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Holidays

The Best of Chile - from Atacama to Paine

Torres Del Paine, Chile
2 reviews
Walk & Trek
Guided Group
LEISURELY LEISURELY

A walking holiday taking in the diverse wonders of Chile, including the Atacama Desert, the Lake District and Torres del Paine National Park

Trip Code: BCD
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

The Best of Chile - from Atacama to Paine

Highlights
  • Hike up to the spectacular granite towers of Torres del Paine 
  • See snow-capped volcanoes in the Lake District and stay in an estancia
  • Explore Santiago, Puerto Varas, Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas and San Pedro
  • Visit the El Tatio Geysers and Valley of the Moon
  • Learn the ways of a traditional community in the Atacama Desert

At a Glance
  • Group Size 5 to 14
  • 13 nights hotels
  • 11 days walking and sightseeing
  • Max altitude - 4320m
  • join in Santiago

Accommodation & Meals
  • 12 Breakfasts
  • 2 Lunches
  • 12 nights Hotel
Overview

A magical land where snow-capped mountains meet cascading rivers and a breath-taking desert showcases smoking volcanoes, Chile is nature on a grand scale, from the Atacama Desert to Torres Del Paine National Park. Home to the mighty Andes, incredible Atacama, lush Lake District and UNESCO Torres del Paine National Park, we start our adventure by exploring the colourful capital of Santiago. Next it’s the spectacular Atacama Desert home to the El Tatio geysers, Valley of the Moon, Devils’ Gorge and local Atacameño with their characterful trekking llamas. After the world’s most magnificent desert we fly to Puerto Varas in the beautiful Lake District, with its snow-capped volcanoes, charming architecture and pretty gardens. Here we hike in the country’s oldest national park whilst surrounded by lush vegetation and beautiful scenery. The grand finale is one of the world’s great wildernesses, the mighty Patagonia. In UNESCO listed Torres Del Paine National Park we stay in excellent ranch-style accommodation and hike to the base of the jaw-dropping Towers of Paine for one of the most iconic images in the world. We bid adios to Patagonia from colourful Puerto Natalas before a final night in Santiago sees us come full circle.

This holiday offers the perfect opportunity to experience the contrasting landscape of Chile with excellent walks and active sightseeing plus we use internal flights to ensure you see as much of the country as possible. Each day you'll only need to carry a day pack whilst in the Atacama Desert we'll be active in the morning and late afternoon leaving the middle of the afternoon to read, acclimatise and relax in the shade. As San Pedro De Atacama is located above 2300m our days in the Atacama Desert will be spent between 2300m and 4000m. We’ll be walking in the Atacama Desert and the Lake District for between 3 and 5 hours, whilst in Torres del Paine National Park the optional walk to the towers viewpoint can be up to 7 hours. However this is an optional walk, so if you decide to relax at the estanica and enjoy the magnificent surrounding scenery, this won't take away any enjoyment from the rest of the holiday. This holiday is suitable for regular walkers who are looking for the perfect combination of walking and sightseeing in a fantastic country.

Why KE?

This itinerary explores the jaw-dropping diversity of Chile's landscapes. We experience the other-wordly Atacama Desert, the glacial waters of the Lake District and the soaring granite towers of Torres del Paine National Park. With internal flights included and comfortable hotel accommodation throughout, our rewarding collection of walks will bring you the very best of Chile. Read product manager Lisa’s Chilean Adventure.

