Home » Chile Solar Eclipse 2020: Lakes and Patagonia
Witness a great natural wonder - a total solar eclipse - in one of the most spectacular regions of the world on this twelve day tour of Chilean Patagonia. Discover the cosmopolitan city of Santiago's thriving art and food scene before heading south to the Lake District. Explore towering conical snow-covered volcanoes and peculiar monkey puzzle trees; marvel as the world is plunged into complete darkness during the eclipse; and wander the streets of colourful Puerto Varas. Finally continue south to the imposing mountains and aquamarine lakes of Torres del Paine National Park
Experience a once-in-a-lifetime sighting of the Solar Eclipse
Explore the cosmopolitan city of Santiago
Reach incredible vantage points to see the Osorno Volcano
Discover the aquamarine lakes and towering mountains of Torres del Paine National Park
Relax in style in luxury accommodation
Itinerary in Brief
11th Dec: Arrive into Santiago
12th Dec: Exclusive Santiago tour
13th Dec: Fly to the Lake District
14th Dec: Solar Eclipse Viewing
15th Dec: Huerquehue National Park tour
16th Dec: Travel to Puerto Varas
17th Dec: Osorno volcano and Petrohue waterfall tour
18th Dec: Fly to Torres del Paine National Park
19th - 21st Dec: All inclusive package at Hotel Las Torres
22nd Dec: Depart Punta Arenas
Continue your explorations of Patagonia with a 5 day cruise through the remote Chilean Fjords to Cape Horn and Ushuaia.
Jump across the border to Argentina and witness the astonishing ice calving at the famous Perito Moreno Glacier.
Stay a few more days and discover the why Buenos Aires is called the 'Paris of the South' on our Buenos Aires Essentials extension package
Have a little more time? Add on a few days and visit the impressive Iguazu Falls on the tri-border of Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay
11th December: Arrive in Santiago de Chile
Upon arrival in Santiago you will be met by an English-speaking guide and transferred to your centrally located hotel. If there's time why not visit the moving Museo de la Memoria y de los Derechos Humanos (Museum of Memory and Human Rights) dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Pinochet regime? Be sure to pick up an audio guide for a better understanding of what took place.
This evening wander over to cosmopolitan Bellavista barrio or ask your hotel to recommend a nearby restaurant for dinner.
12th December: Exclusive Santiago Tour
Chile’s rich cultural heritage comes to life on this half day tour as you visit the iconic symbols of Santiago. You will have the chance to visit Plaza de Armas (the main square), La Moneda (the government palace), the Santiago Metropolitan Cathedral and the spectacular Santa Lucía Hill, where the city was founded in 1541. You will continue to the bohemian area of Bellavista and then climb the San Cristóbal Hill for a panoramic view of Santiago with the Andes Mountains in the background. You will also visit the Orient Sector, the most modern part of the city, and be amazed by its impressive high rise buildings and classy boulevards.
Take a walking tour through the Mercado Central, Chile’s largest fresh seafood market where you can try some of the local cuisine on offer. On completion of the excursion, you’ll be returned back to your hotel and have free time to further explore the city at your leisure.
13th December: Fly to Temuco and the Chile Lake District
This morning, following breakfast, you will be transferred to Santiago Airport for a short flight to Temuco. On arrival it is a short 3 hour drive to the Pucon region, in the heart of the Chilean Lake District. Surrounded by snow-covered volcanoes, thick forest and thermal hot springs, the area has numerous sights and activities to keep you busy for the next few days.
14th December: Solar Eclipse Viewing
The big day is here - the Eclipse! Today you will be taken to the specially selected viewing site for the best vantage point to experience the event. You will celebrate with a small cocktail reception and await the moment of complete obscuration. Afterwards you will return to the hotel.
Breakfast and cocktail event included.
15th December: Pucon Sightseeing Excursion
Today’s excursion will lead us into the Huerquehue National Park, located only 35 km from Pucón. Founded in 1967, this is one of the oldest protected areas of Chile and covers around 12,500 hectares. Several hundred years ago, this area was home to important trade routes, which is why the park was dubbed “Place of Messengers” in the indigenous Mapudungun language. Nowadays hikers can enjoy scenic landscapes, millennial forests, lakes, lagoons and various waterfalls. This excursion will take us along the main path of the park known as Los Lagos Trail for a medium difficulty hike over a few slopes. Along the way we can spot a wide diversity of fauna and flora. After many breathtaking moments and appreciating our surroundings rich in history we will call it a day.
