CHILE , April 2018
1 – WHERE DID YOU GO?
Chile, South America including Patagonia, Santiago & Valparaiso.
2- WHO WITH AND HOW LONG FOR?
Travelled with a group of 9 other Travel Agents and we were away for 10 days.
3- WHO DID YOU FLY WITH AND HOW WERE THEY?
We flew with LAN, fka Lan Chile. We were on the very handy direct flight from Melbourne to Santiago. We were all in Economy which I really did suffer with being 6ft tall. The food was very average so I would recommend taking some of your own snacks. I didn’t find the crew overly bubbly or helpful but there is probably a cultural difference going on there. The entertainment was good and up to current standards and aircraft was a Dreamliner which again is new and clean.
LAN were on strike domestically within Chile which caused some major problems for our trip. From schuelde changes to getting bumped and language barriers with unhelpful staff we did manage to get to Patagonia then back to Santiago with a stop along the way. This did however mean our trip to see the Atacama Desert was cancelled which we were all hugely disjointed about but not much could be done in our situation.
4- WHAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT?
Torres Del Paine National Park in Patagonia was the clear highlight. A place like ive never seen before. The Grey Glacier ( which is blue but the Lake the Glacier runs into is Lago Grey meaning Grey Lake)
5 – WHAT WAS THE LOWLIGHT?
6 – BEST THING YOU ATE?
Empanadas! Our Fearless leader Fabrizo who is also Chilean found us some good Empanadas along our journeys.
7 – WHERE WOULD YOU GO BACK TO?
I would love to go back to do the Atacama Desert one way. If I had the time I would go back to Patagonia to do the 3 Towers Hike (which we tried to do but ice had closed the trail)
8- The HOTELS
Our first two nights in Santiago we were at the Singular Santiago – beautiful! Highly recommended. Big rooms, very attentive staff, well located and comfy beds!
We then had 1 night at the Singular Patagonia, again just WOW! This is a converted kinda slaughter house… sounds horrible but it was truly a brilliant and unique hotel. You don’t even need to get out of bed to enjoy the views!
Then we were at the stunning Tierra Patagonia. What a place, brilliant staff, lovley rooms, lovely views, amazing guides, good food & wine. Nothing is a problem here. Being just on the outside of the National Park gives this lodge some great advantages as they own their land and are not governed by National Park Rules.
When our plans were changed we were whisked off to a stunning Winery call Vina VIK Chile. What a brilliant place for a night away. Would recommend this for people who have time instead of staying in the city or have to transit Santiago twice. It is a paradise for red wine, architecture lovers!! (but you really don’t have to be)
In Valparaiso the hotel we stayed in here was Casa Higueres, can highly recommend this. A Casa full of character with lovely food, views and lovely staff
Our last night back in Santiago we were in the very cute Le Reve Boutique Hotel. Great little hotel in an good location in Santiago.
9 – TRAVELLING TIP POST HOLIDAY & OTHER COMMENTS
Be prepared for anything when it comes to airlines in South America
Be prepared not only for the cold but also the wet in Patagonia. The Weather changes in Patagonia literally every 15 minutes.
I would recommend you stay in Patagonia/Torres Del Paine for at least 5-6 nights. I say this because of the weather, the travelling times, the amount of hikes and drives you can do and the luxury lodges are brilliant to just have a day chilling out in too!
Santiago I have now been to about 4 times, for a city that I suggest you only need a day in I am safe to say I don’t need to go back to.
Valparaiso was a great town. You only need to visit the compacted main tourist area which is full of bohemian shops, galleries, bars, restaurants and its famous street art. You don’t need to go any further than this area… not that flash!
If you would like any further information or to book a trip to these fabulous places please get in touch.
Below are just a few pics from my trip.