlton’s enclosed glass rooftop pool and spa, an oasis by day and by night. The view provided is expansive and urban. The Andes Mountains in the backdrop only add to the allure.

 

This evening we will be celebrating Chilean women, wine, culinary and creativity at an event in Santiago city. More details to follow.

 

(By day you are on your own to do what you want and at your own expense. The evening’s food, wine, and women’s event is a set group event.)

Day 8 - 11 | April 23rd - 27th, 2020 Santiago, Patagonia

Image Courtesy of Tierra Hotels/JamieEnsey

Enjoy breakfast at The Ritz Carlton before checking out of the hotel. We’re headed back to Santiago’s airport to catch our flight to Punta Arenas this morning. Once we arrive at the airport, we are transferred to Tierra Patagonia Hotel. It is a five-hour scenic drive from Punta Arenas to Llanuras de Diana to the Patagonia property but the vast Patagonia landscape makes it photo worthy throughout.

 

You never forget that the Tierra Patagonia Lodge is located in Torres del Paine National Park as it is set on the shores of Lago Pehoe with spectacular views of the Paine Mountains. Torres del Paine is one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, famous for its striking scenery, fauna and adventure activities. In 1978 it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and continues to be one of the most magnificent places on Earth. A minute in and you will see why.

Image Courtesy of Tierra Hotels/JamieEnsey

The aesthetics astound inside and out as sustainability reigns supreme at this stunning property. The architecture seamlessly integrates the structure of the hotel into the surrounding landscape providing uninterrupted views of the national park throughout. From floor to ceiling this is pure Patagonian design. They utilize locally sourced materials and artwork which can be seen throughout the property.

 

Similar to the Tierra Atacama property, once you settle into Tierra Patagonia you meet with the guides on site and start to put your plans in place for the following days. You can head in several different directions and partake in varying levels of adventure and activity. This is custom made adventure at its best. It’s hard to miss hiking in THE ICONIC Torres del Paine Park or an opportunity to horseback ride with Banqueanos, Patagonia cowboys or go for a glacial kayak. It’s all otherworldly, at times challenging and always life-changing.  

Image Courtesy of Tierra Hotels/JamieEnsey

On property, you can pamper yourself by dipping in for a swim, by taking a long and lazy look out at the park views all around you or with a treatment at the Uma spa. Dinner and drinks on the property are incredible and the convivial vibe extends from the group to the staff and to the other guests on the property as this is a luxe international adventure hub.

 

 

There are several reasons why Tierra Patagonia won The World’s Best Award by Travel & Leisure this year (2018). The only problem with this property is that it’s tough to leave. So savor your time while there.

Day 11 | April 27th, 2020
 Patagonia, Santiago

Image Courtesy of Tierra Hotels/JamieEnsey

Your final morning at Tierra Patagonia, you’ll have breakfast on the property before we depart for the airport where we will catch our connecting flights home or to other parts of Chile or South America.

 

Until we travel together again…

Accommodations

 

Luciano K

Luciano K is a chic  boutique hotel that boasts a blend of period and art deco design together with contemporary sensibilities and service. It was once the tallest building in Chile in the 1920’s--first with central heating and a lift. Today the rooftop terrace and the heated pool remain a big draw to the hotel. The rooftop lounge with its spectacular view of Parque Forestal and Alameda Avenue and  the relaxed lounge with cocktails and tapas make it an ambient spot day into night for guests and locals alike.

 

The hotel is centrally located in the bohemian district in the Lastarria neighborhood. Most things are easily walkable and within ten to fifteen minutes away, which is perfect for your first day in town.

Tierra Atacama

This 32 room chic boutique property with stunning views of the majestic Licancabur volcano throughout, is located within easy reach of the charming rustic village of San Pedro de Atacama, in northern Chile. The hotel was designed to have minimum impact on the land, preserving the original adobe walls that are part of the history of San Pedro de Atacama. With a welcoming, cozy ambience, all rooms at Tierra Atacama have private terraces, outdoor showers and wonderful views toward the volcano. The interior decor is casual and elegant, marked with authentic pieces sourced from local villages. The food is excellent, service sublime, excursions exceptional and the surrounding beauty otherworldly. Prepare to spoil all of your sensibilities. Also worth noting, the property is one of National Geographics Unique Lodges of the World and a member of Virtuoso.

Ritz Carlton Santiago

The Ritz Carlton Santiago is a five-star luxury property in the prestigious Las Condes district. The upmarket ambiance in the neighborhood is reflected throughout the property. Their four dining venues include farm-to-table Chilean cuisine at Estró, Pisco cocktails that are on point at The Ritz-Carlton Bar and hand-roasted coffee at Café Ritual. It’s hard to top the glass-roofed spa and wellness center with an indoor lap pool, fitness center and extensive spa menu.

Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa

The Tierra Patagonia Hotel & Spa sits on a bluff where the South American pampa meets Lake Sarmiento. The building is immersed in the landscape and emerges seamlessly from the hillside. The award winning architecture responsible for the property complements the flow of the geology in this privileged location and showcases the magnificent views of the Torres del Paine National Park, declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978.

 

Inside, wood clad walls emanate warmth, safety and protection – a cozy hideaway after a day of adventure exploring the Patagonian outdoors. The essence of the interior decor mirrors the design of their sister hotel, Tierra Atacama. Furnishings and textiles were also  hand made by Chilean craftspeople, using local natural materials, high quality workmanship and inspiration from the surrounding estancias as well as the influence of the native Tehuelche people.

 

Worth noting here, the property was recently awarded Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best Awards 2018.

Images of Chile are courtesy of Karen Loftus, except for accommodations and if otherwise stated.

Accommodations, Rates, Availability

SHARED ACCOMMODATION: $5,739 USD / $7,761 (single occupancy)
 
Payment deadline: February 20th, 2019.
(Spots may fill up prior as it is a first-come basis.)
 
Please note: Payment must be made in full at least 30 days prior to departure      
 
              Availability - This program welcomes a minimum of 12 guests, a maximum of 20.                     

Inclusions

Accommodation for 11 days/10 nights in a double or twin room with single supplement available

Daily excursions with a private guide in small groups (a limit of 8)

Transfers between the hotel and the nearest airport

All meals at Tierra properties – buffet breakfast, three course lunch and dinner menus

Open bar at Tierra properties - includes water, soft drinks, juices, house wines and spirits.· 

Breakfast at Luciano K & at The Ritz Carlton Santiago

Use of Uma Spa facilities on Tierra properties

Yoga classes at Tierra Atacama 

Exclusions

International and domestic flights to Santiago

Private transfers and excursions

Souvenirs, Tips & Gifts

Incidentals, tips and gifts

Laundry services

Travel Insurance 

Passports & visas

Food, drinks and city activity in Santiago (except where noted)

 

Your Host

 

Hover over the image below to see the full BIO on Your Host, Karen Loftus

Karen in Chile

Photo Credit for Gallery: Karen Loftus

Your Tour Operator

 

Chimu Adventures is a vibrant, committed and socially-responsible company. Founded in 2004, they are an Australian owned company offering fully flexible, guaranteed itineraries to Latin America, plus cruises to Antarctica and the Arctic. They call themselves the ‘Latin America and Polar Specialists’ as they focus on those continents making their knowledge unbeatable in the region. In Latin America, the best destinations and travel routes have been hand-picked by their own staff who have lived or travelled extensively within the continent. 

Final Notes

So, why Chile? I have been to Chile a few times and it was on my first trip there years ago that I knew I not only wanted to come back but I wanted to bring a group of women travelers with me to The Atacama. I have since been back to Chile, to Patagonia and again to Santiago, which only confirmed my commitment to do this. I could envision it.

 

If you haven’t been yet, this is the perfect Chilean trip. There is a lot in the pot with these two incredible, action-packed adventures in the high desert of The Atacama and in Patagonia’s Torres Del Paine park. It’s a pretty perfect pairing.

 

If you are into the outdoors, you love a ton of adventure amidst striking scenery and you appreciate well-appointed and authentic accommodations, this is a good go-to for you.

 

It’s worth noting, as much group time as there is with this, there is also a lot of room for you to carve out your own time should you so choose. If that’s important to you, you will have plenty.

 

We have four solid days in each property.  You have big windows to sink in, soak up the ambiance, take advantage of the activities on hand and to enjoy the property and the extraordinary surrounds.

 You can get as adventurous as you want on this trip. You can also dial it down at both properties. This trip offers lots of options and potential directions to head in with the group or on your own and you can change that level and direction on a daily basis.

 

Similar to a safari schedule, you will have plenty of time between your morning and afternoon activities to take time to yourself or to hang with others at the pool on the property or in town while at the Atacama. The town there is very charming. It’s quaint yet edgy  with beautiful boutiques and funky little bars. You will want to take up residence and write a novel while in town.

 

We also have yoga on a daily basis offered in the Atacama. We won’t have that in Patagonia but soaking in the pool on the Patagonia property will provide plenty of reflection.

 

If sensitive to the altitude changes, you will need to plan in advance for that on this trip. I will share my tried and true tricks for this on the site and in a letter to all participants on this trip.

 

If you haven’t been to Chile, this is a beautiful intro. If, like me, you have been, this is a great opportunity to revisit. Chile is such an extraordinary place. I will continue to visit and explore this country for years to come. I hope you will too…

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