Itinerary for Chilean Wonders Cal Discovery trip February - March 2020

Day 1 — Wednesday, February 26
Depart gateway city

Day 2 — Thursday, February 27
Santiago, Chile
Hotel Cumbres Vitacura
Join your Travel Director this afternoon for a short walk that will familiarize you with the area around your hotel.
5:30 p.m. — Lecture: Santiago architecture in the “boom” years of 1920-1930: a modern cosmopolitan capital emerges. Join Peter Albert for the first of two presentations during your program. Get better acquainted with your fellow travelers during tonight’s welcome Reception and dinner in the hotel.
6:00 PM - welcome reception followed by welcome dinner at the hotel

Day 3 — Friday, February 28
Hotel Cumbres Vitacura
6:30 - 9:10 AM breakfast buffet on the 17th floor
8-9 a.m. — Lecture: Santiago through the eras of Frei-Montalva / Allende / Pinochet, as reflected in the planning, design and opening of the Metro. Join Mr. Albert for his second presentation during your program.
9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. — Discovery: Santiago. Explore this stimulating city noted for its eye-catching blend of colonial and modern architecture. At the Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, grasp the human cost of the nation’s turbulent past through poignant exhibits that chronicle the human rights violations of Chile’s military dictatorship from 1973–1990. Afterward, on a scenic tour, admire the presidential seat, the neoclassical Palacio de la Moneda. Built in 1805, it was the infamous site of the 1973 coup d’etat against President Salvador Allende by Augusto Pinochet’s military forces. Pass by the palm-lined Plaza de Armas, a central hub since 1541, ringed by the Central Post Office, the National History Museum and the Metropolitan Cathedral. Linger for awhile in hip Bellavista, buzzing with cafés, art galleries and restaurants. Pablo Neruda, the celebrated Nobel laureate poet, once resided in this bohemian barrio, or neighborhood. (Moderate)
Free Time: Set off into other Santiago barrios this afternoon and make your own plans for lunch. Don’t miss classic local dishes such as empanadas, tasty pastries filled with meat, cheese or seafood; and pastel de choclo, a satisfying corn pudding flavored with meat and onions. And pair your food with some of the country’s most popular drinks, including the pisco sour cocktail of grape brandy, lemon juice, sugar and egg white; and the refreshing Borgoña, chilled red wine with chopped strawberries.
5:30- p.m. — Enrichment: Contemporary Chile. Examine the economic and political issues that dominate national conversation. Lecture by Luis Gumicio.
Dinner on our own

Day 4 — Saturday, February 29
Puerto Montt | Puerto Varas
Enjoy Puerto Varas Hotel
5:00 AM put suitbases out in hallway for collection.
5:15 AM coffee and box lunches available in lobby.
6:00 AM depart hotel for SCL airport.
8:26 AM Flight LAN 057 to Puerto Montt
10:07 AM arrive Puerto Montt, take bus to Puerto Varas
Check in to the Puerto Varas Hotel overlooking the shores of Lake Llanquihue in southern Chile’s enchanting Lake District.
Walking tour of town. Rest of the day at leisure
6:00 Cal reception at hotel
7:00 Dinner at hotel

Day 5 — Sunday, March 1
Chiloé Island
Enjoy Puerto Varas Hotel
7:00 - 8:00 AM breakfast buffet on ground floor of hotel
8:00 Depart hotel for Chiloe Island 5-minute ferry ride across the Chacao Channel to this picturesque island on the archipelago of Chiloé that boasts lush countryside and sweeping coastlines. Stop in Chacao to stroll through its quaint town square and see its local church. In Ancud, visit the Museo de Las Iglesias de Chiloe to learn how the island’s unique wooden churches, built by Spanish Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century, were constructed with native materials. Next, observe Humboldt and Magellanic penguins and other wildlife from a boat that takes you close to their natural habitats. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can witness both species of penguins nesting side-by-side.
6:00 return to hotel
Dinner on our own

Day 6 — Monday, March 2
Puerto Varas
Enjoy Puerto Varas Hotel
7:00 - 8:00 AM breakfast buffet on ground floor of hotel
10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. — Visit to the ranch Fogon Los Alerces near Puerto Montt. Meet huasos, the country’s cowboys, who will demonstrate the horsemanship required in rodeo. Declared a national sport in 1962, the Chilean rodeo typically consists of two horses, two cowboys and a calf. Feast on tasty local dishes fresh from the grill at an asado, a Chilean barbecue, then celebrate with folk music and a spirited cuenca, the national dance.
3:00 PM return to hotel. The rest of your afternoon is at leisure. Appreciate your stunning surroundings on a leisurely walk along the lakeshore in Puerto Varas, and check out the town’s charming, distinctive architecture, influenced by 19th-century settlers from Germany and Austria.
Talk - The History of the Patagonia by Pilar Olivares. Trace the intriguing history of this immense, wild region in the southernmost part of South America, which is shared by Chile and Argentina.
Dinner on our own

