Chile Triangle

This 12-day triangle of Chile tours takes you to three of the country’s most famous regions. It is absolutely the right trip if you think you’ll travel to Chile only once. You’ll spend the first four days in the photogenic Atacama Desert with San Pedro de Atacama as your convenient base. Expansive salt flats dotted with pink flamingoes, vibrant sunsets over a jagged geologic horizon, one of the world’s largest geyser fields and spectacular stargazing make this a destinati... READ MORE >>
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Upon arrival at the Calama airport, you will be met by your driver for the sixty-minute ride to your selected accommodation in San Pedro de Atacama. The town stands as an oasis in the midst of the world’s driest desert, where geological evidence suggests that certain areas have never experienced rainfall. Here a rich pre-Colombian cultural history dating back thousands of years lives on today in traditional artisan crafts and a renowned archaeological museum. Enjoy the morning getting settled and exploring on your own.

In the afternoon, you will travel to Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon), aptly named for its lunar-like landscape. Unique rock and salt formations carved over millions of years by floods and wind appear sculpted by man. You’ll watch the mesmerizing colors of the mountains change in a colorful sunset over the Cordillera de la Sal from your perch atop sand dunes. You will be returned to your hotel for a free evening.
Today you have the morning free and travel to Laguna Cejar after lunch. Located just twelve miles from San Pedro, the lagoon is an ideal spot for relaxation. It sits in the middle of the Atacama salt flat, surrounded by salt crystals. Due to the large concentration of salt, you float effortlessly in Cejar Lagoon’s waters. Nearby, you can also take a dip in the Ojos del Salar (Eyes of the Salt Flat), two smaller freshwater pools. After enjoying these refreshing sights, you will enjoy a delicious appetizer while witnessing a spectacular sunset over the Tebinquinche Lagoon before being returned to your hotel for another evening on your own. (B)
After breakfast, today’s visit to the famed Salar de Atacama (Salt Lake) begins. The first stop is the National Flamingo Reserve, entered through the Chaxa Lagoon. The sight is formed by a gigantic depression of more than 2,100 square miles. The Salar de Atacama is the largest salt field in Chile. Its large quantity of salt makes the vast surface white and rough, offering panoramic views of the area. The bottom of the salt field is composed of an enormous lake, which receives water from rivers and melting snow. As it has no runoff, several small lagoons have formed, where the three types of flamingos inhabiting the area, the James, the Andean and the Chilean, may be observed.

On the way back you pass through Toconao, a village of 600 inhabitants who make their living through agriculture and artisan handicrafts of local materials (llama and alpaca wool, cactus wood, volcanic rock). Here you will also see the Tower of Saint Lucas, a national monument and symbol of Toconao, as well as houses constructed of pumice extracted from the nearby quarry. On returning to your hotel, you have the rest of the day to yourself. (B)
Thousands of stars and the mighty brushstroke of the Milky Way will still be visible at this morning’s 4 AM departure to experience sunrise at the Tatio Geyser Field, 14,000 feet above sea level. The early start gives visitors the most photogenic view of El Tatio, the third largest geyser field in the world. The eruptions of steaming water are produced by the convergence of groundwater above a lava field which causes huge plumes of steam and gas to expel through the cracks, sometimes exceeding 32 feet. Afterward, you may enjoy a rejuvenating soak in the thermal hot springs where temperatures reach 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the way back, the majestic Andean peaks seem close enough to touch. You’ll stop briefly at Machuca, a small llama herder settlement. This picturesque village is filled with thatched roof adobe houses and green wetlands. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to Calama for your return flight to Santiago and spend the night at your airport hotel accommodations. (B)
This morning you fly to Easter Island where upon arriving at Mataveri Airport where you will be picked up and taken to your selected accommodations on the island. In the afternoon you see your first Moai on a half-day excursion to Ahu Akivi, the island’s only Moai that face the ocean. Without the use of modern machinery, the platform was restored using what is believed to have been the “traditional” way of raising the Moai. You will be returned to your hotel for a free evening. (B)
Today you take a full-day excursion to the famous sites on the eastern side of the island. The ancient temples of Ahu Vaihu and Ahu Akahanga have a total of twenty fallen Moai. Ahu Akahanga is said to be the burial site of the island’s first ruler, Hotu Matu’a. Ahu Tongariki is the largest monolithic monument in all of Eastern Polynesia, a platform that holds fifteen of the island’s largest Moai in a scenic setting of cliffs and sea. At thirty-one feet tall and weighing 82 tons, Ahu Te Pito Kura is the site of the largest Moai to be placed atop a platform, though today toppled. Called the statue factory, the volcano quarry of Rano Raraku is where 95% of the island’s Moai were carved. Some remain on the slopes of the volcano awaiting transport while others are in various stages of completion still connected to the mother rock. You will have the opportunity to hike to the top of the volcano for views of the beautiful crater and its fresh water lake.

