Bike & Taste the Best of Chile's Central Valley

 

7 days/ 6 nights

 

Winery tours and tastings of excellent vintages complement breathtaking scenery along the Pacific Coast and the contemporary flair of Santiago. Each activity is accompanied, as always, by warm South American hospitality, high-class accommodations, and the best of Chile’s outstanding gastronomy.

 

Day 1: Journey to the Heart of Chilean Wine Country

Welcome to Chile! Your Local Guide will be waiting for you at the Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport to begin your adventure. You will drive two hours south on the Pan-American Highway, through the marvelous agricultural heart of the Central Valley, before arriving to the eastern end of the Colchagua Valley. In the late nineteenth century, during the era of immense mining wealth in Chile, important families introduced fine wine varieties of French origin – primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Merlot and Malbec – to the long, thin country. Since then, and especially during the mid-1990s during Chile’s rebirth as a quality wine producer, this area has developed into one of the most important wine regions in South America.

Upon arrival, you will check into the charming hotel Terra Viña in the enchanting pueblo of Santa Cruz. Nestled amidst a thriving vineyard and an historic family winery, Terra Viña is the perfect place to relax after your long trip to Chile. You are free to spend a leisurely afternoon soaking up the beauty of Colchagua or exploring the vineyards on foot or by bike. Dinner will be at your leisure in Santa Cruz. We will be happy to provide you with restaurant recommendations and a ride into town (5 minutes away by van).

Meals Included: N/A

 

Day 2: Biking in the Colchagua Valley

 

The Colchagua Valley is emerging as the king of Chilean reds, and today’s winery visits will undoubtedly demonstrate the quality of wines coming from Colchagua, particularly Carménère, Syrah, and Malbec. This morning, you’ll hop on bikes and head approximately 12 miles to the Neyen de Apalta Winery, which focuses all its production on one Bordeaux-style blend from 115 year-old Carménère vines. Neyen is the perfect blend of tradition and modernity, founded by the Rojas family in 2002 on the site of one of the area’s pioneering 19th century wineries.Next, you’ll pedal 9 miles to family-run Viu Manent Winery. Founded in 1935, Viu Manent’s core philosophy is centered in attention to detail, respect for the environment, and honoring history and tradition while embracing innovation and modernity to support continued excellence. Viu Manent wines have won several awards, including Gold Medal distinction at the 2011 Catador W Santiago Wine Awards for their Gran Reserva Malbec (2010), Secreto de Viu Manent Sauvignon Blanc (2011), and Secreto de Viu Manent Syrah (2010). Following your tour and tasting, you will enjoy a delicious lunch at the winery. After lunch you will have the option to return to the hotel on the same 8 mile route in our van or on your bike.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 3: The San Antonio Valley & the Pacific Coast

 

Begin the day driving along the beautiful Ruta de Fruta, heading to the coastal San Antonio Valley and our first stop of the day in the small town of Lo Abarca. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through town to see the colorful mosaics spread throughout the village.

Your walk will end at Casa Marín Winery. Founded in 2000 by Chile’s first female vineyard owner Maria Luz Marín, Casa Marín has been described as one of the “most daring and innovative” vineyards in the country. It’s outstanding wines have received many awards including Best Sauvignon Blanc in the World (2010) and Winery of the Year 2010 by industry association Wines of Chile. Most recently, it was named among the Top 100 Wineries in the World (2012) by Wine & Spirits magazine. Two of its top wines – Miramar Vineyard Syrah 2010 and Cipreses Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011 – were named the “best in Chile” by the country’s most prestigious wine publication Descorchados.

