chile central valleyThe Spanish settled Chile’s fertile Central Valley more than 400 years ago, bringing with them a rich tradition of culture, agronomy and the arts. Blessed with incredibly fertile land and a warm Mediterranean climate, the area became home to Chile’s most prominent families and skilled artisans. Irrigated by hundreds of rivers born high in the Andes, the valley flourishes with quality Chilean wines and a wide variety of cultivated flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

You will embark on a unique and exciting journey through Chile’s Central Valley by visiting several of the best boutique wineries and vineyards in the region.

The production process from harvesting the grapes through to labeling the bottles will be explained. There will be ample opportunity to sample distinguished wines, savor traditional cuisine, and observe artisans crafting fine objects d’art. While traveling through Chile’s most colorful villages and cities, you will enjoy learning firsthand about Chilean culture and history by visiting museums, open-air markets and significant archeological sites.

Chile´s Amazing Central Valley | 10 Days – 9 Nights
Day 01, 
Arrival in Santiago Upon your arrival in the International Airport of Santiago, you will be received by a Pionero Travel guide and driver and taken to your chosen hotel in Santiago. Once you have settled in at your hotel, you will be picked up to begin your first visit to the handicraft village of Los Dominicos. Here you will find an impressive variety of handicrafts including works by various indigenous groups from across the country. The beautiful Colonial-style architecture of the center and its picturesque Andean backdrop make this visit one of a kind. You will also have an opportunity to watch the craftsmen as they work with pottery, copper, stone, wood, wool and glass products. Next, drive towards Santiago´s Central Market, a colorful conglomeration of fish and seafood, fruits, vegetables, and flowers housed in an exquisite 19th century wrought-iron building. Continue down to the principal avenues of the Civic Center and the seat of government, the neoclassical La Moneda Palace, built during the 18th century.
Then visit the Plaza de Armas, Santiago’s main square, a picturesque square surrounded by the 18th century Catedral Metropolitana, the National Historical Museum, and the Central Post Office. Leaving downtown, you will head towards the Parque Forestal, leading to the Fine Arts Museum and Bellavista, the bohemian artsy center of Santiago. Once in the Bellavista neighborhood, you will visit the workshop of Ximena Mandiola, a well known Chilean artist. This is where she submerges herself into making her very unique paintings. Enjoy the surroundings and return to your hotel. (L)

Day 02, Casablanca Valley Today after breakfast, you will be driven west towards the coast to the valley of Casablanca. Located between the coastal mountain range and the Pacific Ocean you will find the Casablanca Valley. There have been vineyards here since 1875, but only since the 1980’s was the true potential of the Valley discovered. It was determined only recently that the soils and the conditions were in many ways similar to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California. This valley is located in a temperate climate zone with semiarid tendencies, characterized by alternating short, relatively rainy winters and long, continually dry summers. The valley is oriented in such a way that daily ocean breezes cool the grapes on the vine and result in intensely fruity wines. The tallness and massiveness of the coastal range create a unique topography that causes striking daily and seasonal air current changes in the valley thus generating a very special micro climate. Additionally, very favorable sunlight conditions influence the grape ripening process, creating unique conditions that provide its wines with special features. After an approximate hour and 45 minute drive from Santiago, you will arrive at the village of Retuca and the Los Perales Vineyard, an old Jesuit Monastery vineyard established by Father Jose Magloire Doumer with vines from France.
With the climate and richness of the land it was extremely successful. Today the old buildings have been lovingly restored maintaining the unique style and architecture of the ancient cellars and stone structures, obtaining an outstanding quality wine once again. Afterwards, we will visit their production center and sample their fine wines. Proceed to the beautiful port city of Valparaiso, declared a World Heritage Site. You will start off at “Errazuriz” street where examples of early 20th century British influenced architecture can be seen. Admire the “21 de Mayo” view point with its excellent vistas of the colorful hillside houses, the port and across the whole bay. Then you will take the “Artilleria” elevator (funicular) and descend to take a trolley that will lead you towards “Cerro Concepción”. Your vehicle will be waiting to takes you up a few blocks. You will arrive and walk through a few intricate streets and walk a short distance to the famous Café Turri to enjoy a delicious lunch overlooking the Pacific Ocean (lunch included). After lunch you will take a couple of alleyways and descend Cerro Concepción through the “Los Perales” elevator that will lead you towards the “Sotomayor” square, where you will find a monument dedicated to a few Chilean heroes. Later head to one of the hills where you will visit the “La Sebastiana” museum (closed on Monday´s), one of the former homes of the Nobel Prize winning poet, Pablo Neruda, apart from it’s interesting architecture reflecting the concept of the city, the place houses many of the poet´s collections. Continuing your visit, drive to Viña del Mar, where the “clock of flowers” located in the beachfront of Caleta Abarca will provide a warm welcome to the Garden City”. You will also see Viña del Mar´s casino, located in the heart of this city´s main attractions. After this visit, you will be taken to your chosen hotel in Viña del Mar or Valparaiso for a good night sleep. Overnight. (B) (L) 