The last stop of the day is the white sand beach of Anakena, the legendary landing spot of Hotu Matu’a and the center of the Miru royal clan territory. Here you will have the opportunity to swim and explore more Ahu. The single Moai at Ahu Ature Huke was re-erected on top of its Ahu by the islanders themselves to prove that they had retained this ancient knowledge. You are driven back to your lodgings at the conclusion of today’s excursion for a free evening. (B,L)
Enjoy a free morning before embarking on a visit to Rano Kau and Orongo. With a diameter of over 5,000 feet, 2.5 million year-old Rano Kau is one of the three principal volcanoes that created the island. Its beautiful crater lake is covered with a type of bulrush reed also found in Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. Afterward you will visit the ceremonial village of Orongo. On one side of the village is the picturesque caldera of Rano Kau and on the other, the ocean and the mysterious islets of Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao Kao. Here ancient Tangata Manu or Birdman ceremonies were held. You will be returned to your lodgings for a last evening on your own on Easter Island. (B)
After breakfast, you will be transferred from your hotel to Mataveri Airport for your return flight to Santiago and a second night at your Santiago Airport accommodations. (B)
After breakfast, you take an early flight to Punta Arenas where you will be transferred to your lodgings in Torres del Paine National Park. Take the evening to get settled and learn more about the Patagonia hiking and other excursions in this stunning region. Hotel Las Torres is located near the trailheads for several of the park’s well-known hikes. The lodge has 84 cozy view rooms and a rustic yet stylish ambiance, perfect for relaxing after an active day exploring the park. The hotel offers ten to fifteen different activities to choose from daily. (B,L,D)
Spend these two days touring Torres del Paine National Park and nearby areas of interest. Each excursion is led by a knowledgeable bilingual guide and is limited to eight travelers. After full days of exploration, you return each evening to your comfortable accommodations. (B,L,D)
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Punta Arenas, a five-hour drive, for your flight to Santiago to make international connections home or to another destination, marking the end of your Chile tours with Southern Explorations. Additional tours and trip extensions can be arranged. (B)


When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

Santiago & Surrounding Vineyards - The fertile heartland, this midland area of Chile enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with maximum temperatures averaging 82°F (28°C) in January and 50°F (10°C) in July. The rainy season lasts from May to August. Evenings and nights can be cool, even during the summer.

General Patagonia - The area south of Puerto Montt and Chiloé covers about 30% of the total land area of Chile. It is a rugged, mountainous region of tremendous beauty. Westerly winds and storms often drop enormous amounts of snow and rain on the seaward slopes. In the Magellanes and Tierra del Fuego areas, temperatures in summer average 52°F (11°C). Dampness and wind chill can make it feel cooler so layered clothing and good waterproof gear are musts. The weather year-round is highly unpredictable, and in summer be prepared for incessant winds that lessen in the winter. In the shoulder season months, November and March, winds are not likely to be as strong as during the peak of summer.

Torres Del Paine - The weather is famously unpredictable in this area and it is possible to experience four seasons in the course of a few hours. Average daily temperatures vary but in summer one can expect temperatures ranging between 50° F (10° C) and 70° F (20 ° C) with the occasional hot day of 78° F (25° C). Temperatures can drop to zero at night, and high winds are common in this area. Travelers should be prepared (both mentally and physically) for unpredictable and sometimes challenging weather conditions and pack accordingly. Good head-to-toe, breathable waterproof clothing is essential.


