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THIS IS NOT THE FULL BROCHURE

We invite you to call Sarah or Gwen at 1-800-762-4216 to request the full brochure. The brochure will include Important Traveler Information (and answers to most questions) and a Reservation Form. We can send the brochure through the Postal Service or as a PDF attachment. If you would like to receive a PDF, probably the best way to keep the message from going into a SPAM filter is to send a message to sarah@serioustraveler.com. If you are already on our mailing list, no need to complete the entire brochure request form.

 

Including the Atacama Desert and 4-day cruise on the M/V Stella Australis


NOW TWO OPTIONS



OPTION 1

November 11 - 18, 2017
• 8 Days
$2780 per person double occupancy
beginning and ending in Santiago, Chile
Internal & International Airfare Additional

OPTION 2
November 5 - 18, 2017
• 14 Days
$5950 per person double occupancy
beginning in Buenos Aires, Argentina and ending in Santiago, Chile plus $160 reciprocity tax for Argentina
Single Supplement $2200
Internal & International Airfare Additional


Sample Airfare
Sample airfare: $1924 from/to Miami with six internal flights via Latam Group of Airlines from latam.com. See page 9 of brochure for schedule and other options.

Day by Day Itinerary

November 5 Buenos Aires
Sunday

Upon arrival at Buenos Aires International airport (Ezeiza), we will be met by our local host who will drive us to our hotel, the Kenton Palace. Early check-in is NOT included.

Welcome to Buenos Aires! Elegant, old-worldly, with a touch of Paris here and of London there, a dash of New York cosmopolitanism and Italian exuberance, the city nevertheless has a lot of Latin America in it as well and some things that are uniquely Argentine, such as its tango bars and overflowing kiosks. Here, everything is grand, on a scale fit for kings: tourists photograph their steaks at the restaurants, Av. 9 de Julio ranks as the world’s widest avenue, a cemetery so fancy that it occupies one of the poshest bits of downtown, the entire city fronts on the world’s widest river. Buenos Aires never fails to impress.

Tonight we have dinner and a tango show at La Ventana (standard seat), which is easy walking distance, in San Telmo neighborhood. The place opened its doors in 1982. This historic house named “conventillo” was restored and now every night 32 artists, 2 orchestras of tango and a group of folkloric music are ready to show you this special and characteristic music of The Porteños: The Tango!

Upon arrival we will be delighted with the best of their international kitchen with a great variety of first and main courses accompanied by wines of one of the most exclusive warehouses of Argentina.

After the show you will be driven back to the hotel. (D)

Accommodation in Buenos Aires
Kenton Palace Hotel, Standard Room

November 6 Buenos Aires
Monday

Explore the highlights of this magnificent city in an full day sightseeing tour accompanied by one of our experienced representatives. They will introduce us to the history and culture of Buenos Aires, showing us the most significant spots such as the Plaza de Mayo (May Square). Here, where the city was founded in 1580, the most important governmental buildings are located, including the Casa Rosada (Government house), the Cabildo (City Hall) and the Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Cathedral).

The visit continues to San Telmo neighborhood, with its cobblestoned streets where the original porteños settled in the early days. After a short drive south, stop at the picturesque district of La Boca, the colorful working class port neighborhood and walk along Caminito Street, where local artists display their artwork at the tunes of Tango being performed on the street. Drive towards Palermo, passing through Puerto Madero. See this new area where redbrick warehouses were transformed into trendy restaurants and bars. Lunch today is included in this area at La Bistecca.

Once in the northern area of the city, you will see Palermo Chico with its impressive townhouses, tree-lined boulevards and parks. And Palermo Soho which is a peculiar area that combines the flavor of an old, working class neighborhood with aspects of a globalized city including ethnic restaurants, contemporary design stores and theme bars. The bohemian atmosphere makes it very popular with locals as well as foreign visitors. The choices for gastronomy in the area are wide and modern, for any kind of palate. Continue to La Recoleta, one of the most elegant and sophisticated districts. Here we will visit ‘Nuestra Señora del Pilar’ Church and the Recoleta Cemetery, known worldwide due to its rich architecture and the famous personalities whose mortal remains it treasures. Return to our hotel for an evening at leisure. (B,L)

Accommodation in Buenos Aires
Kenton Palace Hotel, Standard Room

November 7 Buenos Aires - Ushuaia
Tuesday

In due time, we will transfer from the hotel to the airport to board our flight to Ushuaia. We recommend Latam Airlines Argentina flight LA7742 departing at 7:35 AM and arriving at 11:20 AM.

