Chile

Far North Chile Tour

9 days | 8 nights
Private tour
From 1549USD per person
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Tour Description

A region defined by its rugged shorelines, pretty coastal cities, and vast salt flats, this 9 day Chile tour in the far north takes you off the beaten path.

Your journey begins with a visit to the cosmopolitan capital of Santiago, where you'll tour the government offices and historic landmarks to gain an understanding of the country's colorful past and cultural identity. See the city from above as you stand atop San Cristóbal Hill, then catch a domestic flight and make your way to Chile's northernmost city of Arica, a beach destination that enjoys a year-round mild climate.

Celebrate the works of French engineer Gustave Eiffel here as you visit the Gothic-style Catedral de San Marcos and Ex-Aduana de Arica, the very same Eiffel who designed Paris's famed iron wrought Eiffel Tower.

Visit the laid back villages of Poconchile and Socoroma, where timeless traditions linger and base yourself in Putre for a visit to Lauca National Park. Comprised of an extensive 1380 sq km, the altiplano landscape is dotted with looming volcanoes and peppered with gemlike lakes.

Observe colonies of flamingos at Salar de Surire, a 113 sq km salt flat, and uncover Chile's ancient past as you visit the geoglyph, Gigante de Atacama.

Explore the lost ghost town of Humberstone, and cap off your Chile tour with a day at leisure in Iquique, as you indulge in an afternoon of cocktail sipping at one of the beachfront bars, or suntanning on its golden stretches of sand.

Boasting ancient cultures, varied landscapes, and geological wonders, Chile's far north proves rewarding for anyone who makes the journey.

Destinations

Chile

Trip at a glance

Visits

PUTRE REGION: Lluta Valley, Pocochile, Pukará de Copaquilla, Socoroma Pre-Columbian village, Lauca National Park, Parinacota volcano, Lake Chungara

COLCHANE REGION: Las Vicunas National Reserve, Surire Salt Flats, Isluga Volcano National Park

IQUIQUE REGION: Humberstone Ghost Town, Atacama/Tarapaca Geoglyph, Huara village

Trip details

Itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVAL IN SANTIAGO

Morning

Meet and greet your private English speaking guide upon arriving at Santiago International Airport, and transfer to your downtown hotel to drop off your luggage.

Dynamic and cosmopolitan, the capital of Chile enjoys a picturesque location at the foot of the Andes, its snow-capped peaks a dramatic backdrop for Santiago's 32 distinct autonomous municipalities. Each embodying its own unique characteristics, Santiago embraces you with diversity as you discover neighborhoods dedicated to sophisticated art galleries, energetic nightlife and a burgeoning food scene, and historic downtown where you're invited to learn about the country's history from its collection of museums and government buildings. As the cultural and economic heart of Chile, Santiago presents you with a sound introduction to the nation.

Afternoon

After you've settled at the hotel, embark on a private city tour with your guide. Start at La Moneda, inaugurated in 1805 as Chile's royal mint before serving as the seat of the president, and take in the building's elegant neoclassical facades. Tour La Moneda's inner courtyards, one of which is flanked by two 18th century canons at its entrance. Relive the 1973 military coup when Augusto Pinochet violently took power for 17 years, then continue to Plaza de Armas - the bustling heart of the city surrounded by government offices and historical buildings. Tour the Central Post Office and the Metropolitan Cathedral, and continue to the Central Market, which offers an extensive variety of fresh produce. Along the Parque Forestal, make your way to San Cristóbal Hill, Santiago's second-highest point, to admire a bird's eye view of the city.

Evening

Free evening and overnight in Santiago.

Day 2 FLIGHT TO ARICA: CITY-TOUR

Morning

Transfer to Santiago International Airport in the morning for your flight to Arica (2 hours 40 minutes). 

Meet and greet your private English speaking guide upon arrival at Chacalluta International Airport, and transfer to your downtown hotel to drop off your luggage.

Afternoon

Tour Chile's northernmost city, a destination blessed with sandy beaches and mild year-round climate, making this a popular getaway for avid surfers and beachgoers. Visit Arica's compact center, and marvel at the Gothic-style San Marcos Cathedral and the brick facades of the Ex-Aduana de Arica, both built by celebrated French engineer Gustave Eiffel. Continue to the waterfront, and make your way to Ex-Isla del Alacrán, a peninsula that juts out from the mainland. Head to the top of the Morro on a short-lived but worthwhile steep jaunt for a view of the city and the Pacific Ocean, and learn about the Pacific War in which Peruvian owned Arica was handed over to Chile at this very site in 1880.

Evening

Free evening and overnight in Arica. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 3 PUTRE, LLUTA VALLEY, POCONCHILE, PUKARA DE COPAQUILLA, SOROCOMA

Morning

Depart at 9 am for a scenic transfer to Putre, traveling some 140 km northeast from Arica. Reach Putre at an estimated 6:30 pm after a day of sightseeing.

