VOLCANOES & MONKEY PUZZLES
Botanical & Wildlife Tour Southern Chile Flowers of Monkey Puzzle Forests & Southern Andes. Also Birds, Mammals & Torres del Paine
Southern Chile holds some of South America’s finest scenery, from the beautiful snow-capped volcanoes and Araucaria forests of Chile’s Lake District to one of the world’s natural wonders, the magnificent Torres del Paine.
Orchids are perhaps as spectacular in Chile as anywhere in the world, and the colourful blooms of Chloraea orchids certainly take some beating. In the lovely landscapes of Chile’s Central Valley we’ll find golden-orange Chloraea nudilabia and green-spotted yellow Chloraea cristata, as well as Chloraea viridiflora and Chloraea chrysantha. There’s the amazing Jovellana punctata whose blooms look like tiny baby’s prams with colours to match! Flocks of Austral Conures (Parakeets) whirr over masses of Chloraea lechleri and golden Berberis linearifolia blooming in the magnificent Araucaria forests of Nahuelbuta National Park. After a brief dalliance with the Pacific shore we’ll explore the green hills surrounding scenic Lago Budi where amongst the colourful glory of Alstroemeria ligtu we’ll see the well-named Many-coloured Rush-Tyrant. Pretty little Chucao Tapaculo and Black-throated Huet-huet inhabit virgin tracts of Valdivian temperate rainforest bejewelled with pinky-red trumpets of Philesia magellanica and delicate epiphytic Luzuriaga polyphylla. The stunning rosular violet Viola cotyledon adorns the lower slopes of Conguillio’s shapely volcanoes. Lower down we’ll admire brilliant Ourisia coccinea, Embothrium coccineum covered in cascades of scarlet blooms, superb Gavilea odoratissima, and the fabulous crazed-porcelain blooms of Chloraea magellanica. We’ll see extraordinary orchids such as Bipinnula apinnula as well as Schizanthus hookeri and the fantastic pink-spotted Calceolaria cana in magnificent Siete Tazas.
After the main tour you can join us in a visit to the spectacular granite pillars of the Torres del Paine looming six thousand feet over a Patagonian landscape of blue lakes, cascading rivers, glaciers and southern beech forests. Andean Condors are common and we’ll see Darwin’s Rheas, Magellanic Penguins, abundant Guanacos, more fabulous Chloraeas, groups of bright yellow Gavilea lutea orchids and the sensational orange-and-white flowers of Calceolaria uniflora.
Flowers, Birds and Mammals. Also Landscapes.
Reasonably easy on the main tour, covering up to 6 miles, usually less. A little more on the Torres del Paine extension. Occasional steep sections.
Included in the Price
All flights. All transport, meals and accommodation in Chile. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature including insurance, are not included.
One leader for a group of up to 4, two leaders up to the maximum group size of 8.
We start with two nights in the beautifully situated cabanas at Valles de Catas. Next are two nights in good quality cabanas at Antucalhue and then we have a two night stay in the excellent Hosteria de Collina from where we'll explore Villarica NP. Then we move to Puerto Varas where we'll stay at the good quality Hotel Cabana de Lago, also our base for exploring Alerce Andino NP the next day. We return to Hosteria de Collina before move to Angol and the Hotel Duhatao for a two night stay. Next are two nights at the very pleasant Hotel Raices in Curico before we return to Santiago and have a night in the Holiday Inn close to the airport before departing. The cabanas in the national parks are rustic but comfortable and the hotels used on this tour and generally small but good quality hotels and lodges.
Those on the Extension will fly to Punta Arenas and will have a night in Los Navegantes before travelling to the Torres del Paine and the magnificently sited Hosteria Pehoe. Here we’ll spend 4 nights with some of the most splendid scenery on the planet right outside our hotel! Then we return to Punta Arenas before flying the next day to Santiago.
All rooms on this tour and extension have en suite facilities.
UK return flights are from London Heathrow to Santiago. Those on the extension have return flights from Santiago down to Punta Arenas. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* may be available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
We visit during the Austral spring and both temperatures and weather are rather similar to that in a UK spring - cool to warm and changeable with some rain.
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. This will contain up-to-date health information. Flower, bird and mammal checklists are available.