'Heartlands & Atacama'

What makes this trip special?

City life beside the Andes

City life beside the Andes


Set against the backdrop of a long line of Andean peaks, Santiago is a colonial city, turned republican capital, turned modern metropolis. There's a lot to do, with good art galleries, unmissable museums, lovely parks, and a great range of shops, restaurants and hotels. Step outside the city and you are in some of Chile's most notable wine valleys.

Vintage Chile

Vintage Chile

Colchagua Wine Valley

One of Chile's premier wine making areas, Colchagua is best known for its red grape varieties. There are both modern and more rustic wineries scattered around the valley, showcasing the different types of production in the area. Whilst you can visit the wineries all year round, March is the traditional harvest season and annual festival of the grape.

Adobe in the Desert

Adobe in the Desert

San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama is the main base for all your activities in the Atacama region. A few years ago the little town was just a few adobe houses, but it now bustles with visitors heading into the desert.

Lunar landscapes of Atacama

Lunar landscapes of Atacama

Moon Valley & Death Valley

The moon and death valleys in Atacama are particularly impressive at sunset, when changing light and shadow plays on the stark landscapes. The otherworldly scenery has been gradually eroded over time leaving a jagged lunar surface.

Astrology in the Atacama

Astrology in the Atacama

Star gazing in San Pedro

The skies of Atacama are some of the clearest in Chile with very little light pollution making this the country's most popular astronomy spot. Guides will take you on a tour through the telescopes, and the already lunar surroundings of Atacama make this is a rather surreal experience.

Poetic port-town

Poetic port-town


Chile's unique second city of Valparaiso is now an UNESCO world heritage site made famous by its colourful hilltop neighbourhoods and rickety funicular railway elevators still in active use. The town's most famous resident and Nobel literature prize winner Pablo Neruda, was hugely influenced by the town. His former home 'La Sebastiana' has been preserved much as it was: a worthy pilgrimage for those new to his poetry and those who have made it part of their lives.

Itinerary map for Chile 'Heartlands & Atacama' holiday


  • Day      Overnight
  • 1 Santiago
  • 2 Santiago
  • 3 Colchagua
  • 4 Santiago
  • 5 Elqui Valley
  • 6 La Serena
  • 7 La Serena
  • 8 La Serena
  • 9 San Pedro de Atacama
  • 10 San Pedro de Atacama
  • 11 San Pedro de Atacama
  • 12 San Pedro de Atacama
  • 13 Valparaíso
  • 14 Valparaíso
  • For the detail of each day click the ‘Day-by-day’ tab above.

Day-by-day itinerary for 'Heartlands & Atacama'



Driven to Santiago from the airport, you drop your bags at your hotel and your private guide is at your service for half a day (tell us the city sights you’d like to see), returning you to your hotel to check in to your room for 2 nights. The rest of your day is free.


Free day for sightseeing in Santiago.


Colchagua Valley

Guided visit to the scenic Colchagua Valley, and a winery with themed attractions. Night at a hotel in the heart of the valley.


Visit the winery-linked Colchagua Museum which presents a history of Chile, and return to Santiago for one night.


La Serena and the Elqui Valley

Fly to La Serena and driven to Vicuña in the Elqui Valley.


Exploring the Elqui Valley you visit ‘Capel Pisco’ to see how pisco brandy is made, and Montegrande, the home of Gabriela Mistral the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. You end the day at La Serena, your base for 3 nights. On Saturdays the Cerro Tololo observatory can be visited if pre-booked–ask us.


Visit an isolated pocket of the Valdivian forest found 1000 miles away in southern Chile which survives here on sea mist, Continue to Valle del Encanto and petroglyphs from 100-600 AD, stopping at Ovalle on your way back.


Free day. From late November to early March we can arrange a boat trip for whales, Humboldt penguins, dolphins and sea otters.



Fly via Santiago to Calama, drive to San Pedro de Atacama for 4 nights. After dinner visit the SPACE star-gazing centre.

DAY 10

A morning visit to the Rainbow Valley and petroglyphs. Visit Toconao in the afternoon and Atacama salt flats until sunset.

DAY 11

Leave pre-dawn to Tatio Geysers and return to San Pedro. Later visit Moon and Death valleys, with sunset at Kari viewpoint.

DAY 12

Take an active half-day chosen in advance: hiking in Guatin Canyon and Cactus Valley, the Cornisas hike in Death Valley, or Laguna Cejar mountain biking.

DAY 13


A free morning then back to Calama, fly to Santiago, and by road to Valparaíso for 2 nights.

DAY 14

A morning guided walking tour of Valparaíso. Afternoon free in Valparaíso.

DAY 15

Santiago airport for your UK flight.

