Reception by your guide at the airport of La Serena and transfer to the hotel. Afterwards, visit of the historic center of the city and the nearby city of Coquimbo.
We hide towards the Pacific coast to the village of Punta de Choros, mostly inhabited by fishermen and situated among dunes and rough vegetation. In the area of Choros and Damas Islands we can find a great variety of animals such as Humboldt Penguins, sea lions, Magellanic penguins, and bottlenose dolphins. In summer it’s possible to observe marine turtles and also, if we are lucky, big whales. According to the weather conditions, we can navigate to Damas Island, the unique island in this sector where it is allowed to disembark. Two beautiful beaches (La Poza and Las Tijeras) are the main attraction of the island, thanks to their white sand and emerald water. Return to La Serena in the afternoon.
We drive southwards and reach the Elqui Valley, famous for the production of vegetables and fruit, specially grapes, used for the production of “pisco”, a typical alcoholic drink of this region. The warm climate and the Puclaro dam benefit the local agriculture. Numerous astronomic observatories are located here, since the skies of this valley are the purest of the southern hemisphere. Moreover, the atmosphere of the valley invites to meditation and relax. We visit the village of Pisco Elqui, its church, and one of the numerous distilleries to learn about the process of the production of the Pisco. We return up to the village of Vicuña, where the poetess Gabriela Mistral lived, At night, we do a tour of approximately 2 hours to the observatory El Pangue to discover one of the purest skies of the world! (tour not available in nights of full moon).
We continue by the ancient route “Antakari” towards the valley of Rio Hurtado, whose main economic activity is the agriculture and goat rearing. This route that linked the settlements of Vicuña, Rio Hurtado and Andacollo, was commonly used by the Inca people who developed the extraction of gold in the sector of Andacollo. Arrival at “Hacienda Los Andes” surrounded by virgin vegetation and by the impressive Andes mountain range. In the afternoon you can do a horseback riding through the surroundings (to hire directly at the Hacienda).
After breakfast we visit a breeding-place of Alpaca where we will be able to be in direct contact with the animals, to learn about the care and the extraction of the wool, and observe the finished products such as coats, sweaters, scarfs, robes, socks, which are also exported overseas. We continue descending by the valley. On the way we can visit the natural monument of Pichasca where we can learn about the flora and fauna of over 70 millions years ago. We can also find vestiges of the existing cultures of over 10 thousand years ago. Arrival at the city of Ovalle and continuation by the valley of Limari until the Hacienda Santa Cristina.
After breakfast, we continue exploring Limari valley. We arrive at the winery Tabali, whose wine-cellar was thought and built to commemorate the life of the culture Molle. Here we will do a guide tour by the warehouse, the vineyards, finishing with a tasting of delicious wines. Afterwards we visit the Encanto valley, important archaeological site. It is a wide amphitheatre (5 km diameter) that used to be a religious sanctuary and that is today an open air museum of cultural and scientific interest. We can observe petroglyphs and pictographies of over 2.000 years ago representing heads with masks and tiaras, as well as snakes and fishes. Finally, transfer back to the airport of La Serena to take our flight back.