This phenomenal week-long (7 days, 6 nights) tour will lead you through the heart of Chile’s gorgeous Central Valley. 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, great accommodations, and the best of Chile’s outstanding gastronomy.
Day 1: Welcome to Chile
Journey to the Heart of Chilean Wine Country! Your guide will meet 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 Hotel Santa Cruz Plaza in the enchanting pueblo of the same name. After lunch we invite you to start the program exploring the amazing Colchagua Museum. Dinner will be at your leisure.
Hotel: Hotel Santa Cruz Plaza (www.hotelsantacruzplaza.cl)
Meals Included: N/A
Day 2 : Colchagua Valley.
In depth 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, start your date visiting 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. Renowned enologists Patrick Valette and Eduardo Silva serve as consultants, employing art, precision, and passion achieve the maximum expression of the vines, varieties, and unique terroir.
Next, you’ll visit the 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). At arrival you will enjoy a delicious lunch at the winery.
Following your lunch you will experience your tour and tasting. After lunch we will visit Montes winery. In 1987, Aurelio Montes and Douglas Murray struck up a partnership to utilize their decades of experience in the wine industry to elevate Chilean wine to the next level. It seemed as though the large and medium-scale vineyards of that time were satisfied with limiting their distribution to local supermarkets, but Montes and Murray had bigger dreams to produce premium wines. Thus, Viña Montes was formally born in 1988 and over the past two decades has made Chilean wine internationally acclaimed in 75 countries worldwide. In the afternoon you will have the option to return to the hotel to rest or walk around the town. Dinner will be at your leisure.
Hotel: Hotel Santa Cruz Plaza
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 3 :The San Antonio Valley & the Pacific Coast
You’ll 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. You’ll enjoy a leisurely stroll through town to see the colorful mosaics spread throughout the village. You’ll end our walk 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. Casa Marín adds innovation to the local wine industry by focusing on creating premium wines from the area’s unique terroir. Its outstanding wines have received many awards including Best Sauvignon Blanc in the world at the Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc World Concourse in 2010. Casa Marín was selected Winery of the Year by industry association Wines of Chile in 2010. You’ll enjoy a breathtaking tour of the vineyards and a premium tasting before sitting down to a delicious lunch in the new Cipres Wine Bar. You’ll then 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, you’ll continue to the charming Winery Hotel well you will be received with a special Welcome cocktail.
Hotel: The Winery Hotel (http://www.wineryhotel.cl/)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, cocktail
Day 4 :Exploring the Casablanca Valley
Today’s journey is a 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. We will start with a tour and tasting before going 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. Afterwards you will enjoy the visit to Kingston Vineyards that is pioneering in the production of cool-climate, artisan-style reds. Wines from the 300 acre family ranch are handcrafted and bottled on site. The visit will be followed by a picnic lunch at the winery. Dinner tonight is at your leisure.
Hotel: The Winery Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Pic Nic Lunch
Day 5 : Valparaiso & Viña del Mar
Departing the hotel, you will 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 seafood restaurants, which promises unforgettable dishes looking at the Port.
In the afternoon, you’ll 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.
Hotel: Hotel Bonaparte (http://bonaparte.cl/)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6 : 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 Motemei, the exclusive cooking studio of Chilean chef Patricio Cáceres. Motemei, also the name of his former and very successful restaurant in Santa Cruz, refers to the person who sells mote, a traditional Chilean ingredient of wheat grain boiled and removed from the husk. Every dish in Motemei embodies the traditional Chilean ingredients which are elevated to an elegant and creative level that paired with great Chilean wines is an unforgettable experience. 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.
Hotel: Hotel Bonaparte
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 7 : Discover Santiago and departureThe tour begins with pick-up at your hotel. Your bilingual guide will lead you on a tour highlighting Santiago’s most important historical sites, including the downtown area surrounding the Plaza de Armas and the La Moneda Presidential Palace. You will also pass by the Mercado Central, one of Chile’s largest fresh seafood markets and stroll by the many bustling stalls to see the tremendous variety available from Chile’s bountiful sea.
You will visit some of the lesser-known barrios of Santiago including Republica and Concha y Toro, which were historically privileged neighborhoods and home to Santiago's high society. There will be time to walk around and take photos of the varied styles of architecture dating back to the 19th and early 20th century.
Continuing through the cobblestoned Lastarria neighborhood, you will walk through the Parque Forestal and pass by the Bellas Artes Museum. For a panoramic vista of the city, you will visit the top of Cerro San Cristobal Hill, 984 feet above the city. During the tour, you will have the option to visit one of Santiago’s most famous museums, the Precolombino, one of the best collections of pre Colombian art in Latin America. Enjoy an executive lunch at a unique restaurant in downtown Santiago (lunch not included) Afternoon at leisure. Your journey comes to an end as you are transferred to the Santiago Airport for your international flight back home.
Meals Included: Breakfast -
End of Itinerary-.
best of chile's central valley
Price per Person : Please contact Info@ethakatravel.com for pricing information
*Based on group size of 8 travelers, double occupancy in hotels
Next trip departure dates:
January 7, 2014
Octuber 7, 2014
• Private transportation in comfortable vehicle with professional driver
• Professional, bilingual guide
• Six (6) nights lodging as detailed in itinerary
• Some meals
• Four (6) winery visits & tastings
• Valparaíso city tour + museum visit
• Map of Chilean wine regions
• Santiago market tour with specialized guide
• Private lunch with chef Patricio Caceres
• International or national Flights
• Reciprocity fee due upon arrival in Chile ( $160 )
• Meals or activities not detailed in itinerary
• Travel insurance
• Items of a personal nature