Tailored from £7,550 per person excl. flights
12 days Santiago, Casablanca, Valparaíso, Ovalle, San Pedro de Atacama
12 days Santiago, Casablanca, Valparaíso, Ovalle, San Pedro de Atacama
On 02 July 2019, part of the Earth will be plunged into a Total Solar Eclipse; an extraordinary phenomenon which happens only once every 18 months, and lasts only minutes.
The eclipse will only be seen from parts of South America, and Chile is one of the best places to view this incredible spectacle.
Wayfairer has put together a special itinerary that sees you witnessing the Total Solar Eclipse from one of the best seats in the house near Ovalle.
You’ll also explore some of Chile’s most beautiful landscapes - from the country’s colossal size, to its claim to some of the clearest night skies in the world, Chile is astronomical in every sense of the word.
Begin in the captivating city of Santiago, before heading to the Casablanca wine regions, where you’ll stay on a gorgeous vineyard. You’ll then head to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Valparaíso, before flying to La Serena and transferring to Ovalle.
From here, you’ll explore the stunning Elqui Valley, before settling in to your exclusive spot on 02 July, to witness the magnificent Total Solar Eclipse of 2019.
You’ll then venture to San Pedro de Atacama, home to some of the most remarkable starry night skies in the world. You’ll have the opportunity to venture into the beautiful Atacama Desert, and enjoy nightly viewings at a superb private observatory.
You’ll be staying in world-class luxury accommodation, ranging from a luxurious, sustainable hotel surrounded by stunning Atacama landscapes, to a charming, family-run vineyard. With every request and preference catered to, this luxury tour will ensure you see the night skies of Chile in style and comfort.
You’ll be met on arrival at Santiago International Airport by a Wayfairer representative, and escorted to your private vehicle. Your driver will take you through the city to Cumbres Lastarria, your hotel for the night.
Cumbres Lastarria is an elegant hotel set in the trendy Lastarria neighbourhood, close to the city centre and the Bellavista neighbourhood. You’ll be steps away from the MAVI museum and the GAM Theatre and Museum, and surrounded by bars, restaurants, artisan markets and boutique stores.
Spend the evening enjoying the hotel’s rooftop outdoor swimming pool, terrace and restaurant, or the gym and spa on the ground floor. You may also like to stroll the leafy streets and soak up the cultural, historical and culinary delights of the Lastarria neighbourhood.
After breakfast, you’ll be met by your private driver and transferred to the famous Casablanca wine region in the Valparaíso Province. The scenic drive takes around 1.5 hours, and you’ll arrive at La Casona at Matetic Vineyards, your hotel for the night.
With just ten rooms set in a traditional 1900s colonial building, La Casona is a wonderfully exclusive boutique hotel. Set on a private five-hectare park, you’ll be surrounded by the stunning Chilean countryside, and you can relax in your room with views of the garden, vineyards and outdoor swimming pool.
You’ll stay at La Casona on a full board basis, including meals, wine tastings and excursions. This evening, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cocktail and delicious dinner, served with half a bottle of wine per person. You’ll have the choice of red or white wines from the excellent Corralillo line, produced by the Matetic Vineyard, pioneered by the fourth generation of the Matetic family. In 1999, the family planted vineyards within the protected San Antonio appellation, and a decade later, the family continue to produce superb wines with sustainable practices.
Enjoy a buffet breakfast, before heading out on a morning excursion through the Casablanca winelands. You can take a tour through Matetic Winery, tasting four wines from the Ultra line of Premium EQ wines. You can also take a guided tour of the Rosario Valley, choosing to walk, cycle, drive or go horseback riding through the beautiful landscapes.
After your excursion, you’ll be met by your private driver and transferred to the gorgeous coastal city of Valparaíso. The drive takes one hour, and you’ll arrive at Hotel Casa Higueras, your hotel for the night.
Hotel Casa Higueras is a sophisticated boutique hotel, occupying five floors of a former mansion. This afternoon, settle into your cosy room, take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool, indulge in a massage at the spa, and enjoy a delicious meal at Restaurante Maralegre.
Enjoy a buffet breakfast before heading out on a walking excursion of Valparaíso, a UNESCO World Heritage city, strewn with colourful houses, parks and national monuments. Your private guide will meet you at your hotel and begin the tour at Plaza Sotomayor, where you’ll find the Monument to the Heroes of Iquique and other historical buildings overlooking the sea port.