Drive the remaining few miles to the coast and the town of Isla Negra. Here you will visit the former home of Pablo Neruda, now a fascinating museum, which looks out to the sea and provides a snapshot into the life and mind of Chile’s most beloved poet. Next, continue to the magnificent white sand beaches of Tunquén. Enjoy an enchanting sunset picnic, with spectacular views of the rolling waves and breathtaking landscape. This will certainly be one of the most memorable experiences of your trip.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Sunset Picnic (weather permitting)

 

Day 4: Exploring the Casablanca Valley by Bike

 

Today’s journey is a cycling winery tour in the Casablanca Valley. The valley’s cool coastal breeze makes the climate ideal for growing Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Pinot Noir—and also for comfortable cycling. You will pedal from our hotel over rolling hills to Kingston Vineyards about 13 miles from the hotel. Kingston is pioneering the production of cool-climate, artisan-style reds. Wines from the 300 acre family ranch are handcrafted and bottled on site.You will enjoy a tour and tasting before pedaling through the town of Casablanca and along a back road to Loma Larga Vineyards. Named “Winery of the Year 2011” by Wine & Spirits magazine, Loma Larga sets the bar for quality cold-climate red wines with several award winners and consistent 90+ point ratings by such prestigious publications as Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. You will enjoy a tour and private tasting of Loma Larga’s distinctive wines followed by a picnic lunch. Dinner tonight is at your leisure. A van transfer can be arranged to Algarrobo (approx. 5 minutes).

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 5: Valparaiso & Viña del Mar

 

Departing the hotel, drive approximately one hour to the historic port of Valparaíso, one of the first Chilean cities founded by the Spanish. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003 for its architectural and cultural significance, the city is also one of Chile’s most interesting. You will start in the downtown sector, learning about the history of “Valpo” and its importance in South American trade and commerce. Century-old hillside ascensores (elevators) will transport you up into the city’s steep hills, where a labyrinthine maze of streets reveals brightly colored buildings, bohemian cafes and elegant restaurants, and spectacular views of the harbor below. Your tour will lead us on foot through two of the most famous and eclectic neighborhoods, Cerro Concepción and Cerro Alegre. You can also choose to add a stop to La Sebastiana museum, one of the former homes of Nobel Laureate poet, Pablo Neruda.

Your lunch will be at one of Valparaiso’s favorite Peruvian restaurants, which promises unforgettable dishes such as fresh ceviche and pollo a la brasa paired with various delectable sauces, salads, and potatoes.

In the afternoon, drive to Chile’s dynamic capital city, Santiago. Chosen by the New York Times as 2011’s #1 destination to visit, Santiago is a vibrant city full of character, with a thriving arts culture, trendy restaurant scene, and lively nightlife.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 6: Hiking in the Cajon del Maipo

 

Today’s adventure leads to the Cajon del Maipo, a breathtaking natural retreat not far from Santiago. You’ll spend the day hiking and enjoying the tranquility of the mountains. Evening at leisure in Santiago.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Box Lunch

 

Day 7: Santiago Culinary Adventure

 

Explore Santiago in a journey through the colorful markets and the culinary traditions which distinguish Chilean gastronomy. The tour begins with a visit downtown to the city’s lively principal markets – La Vega and the Mercado Central – where local families shop for their meals alongside buyers from Santiago’s top restaurants.

In the afternoon, you are personally invited to lunch in the home of well-known chef Maria Eugenia Terragno, formerly the executive chef of LAN airlines. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere in her cozy kitchen while cooking together with her as she shares with you her passion for and knowledge of Chilean gastronomy.You’ll next head to the picturesque Los Dominicos Craft Market where over 150 Chilean artists’ handicrafts are displayed. Stroll through the lovely artisan village and enjoy a tasty empanada at one of the outdoor cafés. Your journey comes to an end as you are transferred to the Santiago Airport for your international flight or connection on to your next South American adventure.

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

 

This tour is available to begin every day during the months of October thru May.

 

​Ethaka Travel hosts groups from 2-20 people. The price varies depending on the number of people. Please contact Ethaka Travel for information on pricing. 

info@ethakatravel.com or 817-914-8601 

 

All Hotels are Premium Hotels. Contact info@ethakatravel.com for more information.

 

Price Includes:

  • Private transportation in comfortable vehicle with professional driver

  • Professional, bilingual guide

  • Six (6) nights lodging as detailed in itinerary

  • Some meals Bicycle and helmet

  • Four (4) winery visits & tastings

  • Valparaíso city tour + museum visit

  • Map of Chilean wine regions

  • Santiago market tour with specialized guide

  • Private lunch with chef Maria Eugenia Terragno

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  tours@lostoakwinery.com        8033 County Road 802          Burleson, TX   76028          Tel. (817) 914-8601