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The Ultimate Chile Itinerary From Top to Bottom

Explore Chile and all its natural beauty from the northern desert down to the southern tip.

Sarah Casewit
Origin travel curator

Stretching from Antarctica to the tropics, Chile covers just about every climate and biome that exists on Earth. The whole country is like a living nature documentary from the Atacama Desert up north all the way down to Chilean Patagonia, offering some of the most striking natural wonders on the planet. Back in the cities, the avant-garde vibe that inspired the poetry of Neruda is still tangible in colorful street scenes, inescapable art, and pioneering restaurants.

Trip Overview
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  • 3 nights in the Atacama Desert
  • 2 nights in Santiago
  • 4 nights in Torres del Paine
  • 2 nights in Puerto Natales
Days 1–3: Blast Off to the Atacama Desert

This isn’t a different planet, although no one would blame you for believing that since the landscapes of northern Chile’s Atacama Desert look like nothing from this world. Martian-red mountains and lunar salt flats dominate the arid terrain, where life thrives despite the extreme conditions (just look at ancestral settlements like San Pedro or grazing flamingos). But you’ll truly feel in the cosmos come nighttime when the sky lights up with far-off stars and galaxies.

Your Stay: Nayara Alto Atacama

Nayara Alto is an adobe-walled wilderness lodge that is a haven of cool interiors, warm service, and gourmet cooking in the Atacama Desert. Geothermal spa treatments and a tranquil location only add to the rarefied ambiance of this hotel. Stargazers and those with a sense of adventure are especially smitten with this one-of-a-kind property.

Nayara Alro Atacama is a desert retreat that matches the surrounding beauty
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Salt Flat & Flamingo Reserve
Visit a colonial church in the small village of Toconao on your way to the salt flats, also stopping by the home of a family who hand makes traditional crafts. The spectacular scenery of the flats is surrounded by snowcapped volcanoes, with the bright pink of the flamingos providing a splash of color. Enjoy refreshments in this majestic place with views of the sun setting over the Andes.

Native flamingos in the Atacama Desert
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Stargazing
Look up and learn about the Indigenous views of the cosmos from the hotel's very own observatory. Apart from constellations, you’ll be able to view the rings of Saturn, the craters of the moon, nebulas, and supernovas.

Days 4-5: Exploring the Capital

Sipping on a pisco sour in a trendy cocktail bar or stumbling upon a hidden garden patio off a busy boulevard, it’s jarring to remember that democracy is still considered recent history in Santiago. The city has modernized into one of Latin America’s hottest hubs without losing the colonial charm of its historic center. But what truly makes Santiago special is what’s right at its doorstep: the Andes Mountains, the Maipo Wine Valley, and the Pacific Ocean beaches.

Your Stay: The Singular Santiago

This is a stunning boutique haven in the heart of Santiago’s hip Lastarria district, which is also home to a pulsating array of cafés, bars, shops, art galleries, and restaurants. It's the perfect mix of cozy interior design and a show-stopping rooftop pool and bar. All rooms feature king-sized beds, tactile fabrics, and a soothing color scheme.

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San Cristóbal Sunset
San Cristóbal Hill rises above the busy streets and overlooks all of Santiago, providing an excellent vantage point for panoramic sunset views of the city and the surrounding Andes Mountains.

Days 6–9: The End of the World at Torres del Paine

Travel to the most extreme points on Earth and, naturally, the landscape is transfigured to suit. Just look at Torres del Paine National Park for proof, a sprawling reserve that verges on the southern tip of the Americas. The granite fang-like peaks are the park’s centerpiece, but take your time exploring the glaciers, lakes, steppes, and fjords. After the long journey getting there, you’ll welcome lingering among the foxes and guanacos in this magical place.

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Hike the W Circuit
This four-day trek is considered to be one of the best hikes in the world. It’s stocked with all the highlights of the national park including Las Torres Base Viewpoint, Los Cuernos Mountains, Francés Valley, Paine Grande, and Grey Glacier. The W Circuit gets its name from the way it winds up and down two spectacular mountain valleys, forming a “W” from a bird’s eye view.

Your Stay: Reserva Las Torres

This nature reserve specializes in sustainable tourism and travelers can choose their own adventure style, from rugged camping immersed in nature to private hotel rooms for unwinding after a day on the trails. While still a physically and mentally demanding experience, the W Circuit offers luxuries like comfy beds, hot showers, warm meals, and pitstops along the way.

Immerse yourself in nature at Reserva Las Torres inside the national park
Days 10–11: A Well-Deserved Rest in Patagonia

After four days of hiking and sleeping in the national park, take a couple of days to luxuriate in the beauty of Patagonia while getting pampered in one of the region’s top hotels.

Your Stay: The Singular Patagonia

Occupying a former cold storage warehouse on a remote fjord, The Singular is an architectural landmark and one of Chile’s most impressive hotels. It’s impossible to pick one stand-out feature, as the food, the service, and the views are all equally breathtaking. The hotel has a library and reading room for winding down in the evenings, as well as a large spa, a heated pool, sauna, and steam room.

A room with a view at The Singular Patagonia
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Kayak the Señoret Channel
Beginning at the hotel, head to the water in your own kayak to get a whole different perspective of Patagonia. You can kayak around fjords and spot out local wildlife, ending in one of the nearby towns.

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Horseback Ride on a Ranch
Visit a traditional Patagonian ranch and begin an easy horseback ride. The ride will cover lush forests and open fields as you view the spectacular fjords as well as the charming town of Puerto Natales.

Day 12: Hasta Luego Chile

Transfer to the Puerto Natales airport located a few minutes away from the hotel and board your flight to Santiago before heading home. It’s not goodbye, just until next time.

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Origin invests in making the world a better place. Origin will offset the fuel you will use during the trip. On top of that, we will offset an extra 10% to make your trip a carbon-positive experience. Currently, we support Gold Standard Climate+ Projects from the Gold Standard Foundation.

Intrigued in embarking on your own nature adventure?

Chat with an Origin Curator today and we can start planning your trip to Chile, fully customized to your desires and preferences.

Property photos courtesy of Nayara Alto Atacama, The Singular, and Reserva Las Torres. All other photos are courtesy of Unsplash.