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Itinerary

The group will meet at Santiago's Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport. A single timed transfer to the group hotel in the centre of Santiago is included. This transfer will depart the airport approximately mid-morning. After checking-in there will be a city tour at 12.00 from the hotel. This is a good chance to explore some of the sights in this bustling city. During our walk we'll visit the central market place with its ornate roof and beautiful iron decorations plus the Plaza de Armas, the original centre of Santiago. Most Spanish colonial cities have a Plaza de Armas where local people gather and Santiago's Plaza de Armas is surrounded by a rich mix of architecture including the stunning cathedral and rather decorative central post office. We'll walk past La Moneda which is the seat of the President of the Republic of Chile and the church of San Francisco, the country's first Catholic Church. Finally no visit to Santiago would be complete without a walk up Cerro Santa Lucia. This wonderful manicured park leads you up to the Torre Mirador viewpoint by a web of trails and stone steps - the perfect place for a spot of peace and quiet in a busy city. After our introduction to Santiago we'll head to a local restaurant for dinner before returning to the group hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

After breakfast we head to Santiago Airport and fly to Calama (2260m). As one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world, the Atacama Desert is a complete contrast to Santiago and our base for the next four nights. From the airport we skirt Calama, one of Chile's largest mining towns with a long history of copper mining. The transfer (106km approximately 1.5 hours) to San Pedro de Atacama (2408m) takes us through a lunar landscape which is stark and incredibly beautiful. On arrival at the group hotel and after checking-in we'll have some time at leisure to settle in and acclimatise. San Pedro has an excellent location due to its closeness to volcanoes, geysers, salt flats, amazing rock formations and a spectacular moon-like landscape. It's a bustling tourist town with meandering streets, a tree-lined plaza, a pretty church and the beautiful volcano of Lincacabur (5916m) as a backdrop. Each day we explore in the morning, relax mid-afternoon when the sun is at its strongest and head out again late afternoon before sunset. The town has a good range of cafes, small supermarkets and a couple of bakeries for lunches. In the afternoon we transfer (25mins) to the start of the Valley of the Moon "Valle de la Luna." Here we hike through gorges in the Salt Mountains before reaching one of the most colourful places in the Atacama Desert. The Valley of the Moon is at its most beautiful late in the afternoon when the whole area is set ablaze with colour as the sun sets. After sunset we return back to San Pedro and head out for dinner.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Descent

175 M

Time

3 hrs walking

Distance

6 KM

Today after an early breakfast we transfer (1.5 hours) towards the spectacular salt lake of Salar de Atacama, the largest salt flat in Chile. After leaving San Pedro we initially drive south to Toconao (2500m) a small village famed for its picturesque white houses built from volcanic stone and pretty church with bell tower. The village is known for handicrafts made from the local volcanic liparitas stone and a great place to photograph. After exploring Toconao we drive to the Salar de Atacama. At 3000 square kms this incredible "inland sea" is formed by the waters of the high Andes Mountains. After flowing down, the waters are unable to escape from this vast basin and are therefore forced to evaporate. The result is an incredible and offers the unique experience to see octagonal shaped salt crusts in the middle of the driest desert on earth! This is home to various species of flamingos and Laguna Chaxa which is part of the Reserva Nacional de los Flamingoes, and offers a brilliant opportunity to view flamingos in their natural habitat. In the afternoon we return to San Pedro (1.5 hours) and relax. Late afternoon we transfer 5kms to the Catarpe Valley. Here the Rio San Pedro meanders through the valley and we'll find the Quebrada Del Diablo "Devil´s Gorge" (2600m) and Pukara de Quitor. Our late afternoon hike of 4 hours takes us through a landscape of canyons and towering walls. We end the day with a visit to the Fort of Quitor built by the Atacameno people in the 12th century. Declared a national monument in 1982 and sitting on a hill overlooking the San Pedro River, this is a great place to end the day. A short transfer sees us back in San Pedro in time for dinner.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Time

4 hrs walking

Distance

6 KM

This morning we transfer (20mins) to Ayllu de Coyo to meet the local community of indigenous Atacameño - Lick-Antay. This is a fantastic way to see how traditional people of the Atacama survive in this stark landscape and during our visit we have the opportunity to meet two local families who'll guide us through their community along ancient paths. During the morning we'll learn about their farming methods and discover the secret of irrigating the land in a region which is the driest place on the planet. In the afternoon we'll take part in one of the highlights of our time in the Atacama Desert as we meet some llamas and enjoy a spot of llama trekking! A domesticated South American camelid - llamas are extremely sociable, live in herds and are known for their wool. Alongside discovering how important llamas are for the people of the Atacama, there will be plenty of photo opportunities as we enjoy a 2 hour walk with them. After some quality time with our new furry friends we'll return to San Pedro de Atacama.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Time

