Hiking, volcano climbing, ethnic visits and hot springs
Intermediate / Advanced: You love hiking. These hiking tours are physically demanding and best suited for people with previous experience. These tours are intended for active people who are comfortable participating in up to 6-8 hours hiking per day. A typical day may include hiking over fairly hilly terrain offering lots of challenges. Trails are along high meadow paths and/or maintained cliffside or Andean trails, with some steep ascents to make you feel exhilarated. All our guided hiking tours include natural interpretation and focus on the history, volcanology and the native flora and fauna of the wilderness areas.
Food in Chile is great and healthy. Likewise, it is one of the highlights of this tour. Great wine, fresh and flavorsome produce, seafood and all kinds of meat (beef, pork, chicken, lamb and wild boar) will be part of the daily menus. We are prepared to cater vegetarian, pescaterian and gluten free food, however if you are vegan you may have to be flexible because in Chile we have very limited vegan options. Unfortunately, kosher food is not available.
From the October 2015 until April 2016
As indicated in the program or similar
Visa to enter Chile: No advance Visa application is needed for entry into Chile. Australian and Mexican citizens entering Chile for tourism purposes will be charged a $160.00 processing fee payable on arrival. Cash and credit card accepted. USA, Canada and New Zealand citizens no longer need to pay the reciprocity fee ($160.00)to enter Chile. A valid passport is required travelling as a tourist for 90 days.
We suggest visiting the web for current conditions in Chile and doing your own research on this topic.
www.meteochile.cl/reg09.html and www.meteochile.cl/reg10.html or www.accuweather.com
Generally the weather in this area is very similar to Northern California, specially the coast side. Late October and November (spring time in the southern hemisphere) present milder temperatures 10ºC to 25ºC (50°F to 77°F) with some scattered rain (likewise during our Fall, March and April). During December you can start feeling the beginning of the summer with temperatures around 10ºC to 27ºC (50°F to 81°F). In January and February temperatures range between 15ºC and 35ºC (60°F / 95°F). Remember that you are visiting the Lake & Volcano district, so always expect some rain!
In this part of Chile there are no insects or animals that represent a real threat to human beings.
We highly recommend getting the Chile Airpass ticket with Lan Airlines, which includes the international flight from your country to Santiago (Chile) and the domestic flights Santiago(SCL)- Temuco(ZCO) / Temuco(ZCO)-Santiago(SCL). This Airpass is definitely less expensive than buying the flights separately and what’s more important it is very flexible if there are some unexpected last minute changes. Lan Airlines Airpass can be purchased at any IATA travel agent.
We are happy to help you find and book your domestic flights, without extra cost.-
The international terminal at SCL is located in the same building than the domestic terminal.
Note: The local flights in Chile have a luggage allowance of 23kg. You will need to pay excess if your baggage exceeds this. There is an allowance for cycling equipment charged at 3kg (approx $5 per kg).
Any policy you purchase should, at the very least, cover trip cancellation, loss of baggage, accident/life coverage, travel delays, and non-refundable airline tickets.
Carriers for travel insurance include World Nomads, Travel Guard and Travelex. You may also consider insurance that covers emergency medical evacuation. Search the web to find the best deal that suits your needs – read the fine print –
Modern van Mercedes Benz Sprinter or minibus according to group size. Air-condition.
Slight itinerary modifications might occur due to weather and or road conditions, or force majeur.
WHAT TO BRING
Underwear: Synthetics are easier to wash and dry. Synthetic thermal underwear. You need a lightweight long underwear top and bottom of a polyester-type fabric. Wool and wool/synthetic blends are also suitable.
Clothing: Long-sleeved, synthetic or wool shirt. Short-sleeved synthetic or cotton/synthetic T-shirts. Medium-weight sweater or jacket of synthetic fabric, such as fleece. Gore-Tex wind parka for rainy weather. Full-length pants, preferably of quick-drying synthetic fabric. Hiking shorts, preferably of quick-drying synthetic fabric. Pile/fleece pants, ideal for relaxing time after hiking.
Accessories: Sun hat with wide brim, preferably with a chin strap to keep it from blowing off. Bandanna. It will keep your neck from getting sunburned and can double as a hand towel. Wool or pile hat or ski cap. Gloves or mittens (wool or pile).
Foot wear: Sturdy, properly fitting footwear can make your trip much more pleasurable. If you’re buying new boots for this trip, please break them in beforehand by wearing them as often as possible before the trip. Medium-weight, all leather, sturdy trekking boots with padded ankle, good arch support, and a lug sole traction. Your trekking boots should be well broken in, and suitable for prolonged walking on sandy and rocky terrain. Running shoes are NOT appropriate for this trip. Medium weight synthetic socks (we recommend Thorlo® Lt. Trekking). Athletic socks (synthetic for easy washing and drying) that are suitable for the shoes you’ll be wearing while in towns. Inner socks (synthetic) that can be washed and dried quickly.
Other Items: Swimsuit (for hot springs and SPAs); One set of casual city clothes that are dressier than your trek clothes (for the cities); Hiking sticks (optional but highly recommended). These are helpful, if not essential, to relieve the impact on your knees during long downhills; Camera with plenty of memory!; and Binoculars.
Travel Accessories: Wide mouth water bottles, 1-liter capacity. Bring two and make sure they are leak-proof, heavy duty plastic (preferably Nalgene brand). Toiletry kit—soap, toothbrush, and so on; Moisturizing lotion; Ace bandage or brace if you’re prone to sore knees or ankles; Sunglasses (very important); Sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. The sun in Chile can be much more intense than you probably imagine, even in the Lake & Volcano District!; Sunscreen lipstick of SPF 15 or higher; Small flashlight with spare batteries, or small headlamp with spare batteries; Zip-lock bags (they’re great for camera gear); Personal first aid kit; Swiss Army-type pocket knife with can opener and scissors.
Your favorite snack food. We’ll have plenty of excellent food, but you might want to bring along your favorite snack food (such as raisins or chocolate).
There is nothing to be worrying about altitude sickness. We will never get higher than 2,850m
In Chile, the local currency is called “Peso”.
The current exchange rate is $1 USD = $650 Chilean Pesos (CLP).
Travel checks are not convenient because only few places accept them and the exchange rate is 10% lower than dollar bills. Most credit cards are accepted at shops, restaurants and hotels. The most common cards are Master Card, Visa and Dinners Club. American Express is less commonly accepted that the others. There is no need to bring a large amount of cash; there are ATMs almost everywhere we go on the tour. The maximum amount of money that you can withdraw per day is equivalent to $360.000 CLP.
For up to date information we suggest you visit the website www.xe.com/ucc/
In Chile, the gratuity for hospitality services is normally 10% of the bill. People usually tip in restaurants, hotels and the local staff of guides. You shouldn’t tip taxi drivers, baggage carriers and bar tenders, they do not expect any tips. At the end of the trip gratuity for the crew for a job well done is highly appreciated. We encourage you to use your discretion and tip according to the caliber of service you receive. As a guideline, the industry standard is $120 dollars per person, per guide.