Welcome to Ushuaia! In the shadow of Mt. Olivia, Ushuaia was once a penal colony but is now a busy port and the capital of Tierra del Fuego (Fireland), the largest island in South America. Christened in 1520 by Hernando de Magallanes, its name was given for the fires lit on the shores by the Onas native inhabitants, who arrived to this area some ten thousand years ago when it was still connected to the mainland.

Upon arrival, transfer to our hotel, the Cilene del Faro.

Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant, walking distance from our hotel. (B,D)

Overnight in Ushuaia
Cilene del Faro Hotel, Standard Suite

November 8 Ushuaia
Wednesday Australis Cruise

Today we transfer to the Australis Office. Check in at the Australis travel center at 409 San Martín Street in downtown Ushuaia between 10:00 AM-4:00 PM today.

After check-in procedures, we will be transferred to the pier where we will be at leisure until embarkation time.

Board the M/V Stella Australis at 5:30 PM. After a welcoming cocktail reception hosted by the captain and his crew, the ship departs for one of the most remote corners of the planet. During the night we traverse the Beagle Channel and cross from Argentina into Chilean territorial waters. The lights of Ushuaia disappear as we turn into the narrow Murray Channel between Navarino and Hoste Islands. (B,D)

M/V Stella Australis

November 9 Cape Horn – Wulaia Bay
Thursday

Around the break of dawn, Stella Australis crosses Nassau Bay and enters the remote archipelago that comprises Cape Horn National Park. Weather and sea conditions permitting, we shall go ashore on the windswept island that harbors legendary Cape Horn (Cabo de Hornos). Discovered in 1616 by a Dutch maritime expedition -- and named after the town of Hoorn in West Friesland -- Cape Horn is a sheer 425-meter (1,394-foot) high rocky promontory overlooking the turbulent waters of the Drake Passage. For many years it was the only navigation route between the Pacific and Atlantic, and was often referred to as the “End of the Earth.” The park was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2005. The Chilean navy maintains a permanent lighthouse on the island, staffed by a light-keeper and his family, as well as the tiny Stella Maris Chapel and modern Cape Horn Monument (currently awaiting repair after being damaged by fierce winds).

Sailing back across Nassau Bay, we anchor at fabled Wulaia Bay, one of the few places in the archipelago where the human history is just as compelling as the natural environment. Originally the site of one of the region’s largest Yámana aboriginal settlements, the bay was described by Charles Darwin and sketched by Captain Fitz Roy in the 1830s during their voyages on HMS Beagle. This area is also renowned for its mesmerizing beauty and dramatic geography. After a visit to the Australis-sponsored museum in the old radio station, which highlights the Yámana people and European missionaries in the area, passengers have a choice of three hikes. Each hike has an increasing degree of difficulty which ascend the heavily wooded mountain behind the bay. On all of these you stroll through an enchanted Magellanic forest of lengas, coigües, canelos and ferns to reach panoramic viewpoints overlooking the bay. (B,L,D)

M/V Stella Australis

November 10 De Agostini Sound
Friday Águila Glacier

After nightfall we reenter the Beagle Channel and sail westward along the southern edge of Tierra del Fuego into a watery wonderland protected within the confines of Alberto de Agostini National Park. Rounding the Brecknock Peninsula as the western extreme of Tierra del Fuego, Stella Australis is briefly exposed to the open Pacific. We then navigate a zigzag route through the Cockburn Channel, Magdalena Channel and Keats Fjord to reach scenic De Agostini Sound.