Day 03, Isla Negra & Santo Domingo Today after your breakfast, you will travel south towards Santo Domingo, but not without making a stop at Isla Negra, located in the coast at about an hour from Valparaíso. You will pass by a couple of small coastal towns and colorful fishing villages. Once in Isla Negra, you will visit another of Pablo Neruda´s homes, now a museum open to the public. The house is crowded with memorabilia and collectibles that the Noble Prize Winner, Pablo Neruda, had. This eclectic house was the favorite of Neruda’s houses. You will then visit the San Antonio Port, Chile’s largest port handling an estimated 12 million tons of cargo last year. The investment plan includes the purchase of 80 hectares of land, allowing the port to expand southwards. Here you will enjoy a nice walk and have time to take beautiful photography. Next, you will visit the open fish market to later enjoy lunch at the best seafood restaurant of the Region of Valparaíso, the Logroño restaurant. After your lunch, you will be driven approx. 35 min. along the coast to your next destination: Santo Domingo beach resort.
Las Rocas de Santo Domingo is an exclusive beach, located in the south shore of the Maipo River outlet. It has beautiful gardens, summer homes, a quiet neighborhood and a very long beach. With 20 kilometers of extension, Santo Domingo´s large beach has a beautiful topography. You will visit all these places after checking in and settling at the hotel. Here you will have the opportunity to enjoy a nice walk along the Pacific Ocean. Next, you will be taken towards Santa María del Mar, another very exclusive beach resort. for some cocktails and dinner at a very fashionable restaurant with views of the Maipo River and the Pacific Ocean. Return to Santo Domingo and overnight. (B) (L) (D)

Day 04, Santo Domingo – Pucón Today, after breakfast, you will head towards the airport in Santiago for your flight to Temuco. Upon arrival in Temuco, you will be taken for approximately an hour and a half drive to Pucon, where you will stay at a exclusive hotel with a wonderful view of the Villarrica Lake. Lunch will be served at the hotel. After resting and freshening up you will be picked up right before dinner time for a tour of the small town of Pucón. Here you will walk along these city´s streets stopping at the places that characterize this town, and detain yourselves at one of Pucon´s famous restaurants for a nice cocktail and dinner before heading back to your hotel. Overnight. (B) (L) (D)

Day 05, Pucón Once you have had breakfast, you will be lead towards the Flor del Lago Estate, which means, “flower of the lake”, a 3,000-hectare private estate situated on the shores of Lake Villarica in Chile’s beautiful lake district. Owned by the Wagner family for three generations, farming and forestry remains the principle business to this day. Its unique setting provides complete privacy with spectacular views of the lake and the active Villarica Volcano. Here you will enjoy an unforgettable horseback riding experience through the “fundo” on the northern side of the Villarrica Lake, with breathtaking views of the lake and volcano. The riding tour begins at the stables, where you will have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the horses and refresh your riding skills if required. The paths they use are chosen to give you the best views of the magnificent landscape and most are manageable even for less experienced riders. A nice picnic will be included once you have ended your ride. During the afternoon, you will head off towards the “Termas Geométricas”, natural thermal pools immersed in the native woods of the Villarrica National Park. It is the ideal activity to do after a pleasant horseback ride. The Geometric thermal pools are composed of more than sixty sources of pure hot thermal water, summing more than 15 liters per second that surge naturally at 176° Fahrenheit, making a total of 20 pools distributed between “Coigue” runways. Once an inaccessible stream in the middle of nowhere, now a wonderful place to relax, enjoy the warmth and soothing feeling of the thermal waters. After this, you will return to your hotel and enjoy a nice dinner (at your own expense). Overnight. (B) (L)

Day 06, Pucón Today, after your breakfast, you will be taken to the Huerquehue National Park. This Park, only 40 minutes away from your hotel, draws visitors from around the world: The Huerquehue national park, pronounced wher-kay-way. This beautiful 12.500 hectare park protects a compact, densely forested massif to the east of the beautiful Caburga Lake. You will have a short walk there, and if you wish, you can take a longer one to see the falls. A delicious box lunch will be provided with surprises to savour. After this visit we will drive back to our hotel to freshen up and relax with beautiful views to the Villarrica Lake. In the evening you may enjoy cocktails and dinner at the hotel restaurant (Dinner at your own expense). Overnight. (B) 

