Valparaiso to Punta Arenas
10 days with Silversea Rating:
Day 1 Valparaiso
Departure 6:00 PM
Since time immemorial Valparaiso has inspired writers, poets, musicians and artists alike. If the city is still a little rough around the edges, this only adds to its bohemian ambience; the architecture, style, street art, nightlife, and live music scenes of Valparaiso are some of the best in the world. Add colourful clifftop homes to the mix and you'll soon see why Valpariaso is many people's favourite Chilean city. The city was founded in 1536 by Spanish conquistador Juan de Saavedra, who named the city after his birthplace. Many of the colonial buildings he implemented are still standing today, despite the rain, wind, fire and several earthquakes (one of which almost levelled the city in 1906). Quirky architecture also abounds; poetry lovers and amateur architects will no doubt want to make the 45 km trip south to Chilean poet laureate (and Nobel Prize winner) Pablo Neruda’s ship-shaped house and museum for a taste of the extraordinary. The city and region are also extremely well known for their love of good food and wine. The vineyards of the nearby Casablanca Valley - first planted in the early 1980s - have earned worldwide recognition in a relatively short space of time. However, Chile’s viticulture history does date back much farther than that. De Saavedra brought grape vines on his voyage to South America in order to make his own wine and this led to a new grape brandy being created, Pisco. Today give any Chilean a Pisco and wherever they are in the world, they will be home.
Day 2 Day At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Day 3 Niebla
Niebla is a small seaside resort where the Valdivia River flows into the Corral Bay and the Pacific Ocean, less than 15 kilometers west of Valdivia. Taken normally as a gateway into Valdivia, the small size of the town belies its historical importance. First visited by Spaniards in 1544, the river next to Niebla was named in honor of the conquistador and governor of Chile, Pedro de Valdivia -who would in 1552 found the city which bears his name. Valdivia was the port of entry into Chile after taking the Magellan Strait or rounding Cape Horn and had to be fortified against pirate attacks. The “Castillo de la Pura y Limpia Concepción de Monfort de Lemus” was built into Niebla’s rocky coastline between 1671 and 1679 and was one of the four important Corral Bay fortifications protecting the entrance of the bay and river. Valdivia’s designation as “The Key to the South Pacific” (meaning that he who holds Valdivia controls the navigation of the Pacific) explains why these fortifications, which eventually would number 17, would be so important in the 17th century. When Darwin visited in 1835, he only saw ruins. Niebla’s fort was declared a “Historic Monument” in 1950. Partly restored with Spanish help in 1992 to commemorate the V Centennial, the site was further restored in 2013-14 and now is on the tentative World Heritage list as an exceptional sample of the Hispanic-American school on fortifications and as part of the southernmost such system in America.
Day 4 Puerto Montt
For most of its history, windy Puerto Montt was the end of the line for just about everyone traveling in the Lake District. Now the Carretera Austral carries on southward, but for all intents and purposes Puerto Montt remains the region's last significant outpost, a provincial city that is the hub of local fishing, textile, and tourist activity.Today the city center is full of malls, condos, and office towers—it's the fastest-growing city in Chile—but away from downtown, Puerto Montt consists mainly of low clapboard houses perched above its bay, the Seno de Reloncaví. If it's a sunny day, head east to Playa Pelluco or one of the city's other beaches. If you're more interested in exploring the countryside, drive along the shore for a good view of the surrounding hills.
Day 5 Castro
The capital of Chile’s Chiloe Island, Castro is big, bright and boisterous. Colourful wooden huts (called palafitos) teeter on stilts over the city’s waterfront, inviting you into a slice of life that’s sure to brighten any day. Warm welcomes abound, music seeps from street corner and life is celebrated with gusto all over the city. If you are looking for a healthy mix of culture and cosmopolitanism, then you have found it in Castro. The island is renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage Site wooden churches. Around 70 churches were built in the 17th and 18th centuries, embodying the intangible richness of the Chiloé Archipelago, and bear witness to a successful fusion of indigenous and European culture. Just 16 of the churches are classified by UNESCO, prime examples of the full integration of the architecture in the landscape and environment, as well as to the spiritual values of the communities. The city is Chile’s third oldest city in existence, founded in 1576. Castro lived peaceably – bar a few attacks from Dutch pirates - until 1837, when it was destroyed by an earthquake, wiping oput most of the population. By 1912 the railway had arrived, allowing the town to develop again. Tragically, the city was once again destroyed in 1960 by a series of earthquakes, tsunamis and fires. History lovers will definitely enjoy The Regional Museum of Castro. Not only does the small museum house an interesting array of Huilliche relics, but a series of photographs depicting Castro pre-1960 is on display.