Named after an Italian Salesian priest who worked among the region’s indigenous people during the first half of the 20th century, De Agostini Sound is flanked by numerous glaciers and sheer saw-toothed peaks reminiscent of Torres del Paine. Our shore excursion this morning is Águila “Eagle” Glacier, which hovers above a placid glacial lagoon surrounded by primeval forest. After a Zodiac landing on the beach, passengers hike around the edge of the lagoon to a spot near the base of the frozen facade. Condors can sometimes be seen winging high above, but there is always abundant bird life around the lagoon. This landing provides the perfect opportunity to experience the beauty of Patagonia’s sub-Antarctic rainforest and to see how the power of nature has molded the spectacular landscape. (B,L,D)

M/V Stella Australis

November 11 Magdalena Island
Saturday Punta Arenas – Santiago

After an overnight cruise through Magdalena Channel and back into the Strait of Magellan, we anchor off Magdalena Island, which lies about halfway between Tierra del Fuego and the Chilean mainland. Crowned by a distinctive lighthouse, the island used to be an essential source of supplies for navigators and explorers and is inhabited by an immense colony of Magellanic penguins*. At the break of dawn, weather permitting, we go ashore and hike a path that leads through thousands of penguins to a small museum lodged inside the vintage 1902 lighthouse. Many other bird species are also found on the island. After a short cruise south along the strait, disembarkation at Punta Arenas is scheduled for around 11:30 AM. Camera extension poles are prohibited on Magdalena Island.

*NOTE: The excursions described in the itineraries can normally be carried out. Notwithstanding the above, Transportes Marítimos Terra Australis S.A., Transportes Marítimos Via Australis S.A., and Transportes Marítimos Geo Australis S.A reserve the right to reschedule, shorten, or alter all or part of the itineraries and/or excursions without prior notice, in order to safeguard the wellbeing and safety of passengers, preserve the environment, or due to any extraordinary circumstances, acts of God or force majeure. For the same reasons, the hours of departure or arrival of the vessels may be subject to change. There is no guarantee of wildlife sighting because the precise location of these animals cannot be confirmed.

Disembark from Stella Australis at Punta Arenas pier where we will be met by our guide and transferred to the airport to board our onward flight to Santiago. We recommend LATAM Airlines Chile flight LA286 departing at 1:45 PM and arrives at 5:05 PM.

Upon arrival at Santiago International Airport we will be met by our guide who will assist us in collecting our luggage and passing customs procedures before continuing to the Atton Hotel.

Santiago combines the urban and the classic, in both its architecture and atmosphere. This heritage comes to life through iconic city sights such as the Moneda Presidential Palace, designed by the Italian designer, Joaquin Toesca. From 1845 to 1930 the building actually served as a presidential residence. What were once grand living quarters are now the offices of Cabinet ministers. The Plaza de Armas is the city’s most famous square, surrounded by important and beautiful buildings such as the Cathedral and Central Post Office. A few blocks away we find the Pre-Columbian Museum with over 700 exhibits of pre-hispanic artwork and relics from diverse cultures including the Mayans, Aztecs and the Mapuches - from the south of Chile. One of the most important parts of the city is San Cristobal Hill. The hill is recognized as one of the largest urban parks, topped by a stunning 72 foot tall statue of the Virgin Mary. (B,D)

Overnight in Santiago Hotel Atton El Bosque Santiago, Standard room

November 12 Santiago – Easter Island
Sunday

Our guide will meet us in the lobby of the Atton Hotel. They will assist you with luggage collection and check out procedures before continuing to the Santiago international airport to board your onward flight to Easter Island. We recommend LATAM Airlines LA841 departing at 9:25 AM and arriving at 1:00 PM.

Welcome at Easter Island, “Te Pito O Te Henua” (Middle of The World)! Upon arrival at Mataveri airport, we will be met and transferred to our hotel only about five minutes from the airport. The entire island is only about 14 miles across. During our stay, we enjoy two days of excursions on this unique island (shared service). Exploring the island will give us a great sense of the cultural aspects and the amazing natural landscapes that this remote destination offers. Dinner at the hotel tonight. (B,D)

Overnight on Easter Island
Otai Hotel

November 13 Easter Island
Monday

Today we will invite you to discover the legends and experience the magical history of the Island. Our excursion will introduce us to the time of the island´s colonization and the life of the first Polynesian navigators once they had stepped ashore.