Guide prices for 'Heartlands & Atacama'

options based on all year low season mid season high season peak season other season
Mid-plus hotels, mix of shared and private tours 2 people sharing £4,115
Prices are per person and include:
  • all travel in Chile
  • accommodation
  • meals as indicated (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
  • shared tours as indicated
Prices do not include:
  • international flights
  • travel insurance
  • airport and departure taxes
  • items of a personal nature such as drinks, tips, laundry, etc
  • any optional excursions you may buy locally

Customer reviews for 'Heartlands & Atacama'

Recent reviews are shown here from holidays based on this initial design. In each case the itinerary may have been modified (a little or a lot) to suit the individual traveller.


Seasonal information for 'Heartlands & Atacama'

Along this route in January

Day Location Max °C Monthly rainfall
1 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm
2 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm
3 Colchagua 29°C rainfall 7mm
4 Santiago 30°C rainfall 1mm
5 Elqui Valley 24°C rainfall 0mm
6 La Serena 22°C rainfall 0mm
7 La Serena 22°C rainfall 0mm
8 La Serena 22°C rainfall 0mm
9 San Pedro de Atacama 24°C rainfall 22mm
10 San Pedro de Atacama 24°C rainfall 22mm
11 San Pedro de Atacama 24°C rainfall 22mm
12 San Pedro de Atacama 24°C rainfall 22mm
13 Valparaíso 23°C rainfall 3mm
14 Valparaíso 23°C rainfall 3mm

Typical weather for January


Max °C figures are the average daily maximum temperatures for the month. Rainfall is the average precipitation for the month.

Hotels for 'Heartlands & Atacama'

Days 1 - 2

Solace Santiago


Solace Santiago is a modern hotel located in the Providencia district of Santiago. The hotel has 108 rooms ranging from suites to superior rooms. Rooms are in a clean contemporary style. Guests can enjoy the 'Zafferano' restaurant located on the ground floor, a bar with roof-top terrace and a gym and outdoor pool. There is free access to wifi in the rooms.

Solace Santiago
Rooftop bar
Day 3

Santa Cruz Plaza

Santa Cruz

In the city of Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz Hotel has a central location on the main square and only 20km from the Lolol wine valley.

The hotel has 116 Standard Rooms, 09 Suites, 06 Junior Suites and 01 Presidential Suite.  All rooms have central heating, a/c, safety depoist boxes, minibar, cable tv and wifi access.


Santa Cruz Plaza
Hotel Exterior
Day 4

Solace Santiago


Solace Santiago is a modern hotel located in the Providencia district of Santiago. The hotel has 108 rooms ranging from suites to superior rooms. Rooms are in a clean contemporary style. Guests can enjoy the 'Zafferano' restaurant located on the ground floor, a bar with roof-top terrace and a gym and outdoor pool. There is free access to wifi in the rooms.

Solace Santiago
Rooftop bar
Day 5

El Terral Hotel & Spa

Vicuna, Elqui Valley

El Terral, in the village of Vicuña at the heart of the Elqui Valley, is set in secluded grounds within old adobe walls. It has 31 modern rooms, garden, swimming pool, spa and wellness centre, restaurant and great roof terrace with a bar and Jacuzzis. It is one block from the main square and the castellated Torre Bauer tower, and a 5 minute walk from Gabriela Mistral Museum. El Terral is also a convenient base for astronomy: 9km from the Mamalluca Observatory, and 18km from the more advanced Observatorio del Pangue with larger telescopes but only for smaller numbers of visitors. Booking well ahead is recommended for both.



El Terral Hotel & Spa
aerial view of hotel roof terrace & pool
Days 6 - 8

Mar de Ensueño

La Serena

Located by the beach in La Serena and only 20 minutes from the airport, this mid-range 60 room property has a swimming pool, gym, games room and offers excursions locally (at an extra cost). Mar de Ensueño has 50 rooms and 10 fully equipped cabins.

Mar de Ensueño
Exterior and pool
Days 9 - 12


San Pedro de Atacama

A small hotel in a contemporary adobe style with lots of character close to the centre of the bustling village of San Pedro de Atacama. Part of the site is an intricate labyrinth of rooms while across the lane there is more space and a pleasant garden area. Rooms are all en-suite with heating, minibar and wifi. There is a restaurant and bar and a small pool, and a rather nice small spa with hydromassage.

Days 13 - 14


Cerro Alegre

Hotel Fauna is perched on the edge of the western section of Cerro Alegre served by the Reina Victoria funicular and only 5 minutes away from the city centre. The hotel is decorated in a quirky, funky style in keeping with the street art and bohemian feel to Valparaíso. The hotel has impressive views over town, Valparaíso’s iconic hills and the bay. All rooms are nice and well equipped but the views in the Superior and Suite room categories make them worth the upgrade. The best views are from the top floor restaurant, bar and terrace.


Superior Room