The Adventuress is a blog for women with adventurous spirits.
It's a source of inspiration, planning, tips, and advice from experienced travelers and outdoor adventurers
with the extra flair of being for women and by women only.


womens hiking tour through Atacama Desert
womens hiking tour through Atacama Desert
Torres del Paine Lake
women's travel Group smiling for photo in Patagonia
Cuernos de Paine
group travel to Atacama
nine Guanacos grazing on hillside
iceberg in Lake Grey
Torres del Paine
Patagonia sunset
Torres del Paine landscape
blue Iceberg floating in lake grey

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Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia

Destination: Chile

Chile is a country of startling contrasts and extreme beauty. On this trip we will immerse ourselves in this country's rich and historic culture by visiting a variety of colorful cities, villages, and points of interest. We'll hike through a stunning array of geological formations, from lunar landscapes to ancient forests. We'll visit the high Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth; and Torres del Paine, known for its wild weather and amazing geology. Encompassing a vast variety of local flora, fauna, and stunning geological features, this park has earned a reputation as one of the most spectacular places on Earth. We'll also take an opportunity to visit handicraft markets and local sea food markets. Throughout this trip we'll savor the variety of Chilean cuisine and the people who live here.


  • Visiting the Atacama Desert, one of the highest and driest deserts in the world
  • Exploring the wild and stunning landscape of Patagonia
  • Learning about the regions dizzying array of geological features, from deserts and geysers to glaciers and ancient forests
  • Walking tours of some of Chile's most beautiful and historical cities including Valparaiso, Santiago, and Puerto Natales
  • Experiencing the vast range of Chilean cuisine


  • A local guide and an AGC guide
  • 7 nights double occupancy lodging, and 3 nights in a hotel in rooms with three beds and a private bath
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 thru Dinner on Day 10 with the exception of on dinner and 4 lunches, as identified on the itinerary
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Airport transfers at the beginning and end of the trip, regardless of what day you arrive
  • Ground transfers in a private bus
  • All activities on the itinerary except for those specified as optional

Not included: Transportation to and from Santiago or flights within Chile, airport taxes, alcoholic beverages, gratuities. We will arrange the internal flights approximately 4 months prior to departure. You can expect the additional cost to be about $400-$500. Any registrations after this time will likely be more expensive, and we cannot be guaranteed they will be on the same flights as the rest of the participants.


This trip is designed for active women in good physical condition who want to combine walking and hiking with immersion in the sights, smells, culture, and cuisine of Chile. While the mileage is not high, some of our walks are at higher elevations with steep inclines. A rating of 2 is suitable for any woman who regularly walks at a brisk pace 3 to 4 days a week for 35 - 45 minutes. These trips typically involve 3 to 5 hours of daily activity. Rating: 1 [2] 3 4 5.

This trip is designed to show you the highlights of Chile, from the capital of Santiago and the colorful city of Valparaiso, to the Taacma Desert and Torres del Paine, the crown jewel of Patagonia. While there is some hiking this trip is primarily an exploration of the rich cultural and natural history of this fascinating and diverse country.

We will be staying in locally owned hotels in Santiago, San Pedro de Atacama, Puerto Natales and the Torres del Paine National Park, as specified in the daily itinerary. All rooms are double occupancy and have en suite bathrooms, with the exception of the three nights in Torres del Paine. In Torres del Paine we will be staying in hotel rooms with three beds each, and a private bath en suite. There are two single supplements available for this trip, but they do not include single accommodations for the nights in Torres del Paine.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

