VISIT THIS UNIQUE DESTINATION -- AND DINE SAFELY GLUTEN FREE AT VETTED HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS
Choose any date of travel (this is an individual itinerary, not a group trip)
Gluten Free Travel-Us has just unveiled a gluten free itinerary for Chile. Ellen Morse, founder of the gluten free travel company, has worked with her special partner, Lori Snow from Condor Tours and Travel. Lori has just returned from Chile, where she vetted all the hotels and restaurants where their gluten free clients would stay and dine. Travelers looking for a unique experience will find this amazing! The people are warm and welcoming. The sites offer cultural experiences as well as natural beauty. Keep in mind, Chile is a year round destination, but the optimal time to go is from October through April. If you are considering escaping to someplace warm and wonderful during these months that are cold in most of the United States, Chile would be an ideal choice.
As with all of Ellen's suggested itineraries for travelers, she and her local partners have vetted all hotels and restaurants to ensure they can prepare safe gluten free meals for her clients. All the necessary questions have been asked to ensure your safety at the hotels and restaurants. Working with Condor Tours and their local experts ensures the needs of gluten free travelers are taken seriously.
As always, this itinerary is customizable based upon when you wish to go, how long you desire to stay, and your particular interests. Also, there are other areas such as Patagonia that can be added. As these are not as budget minded, they are not included in the itinerary below. Please contact Ellen for pricing as well as any add-ons you might want to customize for your dream vacation. All private transfers, accommodations at deluxe hotels, meals, and the specific excursions and tours are detailed below. Pricing is always based upon number of travelers, time of year, and exact itinerary.
Day 1: Arrival Day - Santiago
Upon arrival, you will be taken by private transfer from the airport to your hotel located in the Lastarria area of Santiago near a lovely park and many dining options. Each morning breakfast will be included.
Santiago, Chile's capital, is nestled in the central valley, right below the imposing Andes. This city mixes the "Mapuche" legacy, the natives that inhabited this land during the Pre-Columbian era, the Spanish colonial past, and the modernity of a thriving city of the world. You'll enjoy walking its streets, visiting its museums, and engaging with its architecture. Many historical and contemporary features combine in the heart of Chile.
Your tour begins at your hotel, and you'll proceed through the main avenue of the city, Alameda del Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins. You'll pass by the San Francisco Church, the oldest monument of the country, erected in 1568 and housing a convent. The building has miraculously withstood several earthquakes.
Next you'll visit the Santa Lucia Hill, where the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia founded the city on February 12th 1541. After a quick visit to its top, you'll descend to visit the Lastarria Neighborhood, located right below the hill. This recently renovated neighborhood houses cute cafes, exquisite restaurants, and a couple of museums worth visiting (time permitting).
From here, you will be taken to the La Moneda Palace, nowadays the neoclassical style government palace, but originally constructed to house the Mint of the Spanish Crown during the 18th century. A few blocks away, walk along Paseo Ahumada until reaching Plaza de Armas (The Main Square). When Pedro de Valdivia founded Santiago in 1541, he laid out this square as the heart of the newly-formed city. This bustling spot houses the oldest buildings of the capital, including the Cathedral Church of Santiago, rebuilt in 1748 on the very site where all four previous churches were destroyed by fires and earthquakes. You'll also find the Central Post Office and the National Historical Museum, the former "Real Audiencia" or Spanish Royal Court.
A little further, cross the Mapocho River and head straight towards the Bellavista neighborhood, a lively place, core of the night and artistic life, where pubs, cultural centers and international gastronomy can be found. Then you'll return to your hotel for dinner and any nightime activities on your own.
Day 2: Santiago - Maipo Valley Winery Tour
You'll depart from your hotel in Santiago to head to the district of Puente Alto, in the Maipo Valley, an hour away from Santiago's downtown.
Amidst the countryside, you'll find the Almaviva Winery. In 1997, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA, and Eduardo Guilisasti Tagle, Chairman of Vina Concha y Toro, sealed a partnership agreement with a view to create an exceptional Franco-Chilean wine called Almaviva. While Chile offers its soil, climate and vineyards, France contributes with its winemaking savoir-faire and traditions. The result is exceptionally elegant and complex. After visiting the winery and wine cellar, you'll enjoy a wine tasting.
Next, you'll visit the Santa Rita Winery, founded in 1880 by Domingo Fernandez Concha. At the time, the latest French technology was used for its construction. French and American oak were used in its wine cellar, where the wines take a complex body with a taste of wood and a smooth, delicate smell. The Patronal House stands in a park of 40 hectares, where centenary trees captivate the attention of the visitors. You'll tour the wine cellar and have lunch at Dona Paula restaurant, both declared National Monuments. The vineyards restaurant was named after Paula Jaraquemada, a woman who sheltered General O'Higgins and 120 of his men during the independence time. One of the Winery's most renowned wines honors this episode in Chile's history. Finally, you'll visit the Museo Andino with its wide collection of 1800's Pre-Columbian pieces of art.
After tour and wine tasting, you'll return to your hotel for dinner and the evening on your own.