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*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches



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*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches



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Chile Triangle

2-3 Travelers
$1,600 Airfare (Santiago/Calama/Easter Island/Punta Arenas/Santiago) (subject to change)
Single Supplement: contact us
Included in tour cost
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Entrance fees for all scheduled tours, national parks & archaeological sites
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • Airport taxes, international and local
  • Domestic airfare within South America
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)

Chile Triangle

Trip Dates
Southern Explorations can arrange a private departure on any date that works with your schedule. Custom tours are also available. Contact us for details.
San Pedro de Atacama
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Easter Island
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
Torres del Paine
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.

One Day


torres del paine patagoniaSouthern Explorations enabled me to go on the trip of a lifetime, without having to worry about the trickier aspects of planning. It was well worth the cost to not have to coordinate reservations, tickets, and itineraries with people and companies that exist on the other side of the globe. The locals who work with Southern Explorations were fantastic, and I won't hesitate to recommend Southern Explorations to my friends. I will certainly consider booking with them for future trips! - Mary Vanatta (W Multi Sport)

chilean patagoniaI just wanted to let you know what an incredible time Jerry and I had on your Patagonia ‘W’ Multisport tour. Our group was amazing. The people that you connected us with were great and we bonded quite strongly with them. In fact, we have plans to visit them in Tokyo in April. The guide, Cristian Sanchez, and the chef, Miguel Chacana, made a perfect pair. Cristian was an AMAZING guide. He was entertaining, engaging, funny, serious, informative and a true leader. He was able to bring the group together and hold it together with ease. He was also very willing to spend every moment introducing us to his local friends and encouraging us to engage in the local customs like sharing tea from a “mate.” Cristian kept us on schedule at all times and made the activities flow with effortless ease. He is also one of two guides to have been born and raised in Puerto Natales and this made a huge difference in his spiritual connection with Patagonia - he was truly one with the mountains and everyone in the group could sense it. Great tour overall and I will happily recommend your company to others. Our guide was very impressed with your tour operation and he prefers to work with you since you are one of the best operating in that area. This goes a long way in giving me comfort in my recommendation of your firm. Thanks again and we will be in touch when we are ready for another great experience. - Bill Coleman and Jerry Boening, New York (Patagonia)

torres del paine patagoniaSadly, I am back from my AMAZING trip to S. America. I just wanted to thank you for everything. Your professionalism, responsiveness, & knowledge of S. America were incredible. I truly had the trip of a lifetime thanks to Southern Explorations. You guys left no stone unturned from the Galapagos, to Peru, to Chile, to expectations were exceeded 10-fold. I already recommended you guys to the gentleman on the plane next to me. It was really nice to get to meet Justin in Patagonia. It is obvious how hard he has worked to establish such strong contacts, guides, etc. I could tell that our guides were a step above the rest. I just wanted to thank you for making my dream come true. My mom & I will never forget this the rest of our lives. - Ami Jampolis (Galapagos Island Cruise, Peru, Chile & Patagonia)

chilean patagonia travelWe had a tremendous experience. Patagonia is truly heaven on earth and Southern Explorations enabled us to safely and efficiently spend 2 weeks in this paradise. Eri was a superb guide and traveling companion. Knowledgeable, smart, humorous and patient. He has a wonderful laid back style. We developed a genuine bond with Eri and we hope to see him again. He was superb with my 9 yr. old son. The estancia Tercera Baranca was wonderful, we could have stayed there indefinitely. I can't make enough positive statements to describe our experience. - Will, Beth and Max Mondzac (Patagonia)

