Peru and Chile Vacation

Peru and Chile Vacation

It isn’t that uncommon to do Machu Picchu and Galapagos combination trips, in fact it works awesomely to pair Peru and Ecuador in one trip visiting both Machu Picchu and Galapagos, which are two of South America’s true highlights; but it is quite rare to see travelers combining Peru and Chile, or more specifically a Patagonia and Machu Picchu combo trip.


That is why when Heidi and Michael of South Carolina approached us with the idea, we were thrilled to collaborate on such a unique Peru and Chile combination tour. They had roughly a couple weeks to travel but feared they may not have another opportunity to visit South America. They most wanted to see Patagonia and Machu Picchu, as they like active travel in stunning places while also appreciating unique cultural interactions. They had heard from friends that Explora Salto Chico Lodge in Patagonia was a must-do-before-you-die type of experience, which I agreed with wholeheartedly.

In addition to the distances between Peru and Chile being farther than Ecuador and Peru, I believe combining the two is less common more from the standpoint of weather. Patagonia has its most mild (i.e. warmer and sunnier) weather window between November and March. Those months also happen to be the rainy season in the Peruvian Southern Highlands, so conventional logic says they don’t pair that well. 

But Michael and Heidi knew what they most wanted to see, and when you factor in the flights to/from Galapagos, this combo of Peru and Chile didn’t involve much more travel. Also, in October Patagonia can have nice weather and isn’t that much cooler than the high season of December and January, not to mention that there are less travelers. We were also able, due to less demand in low season, to get them a free night at Explora Salto Chico!

On the flipside, in Peru the rains really haven’t picked up that much come October, the temperature is consistent throughout the year in the highlands where Machu Picchu and Cusco are, and there is also the upside of less visitors than in, for example, June or July. Therefore considering the complete equation, October would be great for a trip pairing Peru and Chile.

Based on their input and preferences we collaborated on a fabulous active South America trip combining Peru and Chile. So good in fact that Heidi’s sister and brother in law found a way to get away and join them for their Chile portion! 

“Thanks for giving us the chance to take a trip that exposed us to such great places and amazing experiences!”
– Michael R., Charlotte, NC

Thanks for letting us know we did our jobs Michael!

patagonia vacations     Patagonia Patagonia
Peru and Chile Tour
Active Peru Vacation     Machu Picchu

Here’s a look at an innovative way to combine Peru and Chile in the same trip taking advantage of mild weather and fewer visitors in both countries during shoulder season:

Custom Peru and chile Combination trip


DAY 1: USA – Santiago, Chile

Depart the U.S. and fly overnight to Santiago, Chile

Day 2: Santiago, chile

Upon your early morning arrival you will be met by your guide and taken for a half-day guided exploration of Santiago prior to checking in to your boutique accommodations for a relaxing afternoon and evening. During your tour you will visit Santiago’s most important historic and cultural sites. Highlights include: the Plaza de Armas, La Moneda Presidential Palace, the Mercado Central (Chile’s largest fresh seafood market), the historic República & Concha y Toro neighborhoods, eclectic Barrio Lastarria, Parque Forestal, and artsy Barrio Bellavista. For a panoramic view of the city, you’ll visit the top of San Cristobal Hill, 984 feet above the city. You’ll also have the chance to visit the famous La Chascona Museum, former home to beloved poet and Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda.

  • No meals – The Aubrey

Day 3: Santiago – Punta Arenas – Torres del Paine, chile

You will be met in your hotel lobby and transferred to the airport in accordance with your early morning flight south. Upon arrival in Punta Arenas you will be met by an Explora representative and taken on the scenic journey into the Patagonian wilderness and Torres del Paine National Park. Upon arrival to the lodge enjoy lunch and meet with a guide to discuss and chart out your time while at Explora to maximize your stay and adventures.

  • B, L, D – Explora Salto Chico Lodge

Day 4: Torres del Paine National Park, chile

Continue exploring the amazing landscapes of Torres del Paine and enjoying your stay at Explora Salto Chico Lodge.

  • B, L, D – Explora Salto Chico Lodge

Day 5: Torres del Paine National Park, chile

Continue exploring the amazing landscapes of Torres del Paine and enjoying your stay at Explora Salto Chico Lodge.

  • B, L, D – Explora Salto Chico Lodge

Day 6: Torres del Paine National Park, chile

Continue exploring the amazing landscapes of Torres del Paine and enjoying your stay at Explora Salto Chico Lodge.

  • B, L, D – Explora Salto Chico Lodge

Day 7: Torres del Paine National Park, chile

Continue exploring the amazing landscapes of Torres del Paine and enjoying your stay at Explora Salto Chico Lodge.

