Travel consciously through Chile's magnificent landscapes
This 12-day itinerary highlights some of the most sustainable and eco-conscious properties in Chile. International and domestic flights generate the majority of carbon emissions for any traveler, which is why Extraordinary Journeys offsets all client flights. Take things a step further by selecting properties and experiences in Chile that emphasize sustainability and community-based tourism without sacrificing comfort or beauty. This journey takes you north to the Atacama Desert, south to the Lake District, and ends in Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia. Read more about each hotel's sustainability efforts in the Trip Highlights below.
Who is a luxury Sustainable Chile trip best for?
Travelers wishing to reduce or mitigate their carbon footprint and environmental impact, and those focused on community-based tourism.
Sustainable Chile trip highlights
- This Chile itinerary begins in Santiago, Chile, where you'll connect for your flight north to the Atacama Desert, where you will spend three or more nights at the beautiful Tierra Atacama. The desert landscape encompasses canyons, hot springs, dunes, as well as salt flats that run beneath the Andean altiplano; Tierra Atacama's architectural design only adds to the natural beauty surrounding it. Constructed with traditional adobe and red-stained wood, the villas are angular and blend into the landscapes. Tierra drives its sustainability measures through the use of renewable energy, protection of natural resources, overseeing waste management, and securing a strong relationship with local communities. Tierra Atacama is one of the first hotels in South America to produce solar-powered electricity, with a hybrid system that meets the hotel´s daily energy demand.
- Next, fly back to Santiago, where you'll spend two nights in the capital city. Chile has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to environmental protection throughout the country, and Santiago is no exception. Hotel Bidasoa is a 100 per cent sustainable, eco-luxury boutique property in the middle of the city. They are committed to sustainability efforts and fair-trade practices; their detailed actions are too numerous to list. Read more about their sustainability initiatives here and here. While in Santiago, take advantage of Bidasoa's on loan bicycles and ride through any of Santiago's numerous parks, or head out of the city to visit one of Chile's organic wineries.
- Now you will fly south to the Lake District of Chile, an area known for clear rivers, volcanoes, old-growth forest, mountains, and agriculture. Spend three or more nights at Vira Vira hotel, near the town of Pucon. Located on an organic farm in the shadow of the Villarrica Volcano, Vira Vira combines adventure tourism with local heritage and history. This area of Chile was and is indigenous land, home to the Mapuche. When visiting Vira Vira, guests can visit a local Mapuche community home to learn more about their cooking and traditions. A stay at Vira Vira ripples out in other ways, too. The hotel's outreach programs have helped nearby communities install rainwater harvesting systems with solar-powered water pumps, supported local schools to build organic greenhouses, and offered conservation classes to local schoolchildren. In addition to their community efforts, Vira Vira has eliminated single-use plastics, uses sustainable wood pellets for heating, and reuses and recycles 100 per cent of the lodge's grey wastewater. After a long day hiking, biking, and fishing, return to the lodge for farm-to-table meals with local fruits, vegetables, honey, meats, and cheeses.
- Finally, head further south to Patagonia, arriving at the famous Torres del Paine National Park. You'll glamp in EcoCamp's carbon-neutral domes (a feat achieved in 2007) which are located at the trailhead to the iconic granite spires. Whether you're headed out on the W-Trek or day tours with EcoCamp, your stay here will be unforgettable. Sleep in a cozy and warm geodesic dome, modeled after the traditional dwellings of the indigenous Kaweskar people, who lived in the territory that the park now occupies. EcoCamp is the first hotel in Chile—and the only hotel in Patagonia—to be awarded the internationally recognized ISO14001 and ISO9001 certifications. They primarily use renewable energy sources—utilize composting toilets, biodegradable toiletries, outdoor solar lamps, organic composting, and structures and furniture are made from renewable materials—among other initiatives.
Starting at $9,250 per person sharing in 2024.
The best time to travel to Chile
The best time to visit Patagonia is between November and March. If possible, Extraordinary Journeys recommends traveling in shoulder season (October through early December), and mid-March to late April to make a greater impact on your sustainability initiatives. Tierra Atacama and Vira Vira can be visited year-round; EcoCamp closes in the winter months of May and September.
Rent a car and explore more of the Chilean Lakes District with a visit to Chiloé Island, or continue your Patagonia exploration by crossing over into Argentina to explore new landscapes.
El Calafate Located deep in Patagonia‘s snow-capped hinterland, on the southern shore of Lago Argentino, El Calafate has become a key stopover for travelers headed to nearby Los Glaciares National Park. This icy wonderland is best known for the spectacular Perito Moreno glacier – a massive, shifting ice cap composed of dozens of smaller glaciers. […]
Lake District and Chiloé Lake District The Chilean Lake District will leave you enchanted with its stunning, diverse scenery, charming local residents and sheer contrast to Southern Patagonia. With a mix of glacial lakes, temperate rain forests, natural hot springs, snow-capped volcanoes, and rivers rich in fish and bird life, this stop is sure to […]
Bariloche & the Lake District Argentina’s Lake District is a wilderness wonderland of pristine glacial lakes, cascading waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and forested valleys where condors fly overhead. Set in the middle of the Lake District, on the shores of the Nahuel Huapi Lake, the alpine town of San Carlos de Bariloche is surrounded by stunning […]
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