Southern Explorations planned and arranged the perfect 2 week Chile trip for me and my husband. Jonathan Borgida at SE talked to me about our interests and tailored his recommendations around them. He designed the itinerary so we could visit the Colchagua Valley wine country, Easter Island, the Atacama Desert, and the Lake District, in a sequence that wasn’t too hectic. He arranged for local tour guides, all of whom were exceptional and enabled us to have a deeper experience of the people and country, and to see things we wouldn’t have been aware of regardless of the amount of research we did on our own. Because we had an evening flight home, Jonathan also arranged for us to have a guide and driver takes us to Valparaiso for our last day. All flight, hotel, and other travel arrangements were flawless, too. - Gloria Kavanah (Chile Custom Trip)

Vira Vira was awesome - it was the perfect start to the perfect trip. Michael and his family are totally hands on and committed to creating a top notch experience for their guests.  The property, the food, the excursions, the attention to detail - we could not find a single fault with anything. It literally felt like we were their personal guests. Everyone else staying there seemed very satisfied as well. Two thumbs up! Dimple (Honk Kong) (Custom Chile)
It was a wonderful trip and Southern Explorations really did a marvelous job of putting everything together for us. Thank You. We have had nothing but fantastic memories and have spoken to many people about Southern explorations and what a nice job you guys did putting everything together. Peru and other South America ventures will happen. I will be in touch. - Steve Andryk (Wisconsin) (Luxury Patagonia)

The Southern Explorations team did a fantastic job helping us plan our Galapagos adventure in 2011 and our Torres del Paine/Australis Magellan Straits cruise 2015. They were extremely helpful in planning our trips and quickly responded to each of our questions. We will definitely seek their services to assist in any future travels.   - Sharon McRae (Torres del Paine/Galapagos Islands)

Our experience from our first exploratory call to the Seattle office was excellent. Prompt and courteous responses and they accommodated our specific needs for a combined Patagonia and Galapagos trip. I cannot think of anything that was not satisfactory. I recommend Southern Explorations highly.   -Lyn Arscott (Patagonia & Galapagos Island Cruise)

Basically the trip was perfect. Our wishes about big things were totally fulfilled, like exploring Rio Brian, going up Valle del Silencio, etc. Our wishes for small things (low sugar, low gluten, good photo opps) were exceeded. It was a totally excellent trip. Your ability to deal with the unexpected was amazing .. weather, my injuries, our changing our minds. It was an amazing trip! And SE agent gave us all kinds of good advice before we left.   -Brian & Lynne Collins, USA (Chile)

Our words to describe our trip are Spectacular, Exciting, and Remote! We got to see basically everything we had hoped for, and more! - Ann Huston, California (Patagonia)

Thank you for a wonderful introduction to South America and excellent vacation. We will be returning to other SA venues in the coming years and will be sure to contact Southern Explorations for assistance.   -Gordon McPhee, South Carolina (Chile & Argentina)

This was a trip of a lifetime. The highlight was the Explora Lodge with unbelievable hikes and horseback riding. Also, the Perito Moreno Glacier was fantastic. I wouldn't change a thing. - Kyle Craig, Colorado (Patagonia)

All in all a thoroughly enjoyable, informative and relaxing trip. Well done! - Brian Parnega, Canada (Chile)

“The Southern Explorations team did a fantastic job helping us plan our Galapagos adventure in 2011 and our Torres del Paine/Australis Magellan Straits cruise 2015.  They were extremely helpful in planning our trips and quickly responded to each of our questions. We will definitely seek their services to assist in any future travels.” - Sharon McRae (Cruceros Australis + Hotel Las Torres)

Our experience planning a trip to Patagonia in South America with Southern Explorations exceeded my highest expectations!  Everything was incredibly well organized, the hotels they booked for us were very nice, the guides and people who transported us all spoke our language (English).  When my husband got very sick and we had to alter our plans,  they were on top of rebooking flights and canceling excursions, and handled all of the logistics for us.  I would highly recommend the services provided by Southern Explorations, and will certainly use them for all future travel planning that we do!! - Kristi Holland, Alabama (Patagonia))
Our two sons, ages 19 & 22, said it was the best trip they'd ever been on. (And we've been to southern Africa game camps, New Zealand, Galapagos, numerous SCUBA diving vacations all over the globe, not to mention dozens of other less dazzling spots around the world and the US). (Patagonia) is really gorgeous. Jorge (Guide) was exceptional--just perfect for us! The tents are fantastic--lots of room to put huge backpacks inside along with lots of other gear--kudos on the tents. La Tercera (estancia) was marvelous and charming--we're so glad you planned two nights for us there. The food by Carmen was the best we ate on our entire trip to Chile--really extraordinary both nights!