Welcome to Chile, a country of startling contrasts and extreme beauty with attractions ranging from the towering volcanic peaks of the Andes to the ancient forests of the Lake District. We'll be arriving throughout the day at the Santiago Airport. From here you'll be transferred to Hotel Fundador, our home for the next two nights. We have a city tour of Santiago in the morning, for those who've arrived in Santiago early, culminating in a visit to the summit of Cerro San Cristobal. Here we enjoy a birds-eye view of Santiago, the Andean Mountains, and the Maipo-Valley, the best viewpoint of the city! Otherwise, our trip officially begins in the lobby at 6:00 PM. After greetings and introductions, we'll get to know one another over a dinner of delicious Chilean cuisine and discuss our upcoming adventures. We'll make it an early night to be fresh for tomorrow's adventure. D
This morning we visit the World Heritage city of Valparaiso, Chile's oldest port and only about 1.5 hours away from Santiago. The city's many hills are covered in multi-colored houses, creating a spectacular panorama which can be enjoyed from a number of vantage points atop the hills. Walking the streets of Valparaiso becomes a great adventure as we encounter the residents of several neighborhoods and soak up the quirky and bohemian atmosphere, something different from anywhere else in Chile. We'll visit the former residence of poet and national treasure, Pablo Neruda, called La Sebastiana, and afterwards we'll have lunch in one of the typical restaurants situated in the port area. From Valparaiso we will continue along the coast for about another 20 minutes to the beautiful beaches of Vina del Mar, named the Garden City for its many parks and green spaces. After soaking in the modern and contrasting surrounds of Vina del Mar, we will return to Santiago in the afternoon. Walking: approx. 6 miles (4-5 hours). Hotel Fundador ( B, L, D
We take a morning flight to Calama in Northern Chile, where we will catch a 1.5 hour shuttle ride to San Pedro de Atacama, our base for the next three nights as we explore the region of the Atacama desert. En route there are spectacular views of the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains). The rest of the morning is free to spend at your leisure, go shopping, and interact with the locals. In the afternoon we'll hike in the Cornizas and Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley). This bizarre lunar landscape is set ablaze with color at sunset, the strange rock formations framed by the Lincancabur Volcano. We'll stay until the sun goes down to enjoy the array of colors. Walking: approx. 2 - 3 miles (3 hours) reaching a maximum altitude of 8,200 feet. If the sky is clear, and the moon is not full, there will also be an opportunity to participate in an optional astronomy tour - approximately $35. Hotel Don Tomas or similar ( B, D
Today we will be exploring the region near San Pedro de Atacama, with several opportunities to stop and take a walk. Our first stop will be the village of Socaire. The village is noteworthy for its peculiar architecture using rough stonework and for the local reliance on age-old methods of planting terraced fields of crops. We then continue on to reach the majestic silence of the Miscanti and Miniques highland lagoons. The two volcanoes of the same names are visible in the background; the twin lagoons are a deep blue, each framed by a white salt crust which creates a memorable contrast to the yellow highland grass all around. At our next stop we visit Salar de Atacama, a salt lake of huge proportions covered by a thick layer of snow-white salt crystals as far as the eye can see. The salt pan is home to several flamingo species. These beautiful birds and other species can be observed in their natural habitat at the Salar de Atacama's Chaxa Lagoon, which is part of the Reserva Nacional de los Flamencos. After the excursion we will return to San Pedro. Walking: approx. 3 miles, in altitude and warm temperatures. Hotel Don Tomas or similar. B, L, D
In order to experience the El Tatio Geyers, we'll have to get up very early so we can arrive at the geyser field in time for sunrise! The fountains that shoot up to 33 feet high occur when the morning sun melts the nightly ice caps that form over the hot springs. The sun's first rays reflect an array of colors as they mix with boiling jets coming from the geysers to create strong contrasts of steam and light. Around midday we'll head back to San Pedro for some free time to recover from the early start and altitude. The afternoon is free to explore and to visit the market. Hotel Don Tomas or similar. B, D
This is a long travelling day (but so worth it!!) that will likely require an early start as we will have a 1.5 hour drive from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama for an early flight to Santiago, and then from Santiago to board a flight to Punta Arenas - the southernmost city of Chile. From here we'll drive about three hours to Puerto Natales where we will spend the night and start the Patagonia part of our adventure. Lady Florence Dixie Hotel or similar. B, D
This morning we drive into Torres del Paine National Park, one of the most spectacular national parks in the world. It has a huge variety of plant and animal species which, together with its snow-capped mountain peaks, cascading rivers and waterfalls, glaciers and mirrored lakes, have earned it a reputation as one of the most spectacular places on earth. This is a busy day of traveling and walking, including unforgettable views of the Towers and the Torres Massif from the Cuernos viewpoint and Salto Grande waterfall. Here we will be staying at Hotel del Payne or similar, in triple rooms for three nights. B, D
Today is a full day in Torres del Paine National Park, this time to explore the Western highlights. After checking in at Hotel Lago Grey, we'll walk for 45 minutes, crossing the Pingo River on a suspension bridge. From here the path leads through a Lenga forest, typical of the area, and continues onward to the tip of the narrow peninsula at the lake's southern end. The view from here offers a spectacular view of the lake with its icebergs, the tongue of Grey Glacier at the far northern end, and the snow-covered mountain peaks soaring above. We'll board a boat for a 2 hour 45 minute boat trip on the lake. This deep lake, fed by the glacier of the same name, is filled with icebergs which have splashed down from the massive ice flow coming off of Grey Glacier. Accompanied by a local guide who will explain the glaciology of the area, the boat will navigate among the icebergs up to the a safe distance from the snout of the glacier. On the way back from the boat we will stop at the Visitors' Center to see an exposition of the origin and history of the park. B, L, D
After breakfast we will drive to the starting point of a leisurely hike in Las Torres Section. The hike borders the Nordenskjold Lake, named after the Swede Otto Nordenskiöld who discovered the lake in the beginning of the 20th century. This trail is part of the W trek, but today we will just enjoy the walk at leisure, stopping to enjoy the views and learn about the geography of the area. We'll cross the Ascencio River on a hanging bridge and stop by a gushing mountain waterfall to fill our bottles. Continuing on, we'll have many bird sightings and a view of a constantly avalanching mountainside - often you hear the avalanche start and try to quickly look for the visual! We'll stop for lunch at the intensely turquoise Nordenskjold Lake, a color unlike anything you've ever seen. Hotel del Payne or similar. Hiking: 3.2 miles
DAY 10
On our last day in Torres del Paine we'll visit Laguna Azul on the quiet side of the park. The lake is said to have one of the best views of the iconic towers. We'll hike along peaceful trails for about four hours, with spectacular views of the snow-capped Andes as well as the towers, and likely observe guanacos and other wildlife. It will be a great ending for our visit to this amazing park. In the afternoon we'll return to Puerto Natales for our final farewell dinner, sharing memories of our journey to this fabled land. Lady Florence Dixie Hotel or similar. B, L, D
DAY 11
Sadly, it is time to say goodbye to Chile and to one another. Today we travel south across the barren Pampa of Patagonia, an impressive 3 hour road trip as we journey to Punta Arenas Airport where we will fly back to Santiago and catch our flights back home. We will arrive back in Santiago airport in late afternoon for evening flights home.

