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Chilean Eclipse

Tour Code: CHL05

A 9-day tour visiting two fascinating regions of Central Chile and witnessing a total solar eclipse.

9 days from £3195(inc flights) Land Only Price: £2195 SRS: £375


Chile is a land of great beauty, a land of extremes where deserts meet oceans and snow-capped volcanoes touch deep blue skies. This tour starts by exploring Santiago and surrounding valleys and the port of Valpariso then flies north to the town of La Serena, our base for the eclipse. A pre-eclipse lecture will help set the scene, and help you to gain the most from an event that many consider amongst the most remarkable experiences of their lives.
 
  • Explore historic Valpariso
  • Visit Maipo Valley Vineyards
  • Pre-eclipse lecture
  • Witness a total Solar Eclipse from the Andes
  • Enjoy spectacular landscapes
  • Pelagic excursion on the Pacific Ocean in search of seabirds

Food

Breakfasts are included throughout in addition to five lunches.

Accommodation

Comfortable hotels with private facilities.

Outline Itinerary Download

1 Depart the UK

2 Arrive Santiago

3 Maipo Valley

4 Valpariso

5 La Serena + Eclipse briefing

6 Elqui Valley + Total Eclipse

7 Isla Damas

8 Fly home

9 Arrive home

Lying to the west of the great mountain chain of the Andes, Chile runs 4,000km from north to south along the Pacific coast. The great range of latitudes (18°S to 55°S) and altitudes (sea level to over 6,000m) gives rise to many ecological zones and a wide range of flora and fauna.  

Our tour begins in the vibrant capital of Santiago, which is set in a wide valley in sight of the Andes. The warm, sunny climate and rich soils here enable the production of some fine wines and our stay will include a visit to vineyards to learn about the production process and sample the produce. A short drive from the capital lies Valpariso, the country’s main port known for its steep funiculars and colourful, clifftop homes set in a natural amphitheatre. The fine 19th century architecture in the centre of the city has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage listing. Overlooking the bay, La Sebastiana was the house of poet, diplomat and noble prize winner Pablo Neruda. The quirky residence makes an interesting visit.  

Flying north to the town of La Serena, you’ll settle into a comfortable hotel for a 3-night stay. On the evening preceding the eclipse, we will present a briefing about Solar Eclipses and the various phenomena that you might see during the eclipse. On the day of the eclipse we will drive along the cactus-covered hillsides of the Elqui Valley, where crops of papaya, figs, chirimoya (custard fruit), apricots and peaches grow. We will visit a distillery where the local grapes create the ‘Pisco’ – Chile’s famous grape brandy – for which the valley is particularly renowned. Following lunch in the Cochigua wine valley we will make our way to the eclipse site in plenty of time to settle in and prepare ourselves before the start of the eclipse and enjoy the build-up. Seating and refreshments will be available.
As totality approaches the landscape will become enveloped in a softer, pastel light and, as shadows sharpen, the scene around you takes on a peculiar quality. As the Sun drops towards the north-western horizon, the final rays of the Sun will cut through the valley of the moon producing a ‘diamond ring’ shape and then, at 5.38pm, the eclipse will become total. For two-and-a-half minutes the most extraordinary sight will greet you. Against a deep blue sky the Sun will be surrounded by pearly wisps of the corona – the Sun’s outer atmosphere, and around the disk pink flares may be visible. The brighter stars and planets will become visible. A total eclipse is truly one of the most awe-inspiring sights in nature. As we journey back to our hotel in La Serena our thoughts will be filled with the otherworldly vision that we have just witnessed.   

A short drive north along the Pacific Coast will bring us to the harbour of Caleta Los Choros and the start of a boat trip to a group of islands called Gaviota, Choros and Damas, which lie just off the coast. Our boat will stop at Isla Damas which has white-sand beaches and a semi-desert landscape. The seas around the islands are rich with seabirds and marine mammals. Returning to La Serena we’ll have one final evening before flying to Santiago for our flight home.

Solar EclipseDamas Island near La Serena, ChileLa Serena and Coquimbo, ChilePlaza de las Armas square in Santiago, ChileSolar EclipseValparaiso, ChileWinery in Santiago, Chile

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DeparturesAvailableCost

Thu 27th June 2019 - Fri 5th July 2019

YES

£3195

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £2195 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Chile

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David Phillips
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