Day 07, Pucón – Valdivia After an early breakfast, you will go towards the city of Valdivia, taking about 2 hours to arrive. The city of Valdivia, a Spanish stronghold founded in 1552 by Pedro de Valdivia, is for many, the most picturesque city in Chile, containing a rich cultural and historical legacy in a beautiful location. Here you will embark on a private 2 hour boat trip, but not before visiting the local central market. Then silently navigate down the gentle river towards the ruins of a Spanish fort. The boat is the ideal means to appreciate the beautiful surroundings of this area while enjoying good company, wine or Pisco sours (a typical Chilean drink). Upon arrival to the Spanish fort, you will disembark to visit the ruins. The fort was part of a vast series of fortifications built in the 1600’s to protect the city from pirates. Finishing this visit, you will board the boat once more to cross the river, where you will be met by your driver, to take you to the Kunstmann beer factory. Here you will enjoy lunch at the Kunstmann restaurant “La Cervecería”, from where you can have a look at the beer processing. A warm and cozy environment, tasting the different types of raw and fresh beer, accompanied by a gastronomic menu specially chosen to combine with the beer. After lunch, head off to the Botanical gardens for a guided visit. Here you are going to appreciate several of Chile’s unique species of trees and plants as well as the most important exotic species from all over the world. Completing our visit, you will go to your river-side hotel to relax and get settled while enjoying the view of the river. Later you may enjoy cocktails and dinner accompanied with selected Chilean wines at a nearby restaurant (dinner at own expense). Overnight.(B) (L)

Day 08, Valdivia – Puerto Varas This morning, you will continue south to the city of Puerto Varas, taking about 3 hours to arrive. Along the way, enjoy great views of the magnificent Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes. Before exploring the area, check-in at your chosen hotel in Puerto Varas. The tour begins in this picturesque lake side town, where you will walk around looking at various old buildings of interesting architecture, many of which are national monuments. You will also visit several arts and crafts stores where you can find the finest examples of weavings, jewelry and native wood carvings. In Puerto Varas, enjoy a delicious lunch at a quaint restaurant offering a wide selection of typical Chilean seafood dishes (lunch at your own expense). Once lunch has concluded, you will continue on to the city of Puerto Montt, the capital of the lake region. Apart from being a popular tourist destination, Puerto Montt is also a the main working port of the region, a major exporter of farmed salmon, shellfish and wood products as well as a supply point for the far-flung inhabitants of the islands and fjords. We will stop at the Angelmo market, where people from far away islands bring their produce to be sold or traded for goods. In another part of the market we will see shops packed with typical handicrafts. Next, return to your Hotel in Puerto Varas. Dinner will be at your own expense. Overnight. (B) (L)

Day 09, The Llanquihue Lake & Vicente Perez Rosales Park After your breakfast, head east towards the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. On route you will be able to see the Osorno, Calbuco and Puntiagudo volcanoes. Once you have entered the National Park, visit the Petrohue Falls. These rapids were formed about 600 years ago, when an eruption of the Osorno Volcano generated its lava to go against the Santo Domingo mountain range, causing an increase of the Petrohue River and forming today´s peculiar volcanic stone rapids. It is a marvel of nature due to its beauty and force. After this exciting visit you will follow the lake side road towards the beautiful cities of Puerto Octay and Frutillar, enjoy great views of the magnificent volcanoes against the deep blue waters of the Llanquihue lake, the third largest in South America. Here you will also be able to appreciate how the early settlers changed the landscape from a thick temperate rain-forest to a more European-like pasture land of beautiful green rolling hills. At the city of Frutillar we will stop for typical German lunch. Finally arrive back into Puerto Varas, where you will settle in at your chosen hotel to rest for your upcoming days full of excitement! Dinner at your own expense. Overnight. (B) (L)

Day 10, Puerto Varas – End of Tour After an early breakfast, you will be transferred to the El Tepual Airport in Puerto Montt to take your flight towards Santiago or your following destination. (B)

End of our services.

9 nights lodging according to program, bilingual guide plus driver, all program transfers in spacious private van, all meals according to program (B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner, beverages, beer, wine.  Entrance fees to: vineyards, wine tasting events, museums, parks, archeological sites, etc.

Not included in tour package:
Lodging and transfers prior to or after program. Personal items such as: telephone, laundry, room service, alcoholic beverages not mentioned as included, gratuities, and airfare. Sauna & SPA services are not included in some hotel rates.

NOTE:  Pionero Travel reserves the right to vary or cancel tours to museums, vineyards, or any visit due to operational conditions that do not allow the visit to be possible. These deviations to the planned itinerary are possible, although every effort will be made to keep them as they are presented, but if not, they will be substituted for others of same category or better.  In the case of special requests, for example, room locations and bed preferences at hotels, or modifications of tours and visits during your stay with us… cannot be guaranteed by Pionero Travel.  While we will attempt to accommodate such special requests, we cannot be held responsible if such special requests cannot be fulfilled.

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