2 hrs walking

Distance

3 KM

After an early start and armed with warm clothes we leave the hotel before sunrise and drive (2hrs) to the incredible El Tatio Geysers for breakfast. Ringed by volcanoes and located at 4320m, El Tatio is fed by over 80 geysers making it the 3rd largest geyser field in the world and one of the highest. With eruptions up to 6 metres high El Tatio is a must see and with zero temperatures it is hard to believe we are still in the desert. As the sun shines through the steam there are plenty of photo opportunities as we explore. After El Tatio we head to the Pozón Rustico hot springs where we can relax in a simple pool and enjoy the warm water heated by surrounding mountains before making our way back to San Pedro through an incredible landscape. We'll pass flora and fauna including Paja Brava (a species of hard grass) and Tolares (a dark green shrub). If we're lucky we may spot the rare vicuna, a wild relative of the llama which is known for its extremely soft wool and now a protected species. In 1974 vicunas were placed on the endangered list as there are only approximately 6000 left in the wild. Finally we visit the village of Machuca, a picture-postcard shepherd hamlet complete with small stone houses, painted blue doors and a tiny white church. We'll arrive back in San Pedro after midday and have the rest of the day to relax or enjoy a spot of souvenir shopping before heading out for a final dinner in the Atacama Desert.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Today we leave the desert and make our way to the Chilean Lake District. After breakfast we transfer back to Calama Airport in time for a flight back to Santiago before we take our second flight down to Puerto Montt. The capital of the Lake District, Puerto Montt is the gateway to Southern Chile's snow topped volcanoes, crystal clear lakes and lush national parks. A brief transfer (30mins) and we are in the "City of Roses" Puerto Varas where we stay for the next 2 nights. Known for its German-style architecture, Osorno volcano backdrop and Llanqihue Lake, Puerto Varas is a chilled-out town and a great place to spend a couple of days exploring the Chilean Lake District. After checking-in at our hotel, we can relax with a pisco sour and head out for dinner in a local restaurant after a long day of travelling.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Today is a great introduction to the Chilean Lake District as we enjoy a wonderful walk in the country's oldest national park. After leaving the hotel, we transfer (1 hour) towards Ensenada in National Park Vicente Perez Rosales. Along our journey, we will be rewarded with incredible views of Osorno Volcano, the perfect backdrop to Llanquihue Lake. On reaching Ensenada, the entrance to the park we take a paved road for a couple of kilometres. Here we leave our vehicles and start our walk of 10km or approximately 4 hours through this incredible and lush landscape. Our footpath "El Solitario" - The Hermit is easy underfoot and mainly consists of soft forest trails. The scenery along the way is stunning as we enjoy native forest which includes nine species of myrtus and Weaver's Broom, a shrub native to the Mediterranean. Situated on the slopes of 3 volcanoes we are sure to see clear views of some volcanic snow-capped peaks. One of today's highlights will be walking over a valley covered in lava flows and we'll be accompanied on this walk with an expert guide who will tell us all about the fantastic flora and fauna. The resident fauna includes the shy puma, red deer, skunk, otter and a rich variety of fish and birds. After our walk we'll meet our vehicle and transfer (1 hour) back to our hotel.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B L

Time

4 hrs walking

Distance

10 KM

After breakfast, we transfer to Puerto Montt Airport as we leave the lake district and fly (2.5 hours) to Punta Arenas, the gateway to the amazing landscape of Patagonia. After our arrival at the airport we take a short transfer (25mins) to the town of Punta Arena. As the capital of Chile's most southern region of Magallanes, Punta Arenas is located on the Brunswick Peninsula and is one of the largest cities in the Patagonia Region. Between 1890 and 1940 the Magallanes Region became one of the world's most important sheep-raising regions, whilst the harbor was one of the most important in Chile and the town still has a strong link to the sea with ships coming and going. Depending on our arrival time there may be time to stretch the legs and have a wander around the town. A 15 minute walk from the main plaza is one of South America's most fascinating cemeteries where both the humble graves of immigrants lie next to the extravagant tombs of wool barons. The city has an interesting cathedral with a Renaissance tower and a number of mansions left over from the time of the wool boom. Punta Arenas has a range of restaurants to suit all budgets so in the evening we'll head out for dinner.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