Breakfast & box lunch included.
16th December: Transfer to Puerto Varas
A short drive from Pucon is the historic town of Puerto Varas, a picturesque small town on the shores of Llanquihue Lake. First settled in 1853 by German migrants, the town features striking wooden architecture and has a reputation for craft breweries, chocolate and pastry shops. You will stop en route to Puerto Varas for lunch and also to visit a number of interesting sights along the way.
Breakfast & lunch included.
17th December: Osorno Volcano and Petrohue Waterfall
After breakfast, you will head towards the Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park. Once there, you will visit the beautiful Petrohué Waterfalls where you will take time to explore your surroundings to the fullest and take some beautiful pictures. Continue a little further up the path and arrive to the Todos Los Santos Lake where you will take a 30-minute boat ride across the emerald water. Next board your vehicle for a 40-minute drive to reach the famous conical Osorno Volcano.
Along the way you will make several stops to visit different highlights such as the Verde Lagoon, three lookout points and the ski centre. There you will have some time at leisure to enjoy your surroundings before returning to Puerto Varas.
Breakfast and lunch included.
18th December: Fly to Torres del Paine National Park
After breakfast you will be transferred to Puerto Montt Airport for your flight south to Punta Arenas. Your destination, Torre del Paine National Park is a 5 hour drive from Punta Arenas and the transfer includes a visit to Cerro Negro ranch along the way. Refuel with some grilled Patagonian lamb or Patagonian high tea before, time permitting, a short sheep shearing and sheep dog demonstration. Continue on to Hotel Las Torres where you will spend the next four nights exploring the wonders of Torre del Paine National Park.
Breakfast and dinner included.
19th - 21st December: Hotel Las Torres All Inclusive Package
Your all-inclusive stay at Hotel Las Torres offers a variety of excursions for all fitness levels and types of interests. Ride a horse through the pampas, walk through the virgin forests, hike to spectacular viewpoints and observe the fascinating native wildlife.
Full Day Excursions
Las Torres, El Sendero de Ascencio
You will explore the Ascencio Valley, walking through beautiful lenga forests and getting up close to the astounding Towers of Paine. Throughout the excursion you will walk through bushes, streams and moraines. If you like horses you can take the option to horseback ride to El Chileno Lodge, which is located half way. Then you will continue by foot walking up towards the base of the Towers.
The Pumas track
Leaving the hotel you will border the west side of Cerro Paine getting a spectacular view when you reach the top of this hill. You will have the possibility to appreciate the hydrologic network of the Park, the Nothafagus forest, and views of the most impressive formations of the park.
You will go to Pudeto by vehicle. Here you will get on board the "Hielos Patagonicos" Ferry and cross the Pehoe Lake. After a 30 minute navigation you will start the trek towards the French Valley, which is surrounded by lakes, rivers and streams, with a wonderful view of the Paine massif. Once you get to the base of Monte Paine Grande you will be able to rest in front of the French Glacier where you will become a spectator of impressive avalanches that often occur.
One of the best ways to enjoy the sights of Patagonia is by horse. This excursion gives you the possibility of entering one of the most important places inside the Cerro Paine Ranch, with important forests, streams, and an open prairie of more than 2km where you will have the possibility to gallop through fields surrounded by beautiful vegetation.
Leaving the hotel you will border the south side of Mount Almirante Nieto, getting a spectacular view of it. You will also get to see Lake Nordenskjold on the way to reach the Cuernos Lodge.
The Lakes Trail
You will arrive to Lazo Ranch, a beautiful place from where you will walk into the amazing forests of Nothofagus surrounded by colourful lagoons and streams, which form part of the panoramic views of the Paine Mountain Range. When you arrive at El Toro Lake you will have an extraordinary 360-degree view where you will be able to feel part of the remarkable landscapes. This is a privileged area to observe flora and fauna.
You will get to Pudeto by vehicle. Here you will get on board of the "Hielos Patagonicos" Ferry and cross the Pehoe Lake. After a 30 minute navigation you will start the trek towards the Grey Glacier View Point. You will walk through rocky areas, evergreen and deciduous forests. You will finally be able to get a winderful view of the Grey Glacier and the lake by the same name filled with centenary icebergs.
