• Overview
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  • Pricing
  • Dates
  • Hotels
  • Trip Reviews
  • FAQ
The Cachapoal and Colchagua Valleys are primarily known of their rich red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon near the Andes, award-winning Carménère near the center of the valley, as well as Syrah and small quantities of excellent Malbec. The region is also home to one of the most important wine projects in the world at Vik Winery. With major foreign investment and innovative vineyard techniques, Vik will attempt nothing short of making Chile’s first 100-point wine. You’ll have a unique opportunity to tour the vineyards and winery, enjoy a barrel tasting, and spend a relaxing evening in the Hacineda Vik with a 360-degree view and gourmet dinner. The following day, enjoy tours and tastings at two of Colchagua’s top wineries.
Itinerary
Day 1 SANTIAGO – CACHAPOAL VALLEY – VIK WINERY
The tour begins with a late morning departure from your hotel in Santiago, driving south on the Pan-American highway through Chile’s agricultural heart and into the magnificent Cachapoal Valley. Your first visit will be to Altair Winery. With only two labels, boutique winery Altair was formed as a joint venture between Laurent Dassault, owner of Bordeaux’s Chateau Dassault and Chateau La Fleur, and industry giant Viñas San Pedro. Altair achieves with finesse the delicate mix between cutting-edge technology and traditional character. With consistent 90+ point rankings in such prestigious publications as Wine Enthusiast and Wine Advocate, Altair has earned its place among some of the world’s top wines. You will enjoy a private tour of the winery followed by a delicious lunch in a beautiful setting. In the afternoon, you’ll arrive at VIK property in the Cachapoal Valley. The VIK Winery is currently one of the most important wine projects in the world. With major foreign investment and innovative vineyard techniques, VIK will attempt nothing short of making Chile’s first 100-point wine. On a plot of 4,300 hectares - where modernity and the latest technology are fused with the oldest traditions of oenology – an elite team of winemakers is working diligently to produce Chile's top wine. Upon arrival, you will be met by the winery lodge host to plan the afternoon’s activities visiting the vineyard property by bike, horseback or 4x4. You will enjoy a barrel tasting of the first VIK wines and be one of the first to try this soon-to-be famous Chilean wine.

Along with the vineyards, VIK’s team has built a 22-room hotel with striking contemporary architecture. Sitting atop a hill in the middle of the property, it provides a 360-degree view only made better by the artful common areas, pool with a view, and relaxing spa. (L, D)
Day 2 COLCHAGUA VALLEY – SANTIAGO
After a leisurely breakfast, you will set out to experience firsthand why Colchagua has earned the reputation as the king of Chilean reds. These tours will highlight the famed Apalta sub region, which is producing some of Chile’s top quality red wines. Your first visit will be to Neyen de Apalta Winery, which focuses all its production on one Bordeaux-style blend from 115 year-old Carménère vines. Neyen is the perfect blend of tradition and modernity, founded by the Rojas family on the site of one of the area’s pioneering 19th century wineries. Only 20 minutes away is our next stop, Casa Lapostolle Winery, established in 1994 by Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle (of the Grand Marnier family), which produces some of the best QPR (quality/price ratio) wines in Chile. Since its outstanding debut 1997 vintage, Casa Lapostolle's Clos Apalta bottling has helped to establish Colchagua as a premier red-wine producer. In 2008, Casa Lapostolle was awarded 96 points in “Wine Spectator” for their Clos Apalta vintage, which was also chosen as the Top Wine of the Year. Following your tour and tasting, you will enjoy a gourmet lunch at the winery before heading back to Santiago or on to the next leg of your South American adventure. (B, L) Note: wineries subject to change.

Weather

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.

SANTIAGO

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN54-850.0
FEB54-840.1
MAR52-800.2
APR47-720.5
MAY40-642.3
JUN40-583.1
JUL37-573.0
AUG38-612.1
SEP40-651.1
OCT45-710.5
NOV47-770.2
DEC51-820.2

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

PUERTO MONTT

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN48-663.6
FEB47-673.7
MAR47-643.9
APR43-605.6
MAY42-569.2
JUN39-518.8
JUL37-509.0
AUG38-528.2
SEP38-525.7
OCT38-524.8
NOV43-600.5
DEC46-634.1

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

PUNTA ARENAS

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN43-571.4
FEB44-571.1
MAR51-541.6
APR39-491.6
MAY35-441.7
JUN31-391.3
JUL29-381.3
AUG31-411.3
SEP32-461.1
OCT36-500.9
NOV40-531.1
DEC42-561.2

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

SAN PEDRO ATACAMA

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN50-760.9
FEB50-750.2
MAR48-730.1
APR44-700.1
MAY38-660.0
JUN33-610.0
JUL33-610.0
AUG35-640.0
SEP40-690.1
OCT43-720.1
NOV46-740.1
DEC48-750.1

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

EASTER ISLAND

Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall

JAN68-812.8
FEB68-813.3
MAR68-803.8
APR66-774.8
MAY64-746.0
JUN62-724.2
JUL60-704.1
AUG60-703.7
SEP60-713.4
OCT61-732.7
NOV63-752.9
DEC65-783.4

*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches

 

Specials >> Chile

Join a group on our Feburary 4-16, 2019 Patagonia Hiking Panorama tour to experience the best...

VIK Winery – Cachapoal & Colchagua Wine Regions

Pricing
2 Travelers
$1,585
1 Traveler
$2,460
Prices are per person.
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)

VIK Winery – Cachapoal & Colchagua Wine Regions

Trip Dates
Available
Chile
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.
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 Patagonia..............my 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.