This morning we leave Punta Arenas, the Gateway to Patagonia, and head towards the Torres Del Paine National Park. Our spectacular journey (5 - 6 hours) takes us through some of the most spectacular landscape on the planet. As one of the world's great wildernesses shared by Chile and Argentina, Patagonia conjours up images of majestic mountains, floating glaciers and crystal clear lakes and in reality it doesn't disappoint! We'll witness this amazing landscape as we drive through the pampa landscape of the Magellanic Region. We'll pass by sprawling estancias (sheep farms). These private landholdings "ranches" are what gave Patagonia its wealth in the past and are home to the famed "gaucho" or cowboy. En-route we'll visit Milodon Cave, a Chilean natural monument. In 1896 Otto Nordenskjold, a Swedish geologist and polar explorer, found an unidentified piece of skin in the cave. This skin belonged to the Mylodon, an extinct animal that had died over 13,000 years below. Due to his intensive research and love of Patagonia, a lake was named Lake Nordenskjold in the explorers honor. In the afternoon we'll arrive in Torres del Paine National Park and check-in at our hotel which has a magical atmosphere. Originally a cattle ranch, we are bound to see some of the resident horses roaming the grounds alongside the occasional gaucho! There will be time to freshen-up and stretch the legs in the hotel's beautiful surroundings before meeting up for dinner.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Today is a holiday highlight but also optional so if you prefer to relax at the hotel, enjoy the breath-taking location, stroll through the stables or explore the organic garden it won't effect the enjoyment of your holiday. The leader will decide on the exact length of walk depending on the group's ability and weather conditions. After an early breakfast we walk from the hotel towards the foothills of the mountains that are our backdrop. Initially the trail ascends and although rocky underfoot is non-technical. Along the way we are rewarded with views of the Rio Ascencio which formed this spectacular valley through the mountains. Approximately two hours after leaving the hotel we reach the refugio "Campamento Chileno" where we'll take a short break. For the next hour we walk through lush forest and our leader will explain about the local flora and fauna. The final hour of our walk is slightly more technical and challenging as we hike over boulders and rocks to reach the viewpoint. Standing at the base of the Paine Towers the view is well worth the effort! Soaring over 2000m high these granite pillars are the symbol of the park and dominate the landscape. After enjoying the views we walk back to the hotel, via the refugio.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

1100 M

Descent

1100 M

Time

8hrs

Distance

17 KM

Torres del Paine National Park is without a doubt an absolute highlight for everyone visiting Chile. Where the vastness of the Patagonian steppe and the steep peaks of the Southern Cordillera meet, nature shows its most breathtaking side. 2000-meter-high peaks rise out of the vast steppe abruptly; huge glaciers, deep blue lakes and wind-blown, gnarled southern beeches determine the picture. Thundering rivers flow into the valley as waterfalls. This primeval wilderness is a unique refuge for rare animals such as guanacos, Andean foxes, flamingos and condors, the kings of the skies. On a short hiking trail, we reach the viewpoint at Grey Lake, where we have a wonderful view of the eponymous glacier. We continue our tour through the sectors Salto Grande and Nordenskjold Lake; also with short hiking trails. A last panorama awaits us at the viewpoint of Sarmiento Lake, before we return to Puerto Natales.
A transfer of 2 hours sees us arrive in Puerto Natales. With its colourful corrugated roofed houses, fjord views and mountain backdrop, this little town at the "End of the Earth" offers the perfect final night in Patagonia!

