Moon valley, Chile
The best place to see the total solar eclipse in Chile
Have the adventure of your lifetime and experience a rare celestial event in one of the most beautiful settings in the world with Wendy Wu Tour’s Chile Eclipse itineraries this July. There’s no show like it on Earth. The drama of a total solar eclipse is a beautiful astronomical performance that will long remain etched in your memory. If you’re lucky enough to be in the narrow path of the moon’s shadow as it slips across the sun, you’ll be left awestruck by one of the most unique and rare experiences on our planet.   Fortunately, you can be that lucky. This July, in the second oldest city in Chile, La Serena, a total solar eclipse will occur. With Wendy Wu Tours, you can make sure you’re there to witness this fleeting but unforgettable celestial event.   Imagine the adventure of arriving to the seaside city of La Serena by private charter plane to immerse yourself in the inspiring beauty of the cosmos. Imagine finding yourself in Chile, with a pisco in-hand, as you wonder at the mystery of our solar system.   More than simply enjoying the eclipse, on Wendy Wu’s 8-Day Chile Eclipse Tour you will also acquaint yourself with the vibrant culture of this South American country and explore two of its most spectacular cities. Let the adventure begin… Day one: meet ‘the jewel of the Pacific’ On your first day, you’ll arrive in Santiago before transferring to the explosion of colour that is bohemian Valparaíso. This coastal city is eclectic, erratic and beautiful in its disorderly array of neighbourhoods that stack colourfully up climbing hillsides. Chile’s much-loved poet Pablo Nerudo fondly said of Valparaíso’s irregular style: “you haven’t combed your hair, you never had time to get dressed, life has always surprised you.” Tomorrow, you’ll discover the meaning behind Nerudo’s words. Day two: explore the captivating beauty of Valparaíso In 2003, the delightfully mad and completely stunning city of Valparaíso was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Funiculars take you from the seafront to the hillside neighbourhoods where houses painted in a rainbow of colours flank narrow, winding streets. By the time you’ve explored a little, you’ll have newfound affinity with poet Pablo Nerudo’s city. Stop by his house for a visit. Day three: sip in Santiago Head back to Santiago today before exploring beautiful vineyards and incredible Chilean wines. [caption id="attachment_46368" align="alignnone" width="600"] Sample some of the best wines Chile has to offer.[/caption] Chile is the fifth largest exporter of wine in the world, which would be surprising until you realise the country has been producing wine since the Spanish brought grape vines with them in the 16th century. Today, Chilean wines are much sought-after and you’ll be able to explore many of the varietals on this fascinating tour. Day four: time to eclipse Today is a day you’ll never forget. It begins with a one-hour private charter to the adorable seaside town of La Serena. From here, you’ll be taken to a private viewing area in the optimal vantage point of the Elqui Valley where you’ll watch this rare celestial event unfold. Many of us are lucky to witness a handful of total solar eclipses in our lives, but to watch one from such an incredible location is a true once-in-a-lifetime experience. [caption id="attachment_46369" align="alignnone" width="600"] Witness the breathtaking astronomical event.[/caption] An eclipse is not simply breathtaking, it is also fascinating, so to enhance this special event you’ll be joined by astronomy expert Dr Stuart Clark. On hand to answer any of your astronomical questions and to explain the event as it unfolds, Dr Clark will help to deepen your understanding of this magnificent show. Don’t forget your camera! Day five: discover Santiago’s boroughs Incredibly, 40 per cent of Chileans live in Santiago. This visually stunning city with the incredible Andes Mountains at her back is a thriving metropolis and home to 32 boroughs (comunas), each with its own unique personality.   Of course, you won’t meet them all in one day, but you can get under Santiago’s skin with a city tour that takes in some of her most beguiling assets. Visit the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral, and the city’s commercial hub, Ahumada Boulevard, before making your way up San Cristobal Hill to admire that dramatic, mountainous backdrop.   Explore the street-side eateries and a lively night scene around Bellavista Road and Lastarria, while a visit to the well-healed neighbourhoods of Providencia and Las Condes will reveal world-class restaurants and high-end hotels Day six–eight: homeward bound It’s time to say farewell to the vibrant and colourful beauty of Chile, her people, and her eclectic cities, and start planning your next adventure with Wendy Wu Tours. The details: make it happen The incredible Wendy Wu Tours 8-Day Chile Eclipse Tour is truly an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The tour takes you under the skin of the destination and allows you to explore deeper with cultural and active experiences. Want to make the experience last longer? Wendy Wu has created three custom itineraries spanning 8 – 18 days.   All tours include: Return international airfares All accommodation Guides and entrance fees All transportation and transfers Internal domestic flights if applicable Private charter plane to a reserved eclipse viewing area Guided eclipse viewing experience with renowned Astronomer, Stuart Clarke   Prices start at just $6,980pp, visit Wendy Wu Tours or phone 1300 177 506 for further details or to book.