Along the way, discover the Lluta Valley and the geoglyphs strewn across its barren hills, the images depicting animals and humans. Continue to Poconchile, a village on the shores of the Lluta River, and visit its cemetery and Iglesia de San Jerónimo - a 17th-century church constructed from adobe and wood.

Afternoon

Make a stop at Pukará de Copaquilla, an archaeological site home to a 12th-century fortress that was built to protect agricultural land, then head to the pre-Colombian village of Socoroma, previously held captive by the Spaniards who traveled from Arica to Potosí. Roam the well-preserved streets of Socoroma and visit its famous 16th-century clay church.

Drive back to Putre. 

Evening

Free evening and overnight in Putre. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 4 LAUCA NATIONAL PARC: PARINACOTA VOLCANO, LAKE CHUNGARA

Spend a full day exploring Lauca National Park, departing from Putre at 9 am and returning at 5 pm. Designated a World Biosphere Reserve, Lauca National Park's 1380 sq km of altiplano is comprised of snow-dusted volcanic peaks, shimmering lakes, and over 150 varying species of wildlife which include alpacas, pumas, and condors. Throughout the course of the day, you'll have the opportunity to stop at a number of viewpoints to admire the majestic Parinacota Volcano and Lake Chungará - the star attraction of Lauca National Park. At a dizzying altitude of 4570 meters, this sparkling lake in Chile's extreme north is one of the highest in the world.
Evening

Free evening and overnight in Putre. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 5 LAS VICUNAS NATIONAL RESERVE, SURIRE SALT FLAT, ISLUGA VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK

Depart at 8 am for a scenic transfer to Colchane, and reach your hotel at around 5 pm. During the day, discover the 2100 sq km Las Vicuñas National Reserve, just south of Lauca National Park. Wander the vast lands with your guide, and observe the wild vicuña that roams here, a dramatic setting backed by a series of soaring volcanic peaks. Explore Surire' salt falts, a 113 sq km salt flat formed in 1983, and observe the three species of flamingos that make the salt lake their home. Enjoy lunch in a typical Refugio, a rustic mountain hut, and take the opportunity to experience a natural mud bath before continuing to the village of Enquelga and Parque Nacional Volcán Isluga. Well worth the detour, the 1750 sq km Isluga Volcano National Park is dominated by the looming Volcán Isluga, which last erupted in 1913. Stop by the stratovolcano's uninhabited namesake village, one of a number of tiny settlements along the perimeter of the park.
Evening

Free evening and overnight in Colchane. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 6 HUMBERSTONE GHOST TOWN, GIGANTE DE ATACAMA GEOGLYPH, HUARA VILLAGE

Depart at 8:30 am for a scenic transfer to Iquique, traveling down the Andes and making stops at the Gigante de Atacama, Humberstone, and the village of Huara. Reach your hotel in Iquique at around 5 pm this evening. Created by the indigenous inhabitants of the region in AD 900, the gigantic 86 m high Gigante de Atacama geoglyph is believed to represent Pachamama, or Mother Earth. Though more than 5000 geoglyphs are sprinkled across the Atacama, Gigante de Atacama is undoubtedly the desert's most iconic. Continue exploring the Atacama as you make a stop in the ghost town of Humberstone. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, the once-thriving mining town of Humberstone was completely abandoned in 1961. Wander its dusty lanes, and visit the extensively restored Art Deco buildings before heading to the village of Huara. Situated 75 km northeast of Iquique, Huara lies in the heart of the Tarapacá Region. Founded in 1885 as a result of a surge in the saltpeter industry, Huara was badly damaged in a 2005 earthquake.
Evening

Free evening and overnight in Iquique.

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 8 FLIGHT TO SANTIAGO, DEPARTURE

Morning

Transfer to Diego Aracena International Airport for your flight to Santiago (2 hours 15 minutes). 

Afternoon

Upon arriving at Santiago International Airport, transfer to your downtown hotel, and enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure.

Evening

Free evening and overnight in Santiago. 

MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Day 9 DEPARTURE

Your 9-day Chile tour ends with a transfer to Santiago International Airport (30 to 45 minutes), where your guide will assist with check-in for your onward journey.
MEALS
  • Breakfast at the hotel

Video

Services

What's included

Accommodation

Nights
8 nights in 3* premium hotels

Meals

Bed & Breakfast plan
8 breakfasts

Transportation

Car
Private car and driver during the whole trip

Orientation

Guide
Private English-speaking guide for all mentioned visits

Entrance Fees

Entrance fees to all mentioned sites

What's not included

  • Domestic Flights:
    • Santiago to Arica
    • Iquique to Santiago
  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Extra Meals
  • Drinks
  • Tips

Dates and Prices

Arrival date

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