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

After leaving Puerto Natales we transfer (3 hours) to Punta Arenas and fly back to the Chilean capital of Santiago. After checking-in at the group hotel there will be time at leisure to relax and unwind before regrouping in the evening and heading out for our final dinner. (Please note that there is a degree of flexibility in the itinerary today as our exact arrival time in Santiago will depend on flights and weather conditions).

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

After breakfast there will be single timed transfer to the airport. Santiago is a vibrant city with plenty of things to see and do. If you want to extend your stay in the group hotel then then please don't hesitate to contact us for rates and availability.

Meals

B
Download Trip Notes
The Route
Airport Airport
Point Point
Internal Flight

Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • An experienced English-speaking local leader
  • 4 internal flights as described in the itinerary
  • Single timed airport transfers on days 1 & 13
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as outlined in the Meal Plan
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary

  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for staff
  • Visa fees if necessary
  • Departure tax (if applicable)
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

There will be a single timed transfer from the Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport in Santiago to the group hotel in the centre.

On day 13 there will be a single timed transfer from the hotel to the airport.

Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

All breakfasts and 2 lunches are included in the holiday price. When staying in Santiago, San Pedro, Puerto Varas and Puerto Natales there is access to a wide choice of restaurants to suit all budgets, therefore it makes sense to leave the choice to you. Each evening the leader and group will decide together on a restaurant where everyone can eat. Chile has a variety of supermarkets, bakeries and snack stands where items for lunch can be purchased. You should allow approximately $10 per lunch and $20 per evening meal.


It is not recommended to drink untreated water from the taps. If you are on a trekking or cycling holiday, water is supplied to fill up your individual bottles. This will be boiled, filtered or provided in large jerry cans or 5 litre bottles. Additionally you should take purification tablets or a filter bottle (such as a Water-To-Go bottle) to treat your water when in towns or where water is not supplied. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

Chile has an excellent range of restaurants, supermarkets and cafes to suit all tastes and budgets. We've not included the majority of lunches and dinners on this holiday, leaving you free to decide on your budget and meal size. Breakfasts are continental with breads, cheese, ham, fruit, cereals, eggs, cakes, tea and coffee. Each town has a variety of supermarkets, bakeries or small cafes for lunch. In the evening the group and leader can choose together which local restaurant they would like to sample. Empanadas are excellent and filled with beef or cheese. They are available from kiosks or bakeries and are a cheap lunch-time snack. A completo is a Chilean hot dog with toppings and traditionally served with mayonnaise, tomatoes, and avocado an excellent combination. Sopaipillas are bite size morsals of fried dough filled with squash and topped with a sauce of honey, cinnamon and orange. A savoury sauce is made of onions, garlic, peppers and coriander. Chileans love meat, fish, seafood, potatoes and advocado, and each town has a selection of restaurants for all budgets. The Lake District is famed for it's seafood and fish "ceviche" is a must try. Here salmon chunks are marinated in lemon and mixed with onions and advacado - delicious. Hake, seafood soup, mussels and conger eel are all cooked to perfection. Don't forget the fantastic selection of Chilean wines on offer and the compulsary pre-dinner piscos!

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

During this trip the group will spend 2 nights in Santiago, 4 nights in San Pedro de Atacama, 3 nights in Puerto Varas, 1 night in Puerto Natalas and 1 night in Torres del Paine National Park. In Santiago, San Pedro, Puerto Varas and Puerto Natalas hotels are all en-suite and in excellent locations. Each hotel has been chosen due to its location, character and atmosphere. In Torres Del Paine National park the accommodation is a highlight. An ex-ranch, the hotel is light and airy with 8000 acres of land where the hotels horses freely roam. Furthermore the hotel is situated inside the park and the surrounding scenery is spectacular. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Single rooms are available throughout the holiday for a supplementary cost. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

The group will be accompanied throughout the holiday by professional, English speaking local leaders which are specialists in each region plus drivers.

