2020 Wonders of Chile Total Solar Eclipse Overview
|Friday-Saturday||Dec. 4-5||Pre-Nights in Santiago, Chile Add-On|
|Day 1||Sunday||Dec. 6||Arrive Santiago, Chile|
|Day 2||Monday||Dec. 7||Santiago|
|Day 3||Tuesday||Dec. 8||Calama - San Pedro de Atacama - Toconao - Flamingo National Reserve|
|Day 4||Wednesday||Dec. 9||Tulor - Pukará de Quitor - Moon Valley Sunset|
|Day 5||Thursday||Dec. 10||Rainbow Valley & Petroglyphs|
|Day 6||Friday||Dec. 11||ALMA Observatory - Antofagasta|
|Day 7||Saturday||Dec. 12||Temuco - Villarrica, Chile|
|Day 8||Sunday||Dec. 13||Chilean Lake District|
|Day 9||Monday||Dec. 14||Total Solar Eclipse|
|Day 10||Tuesday||Dec. 15||Travels Onward|
|Tuesday-Sunday||Dec. 15-20||Patagonia's Torres del Paine National Park Add-On|
- TravelQuest, working with our partners, makes every effort to follow the published itinerary. However, please keep in mind that it is subject to change depending on weather and other local conditions.
- Viewing a solar eclipse is particularly weather-dependent, and as such, we can offer no guarantee that local conditions will cooperate.
Level 2 – Easy/Moderate – Short to medium walks over uneven hilly terrain – including dunes – in easygoing to rugged travel conditions, with varying elevations up to 8,000 ft (2,410 m).
We at TQ want to be sure you find the trip that best suits your interests and level of fitness.
Arrive Santiago, Chile
Calama - San Pedro de Atacama - Toconao - Flamingo National Reserve
We then journey on to our home for the next three nights, San Pedro de Atacama, an oasis-like village at an elevation of 7,900 ft (2,408 m) above sea level. Despite its stark setting, San Pedro has a charming and relaxed atmosphere, its picturesque streets lined with colourful adobe buildings that house a wonderful selection of shops, restaurants and cantinas. With only about 5,000 inhabitants and no significant city lights, the village is also an ideal base for stargazing. After dinner, join our TravelQuest astronomer for your first night of scanning the skies from the hotel grounds.
Overnight: Tierra Atacama or similar (3 nights)
Tulor - Pukará de Quitor - Moon Valley Sunset
Today we travel back in time along the San Pedro River, discovering early traces of the Atacama civilization at the 2,400-year-old archaeological site of Tulor. Returning through the Ayllu de Coyo, enjoy superb views of the Pukará de Quitor, a 13th-century fortress. Your day ends in beautiful Moon Valley, one of Chile’s most renowned national parks, where the enormous dunes and dramatically eroded rock formations create a stunning landscape in which to share the sunset views.
Rainbow Valley & Petroglyphs
Heading west toward the town of Matancilla, we reach the Domeyko mountains and Rainbow Valley, whose multi-hued rock formations were created over many millennia through the impact of environmental forces on their high mineral content. After a scenic hike, we carry on to the town of Hierbas Buenas, where a natural shelter of compacted volcanic ash once provided refuge to itinerant farmers traveling in caravans – and where you can examine petroglyphs carved into the soft stone by the area’s ancient inhabitants. Back at our hotel, enjoy a relaxing afternoon on your own, then join us for our final night of stargazing from the hotel grounds.
ALMA Observatory - Antofagasta
Overnight: Hotel Enjoy Antofagasta
Temuco - Villarrica, Chile
After breakfast, we head to Antofagasta airport for our flight to Temuco, then wind our way through the Chilean Lake District toward the imposing volcano that overlooks beautiful Lake Villarrica – our home base for viewing the December 14 eclipse.
Overnight: Hotel Enjoy Park Lake Villarrica (3 nights)
Chilean Lake District
Total Solar Eclipse
OPTIONAL: PATAGONIA’S TORRES DEL PAINE NATIONAL PARK ADD-ON
December 15–20, 2020
Villaricca - Punta Arenas, Chile
Overnight: Cabo de Hornos, Punta Arenas or similar
Magdalena Island - Puerto Natales
After breakfast and checkout, we drive to the pier and board the ferry that will carry us into the Strait of Magellan. On Magdalena Island, home to a colony of some 50,000 Magellanic Penguins, enjoy superb photo opportunities as these fascinating creatures dive and swim in the sea, then tend to their families on shore. Returning to Punta Arenas, we head next to Torres del Paine National Park, stopping en route to visit Milodon Cave, where 19th-century explorers discovered the remains of a prehistoric Milodon – an extinct genus of ground sloth that used to inhabit this region. Our final destination is the windswept fishing village of Puerto Natales, near the entrance to the park.
Overnight: Costa Australis Hotel or similar
Serrano & Balmaceda Glaciers - Torres del Paine
Overnight: Hosteria las Torres or similar (2 nights)
Torres del Paine National Park
After breakfast, we set out on a full day’s adventure in Torres del Paine, beginning with a scenic drive through the eastern section of the park to take in remarkable views at Laguna Amarga and Laguna Azul. The latter is home to many species of water birds, as well as condor and other raptors. Both lakes attract an abundance of animal life, including guanaco: a camelid native to South America that is closely related to the llama. Throughout your journey, there are incredible views of the Paine Massif mountain range, ranked by many travelers among the most beautiful on Earth, along with waterfalls on the Paine river and shifting perspectives of the three granite towers for which Torres del Paine is named.
In the afternoon, enjoy a hike from Laguna Amarga ranger station to see the herds of guanaco that typically graze along the trail. As you walk through the pristine landscape, keep an eye out for foxes, condors and flightless rheas. We also include an intriguing glimpse of the area’s human history: pictographs etched into large rock formations by the indigenous Aónikenk people. After such a rich and varied day, there are many experiences to share over dinner back at our hotel.
Torres del Paine - Punta Arenas
Overnight: Cabo de Hornos, Punta Arenas or similar
Depart Punta Arenas
$3780 USD per person, based on two people sharing a room. $4680 USD per person for single occupancy.
- 5 nights hotel accommodation
- All meals including coffee and water, activities and admissions as described in itinerary
- Private chartered bus transportation
- Services of an English-speaking guide
- Flights to and from Punta Arenas, Chile
- Any meals, activities and beverages beyond those mentioned in itinerary
Add-On: Pre-Nights in Santiago, Chile
Cost: $110 USD per person, per night double occupancy; $200 USD per person, per night single occupancy. Rates include airport-hotel arrival transfer in Santiago, as well as daily breakfast and taxes.