Half Day Excursions
Horseback Ride Per Hour
Designed for people who have not spent much time around horses, this excursion will help you become more familiar with the animals. We will join the gauchos in the corral and stable and learn how to ride correctly on the land surrounding the hotel.
This four-hour trek takes us through Paso la Feria, an exposed pass through a narrow valley. We hike through a beech forest to the banks of Lago Sarmiento, where we will stop to examine a collection of calcium carbonate formations. You will explore landscapes of pre-Andean shrubs, and see the contrasts of the Patagonian colours with a majestic mountain backdrop.
You will arrive to the Salto Grande area by vehicle, and after walking in the area, you will find yourself surrounded by one of the most beautiful views of the Paine Massif. On the way back you will get to Salto Grande, natural union of the lakes Nordenskjold and Pehoe. This area is also characterised by it's richness in vegetation. During this excursion, which is half of the Full Paine option, we will see all the features the park is known for, with the exception of its glacier. Expect stunning views of mountains, lakes and lagoons and to run across a number of plants and animals.
This half-day excursion is the best option for people who would like to see the Torres del Paine without all the walking. We should see many of the plants, animals and birds - flamingos, condors, water birds and predatory birds - the park is known for. You will see great views of the Towers of Paine and the enormous landscapes that brought great part of the explorers into the area. You will visit Amarga and discover the different organisms that live there.
We visit the places where the indigenous Aonikenk people lived more than 7000 years ago. We will hoke from Lago Sarmiento to a collection of Aonikenk drawings still visible on a rock wall. We are likely to run into many of the types of plants and animals - such as guanacos, rheas and condors - that populated the land during the Aonikenk epoch and are still alive today.
You will cross rivers, go down sandy rock dunes and visit gorgeous surroundings. You will have the possibility to practice and learn about horses. During this excursion you will be able to enjoy the flora, wildlife, and beautiful views of the Nordenskjold Lake and Almirante Nieto Mount.
This excursion is designed for people interested in learning about the ecosystem of the Patagonian lenga forests. As we explore the old lenga forests in the land surrounding Las Torres, we look for Magellanic woodpeckers, Austral parakeets and Chilfliean flickers as well as the scat of various members of the cat family, including the puma. You will get to a great viewpoint of the Laguna Azul.
From the hotel you will border the south side of Almirante Nieto Mount getting a spectacular view of it, and getting to learn about the pre-Andean vegetation. You will arrive to the Inge Lagoon, from where you can also get a superb view of Lake Nordenksjold.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.
22nd December: Depart Torres del Paine
Following a final delicious breakfast you will say goodbye to Torres del Paine and retrace your steps back to Punta Arenas for your onward flight.
11th December 2020
Hotel Plaza El Bosque Ebro
Kila Tai Tai Lodge*
Torres del Paine National Park
Hotel Las Torres
* There are several rooming arrangements available at Kila Tai Tai Lodge and you may share a 2-3 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment with other members of the group. Friends and family travelling together may request a shared apartment for their companions.
Accommodation in deluxe hotels
English-speaking guided tours
All inclusive food and activity package at Hotel Las Torres
Meals as specified
What's not included?
International flights to/from Chile
Internal flights (Santiago - Temuco, Puerto Montt - Punta Arenas and Punta Arenas - Santiago) and airport taxes. Three domestic flights estimated at US$750 per person and available to book in 2020.
Single supplement US$3250
Arrival/departure taxes or reciprocity fees, visa fees where applicable
Any items not mentioned as included
Please consult Eclipse Travel before booking flights independently as we may have a group airfare option available closer to departure.
David Linton - M.S. in Astrophysics from the University of New Mexico, 1971
Mr David Linton has taught Astronomy since 1971 and has held the position of Professor Emeritus at Eastern Illinois University since Autumn of 2017. Past Director of the Staerkel Planetarium in Champaign, IL., he was named Illinois Professor of the Year in 1988 following public outreach activities associated with the appearance of Halley's Comet in 1985-86. He was part of the March 7, 1970 Total Solar Eclipse expedition to southern Mexico and has led groups to the centrelines of Solar Eclipses in 1979, 1994 and 2017. In 2017 he presented more than twenty lectures across Illinois, dedicated to preparing school children, teachers and the general public to witness the Total Solar Eclipse of August 21, 2017 - and the one that will follow it in 2024.