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "Did this trip meet your expectations?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

Actually, I was not really sure what to expect. I had not anticipated that there would be so much explanation about the geology, geography and flora and fauna. This was a huge bonus. The small group was a bit limiting. I ended up with the same roommate for 8 of the nights - she had a bad cold...couldn't sleep... However, puma tracing was a real highlight and could not have been done with a larger group.

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/18/2019-3/2/2019

there was something special everyday from sunset and sunrises to cooking classes to quaint little towns to geographical information. Puma tracking was an incredible experience. I thought we might meet more indigenous people like we did in Peru and was surprised at what a modern country Chile is.

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/18/2019-3/2/2019

This was a trip of a lifetime. Maria was an outstanding guide. Her itinerary was thoughtfully planned out. The local guides nd drivers were knowledgable and friendly

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/18/2019-3/2/2019

I liked the variety of destinations and getting a chance to see Chile from north to south. I loved the blue lagoons with volcanic backdrops and the activities in Patagonia.

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/25/2017-3/9/2017

Great choice of walks in Atacama and Patagonia (of course nature gets a lot of the credit here)

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/25/2017-3/9/2017

Touring all of Chile was my goal. By taking this trip, I was able to tour a good portion of Chile.

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/25/2017-3/9/2017

Seeing the natural beauty of Chile; learning about culture and history; meeting Chileans and learning from them; interactions with the group participants

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/25/2017-3/9/2017

Patagonia but it was all wonderful in its own way. My compliments to the person who did the itinerary. Very good activity level...despite lots of travel time, it was broken up with stops for a bit of hiking often enough.

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/25/2017-3/9/2017

Wow this was a fantastic trip. Chile is amazing and I feel that the itinerary did a wonderful job showcasing the country. The El Tatio geysers were a highlight for me - such a magical experience! And of course the wilds of Patagonia were breathtaking. One other highlight was the cooking class - the most fun Ive ever had in a cooking class. It took place in a beautiful rustic setting and I loved the playfullness of the experience (throwing darts to pick our stations, crazy hats), plus the food was outstanding.

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/25/2017-3/9/2017

The comprehensive itinerary and the very good organization.

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/25/2017-3/9/2017

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/25/2017-3/9/2017

Diversity of the landscape from one end of Chili to the other. Our cooking class was outstanding ( we lucked out weather wise). Pantigonia was amazing. Everything went flawlessly and when itinerary needed tweaking due to weather showed great leadership from the guides and flexibility from my fellow travelers.

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/25/2017-3/9/2017

The Atacama morning at sunrise and the geysers were a highlight. Hiking the Osorno volcano was another one.

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/25/2017-3/9/2017

What can I say? Everything was a highlight. It was a fabulous trip from start to finish in almost every way. I am still high on the joy and adrenaline of those two weeks so it's hard to pinpoint any highs--the zodiac trip, all the wildlife we saw, the fantastic natural areas, seeing all the four main regions of Chile, learning more about that huge long country (one I had never imagined I would visit), meeting the people, the great in-country guides...pisco sours.

Chile: From Atacama to Patagonia 2/25/2017-3/9/2017

  1. What's the altitude in the Atacama Desert?

    The town where we stay is 7700 feet and we'll go as high as 13,000 feet during the trip. However when we're at altitude, we will be hiking slowly and we will not spend more than a few hours there.

  • Is the weather in Patagonia as wild as I've always heard?

    It really is. Patagonia is particularly known for how windy it is and weather can change radically during the day. However if you follow the packing list, you'll have everything you need to stay safe and warm.

  • Why are you going in late March? Isn't that early fall?

    Late March is late summer/early fall in Chile but still not snowy or cold. As Chile has gotten more popular, particularly Torres del Paine, it has gotten more crowded and expensive. Going in the shoulder season helps with both of those.

  • Where do we eat meals?

    Breakfasts will be in hotels; dinners will be in restaurants where you can order off the menu. Lunches will either be in restaurants or picnic style.

  • What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    Vegetarian options for this trip are available but may be more limited than you are used to. If you are concerned about having enough protein during your trip, plan to bring some plant-based protein sources such as nut butter, instant dried hummus, or high-protein energy bars. If you cannot eat gluten or if you have other dietary restrictions i.e. vegan, you will need to bring some supplemental food with you.

  • I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we’ll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging. No single supplement options will be offered in Torres del Paine.
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