The tour begins with a drive along the northern coast of the island to the beach of Anakena, where according to native legend Hotu Matua first landed on Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Here one can see the Ahu Nau Nau, partially restored in 1978 by Rapa Nui Archaeologist Sergio Rapu. Located in this same area is the Ahu Ature Huki. The moai (statue) standing on this ahu was the first one ever to be placed back onto its ahu after having been toppled. This was done by a group of islanders working with Thor Heyerdahl and the Norwegian expedition in 1956. From Anakena continue our tour and stop at Ahu Te Pito Kura. This is the site of the largest moai ever transported and erected onto an ahu. The moai stands at 32 feet and has an estimated weight of 82 tons. Its topknot (pukau) alone weighs approximately 11 tons.

Continue to the Rano Raraku volcano, where 95% of all moai were carved. Today you will find 396 statues in various stages of completion. A walk to the top of the volcano’s crater will not only reveal many statues but also a beautiful fresh water lake.

Enjoy a box lunch at a beautiful and relaxed location.

After lunch continue to the restored Ahu Tongariki. This magnificent platform is the largest on the island and holds a row of fifteen moai. This site was completely destroyed by a tidal wave caused by the earthquake in Valdivia in 1960. The ahu was restored in 1992 by Claudio Cristino of the University of Chile. Continue to the Ahu Akahanga, “The Platform of the King”. It’s believed that the grave of the first king of the island Hotu Matu’a can be found in a cave in Akahanga. Here are four separate platforms with 12 moai, of various sizes, and 8 pukao. Also, petroglyphs run along the front of the main Ahu.

Return back to the hotel. (B,L)

Overnight on Easter Island
Otai Hotel

November 14 Easter Island
Tuesday

Our morning tour begins with a visit to Ana Kai Tangata, a beautiful cave with wall paintings on the rock representing the Manutara (Birdmen) with paint made from mineral pigments found on the island.

The tour proceeds up to the Rano Kau volcano. The crater is almost a mile across with a fresh water lagoon. It has its own micro climate inside the crater which is sheltered from the winds. It grows vines, bananas and totora (reed) which is extensively used for houses and boats among other things. Head to the ceremonial village of Orongo. From this lofty vantage point you can see the curvature of the earth with an unending vista of the deep blue ocean. Orongo was the center of the “Bird Man” cult. A ceremony was traditionally held here each year to elect the island’s religious leader. Each participant would attempt to retrieve the first egg laid by the sacred manutara bird. The first one to swim across to the islet of Motu Nui, retrieve the egg, swim back to the shore, and then scale the 328-foot-tall cliff would become Birdman (Tangata Manu). The winner would be made religious leader for a year. The houses in Orongo, made of soft stone, have been meticulously restored, but the cliff side has been left untouched. It is adorned with hundreds of petroglyphs such as Tangata Manu, the manutara, and Make-Make. This god was believed to have created the world. There will be time to appreciate the views of the three islets Motu Nui, Motu Iti and Motu Kao-Kao, and as well as take in the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean and the huge sky. Return to our nearby hotel for a box lunch.

After lunch we will continue discovering the secrets of this ancient culture with a visit to archaeological sites and experience the connection between the islanders and the universe.

Our first visit is at Ahu Huri a Urenga located west from Hanga Roa in a depressed area named Manavai Torekau. This was one of the last Ahu (Altars) to be restored. From an astronomic point of view it is thought that the Ahu is oriented to face the sun rise during the solstice in winter and summer. Next visit the Ahu Akivi. This ahu with its seven moai was completely restored in 1960 by Dr. William Mulloy who had the site dated at 1460 AD. Continue to Ahu Vai Teka, the inland site which apparently was set to be oriented towards the rising sun of equinox. Close to this Ahu we can find a large number of caves and waterholes – a very important source of fresh water for the ancient islanders. Then continue to Puna Pau. Its from this crater that the ancient Rapa Nui used to carve the red scoria to make the Pukao (topknot) that they put on the heads of some of their iconic moai statues. In addition they used them as lining or lintel stones and funeral cists (box) amongst others features including statues. Return to the hotel. (B,L)

Overnight on Easter Island
Otai Hotel

November 15 Santiago
Wednesday

Free time this morning to enjoy the comforts of our hotel. After checkout midday, transfer to the airport to board our flight returning to Santiago. We recommend LATAM airlines LA842 departing at 3:00 PM and arriving at 9:45 PM

Our guide will assist us in collecting our luggage and passing customs procedures before continuing to the Holiday Inn Airport hotel (5 minutes walking distance) located right outside the airport.

