A two-week route that somehow manages to pack all of Chile's top highlights into one manageable trip. After a couple of nights in Santiago head south to Torres del Paine National Park for several days of easy-going adventures in wild Patagonia. From here wind your way back north, calling in at Puerto Natales, the stunning Lakes District and Chiloé Island. From here bunny hop to the far north and explore the strange landscapes of the Atacama Desert before heading back to Santiago and on to Colchagua Valley for a cycling tour of the region's wineries.

Key information

Destinations Destinations Patagonia, Chile
Atacama Desert, The Lakes District, Torres del Paine National Park, Santiago, Colchagua Valley
Activity Activity Family, Nature & Wildlife, Culture
Physical Level Physical Level Easy
Season Season January - December

Suggested itinerary

Get to know Chile’s lively capital city

Get to know Chile’s lively capital city

Day 1 in Santiago

Surrounded by hills, energetic Santiago is the beating heart of Chile and home to 40% of its people. The best way to explore Santiago is simply by strolling around its unique neighbourhoods, starting with the museum, malls and architecture of the Centro.

Don't miss

Climb San Cristobal Hill in Santiago

Climb San Cristobal Hill in Santiago

Take the cable car or walk up to San Cristobal Hill for a stunning panorama of the city. It’s a great way to see the city before going on to explore its vibrant street art, galleries, beautiful parks and colonial architecture up close, perhaps via a bike tour. Look out for Plaza de Armas and La Moneda Presidential Palace.

Hike “the W” in Torres del Paine

Hike “the W” in Torres del Paine

Day 2–4 in Torres del Paine National Park

Chile’s Torres del Paine National Park is renowned for its trekking and hiking, with excellent infrastructure for day hikes and multi-day treks. While the popular W and Circuit treks steal all the glory, other lesser-trafficked routes are available. Take a hike to one of the many viewing points from which you can get a panoramic view of the towering granite peaks and local wildlife — including guanacos, rheas and Andean condors.

Don't miss

Birdwatching in Patagonia

Birdwatching in Patagonia

What Patagonia lacks in megafauna it more than makes up for in rare bird life. There are Magellanic penguins on the Valdes Peninsula, Andean Condors soaring above Torres del Paine, flamingos in Tierra del Fuego, and much more everywhere else. Bring your binoculars!

Visit hikers paradise Puerto Natales

Visit hikers paradise Puerto Natales

Day 5 in Puerto Natales

This small fishing town has been transformed in recent decades into a hikers’ paradise — popular shopping includes Gore-Tex and trail mix — thanks in large part to nearby Torres del Paine National Park. Head to one of the many cosy corrugated-tin hostels, drop off your suitcase and get hiking in Chile’s most iconic national park, or join a boat tour of the Patagonian fjords.

Marvel at snowcapped volcanoes in the Lakes District

Marvel at snowcapped volcanoes in the Lakes District

Day 6–8 in The Lakes District

Known for its conical volcanoes and its shimmering lakes, this region of central Chile and Argentina offers accessible and easy-going hiking with spectacular views, quiet villages and a laid back pace of life. The region was the former home to the Mapuche people, who managed to fight off both the Incas and Spanish colonialists for 350 years before finally falling to the Chilean Army in the 1880s. Over the following century, Swiss, Austrian and German settlers transformed the area, influencing the architecture and cuisine of towns like Argentina’s Bariloche and Chile’s Puerto Varas, where tourists can visit quaint Swiss-style chocolate shops before enjoying a day of hiking or kayaking on a nearby lake.

Step back in time on Chiloé Island

Step back in time on Chiloé Island

Day 9–10 in Chiloé Island

The largest island in the Chiloé Archipelago (and the second largest in Chile), Chiloé Island is a must-visit for many tourists travelling to Chile’s beautiful Lake District region. With wild, mountainous national parks and dense forests, the island is a favourite amongst outdoor enthusiasts, but it has much more to offer than just untouched nature. Home to the seafaring Chilote people, the island has its own unique folklore and cuisine, with unique UNESCO-listed wooden churches and charming palafitos – colourfully painted houses perched on stilts over the water.

Explore Atacama’s otherworldly landscapes

Explore Atacama’s otherworldly landscapes

Day 11–13 in Atacama Desert

Covering over 1,000km of land from the Pacific coast to the Bolivian border, the Atacama desert is home to a range of otherworldly landscapes which leave even the most world-weary travellers breathless — though the high altitude could also be to blame for that. The region is a photographer’s dream, with seemingly endless salt flats giving way to volcanos, active geysers and vibrant turquoise lagoons filled with flamingos. Don’t miss a sunset (or sunrise) in the appropriately named Valle de la Luna, which is only 11 miles from the small town of San Pedro de Atacama.

Don't miss

Hop on a tour to Bolivia’s famed salt flats

Hop on a tour to Bolivia’s famed salt flats

From San Pedro de Atacama jump on a 3-4 day tour to neighbouring Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni. Make sure to choose your tour wisely and grab a handful of coca leaves to chew on (said to help counteract altitude sickness) — most tours will include a visit to the ethereal Salvador Dalí Desert which is more than 4,500 metres above sea level.

Cycle the Colchagua wine route

Cycle the Colchagua wine route

Day 14 in Colchagua Valley

Spend a day or two touring the scenic Colchagua Valley, at the heart of Chile’s wine industry. There are around 12 wineries that are open to the public, offering tastings of the country’s best Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots and Malbecs.

Book this itinerary

This route booked with one of our specialist tour operators would cost from $8,100pp. Pricing varies by accommodation class, and can be tailored to suit your budget.

Pricing is typically inclusive of hotels, transfers, meals, and all guided excursions and activities.

Learn more

Contact us now and we'll connect you with a specialist tour operator with more information on how to tailor and book this itinerary.

Other itineraries you might like

Why Horizon Guides?

Impartial guidebooks

Impartial guidebooks

Our travel guides are written by the leading experts in their destinations. We never take payment for positive coverage so you can count on us for impartial travel advice.

Expert itineraries

Expert itineraries

Suggested itineraries and routes to help you scratch beneath the surface, avoid the tourist traps, and plan an authentic, responsible and enjoyable journey.

Specialist advice

Specialist advice

Get friendly, expert travel advice and custom itineraries from some of the world’s best tour operators, with no spam, pressure or commitment to book.

Loading...