Day 7 — Tuesday, March 3
Puerto Montt | Punta Arenas | Puerto Natales
Hotel Costaustralis
6:00 AM depart for the airport in Puerto Montt and fly to Punta Arenas.
10:15 AM arrive Punta Arenas
11 a.m. — Discovery: Punta Arenas. Take a panoramic tour of this historic port city on the Strait of Magellan between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Before the Panama Canal opened in 1914, Punta Arenas prospered as a coal refueling station for steamships and as the center of the Chilean wool industry. See the highlights, including mansions built by wool barons in its heyday, and enjoy lunch on your own afterward. Rejoin the group and continue to Puerto Natales.
6:00 PM Check in to the Hotel Costaustralis along the waterfront.
7:00 Dinner at the hotel

Day 8 — Wednesday, March 4
Puerto Natales
Hotel Costaustralis
7:30 a.m. Depart hotel for the fjords
8:00 Catamaran cruise to Balmaceda and Serrano Glaciers. Take in vistas of emerald hillsides, rugged mountains and tall waterfalls as you cruise on the Ultima Esperanza Fjord to view the impressive hanging glacier, Balmaceda. Then, on an invigorating walk, follow your guide into the unspoiled beauty of Bernardo O’Higgins National Park to see the spiky Serrano glacier nestled above a peaceful lake where tiny icebergs float. Chat about what you’ve seen in the park over a hearty lunch at a nearby Patagonian ranch, and then cruise back to Puerto Natales.
4:30 return to hotel
Dinner on our own

Day 9 — Thursday, March 5
Torres del Paine National Park
Hotel Costaustralis
8:00 a.m. Depart hotel for Torres del Paine National Park. Spectacular, wild scenery awaits you on a scenic drive in this acclaimed 935-square-mile national park, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Its astonishing landscape encompasses turquoise lakes, glaciers, rolling valleys, snowcapped summits and sculptural icebergs. Its crowning jewels are the Cuernos del Paine (pronounced pine-ay) mountains and the craggy trio of steel-gray granite peaks, the Torres del Paine, or Towers of Paine, that jut up into the clouds. An abundance of wildlife adds to the park’s allure. Approximately 25 species of mammals live within the park, including the tawny guanaco, a close relative of the llama; gray and red foxes; the endangered Patagonian huemul deer; and the puma, the largest and most elusive. Andean condors swirl in the skies above, and flightless, ostrich-like birds called Lesser Rheas sprint across the grasslands propelled by their large wings.
At the Salto Grande waterfall, hear the thunderous crash as water cascades from Lake Nordenskjöld into Lake Pehoé. From this vantage point, soak up the magnificent landscape at different angles. Later, enter a huge cave where the prehistoric remains of a Milodon, a giant ground sloth, were discovered in 1895. Along your route, take a break for a relaxing lunch.
6:00 PM return to hotel
Dinner on our own

Day 10 — Friday, March 6
Puerto Natales | Punta Arenas | Santiago
Hotel Cumbres Vitacura
After breakfast, depart for the airport in Punta Arenas. Fly to Santiago and check in to the Hotel Cumbres Vitacura. Tonight, gather with your fellow travelers at a restaurant in the area for a Farewell Dinner in honor of your memorable Chilean adventure!

Day 11 — Saturday, March 7
Free Time: Create your own agenda in the city or join today’s Elective Activity.
8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. — Elective Activity: Valparaíso and Viña del Mar. Relish the quirky charms of oceanside Valparaíso, a UNESCO World Heritage site, founded in the 16th century. See the historic Victoria and Sotomayor squares and delight in its cerros, or hills, packed with a jumble of colorful houses, snaking pathways, quaint funiculars and vivid, bold street art. Ride up Cerro Bellavista with free time for lunch and exploring. Then travel to pretty Viña del Mar, a favorite vacation getaway of Chileans, known for its broad beaches and manicured gardens.

Day 12 — Sunday, March 8
In Transit
Arrive home in your gateway city.