What can I say? – WOW is the 1st thing that comes to mind when I think about my recent trip to Chile. I was lucky enough to be invited on the trip organised by British Airways / Iberia, LATA & Explora Hotels.
I got to experience much of Chile’s huge diversity & have so many highlights.
We started our Chile adventure with a direct flight from Heathrow with British Airways & took a connecting flight on arrival into Santiago, up to Calama in the North of this very long & thin country. From Calama it was only a 1-hour transfer to San Pedro de Atacama & our home for the next 3 nights – Explora Atacama.
I have always wanted to visit Atacama – I remember being on a Galapagos cruise & meeting a very well-travelled couple who stated that their trip to Atacama Desert was their biggest wow factor place they had ever travelled to – & as we were in the wonderful Galapagos Islands at the time, it had to be something special to hit the top of their list. Atacama did not disappoint me – I loved it. Highlights were hot air ballooning, the stars so close in the sky, horse-riding & the amazing Explora Hotel. The only downside was that a hardboiled egg for my breakfast took 15 minutes, due to the higher altitude. Talking about the altitude I had no other issues with it & actually found it great that you don’t sweat at this altitude, even when it is hot – bonus.
I also visited some other hotels in the area – Tierra Atacama & Alto Atacama, both also lovely properties.
Next, we head to Santiago for a night @ the Singular Hotel & as it was a Friday some of us went out for late drinks in a popular nighttime area. It was really good fun – until we only had 3 hours sleep before our stupidly early flight the next morning to Punta Arenas for the next adventure in Patagonia. Will I never learn, probably not! Before heading out for the night I did go & see some other hotels- which I loved, Lastarria Boutique Hotel & Luciano K.
Patagonia & Torres del Paine, what can I say – stunning comes to mind. We stopped en route at the Singular Hotel just outside Puerto Natales. We had a gorgeous lunch & a quick inspection.. This is a fabulously unique hotel with a great story- built in 1915 it was a cold storage plant for processing & exporting frozen meat & wool. The hotel has kept some of the old equipment to be seen in the museum you walk through to get to the restaurant.
We then left the Singular hotel to continue towards Tierra del Fuego National Park entrance, stopping just before at the Tierra Patagonia Hotel. Another WOW property & lovely staff. The building is a stunning all wood design, the views are spectacular & the spa looked amazing.
Leaving the Tierra hotel we drive through the Torres del Paine National Park entrance & literally minutes later we spot 3 puma’s! We were so lucky & I have to say it was one of the biggest highlights of the whole trip for me.
Our next 3 nights were at the fabulous Explora Patagonia Hotel. Loved this property & felt privileged to be able to stay here, taking in as many excursions as possible. The service & food was outstanding. I came back from the trip to see the Grey Glacier & felt a little cold (any excuse) so decided on my return to have a hot chocolate- with a Baileys in it- it is all inclusive don’t forget! The lovely barman brought me a pot of hot chocolate with a milk jug full of Baileys- I was in absolute heaven. Another highlight was using the spa, drinking champagne in the outdoor hot tubs & enjoying the wonderful view.
I was truly sad to be leaving Patagonia, but apparently, I had to! Back to Punta Arenas we sadly went flying back to Santiago. This time we headed out to Valparaiso & our final night in Chile. Valparaiso did not disappoint, it is very bohemian & colourful & we had a great final night in this vibrant city. As the city is set on a number of hills it can be a steep walk up to some of the hotels that overlook the city. So we took one of the many funiculars up to our hotel- the Palacio Astoreca Hotel. A fabulous hotel & I had a suite, so felt very special! 1 night really was not long for me in this small city & I have to say it was is favourite city in Chile. It is full of beautifully creative murals & graffiti loaded buildings. Loved loved loved being here.
So I then had to leave Chile to fly home & as you can imagine I was sad to be leaving. This time I was flying with Iberia, back via Madrid. Great flights & it has to be said that Iberia is much improved – thankfully!
So that was my trip to Chile. It was absolutely amazing & I loved everything- no negatives at all. As it such a long & thin country getting around involves taking domestic flights & some longish transfers, but it is definitely worth the effort. The scenery is out of this world, the standard of accommodation excellent, the food is fabulous & the people are just so welcoming. Unfortunately, I do not like wine (gin or whisky for me) but I can tell you that my fellow travellers said the wine was fabulous, so for those that want to enjoy Chilean wine you will be in heaven.
I hope you enjoy the photos- they may not be of a professional quality but they are mine & bring back very happy memories.
If you would like to talk to me about Chile, or any of our special destination, please do feel free to call me on 01202 232335, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.