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Solar Eclipse Chile & Atacama (2019)

On the 2nd July 2019, thousands of people in Chile will enjoy nature’s grandest show, a total eclipse of the sun. This is a rare opportunity to view this celestial wonder and the perfect opportunity to experience the unique and ever-changing landscapes of Chile. Awaiting your arrival are eclectic cities with a long and rich history and colourful culture, as well as mesmerising natural wonders including breathtaking geysers, otherworldly volcanic landscapes and the world’s largest salt plains. This unique tour has been created to ensure you have the best experience possible in this wonderful part of the world. Why See the Solar Eclipse?The most arresting and emotional astronomical event of them all, a Total Solar Eclipse will occur for 2 minutes and 18 seconds in the late afternoon of Tuesday, 2 July 2019 above Chile's Elqui Valley.This rare celestial event occurs only when a New Moon crosses the Sun as we see it, throwing a Moon-shadow onto the planet. If you stand under the path of that shadow, all of the Sun’s rays will be blocked out for a few minutes, and you'll experience darkness in the day.However, under clear skies the few minutes of Totality are about a lot more than darkness. During Totality you can remove your solar safety glasses (which we will provide) to see a mind-blowing 'hole in the sky'. As you gaze at the Sun's powerful, pulsing corona visible as a wispy white ring around the edges of the Moon, you'll see huge explosions on the Sun's surface. A few minutes later, beads of sunlight pour through the valleys of the Moon as the Sun emerges, eventually causing a jaw-dropping flash of light called the 'diamond ring'. It's over, and the adrenalin subsides ... with the help of some local Chilean wines from our beautiful surroundings in the Elqui Valley.In Chile, the Totality occurs at 16:46, just over an hour before sunset, so you'll comfortably view Totality about 15 degrees above the western horizon. Even better, the Moon will appear to 'kiss' the Sun goodbye at 17:46, the precise point of sunset.It's sure to be an intense and emotional experience, and one best shared. So join us for the ultimate experience in travel – a Great South American adventure starring the Great South American Eclipse!

Latin America
  • Duration: 9 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: S1Z/208649
  • Starts: Santiago, Chile
  • Finishes: Santiago, Chile
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Santiago
  • Valparaiso
  • La Serena
  • Elqui Valley
  • Altiplano Lagoons
  • Atacama Salt Flats
  • El Tatio Geyser
  • Moon Valley

Itinerary

01

Day 1-2: Santiago

Welcome to Santiago! Chile’s capital and largest city sits in a valley surrounded by the snow-capped Andes and the Chilean Coast Range. Your trip begins with a welcome meeting at 18:00 where you will meet your tour guide and fellow travellers.On the morning of day two, you’ll enjoy an orientation tour of the city, where you’ll admire Hidalgo Castle before continuing to ‘Plaza de Armas’, Santiago’s main square, which is surrounded by the Metropolitan Cathedral, the palace of the Royal High Court, the Main Post Office and other buildings of historical interest. Spend the evening tucking into fresh seafood, or maybe try a ‘mote con huesillo’ - a typical Chilean drink.

Meals Included: Breakfast (x1) included

02

Day 3: Valparaiso

Travel to the city of Valparaiso, one of the most important ports in the country. This picturesque city is known for its steep funiculars and colourful, clifftop homes. With its avant-garde culture and vibrant street art, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is often referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Pacific’, and it won’t disappoint.

Meals Included: Breakfast included

03

Day 4-5: La Serena

Today you’ll visit Tabali Winery, whose wine cellar was thought to have been built to commemorate the life of the culture Molle. Tour the beautiful vineyards before that all-important taste test! Continue to the Encanto Valley – this wide amphitheatre was once a religious sanctuary and today remains an important archaeological site, where you can view petroglyphs and pictographs which are over 2,000 years old. Your final stop of the day is the pretty coastal city of La Serena. The next day, you’ll explore La Serena on a guided tour of the city. Home to beautiful architecture, a long golden shoreline, tree-shaded avenues and pretty plazas, there is plenty to enjoy in La Serena. The afternoon is yours to spend at your leisure.