Day 3: Santiago - Vinas Del Mar and Valparaiso Tour
Begin your one hour and forty-five minute journey on Route 68 from your hotel in Santiago heading towards the coast to the beautiful city of Vina del Mar, also known as the Garden City. Here, you'll visit its main streets and avenues, museums, and its large homes and palaces. Later you'll head along the coast towards Renaca, one of Chile's most famous beach towns to enjoy a bit of sunshine and nature!
Afterwards, you'll head around the bay to Valparaiso, a busy port city with charming hills and brightly colored houses. You'll pass by Chile's parliament building as well as other examples of the historical architecture that have made Valparaiso a World Heritage Site since 2003.
Also in Valparaiso, you'll pay a visit to La Sebastiana, one of Pablo Neruda's three homes in Chile, now a museum. Your next stop is a must: the Artilleria lift will take you to the 21 de Mayo lookout point. There is no place in Valparaiso with this view; watch the port activity, the rolling hills full of color and furthermore, see how the city has developed over recent years.
You'll continue around the "cerros," or hills, of the city to the San Luis square. Come across Cerro Concepcion, and discover it on foot with its Anglican and Lutheran churches, and the Paseo Atkinson alleyway with its famous Brighton Restaurant. Walk over to Paseo Gervasoni where the famous Cafe Turri and the house of the cartoonist Lukas are located. Cross over to Cerro Alegre where the Paseo Yugoslavo and Baburitza Palace, once home to a Croatian immigrant and now the recently renovated Fine Arts museum of Valparaiso, are situated. From here, you will descend on the El Peral lift to encounter the Plaza Sotomayor. This is where the Monument to the Fallen Heroes of Iquique is located.
Day 4: Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas
Transfer to the airport for a flight from Santiago to Puerto Montt and a hotel in Puerto Varas. After you check into your hotel in Puerto Varas, you will embark on a half-day city tour of Puerto Varas, one of the most beautiful cities, also known as the "City of Roses." The city is located in an environment where German traditions coexist with Chilean culture, and some of its highlights are the wooden architecture and its local food and crafts. You will be able to visit the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church and the Costanera Avenue. The visit continues in the city of Puerto Montt, the region's capital and the commercial and fishing center. As we tour the city, located on the shore of the Pacific Ocean, there are panoramic views of Tenglo Bay. In Puerto Montt, there are a variety of tourist attractions that enhance its beauty such as the center, its cathedral, the colorful seafood market. You can see fishermen going about their daily business, and the handicrafts market of Angelm, with a variety of copper, wool, wood and lapis lazuli products. Upon completing the tour, you'll return to your hotel in Puerto Varas for dinner on your own.
Day 5: Full Day Excursion to Peulla
Puerto Varas and Bariloche, two cities full of magic and charm, are both starting points of this marvelous trip across the Andes. Two of the best kept secrets nestled in the heart of the mountain range, Peulla and Puerto Blest, are places that offer unique landscapes, bright emerald lakes, native rainforests, and scents of untouched nature. The warmth of its people accompanies you throughout this unique adventure. Enjoy a brief visit to Petrohue River Falls, an Andean Crossing to Peulia, a bus trip crossing the Chile-Argentina borner to Puerto Frias, Puerto Alegre Lake sailing, a bus trip to Puerto Blest, Nahuel Huapi Lake sailing, and a bus trip to the city of San Carlos de Bariloche. Return to your hotel.
Day 6: Fruitillar tour and Orsono Volcano Tour
In the morning, you will depart from your hotel in Puerto Varas and head to Frutillar following the shores of the Llanquihue Lake passing by the village of Llanquihue. Continue your journey across the Settler's route until reaching Frutillar. This city was founded in 1856 as a shipping port for the settlers living next to the Llanquihue Lake. Here you will enjoy a superb view of the Osorno Volcano and the highly influenced German architecture of its houses. Visit the tribute to the German Settlers and the Museo Colonial Alemon (German Colonization Museum) that provides an excellent insight into the life of the German Settlers. Then, you'll head back to the hotel for lunch.
After lunch, depart from your hotel in Puerto Varas along the south bank of the Llanquihue Lake, straight towards the Osorno Volcano through Ensenada, entering the Vicente Perez Rosales National Park. Reach Ensenada, the easternmost port on the lake, after about 50 minutes by car. Face the imposing Osorno Volcano, a symbol of the local landscape. Walk through a forest of coigies and other native tree species, making a stop at 1,000 meters of altitude to observe La Burbuja Crater, admiring the view of the Petrohue River valley and the Calbuco Volcano in the magnificent Andes. The expedition continues to the ski center and its cafeteria located at 1,200 meters above sea level, where you can access the ski lifts (not included) that will allow you to better observe the landscape. On your way, see how the lava formations from earlier volcanic eruptions were formed. Stop and enjoy a panoramic view from the top of the Osorno Volcano. Return to your hotel in Puerto Varas.
Day 7: Back to Puerto Montt to catch flight to Santiago
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel followed by a flight from Puerto Montt to Santiago to connect to your flight home.
PLEASE NOTE: IN THIS SPECIAL SITUATION, IF WE CAN GET A NUMBER OF TRAVELERS WISHING TO GO AT THE SAME TIME, WE COULD CREATE A GROUP TRIP IF YOU DESIRE.