The Chilean Coast & Wine Valleys
• Santiago • Vina del Mar • Valparaiso • Valley of Colchagua • Santa Cruz
Tour the highlights that lie within Santiago's reach, including the coastal resort of Vina del Mar and the colourful port town of Valparaiso. Also head inland to the beautiful Valley of Colchagua - home to many of Chile's new boutique wineries and stay in the charming town of Santa Cruz.
Day 1: Santiago You will be met and transferred to your hotel and the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 2: Santiago This morning enjoy a City Tour which includes the Funicular de Santiago (gondola) and provides a stunning and panoramic view over the city from the top of San Cristobal Hill. You then travel to the heart of the city and Plaza de Armas, the spot from where the city has grown throughout the centuries. Each Latin city has a Plaza de Armas as when cities were founded the center was also where the armoury and military base was established - hence the name Plaza de Armas (Plaza of Arms). Visit some of the more important buildings such as the Cathedral, the City Council, the Central Post Office and the National Historical Museum.
Continue to the Presidential Palace 'La Moneda'; the current seat of the government. You will wander the elegant streets from the beginning of the 19th century which are now a commercial center. You will also visit some the original colonial neighborhoods such as Concha y Toro Square. Characterized by its cobbled streets and old mansions that reflect the elegance and richness of the early twentieth century, the neighborhood grew to prominence between 1870 and 1876 with the influx of wealth as a result of mining and the discovery of silver. Many Chileans achieved great wealth, including Enrique Concha y Toro, founder of the famed winery.
Finish with a tour of a local craft store. On offer are many traditional items that will make the perfect gift or souvenir, including typical jewellery made from lapis lazuli, a semi-precious blue stone found only in Chile and Afghanistan. At the end of your tour you will be transferred back to your hotel and the remainder of your day is at leisure.
Day 3: Santiago > Vina del Mar & Valparaiso > Santiago This morning departing Santiago and travel through the valleys of Curacavi and Casablanca, admiring its vineyards along the route during the 120km journey from Santiago. On arrival at Vina del Mar take a short tour around the Quinta Vergara, a beautiful park with a fine mansion now housing a Fine Arts Museum. Drive along the coastal road passing Renaca Beach and stopping at Oceanic Rock to enjoy a panoramic view where sea lions may be seen. Back in Vina del Mar see the traditional 1930s-style gambling Casino and elegant hotel in elegant Avenida Peru.
Some 10km away and after passing the famous flower-clock you will reach the port city of Valparaiso. Known as the 'Jewel of the Pacific', Valparaiso is one of South America's most charming, historic and picturesque ports. It is a pleasant blend of historical interest, natural beauty and unique architecture - particularly its mix of 19th-century houses. Tour through the narrow avenues of the port and Sotomayor Square, flanked by buildings in front of the Prat Pier that date back to the glory days when Valparaiso was the key stopover for the clipper ships running between the Pacific coast of the Americas and the east coast of the USA or Europe. They provisioned in Valparaiso before rounding Cape Horn. Enjoy lunch (own expense) and in the afternoon the tour continues with a visit to La Sebastiana, a museum celebrating the life of the Chilean Nobel Prize winner for literature, Pablo Neruda. Then ride on one of the oldest funiculars of Valparaiso (Funicular Artilleria, 1898) to reach 21 de Mayo Terrace, with one of the best views over the bay.
Day 4: Santiago > Colchagua Valley > Santa Cruz Leaving Santiago you will head to the south of the city, travelling through the picturesque Chilean countryside, which is famous for its large production of fruits and vegetables, called "Valle de Colchagua". This agricultural and fertile valley begins in the Andean mountain and extends to the west of the Pacific Ocean. Historically, this valley has been designed for wine activity. There are more than 15 vineyards, which produce different varieties of red wines such as: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenere, Syrah and Malbec. Today you will visit the Montgras winery, where you can enjoy a tour of the vineyard with tastings. During the tastings, learn the characteristics of three different varieties of wine along with specially selected refreshments to improve the characteristics of the products and find the perfect balance between food and wine. Later you will enjoy a lunch at Hotel Santa Cruz.
After lunch visit the Colchagua Museum, located in the town of Santa Cruz. The Museum opened its doors in 1995 and belongs to the Cardoen's Foundation, a non-profit organization. Afterwards you will be dropped off at your hotel for your two night stay.
Day 5: Colchagua Valley Spend the day with your Guide enjoying some more vineyards. In the morning visit the Viu Manent vineyard, founded in 1935, with a long history of producing excellent wines. It is located in the southernmost part of the Rapel Valley, which is one of the best known wine regions of Chile and has won many awards for its full-bodied Cabernet, Carmenere, Syrah and Malbec. Its wines regularly appear at the top of the world list of leading wines. Here you will enjoy wine tastings with an included lunch. After lunch enjoy a visit to the Santa Cruz vineyard for a guided tour of the winery during which you will learn about the wine-making process and taste two wines.
Day 6: Colchagua Valley > Santiago Today return to Santiago where you will be dropped at Santiago Airport where services end.
• 5 nights' accommodation • Personal meet and greet on arrival • Transfers and transport • Sightseeing and entrance fees • 5 breakfasts
Pricing (per person) $NZD
Booking conditions • Prices are based on a minimum of two people travelling together
• Please enquire for the price for one person travelling alone
• Prices are based on a minimum of two people travelling together • Please enquire for the price for one person travelling alone