NORTHERN CHILE

Beaches, vineyards, mountains and fascinating cities – what more could you ask for? Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s your Northern Chile travel plan:

Luxury
1 ✈To Santiago (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨The Aubrey Book >) See all hotels >
Visit the city’s many museums (Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombiano is our favourite), all the while marvelling at the dramatic Andes in the background.
3 If it’s a clear day head up the Sky Costanera tower, otherwise wander around the Plaza de Armas or visit Villa Grimaldi (free, but donations appreciated) where you can learn about life under Pinochet. You’ll need to buy a (wonderfully-named) Bip! card to travel on the easy-to-use metro.
4 🚗Santiago to Cajon del Maipo (Hire car >) Dep: 09:30 Arr: 10:30 🏨Cascada de las Animas (Book >) See all hotels >
Spend the day hiking, biking, rafting…or simply relaxing in the Andes. Bring cash – there are no ATMs in the valley.
5-6 🚗Cajon del Maipo to Santa Cruz Dep: 10:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Posada Colchagua (Book >) See all hotels >
Santa Cruz has the perfect setting; rolling grasslands, endless vineyards and Andean foothills. The town itself is picture perfect. Visit the museum, sample some wine and enjoy! Take a vineyard tour from town so that you don’t need to worry about designated drivers.
7-8 🚗Santa Cruz to Valparaiso Dep: 09:00 Arr: 12:00 🏨Hotel Boutique Acontraluz
(Book >)
See all hotels >
Two days to explore the colourful, enigmatic city of Valparaiso. Take the Peral elevator up to bustling Cerro Alegre, stroll along Ruben Dario walk, admire the view on Cerro Concepcion and visit Neruda’s modernist La Sebastiana home. Enjoy exquisite fish dishes in Caleta Portales.
9 🚗Valparaiso to Zapallar Dep: 11:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Casa Zapallar (Book >) See all hotels >
A beautiful Pacific beach awaits you in Zapallar – the perfect picturesque pit stop on your way north. Book many months in advance if visiting during January or February.
10 🚗Zapallar to La Serena Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Enjoy Coquimbo (Book >) See all hotels >
Unforgettable drive along the coast to historic La Serena. The Plaza de Armas features buildings such as the cathedral and Museo Histórico Regional. Write to ctio@noao.edu to apply for a permit to El Tololo observatory.
11 Enjoy a final visit to the beach and visit one of the nearby famous observatories. You may wish to extend your trip by heading north to San Pedro de Atacama – a 12hr drive away.
12 🚗Zapallar to Santiago Dep: 11:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨The Aubrey(Book >) See all hotels >
See the sights that you weren’t able to visit on days 2-3. Most museums close on Mondays.
13 ✈Santiago to home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning (next day) What did you think of this Northern Chile itinerary? Leave your feedback below
Book your transfer to the airport.
Mid-range
1 ✈To Santiago (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Hotel Plaza San Francisco Book >) See all hotels >
Visit the city’s many museums (Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombiano is our favourite), all the while marvelling at the dramatic Andes in the background.
3 If it’s a clear day head up the Sky Costanera tower, otherwise wander around the Plaza de Armas or visit Villa Grimaldi (free, but donations appreciated) where you can learn about life under Pinochet. You’ll need to buy a (wonderfully-named) Bip! card to travel on the easy-to-use metro.
4 🚌Santiago (Bellavista) to Cajon del Maipo (Times >) Dep: 09:18 Arr: 11:18 🏨Lodge Andino El Ingenio (Book >) See all hotels >
Spend the day hiking, biking, rafting…or simply relaxing in the Andes. Bring cash – the bus doesn’t accept Bip! and there are no ATMs in the valley.
5-6 🚌Cajon del Maipo to Santiago (Bellavista)
Santiago (Terminal Sur) to Santa Cruz (Book >)
Dep: 08:00

Dep: 11:10

Arr: 10:00

Arr: 14:10

🏨Hotel Boutique Vendimia (Book >) See all hotels >
Santa Cruz has the perfect setting; rolling grasslands, endless vineyards and Andean foothills. The town itself is picture perfect. Visit the museum, sample some wine and enjoy! Take a vineyard tour from town so that you don’t need to worry about designated drivers.
7-8 🚌Santa Cruz to Santiago  (Book >)
🚌Santiago to Valparaiso (Book >)
Dep: 08:10