You'll then take the El Peral Elevator to Paseo Yugoslavo and Cerro Alegre, and wander the winding streets of Cerro Concepción, reaching the Paseo Gervasoni and Paseo Atkinson. Return to the centre of Valparaíso, where you’ll take an old electric trolley to the Customs Square. From there, you’ll board the Artillería Elevator to reach the Paseo 21 de Mayo walkway, where you’ll enjoy a beautiful view of the Bay of Valparaíso and Viña del Mar.
You’ll then return to your hotel in Valparaíso and meet your private driver for your transfer to Santiago airport. At the airport, you’ll head to the domestic check in counter for your flight to La Serena. On arrival at the airport in La Serena, you’ll be met by your private driver and transferred to Ovalle, a charming city in the Coquimbo Region of Chile and the gateway to stargazing hotspots. The drive will take around 1.5 hours, and you’ll arrive at Hotel Limarí, your hotel for the next three nights.
After breakfast, you'll meet your guide at your hotel to begin your full day excursion to the Elqui Valley (Valle de Elqui). You'll make various stops throughout the day, soaking up the beautiful views of the Elqui Valley, and visiting the villages of the region.
You'll stop at the city of Vicuña, to see the main square, Bauer Tower (Torre Bauer), and the Gabriela Mistral museum, where you'll learn about the life of the famous poet. You'll also visit the charming towns of Montegrande and Pisco Elqui, surrounded by stunning scenery.
The tour includes lunch in a local restaurant and you'll enjoy other culinary highlights with a visit to a Pisquera Distillery, where you'll learn about the distillation process of Pisco, the famous Chilean beverage. Tour the plant and taste their finest Pisco, then visit a Papaya centre, where you can sample different products made from papaya, the traditional fruit of the region.
It's the moment you've been waiting for - the day of the Total Solar Eclipse, one of nature's grandest shows.
Today you'll head out to an exclusive viewpoint near the Mamalluca Observatory, where you can settle into a prime position to take in the spectacular solar eclipse. The viewpoint will be equipped with tents, tables, chairs, wine and a coffee station, and you'll be served lunch and wine throughout the day.
You'll have one of the best seats in the house to take in this rare celestial phenomenon, and your private vehicle will be on hand to transport you back to Hotel Limarí in the evening.
15:23 Partial eclipse begins
16:38 Full eclipse begins
16:39 Maximum eclipse
16:40 Full eclipse ends
17:46 Partial eclipse ends
The Total Solar Eclipse may be over, but there's still plenty of prime stargazing to do!
After breakfast, you’ll be met by your private driver at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your domestic flight to Santiago. On arrival at the airport, you’ll be met by your private driver and transferred to Cumbres Lastarria, your hotel for the night. This afternoon, you’ll enjoy a private city tour of Santiago, led by a local English-speaking guide. You’ll meet your guide at your hotel, then begin your tour at Cerro Santa Lucia, a beautiful park strewn with ancient forts and monuments, where the city of Santiago was founded in 1541.
You’ll then head to Plaza de Armas, where you’ll see a number of historical buildings including the Cathedral of Santiago, the Municipality, the Post Office Building and the National History Museum. Next, you’ll venture up Cerro San Cristobal, the second highest point in the city, where you’ll enjoy a panoramic view over Santiago. You’ll continue through the Providencia neighbourhood, then travel along the Costanera Highway to reach the trendy Vitacura neighbourhood and Alonso de Córdova Avenue.
You’ll make a stop at the Piedras Australes handicraft shop, which specialises in lapis lazuli jewellery, a semi-precious stone found only in Chile and Afghanistan. Enjoy a traditional Pisco Sour drink while learning about the stunning lapis lazuli pieces, before ending your tour at your hotel in Santiago.
After breakfast, you’ll be met by your private driver and transferred to the airport for your domestic flight to San Pedro de Atacama. On arrival at the airport, you’ll be met by your private driver and transferred to Explora Atacama, your hotel for the next three nights. The drive will take around 1.5 hours, and you’ll get your first glimpse of the famed Atacama region as you pass through the desert landscapes.
You’ll arrive at Explora Atacama, a 17-hectare oasis, surrounded by desert and the Andes highlands. The luxurious hotel was inspired by the sand dunes, salt pans, ethereal lakes and towering volcanoes of Atacama, and each room melts into the landscape with views of the gardens and countryside. This afternoon, you can relax in your warm, comfortable rooms, or soak in your jetted bathtub.
