Coast through the fjords and glaciers of Patagonia, and around Cape Horn, ending in Buenos Aires
This 12-day itinerary brings travelers down Chile's coast through the fjords and glaciers of Patagonia, and around Cape Horn, ending in Buenos Aires. From north to south, Chile's geography is dominated by the Andes Mountains, which fall into the Pacific Ocean along the entirety of the country's western edge. This severe geography has shaped Chilean culture and cuisine throughout its history and has kept this small country relatively isolated until recent years. During this luxury expedition, you'll delve deeper into the life and legacy of Chile's celebrated poet, Pablo Neruda, as you pay a visit to his enchanting seaside residence in Valparaíso. You'll also have the opportunity to explore the breathtaking fjords and glaciers that adorn Chile's southern coastline, and immerse yourself in the distinct culture of Chiloé Island, which stands apart from the mainland in its unique and captivating ways. Chile's Seaside Highlights caps off in Buenos Aires, the perfect place to toast your adventures with an Argentine steak and glass of Malbec.
Who is a luxury Chile's Seaside Highlights trip best for?
Travelers wishing to explore more of South America's maritime culture, spot ocean wildlife in Patagonia, and explore Chile's southern fjords, an area of the world that's difficult to access and rarely visited.
Chile's Seaside Highlights trip highlights
- This journey begins in Santiago, Chile's port of entry. Your driver will bring you immediately to the coast to recover from your flight. Here, you'll take two days to explore Chile's most bohemian and art-filled city, Valparaiso. Valparaíso's historic quarter, with its colorful houses, winding streets, and hillside elevators, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has long been a haven for artists, poets, and musicians, contributing to its bohemian atmosphere. The city's streets are adorned with street art, murals, and graffiti, making it an open-air art gallery. The famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda lived in Valparaíso and called La Sebastiana his home. The house is now a museum dedicated to his life and work, and offers a glimpse into the poet's eccentric personality.
- Next, fly south to Castro, the main airport on Chiloé Island in the southern Lake District of Chile. Chiloé has a few claims to fame: one of its most distinctive features is the palafito architecture, the colorful wooden houses built on stilts along the waterfront, which protect against the tides and floods of the island. You can also explore some of the 16 UNESCO wooden churches, which blend indigenous and European influences. The churches are made entirely of wood and feature intricate craftsmanship, making them cultural and historical treasures of the island. And don't leave without trying curanto, a hearty stew made with shellfish, potatoes, and meat, traditionally cooked in a hole in the ground using hot stones.
- It's time to fly further south to Punta Arenas, the capital of Chilean Patagonia, where you will board your Australis cruise, either the Via or Stella ship, and embark on a four-night adventure through Chile's fjords and glaciers. Highlights of the cruise include close-up views of dramatic glaciers, including the awe-inspiring Pia Glacier and the iconic Glacier Alley. Stops in the pristine wilderness of Tierra del Fuego include a visit to Magdalena Island, home to a large penguin colony (weather permitting), and gives travelers the chance to visit Cape Horn, the southernmost tip of South America, where they can disembark and explore the historic Cape Horn Monument and its rugged surroundings.
- Disembark in Ushuaia, where you can either add a few days to explore more of Tierra del Fuego, or board your flight north to Buenos Aires. Known for so many things—world-renowned food and wine, tango, fútbol, architecture—Buenos Aires always delivers. Explore just a piece of what makes this city so iconic with privately guided tours of neighborhoods, speakeasies, antique markets, street food stalls, and shopping districts before flying home.
Starting at $8,800 per person sharing in 2024.
When is the best time to travel to Chile?
The Australis cruise through the southern fjords operates between September-April of each year, and the best time to visit these areas is between November-March.
Chile's Seaside Highlights map
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