Volcanoes & Monkey PuzzlesAmericas
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 coccineumcovered 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.
Dates and Prices
30th November - 16th December 2024 (17 days)
Optional Tour Extensions
Torres del Paine Extension
16th December - 21st December 2024 (6 days)
* doesn't apply if you're willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged
Flowers. Also Birds, Mammals and Landscapes.
One leader for a group of up to 4, two leaders up to the maximum group size of 8.
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.
Flower, bird and mammal checklists are available.
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 moving 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 before travelling to 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! We return to Santiago and have the last night in the Holiday Inn close to the airport before departing.
All rooms on this tour and extension have en-suite facilities.
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.
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.
Contact us to check if there is availability for the number of places you require. Click on the ‘Book this Tour’ button on this page to be taken to the online booking form or contact us and we will send one to you which you can complete and send back 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.