Day 6 Day At Sea
Day 7 Tortel
Tortel is a commune located in Southern Patagonia, a spectacular wilderness region of rugged mountains, glaciers, rivers and forests of infinite beauty. The uneven geography of Tortel shapes a unique landscape, characterized by an archipelagic area with numerous islands and channels. Tortel is known as the “footbridge city” for the unique beauty of its wooden walkways that connect the piers and houses of this quaint place through bridges and stairs, built from cypress wood, that run for four and a half miles around the cove and that respect the rich vegetation that grows under them. Even though it is the sixth largest commune in Chile, it has the lowest population of all with roughly 531 people. The history of the town dates back to 1520 when it was inhabited by nomadic Kawesqar, now extinct. Its definitive foundation was in 1955, after numerous attempts to populate the area. In 2001, it was declared by the Chilean government as a Picturesque Zone of National Heritage.
Day 8 Cruise English Narrows
English Narrows refers to a narrow passage at the southern end of the Messier Channel in Chile’s Region XI, Aysen del General Carlos Ibanez del Campos. The region is Chile’s least populated and a few kilometers south of English Narrows is Puerto Eden, the only settlement along the entire Chilean Inside Passage. With Wellington Island to the west and surrounded by Chile’s largest national park, Bernardo O’Higgins National Park, the narrow passage is at times 180 meters wide, while the entire length is given as 18 kilometers. Low-lying islands and steep mountains are seen on both sides and the Magellanic subpolar forest with its evergreen trees of the genus Nothofagus has taken hold where possible. The strong currents require to pass English Narrows at slack tide and although most of the Messier Channel leading to English Narrows is quite deep, a shipwreck sitting on a bank some 20 kilometers north of the entrance to English Narrows shows why pilots are required by law in Chile.
Day 9 Expedition Chilean Fjords
Day 10 Punta Arenas
Arrive 7:00 AM
Welcome to Chile's City at the End of The World – a wind-whipped, fractured land of islands, glacial fjords and mountains, which drop away towards Antarctica. A hardy city, where the temperature hovers in single figures throughout much of the year, Punta Arenas nevertheless offers a warm welcome and refuge, ahead of - and following - epic adventures and expeditions south across the Drake Passage. Captain Scott stopped here in 1904 – testing the postal service sending 400 letters of his successful return - and the city welcomed the rescued Ernest Shackleton and his Endurance crew to these shores in 1916. Punta Arenas is a remote place, but with custom-free status, and more than 120,000 people calling it home it's also surprisingly cosmopolitan. The commercial centre of Magallanes Punta Arenas is fueled by Chilean oil and gas - and establishing itself as a global centre for Antarctic research, with teams from various countries basing themselves here. The town is built around the Plaza de Armas, its central square - be sure to kiss the toe of the Monumento del Indio Patagon statue, said to guarantee you good luck on your return. Look down across this colourful city, stretching out to meet the waters of the Straits of Magellan, from the viewpoint at Cerro De La Cruz. Natural wonders abound in the region, whether it’s Alberto de Agostini National Park’s glacial sculptures, or Torres del Paine National Park’s soaring mountains, rushing waterfalls and picturesque lakes. Offshore, in the Strait of Magellan, you can find the birdlife sanctuary of Magdalena Island - an uninhabited island, where hundreds of thousands of penguins march and crowds of cormorants and gulls call out.
All This Included
South America is famous for being the continent of extremes – from the world’s longest glacier to the world driest desert, and the coast is perhaps where its diversity shines brightest. Explore every aspect of its drama and romance aboard this cruise which puts the wonder in wonderful. Kayak amid towering glaciers, visit isolated settlements and get ready to enjoy this fascinating, multifaceted region.
Cruising: Cabin onboard Silver Cloud
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.