Although late, dinner will be served at the hotel’s restaurant. (B,D)

Overnight in Santiago Holiday Inn
Santiago Airport, Executive Room

November 16 Santiago - Calama
Thursday San Pedro de Atacama
Valley de la Luna

This morning we will check out of our hotel and be assisted at Santiago Airport for our flight to Calama. We recommend LATAM Airline Chile LA340 departing at 12:00 noon and arriving at 2:09 PM.

Arrive at the airport in Calama with reception by our local guide who will assist us in collecting our luggage and transfer to San Pedro de Atacama (1 hour 30 minute drive).

San Pedro de Atacama is the archaeological capital of Chile, not only its landscapes are part of its appeal, but its history enriches it.

By 4:00 PM our guide will meet us at the lobby of the hotel to begin our evening tour. One of the most remarkable moments is at sunset, and the best place to view it is the “Cordillera de la Sal” with its valleys. These valleys are called Valle de Marte (Mars Valley) and Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon). They are saline and clay with shapes produced by mineralogical folds that occurred hundreds of millions years ago. The sunset turns them into a moon landscape scene.

After the tour we will return to the hotel. Dinner at the hotel’s restaurant. (B,D)

Overnight in San Pedro de Atacama
Hotel Casa Atacama

November 17 San Pedro de Atacama
Friday Socaire - Toconao

Our tour today takes us to the Los Flamencos National Reserve, part of the great Salar de Atacama, where we will experience the immensity of the salt flat and also see the fauna of the Chaxa Lagoon. The hugely popular flamingos captivate visitors with their beauty. From here you’ll move on to the Highland Lakes of Miscanti and Miñiques at 13,780 feet (4200 meters) above sea level and surrounded by Andean volcanoes. Wander along the lake edge and soak up the contrasts provided by this unique landscape. We will then enjoy lunch in the village of Socaire, known for its traditional cuisine. Finally, before returning to your hotel, you’ll visit the town of Toconao where you’ll see the beautiful belltower and San Lucas Church - both national monuments since 1951. (B,L)

Overnight in San Pedro de Atacama
Hotel Casa Atacama

November 18 San Pedro de Atacama
Saturday Calama - Santiago

The morning is at leisure to pack and enjoy our spa-like hotel. Bid farewell to our new friends as we transfer to the airport in Calama to board the flight returning to Santiago. We recommend LATAM group LA347 departing at 5:10 PM. Arrive Santiago at 7:14 PM. For our return to the U.S.A. we recommend a flight that connects this evening and arrive the following morning, November 19. (B)

Note: Flight schedules always subject to change.

 

THIS IS NOT THE FULL BROCHURE

We invite you to call Sarah or Gwen at 1-800-762-4216 to request the full brochure. The brochure will include Important Traveler Information (and answers to most questions) and a Reservation Form. We can send the brochure through the Postal Service or as a PDF attachment. If you would like to receive a PDF, probably the best way to keep the message from going into a SPAM filter is to send a message to sarah@serioustraveler.com. If you are already on our mailing list, no need to complete the entire brochure request form.

© 2017 Travel Concepts International, Inc. CST 2005743-40

Travel Concepts International, Inc.
Cultural Tours to Better Understand the World and Its People

5500 Bucks Bar Road • Placerville, CA 95667 U.S.A. • Voicemail/Telephone/Fax 1-530-621-3007
Voicemail/Tollfree in U.S.A. 1-800-762-4216
G
wen@SeriousTraveler.com • Web site www.SeriousTraveler.com