  • B, L, D – Explora Salto Chico Lodge

Day 8: Torres del Paine National Park – Punta Arenas – Santiago, chile

Enjoy the morning at Explora. Following lunch you will be transferred out of the park to the airport in accordance with your onward early evening flight to Santiago. Upon arrival you will be assisted in checking into the airport hotel, which is a Holiday Inn across the street from the terminal.

  • B, L – Holiday Inn Aeropuerto

Day 9: Chile to peru;Santiago – Lima – Cusco

You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Lima and onward to Cusco. Upon arrival in Cusco you will be met by your guide, see a couple of the sites outside Cusco such as Sacsayhuaman, and will then head into the Sacred Valley to relax for the evening.

  • B, L – Rio Sagrado
Active South America


Day 10: Sacred Valley – Urubamba and Pisac, peru

After breakfast you’ll head by van along the Sacred Valley past the communities of Calca, Coya, Lamay and Pisac. From here you go completely off the map winding up a small dirt road, which takes you through remote Andean villages until we arrive to the Amaru community. This isolated community holds strongly to their ancient customs and practices a largely subsistence lifestyle on the slopes of the Andes. The Amaru will proudly open their village to you where you will learn of their lifestyle and traditions. Among other things you take part in gathering plants used as natural dyes, learn of their medicinal and culinary properties, and see how the Amaru’s worldrenowned textiles are woven and brought to life. Enjoy a picnic amongst the Pisac ruins that sprawl down the mountainside towards town. If still energized, you can enjoy a gentle hike through the extensive Inca terracing down the mountainside, or hop in the van, and arrive to Pisac – one of Peru’s largest and most vibrant markets – where you can bargain with Andean campesinos for hand-crafted wares. Return to your accommodations for a relaxing evening.

  • B, L – Rio Sagrado

Places in South America 

Day 11: Sacred Valley – Moray and Maras, peru

Heading out early you’ll arrive to the massive Inca agricultural terraces of Moray, thought to have been a nursery to experiment with and modify different varieties of crops. From here hike or go by van (depending on your preference, time, and weather) to the little-known village of Maras where pre-Columbian terraced saltpans are still being harvested in the traditional way by villagers. Enjoy a picnic in this surreal setting before a walk down the Andes to the valley floor where you board the train that chugs along the Urubamba River and parts of the Inca Trail towards the Amazon arriving at Machu Picchu Pueblo. Check in to your accommodations nestled into the cloudforest.

  • B, L – Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 12: Machu Picchu, peru

Early risers can revel at the sunrise from the Machu Picchu citadel. This incredibly vast archaeological site – lost to the world until well into the twentieth century – is perched amidst Andean peaks and lush cloud forest making it one of the most breathtaking sights in the world You’ll have the opportunity to get a complete guided tour as you begin to unlock the mystery of the Inca, and also have plenty of time to wander the site on your own. Lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge adjacent to the ruins means you’ll be able to enjoy the whole day without leaving awe-inspiring Machu Picchu. You can also climb the adjacent sacred peak Huayna Picchu for a bird’s eye view.

  • B, L – Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel

Day 13: Machu Picchu – Ollantaytambo – Cusco, peru

Taking the train after breakfast, you’ll have time to roam through Ollantaytambo town taking in the ancient ruins towering above. Heading into the valley you’ll stop to enjoy lunch at an authentic colonial-era hacienda before continuing on and arriving in the early evening to Cusco. Your accommodation is an artfully restored colonialera mansion surrounding a traditional courtyard with Spanish arches and fountains.

  • B, L – Palacio Nazarenas

Day 14: Cusco, peru

Enjoy the day at your leisure independently exploring a city where traditional Andean cultures, the colonial Spanish, and modern Peru come together in one of South America’s most culturally and visually dynamic cities. Visit Incan architectural jewels such as Korikancha – the temple of the sun, shop at Andean markets, enjoy savory, wide-ranging Peruvian cuisine, and see the colonial cathedrals built atop Incan foundations around the Plaza Central.

  • B – Palacio Nazarenas

Day 15: Cusco – Lima – Home

Enjoy a leisurely morning continuing to explore Cusco on your own. You will be picked up in your hotel lobby in accordance with your onwrard flight to Lima, where you will remain in the airport for your international flight home.

Day 16: Arrive Home

Que disfruten la Aventura (Enjoy the adventure), Jordan

South America Travel - Jordan HarveyJordan is a Co-Founder of Knowmad Adventures, a company dedicated to creating unique, private and custom trips in South America. He was recently honored by Travel & Leisure as the A-List Top Travel Specialist for Chile, Argentina, and Peru. “Travel brings me incredible experiences and challenges, highlighting the world’s natural beauty while connecting me with inspiring people. I am convinced that travel makes us better people, and better people make a better planet.” Read Jordan’s biography and more about the Knowmad team.