Dep: 11:55

Arr: 11:30

Arr: 13:45

🏨Hotel Fauna
(Book >)
See all hotels >
Two days to explore the colourful, enigmatic city of Valparaiso. Take the Peral elevator up to bustling Cerro Alegre, stroll along Ruben Dario walk, admire the view on Cerro Concepcion and visit Neruda’s modernist La Sebastiana home. Enjoy exquisite fish dishes in Caleta Portales.
9 🚗Valparaiso  to Zapallar (Hire car >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 12:30 🏨Casa Zapallar (Book >) See all hotels >
A beautiful Pacific beach awaits you in Zapallar – the perfect picturesque pit stop on your way north. Book many months in advance if visiting during January or February.
10 🚗Zapallar to La Serena Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:00 🏨Primera Hacienda Hotel Boutique (Book >) See all hotels >
Unforgettable drive along the coast to historic La Serena. The Plaza de Armas features buildings such as the cathedral and Museo Histórico Regional. Write to ctio@noao.edu to apply for a permit to El Tololo observatory.
11 Enjoy a final visit to the beach and visit one of the nearby famous observatories. You may wish to extend your trip by heading north to San Pedro de Atacama – a 12hr drive away.
12 🚗Zapallar to Santiago Dep: 11:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨Hotel Plaza San Francisco(Book >) See all hotels >
See the sights that you weren’t able to visit on days 2-3. Most museums close on Mondays.
13 ✈Santiago to home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning (next day) What did you think of this Northern Chile itinerary? Leave your feedback below
Take the bus to the airport.
Budget
1 ✈To Santiago (Book >) Dep: Evening 🏨 In flight!
2 Arr: Morning 🏨Hostal Don Santiago (Book >) See all hotels >
Visit the city’s many museums (Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombiano is our favourite), all the while marvelling at the dramatic Andes in the background.
3 If it’s a clear day head up the Sky Costanera tower, otherwise wander around the Plaza de Armas or visit Villa Grimaldi (free, but donations appreciated) where you can learn about life under Pinochet. You’ll need to buy a (wonderfully-named) Bip! card to travel on the easy-to-use metro.
4 🚌Santiago (Bellavista) to Cajon del Maipo (Times >) Dep: 09:18 Arr: 11:18 🏨Hostal Los Peñones
(Book >)
See all hotels >
Spend the day hiking, biking, rafting…or simply relaxing in the Andes. Bring cash – the bus doesn’t accept Bip! and there are no ATMs in the valley.
5-6 🚌Cajon del Maipo to Santiago (Bellavista)
Santiago (Terminal Sur) to Santa Cruz (Book >)
Dep: 08:00

Dep: 11:10

Arr: 10:00

Arr: 14:10

🏨Casa Suiza (Book >) See all hotels >
Santa Cruz has the perfect setting; rolling grasslands, endless vineyards and Andean foothills. The town itself is picture perfect. Visit the museum, sample some wine and enjoy! Take a vineyard tour from town so that you don’t need to worry about designated drivers.
7-8 🚌Santa Cruz to Santiago (Book >)
🚌Santiago to Valparaiso (Book >)
Dep: 08:10

Dep: 11:55

Arr: 11:30

Arr: 13:45

🏨Nómada Eco Hostel
(Book >)
See all hotels >
Two days to explore the colourful, enigmatic city of Valparaiso. Take the Peral elevator up to bustling Cerro Alegre, stroll along Ruben Dario walk, admire the view on Cerro Concepcion and visit Neruda’s modernist La Sebastiana home. Enjoy exquisite fish dishes in Caleta Portales.
9 🚗Valparaiso to Maitencillo (Hire car >) Dep: 11:00 Arr: 12:10 🏨Hostal Maitencillo Norte (Book >) See all hotels >
A beautiful Pacific beach awaits you in nearby Zapallar – the perfect picturesque pit stop on your way north. Book many months in advance if visiting during January or February.
10 🚗Maitencillo to La Serena Dep: 09:00 Arr: 13:20 🏨Hostal El Árbol Beach
(Book >)
See all hotels >
Unforgettable drive along the coast to historic La Serena. The Plaza de Armas features buildings such as the cathedral and Museo Histórico Regional. Write to ctio@noao.edu to apply for a permit to El Tololo observatory.
11 Enjoy a final visit to the beach and visit one of the nearby famous observatories. You may wish to extend your trip by heading north to San Pedro de Atacama – a 12hr drive away.
12 🚗Zapallar to Santiago Dep: 11:00 Arr: 16:00 🏨Hostal Don Santiago (Book >) See all hotels >
See the sights that you weren’t able to visit on days 2-3. Most museums close on Mondays.
13 ✈Santiago to home (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Morning (next day) What did you think of this Northern Chile itinerary? Leave your feedback below
Take the bus to the airport.