Meals Included: Breakfast included

04

Day 6: Elqui Valley - Santiago

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! Today you’ll head out of town to a dedicated viewpoint in the Elqui Valley, where you can set up camp in prime position for the magnificent solar eclipse this afternoon. This is a rare opportunity to view this celestial wonder, and we’ll make every provision to ensure you have the best viewing spot available, weather depending. Your private vehicle will be on hand to deliver you to the centre line of the eclipse track. This evening, you’ll travel back to Santiago where you’ll spend the night. Please note, you will arrive between 22:00-23:00 depending on the amount of traffic around Elqui Valley.15:23 Partial eclipse begins 16:38 Full eclipse begins 16:39 Maximum eclipse 16:40 Full eclipse ends 17:46 Partial eclipse ends

Meals Included: Breakfast and packed lunch included

05

Day 7: San Pedro de Atacama

This morning you’ll fly to northern Chile, where you’ll travel to San Pedro de Atacama, located on an arid plateau surrounded by the Andes and some of Chile’s most impressive landscapes. Settle into your hotel, before enjoying dinner and an evening at the observatory, gazing at the wonderful night sky, where you’ll learn of the astronomy in the area.

Meals Included: Breakfast included

06

Day 8: Altiplano Lagoons - Atacama Salt Flats

First up today is Chaxa Lagoon, located in the northern area of the Salar de Atacama. This extraordinary expanse of water in Chile’s salt desert is home to countless wild flamingos, so be sure to have your camera on hand to capture these majestic birds. The salt plains themselves have been generated by the evaporation of saline groundwater which has left an impressive, otherworldly landscape. Your journey continues to the Highland Lakes of Miñiques and Miscanti. Located 4000 metres above sea level, these four lagoons are in the middle of a stunning natural landscape, surrounded by imposing mountains. Try Atacamenian cuisine in Socaire Village and stroll around the pretty village of Toconao, before returning to San Pedro de Atacama for the night.

Meals Included: Breakfast included

07

Day 9: El Tatio Geyser - Moon Valley - Santiago

It’s an early start today as you travel through the dramatic Andes Mountain range to El Tatio Geyser, one of the biggest geothermal fields in the world with more than 40 geysers, 60 springs and 70 fumaroles. You’ll arrive at El Tatio at sunrise, when the freezing, high-altitude air creates a wonderful show as its steam flows rise up to ten metres in the air. You’ll have plenty of time to walk around the field, marvelling at the geothermal wonders, and should you wish, take the plunge into one of the natural thermal pools.You’ll then travel to the northern end of the Cordillera de la Sal to the aptly named ‘Valley of the Moon’. With its jagged red cliffs and bone-dry valley, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d arrived on another planet! Here ancient sediment and rock have been pushed and crushed to jut out of the landscape vertically.In the late afternoon, you transfer to the airport for your flight back to Santiago where you can connect to your international flight. If you would like to remain longer in Santiago to explore the city, you can reserve additional nights through Grand American Adventures. 

Meals Included: Breakfast included

Inclusions:
  • Professional tour guide and local guides
  • All transportation by private vehicle and internal flights
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Hotel: 8
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Tour Highlights:
  • Enjoy nature's grandest show - a total eclipse of the sun
  • Private group visit to Ahlarkapin Observatory in San Pedro de Atacama
  • Visit the colourful city of Valparaiso
  • Sightseeing tours of Santiago and La Serena
  • Return flights from Santiago to Calama (San Pedro de Atacama)
  • Visit the Tabali Winery with including tasting
  • Two days exploring the areas surrounding San Pedro de Atacama including the Altiplano Lagoons and Atacama Salt Flats, El Tatio Geyser and Moon Valley