Street with flags
Exploring Chile: the best places to visit in the land of fire and ice
A narrow sliver of land between the towering Andes and the Pacific Ocean, Chile is blessed with natural beauty far beyond her size. Join Wendy Wu Tours on an adventure through this extraordinary land, from the fiery hues of the Atacama Desert in the north to the icy beauty of Patagonia in the south. Atacama Desert One of the driest places on Earth, the Atacama is exactly what you’d imagine Mars to look like. The simplicity of its shapes and colours affords the landscape a stark, crimson-hued beauty. Jagged triangles of rock form otherworldly valleys and ridges, while perfectly symmetrical volcanoes are brushed with the same red tones that shift to purple and black with the setting sun. [caption id="attachment_46394" align="alignnone" width="600"] Iconic sculptures dot the skyline.[/caption] Enjoy the beauty of this desert spectacular by simply staying in the hub of San Pedro de Atacama or venture deeper to find a more varied palette. Your vista of the seemingly endless rocky plains are broken only by azure lakes populated with salmon-pink flamingos, the white geometric patterns of a salt lake, or the yellowish billows of steam produced by the geothermal pools and geysers. The Atacama is also the ideal place to stargaze. The night sky here is staggering in its complexity, with galaxies, planets and constellations visible to the naked eye. The Atacama Desert is truly unlike anywhere you’ve experienced before.   Santiago de Chile Nestled in a bowl created by the Andes Mountains, whose peaks are easily visible throughout the city, cosmopolitan Santiago pulses with a love for life. Each of its vibrant neighbourhoods leaves a unique impression, from stately Centro (downtown), which is full of colonial architecture; to Bellavista with its relaxed and bohemian vibe; and boisterous Barrios Brasil. [caption id="attachment_46395" align="alignnone" width="600"] Experience Santiago de Chile's eclectic mix of neighbourhoods.[/caption] On the coast, 100 kilometres from the capital, the port city of Valparaíso has a ramshackle, roguish charm. Perched on the cliffs above the industrial seafront is the city’s UNESCO-listed historic quarter. Here, the cerros or neighbourhoods are full of narrow streets lined with colourfully painted houses, chic cafes and boutiques, and artfully dilapidated mansions with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Reached by funicular lifts, getting lost in this brightly hued maze is the perfect way to spend a day in the city.   Lake District Thanks to a long resistance to the advances of both the Inca and the Spanish, Chile’s Lake District was long a region of simple farming settlements and the indigenous Mapuche people. Much of its thick forest remains today, dotted with deep lakes and watched over by snow-capped volcanoes. Towns such as Puerto Varas, on the banks of Lake Llanquihue, charmingly blend in with their surroundings and offer a gateway to the gorgeous nature they reside in. [caption id="attachment_46397" align="alignnone" width="600"] The Lake District is brimming with culture[/caption] In summer, you can hike the forested slopes of Volcan Osorno and in winter venture down on skis. At the foot of the volcano you’ll find thundering waterfalls and lush greenery. Explore Chiloé Island, part of an archipelago just off the coast, which is home to pastoral landscapes steeped in folklore and, often, an enigmatic fog. Don’t leave without taking a photograph of Chiloé’s ‘palafitos’ (overwater bungalows), and spotting as many of the island’s 150 charming wooden churches as possible.   Patagonia Encompassing the tip of the South American continent, Patagonia is a region of wild grey seas, ice and rock. Its landscapes are pristine and, thanks to its huge scale, incredibly diverse. From the colourful town of Puerto Natales, you can cruise the desolate waters of the Ultima Esperanza Fjord to spot sea lions, snow-capped mountains and glaciers, before heading to Chilean Patagonia’s headline attraction, the Torres del Paine National Park. [caption id="attachment_46396" align="alignnone" width="600"] Cruise through the spectacular fjords.[/caption] Centred round a massif of towering granite columns, the eponymous Torres, this national park showcases the very best of Patagonia’s dramatic landscapes. Alpine valleys, grassy meadows, dramatic peaks, and sparkling blue lakes abound, all watched over by the mighty Grey Glacier. This is nature at its most magnificent, and totally unmissable.   How to get there Explore Chile with Wendy Wu Tours’ CHILE TOP TO TOE – 15 DAYS from $9180pp or call 1300 177 506.
Chili south america dairy farm
Chile’s charming countryside dairy farm
The allure of Chile goes way beyond its stunning scenery, dramatic volcanoes and pristine natural wonders; there’s cheese too! Words by Georgia Rickard.
Santiago, Chile.
83. Santiago – World’s Most Incredible Cities
Discover why Santiago in Chile ranked #83 in our countdown of '100 Most Incredible Cities in the World'.