We experienced a great variety of Chile's vast geography and ecology, from the beautiful central valleys to the northern desert, to the tropical Polynesian island of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), to the forests and mountains of Patagonia. The lodges and excursions they provided in each destination were well organized, with knowledgeable, English-speaking guides. We visited Antarctica and it was spectacular. The tour operator offers expedition travel for people who want to experience the polar regions firsthand. Our expedition, 14 days that went below the Antarctic Circle, featured expert guides who enjoyed sharing their considerable knowledge of geology, glaciers and ice, mammals, birds, and plants, to name just a portion,and excursions twice daily on zodiacs to sail among glaciers and whales and seals and walk among penguins and skuas. It was not a leisure cruise, but an expedition for folks who want to experience and appreciate Antarctica up close. That said, the ship was extremely comfortable, with remarkably hospitable staff and delicious, copious food.
We enjoyed every leg of our trip, and we love the planned itinerary that made our trip awesomely great. We try to enjoy every minute of every day when we travel, and not let the unavoidable wrinkles and mishaps detract from what was an extraordinary trip. Except for major snafus (like the air tickets noted above), our trip was exceptional. It worked out beautifully to start in Santiago, then head north, then west, then south, so we left Patagonia and were not far from Punta Arenas and Ushuaia, where we boarded our ship.