The Chilean unit of currency is the Chilean Peso and we estimate $400 - $500 will cover all of your expenditures whilst in Chile, including non-included meals, drinks and tips for local staff. We recommend you take a small amount of cash in U.S dollars to exchange on arrival at the airport or alternatively there is an ATM machine that can be used at the airport. Further ATMs are available in Santiago, San Pedro, Puerto Varas, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas. Credit /debit cards can be used in Chilean ATMs and visa credit cards are widely accepted in Chile.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local leader and crew and do not form part of their wages. Any tips received are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given.  For your local KE leader we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction.  As a rough guide we suggest you allow a total of $100.  

Our holidays are normally designed with minimal 'down time' at the start of the trip, but having a day or two at the beginning will have the additional benefit of allowing you time to get over the stress of a long journey or travelling across time zones, leaving you refreshed and ready for your holiday. We can easily arrange for you to have additional nights and airport transfers.

Apart from any restrictions from your international airline there are no weight restrictions on this holiday.  As you will need to carry your luggage for short distances, when arriving at hotels plus when getting on and off the private bus, we feel that a rucksack or item of wheeled luggage works best for this holiday. 

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Visa Chile

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays. USA passport holders will be issued with a tourist card on arrival.

If you have a severe allergy please inform the KE office before you travel. We will do all we can to help, but we cannot guarantee an allergy free environment on KE trips. You will need to carry your own treatment for the allergy with you, as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' are not carried as standard by KE leaders and staff. You should inform your leader on arrival of your allergy, and let them know where you keep your adrenaline pen.

VACCINATIONS

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

It makes sense to spend some time before coming on a walking holiday getting some additional exercise.  Cycling, running, swimming and daily walks are good for developing aerobic fitness and better stamina.  Before travelling we suggest that you try to fit in a number of walks in the footwear you intend to walk in during the holiday.  

The Atacama has a climate characterised by blue skies and mild temperatures throughout the year with the sun at its strongest during the day.  We can expect little, if anything, in the way of precipitation.  The Lake District and Patagonia has a mixed alpine-style climate and it is not unusual to experience all four seasons in one day!  Temperatures range from 18 to 25 degrees in these areas and you should be prepared for showers and mountain breezes.     

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

  • Chile & Easter Island - Lonely Planet. 

  • The Rough Guide to Chile. 

  • Chile & Easter Island - DK Eyewitness Travel Guide. 

  • Travels in a Thin Country - Sarah Wheeler. 

  • The Motorcycle Diaries - Ernesto "Che" Guevara. 

  • The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende.

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

The following checklist should help you with your packing.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots / trekking shoes

  • Sandals or trainers for the evenings and sightseeing

  • Socks

  • Walking trousers and shorts

  • Waterproof trousers / jacket

  • Underwear

  • Long sleeved shirts as it can get cooler at night

  • T-shirts

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Sunglasses

  • Daypack 20 to 30 litres

  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters (band-aids) and blister treatment, insect repellent and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

  • Sun protection (including for lips)

  • Water bottle 1 litre (we encourage re-filling water bottles rather than single use plastic)

  • Water purification tablets
  • Washbag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial handwash 

       The following items are optional:

  • Trekking poles 

  • Travel clothes

  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Camera

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping (to avoid plastic bags)

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

Extensions

Extension Details

"Land of Fire" - Tierra Del Fuego

4 Days

The "Land of Fire" or Tierra del Fuego is a breath taking island divided between Argentina and Chile and a must see destination for anyone travelling to Patagonia. It contains one of the most famous stretches of water in the world - The Beagle Channel. KE's excellent extension explores this beautiful part of the world with inflatable canoes, boat and on foot. As the most relaxing way to travel you'll motor and paddle down wonderful waterways, hike secret trails, visit the famed Gable Island with its beaver dams, look for exciting birdlife including seals and meet the penguins on Martillo Island! Staying where the Andes meet the ocean, Ushuaia is the world's most southern town and the perfect place to enjoy, pre- or post-trek.