This evening, you can enjoy your first viewing of the Atacama’s night skies, at the hotel’s own observatory. San Pedro de Atacama has some of the clearest night skies in the world, and Explora’s observatory is one of the best private observatories in Chile, making this one of the best places to practice astronomy in the world. In the observatory, you’ll find the Meade 16” f/10 LX200R Advanced RD, an advanced optics telescope, and a main mirror of 40 cm in diameter with incredible resolution and sharpness.
You’ll stay at Explora Atacama on a full-board basis, with all meals, beverages, excursions and spa treatments included. Today, you’ll choose from over 40 explorations, ranging from cycling and hiking, to horseback riding in some of the most extraordinary landscapes on Earth. You can choose to participate in two half-day excursions, or one full-day excursion, however the high mountain hiking expeditions require guests a minimum of two-night acclimisation, so guests can get used to the high altitude.
Some of the most popular excursions include the Kamur hike, where you’ll see the famous Moon Valley and Salt Ridge, filled with unique geological formations whipped into bizarre shapes by the wind. The Punta del Inca hike takes you to the junction of the Puritama and Purifica rivers, where you’ll walk along the Valley of the Cacti, a canyon filled with giant cacti. You’ll pass through the river several times and walk along gushing waterfalls.
If you prefer bike riding, you can cycle through the Domeyko Mountain Range, filled with guanacos and fascinating desert plants, or pedal to the Catarpe Valley, past crystallized salt creeks and ancient petroglyphs. If you’d like to explore the culture of the region, you can go horseback riding to the nearby farming communities, where you’ll witness the old Atacama construction technique of adobe and straw roofs. You can also roam the dry riverbed of Dinosaur Valley, or visit Cúcuter, a stark white oasis, where the Atacama salt flats begin.
Today you’ll head out on another incredible adventure across the Atacama region, however there’s also plenty to enjoy within the Explora Hotel. The hotel is set in the Ayllu de Larache, a former kin-based community of the ancient Aymara people, and the grounds consist of 20 indigenous parcels, with timeworn pathways and buildings. The hotel is dedicated to preserving these precious fragments of history out of respect for the region’s original inhabitants.
There’s also a Quincho - a BBQ area set under an old traditional adobe house. Guests can gather here for a traditional spit-roast and local dishes, while local artists perform Andean music and dance. You’ll never go hungry, as their main kitchen serves delectable cuisine made from quality local ingredients, accompanied by fine Chilean wine.
If you’d like to unwind after all that adventure, head to the Turi Puri massage centre, located in an old adobe-straw building, or soak in one the hotel’s four pools, including a sauna, steam baths, and outdoor hot tubs. Depending on weather conditions, Explora offers nightly viewings at their fantastic observatory, so be sure to enjoy one last viewing of the dazzling night sky this evening.
After breakfast, you’ll be met by your private driver and transferred to the airport for you domestic flight to Santiago. On arrival at the airport, you’ll be met by your private driver and transferred to Cumbres Lastarria for your final night.
You may like to spend your last afternoon exploring the vibrant city of Santiago. We recommend heading to the Italian quarter, filled with chic cafes and antique stores, or wandering the historic street art of La Pincoya. Visit the Sculpture Park by the Mapocho River, where you’ll find brilliant art installations by Chilean artists, or score some souvenirs at Parque Arauco, renowned for its luxury brands and Chilean products.
You can also visit Santiago Metropolitan Park, where you’ll find a manicured Japanese garden and walking trails leading up San Cristóbal Hill to the huge Virgin Mary statue overlooking the city. It’s a wonderful spot to enjoy the view, and reflect on your incredible Chilean adventure.
Enjoy a final breakfast, before getting picked up by your private driver and transferred to Santiago International Airport for your return flight home.
After two luxurious weeks spent exploring Chile’s starry night skies and experiencing the Total Solar Eclipse of 2019, you’ll be leaving with a stream of stories and special memories to share.
If you’d like to continue your adventure, you can fly to Argentina for more astonishing scenery, or head to the end of the world in Ushuaia. From the southernmost city in the world, you can board a cruise ship for Antarctica, where you can stargaze at the clearest night skies in the world.