Chile - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer a variety of pre-planned tours online and we’d love to design a custom trip just for you. Take a look at what we have online then call an Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the trip that best fits your timeframe, budget and interests.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! We are happy to modify any tour to meet your needs and also add pre and post-excursion extensions. If you sign up for a group departure we cannot change the group portion but we can add extensions before and after.
Q: When is the best time to go to Chile?
A: Chile can be visited year-round, although the southern regions are generally best visited in the Spring, Summer and Fall, which run from October through April. Northern Chile, due to its high desert, is pleasant to visit year round. Central Chile, in the Andes, becomes a skiers paradise from late-June to mid-September. Contact an Adventure Travel Coordinator to discuss the best timing for your preferred tour.
Q: What is the weather like in Chile?
A: Chile is a long country, spanning many climatic zones, and offers weather systems ranging from warm, high desert to cold tundra. Patagonia is famous for having “all four seasons in one day,” while the Atacama Desert is one of the driest places on earth. Contact an Adventure Travel Coordinator today to discuss the weather on your trip.
Q: What is a typical day like in Chile? 
A: The typical day varies widely from trip to trip, but all tours will have full days with guided exploration. There is time for rest and relaxation, as well as independent exploration of the cities and towns you visit. Due to the remote nature of Chile’s most scenic areas, some long travel days will be required.
Q: How much time do we need to visit Chile?
A: Although we have trips as short as 5 days, we highly recommend spending at least 7 days in Chile, and ideally 12. Chile has many fascinating regions and some of the most beautiful areas are quite remote, requiring extended travel time.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: As a rule, the further in advance you can plan, the more options you will have. We recommend planning a trip at three to nine months in advance, but if you want to stay at very specific luxury hotels or travel over a holiday we recommend planning nine months to a year in advance.
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: The guides on all of our tours are experienced, fluent in English and hold a degree in a related field. The guides are experienced in the outdoors and trained in basic first aid. We tend to use the same guides as they are accustomed to the trips we offer and understand the Southern Explorations commitment to quality.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: We primarily work with 4-star hotels in Chile and the occasional 3-star property that meets our standards. We also work with several amazing 5-star properties and all-inclusive lodges. All of our hotels are clean, comfortable, well-located, offer en suite bathrooms and have been personally vetted by a Southern Explorations’ staff member.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: We will confirm all airfare within South America and this price is listed separately from our base tour costs. You are responsible for booking international flights to Chile.
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary.  This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.
Q: How will I do laundry during the trip?
A: Patagonian hotels charge very affordable rates for doing a guest’s laundry. You will also have access to laundry facilities on most days in major cities. Some of the Patagonian experiences will be true ‘wilderness’ style camping with only a river or lake as a water supply. Some locations have washing facilities where guests may do laundry. Bring biodegradable soap if you wish to do your own laundry. Please refer to the full itinerary or contact us for details.
Q: I’ve heard Patagonia is very remote. What if I have a medical emergency on the trip?
A: Some of our trips take passengers into some primitive wilderness areas. Our guides are trained in wilderness first-aid. To ensure the safety of our travelers, our guides are linked with outside services 24 hours a day in all locations to provide assistance when necessary. Though our guides carry extensive first aid equipment for minor ailments, injuries and accidents, they cannot handle serious medical conditions, and passengers are advised to obtain health or travel insurance that covers medical evacuation. There are small hospitals in the Patagonia region, some with 24-hour medical assistance that can deal with minor injuries and illnesses. In the rare event of an accident or broken bone, passengers would be evacuated from the wilderness area (probably by horse) and continue on the long drive out. Helicopters are available for emergencies but cannot fly during high winds. Any passengers with a medical condition or using medication should discuss this with us prior to travel.