Extension Code: TDFT

Extension Itinerary

After transferring to your hotel the rest of the day is at leisure. Here the Andes meet the ocean and Ushuaia is a friendly place to wander and has an excellent prison museum which is worth a visit. As the capital of Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia is on the Beagle Channel and has snow-peaked mountains as a backdrop. It is a great base to base ourselves for the Tierra del Fuego adventure.

Meals

B

A short drive takes us to the Lasiphashaj River, where we will launch inflatable kayaks and paddle down the river into the Beagle Channel. These boats are fun and stable and instruction will be provided. Paddling through the Beagle Channel, we must keep our eyes peeled for a wide variety of seabirds and, on the way to Harberton, glimpses of sea lions playing in the waters around us. On reaching Harberton, we transfer to a motorboat and set off for Martillo Island. From the boat, we will have the chance to see nesting penguins. We continue on our navigation to the main attraction of the day: the enormous Gable Island. Here, we will find lunch and a glass or two of good Patagonian wine awaiting. After coffee, we will explore this beautiful island on foot, crossing over beaver dams into the forest to emerge on the Beagle Channel shore. From there take the boat to reach Puerto Harberton, and drive back to Ushuaia.

Meals

B L

Today we head into Tierra del Fuego National Park and canoe down relaxing rivers and across lagoons to the picture-postcard bay of Lapataia with its own micro-climate and birdlife. We'll hike (3 hrs) through charming scenery to Lake Roca before an afternoon of canoeing on southern waters, all the time surrounded by spectacular scenery. We finish today back in the beautiful bay of Lapataia.

Meals

B L

This morning we sail the Beagle Channel to the famous Les Eclaireurs conically shaped "lighthouse at the end of the world!" Complete with red and white stripes this is the perfect finale to our time in Tierra Del Fuego. After sailing the straits we depart to the airport for a flight departing after 3pm. (If late flights are not available we can book you extra hotel nights/transfers)

Meals

B
Whats Included
  • English-speaking local guide
  • Ushuaia airport transfers
  • All land and sea transport required by the itinerary
  • All equipment for canoeing
  • 3 nights hotel accommodation in Ushuaia
  • Port tax
  • Boat rides on the Beagle Channel
  • Breakfasts and 2 lunches
What's Not Included
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses - drinks & souvenirs etc
  • Internal flights to/from Ushuaia (fares vary so we will obtain a quote for the flights and add in a private transfer price from El Calafate town to the airport)

Reviews

4 out of 5 from 2 reviews

Excellent holiday. ★★★★

Great holiday. Perhaps a bit too much travelling, but to see everything, that is necessary. Shame the group were split into two flights on our final journey to Santiago, which made the last night on holiday late and disjointed. Two out of three guides were quite excellent - the third appeared to still be learning. I do want to go back and see more.

By Donald Sherington | 04 March 2019

A brilliant travel holiday, but with perhaps too much travelling for some. ★★★★

The whole trip for me involved 11 flights which would be too many for some. Santiago, the Atacama "desert" and the time in Patagonia were brilliant, but given the choice I would exclude the Lake District as it lacked spectacle, and more time walking in Patagonia would be more worthwhile. Overall it was very enjoyable. Chile is a great country to visit.

By John Sheffield | 02 March 2019

Traveller Reviews
4 out of 5 from 2 reviews

Excellent holiday.
★ ★ ★ ★

Great holiday. Perhaps a bit too much travelling, but to see everything, that is necessary. Shame the group were split into two flights on our final journey to Santiago, which made the last night on holiday late and disjointed. Two out of three guides were quite excellent - the third appeared to still be learning. I do want to go back and see more.

By Donald Sherington | 04 March 2019

A brilliant travel holiday, but with perhaps too much travelling for some.
★ ★ ★ ★

The whole trip for me involved 11 flights which would be too many for some. Santiago, the Atacama "desert" and the time in Patagonia were brilliant, but given the choice I would exclude the Lake District as it lacked spectacle, and more time walking in Patagonia would be more worthwhile. Overall it was very enjoyable. Chile is a great country to visit.

By John Sheffield | 02 March 2019

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