Tour Interest: Cacti and Flora
Tour Type: Overland
Tour Dates: Runs on request
Tour Duration: 12 Days - 11 Nights
Starts/Ends: Starts in Santiago de Chile ends in Calama
Best time to go: January - February
Prices: Based on group size
Outlined Daily Itinerary
Day 1 – Morning meeting with your Trogon Tours’ guide at your selected hotel in Santiago de Chile. Full day exploring Guardia Vieja, Los Andes and Putaendo O/N Santiago de Chile.
Day 2 – Drive to Los Vilos via Totoralillo. O/N Los Vilos.
Day 3 – Los Vilos to La Serena via Valle del Encanto. O/N La Serena.
Day 4 – Full day exploring Los Choros and La Higuera. O/N La Serena.
Day 5 – La Serena to Vallenar via Carrizal Bajo and Los Toyos. O/N Vallenar.
Day 6 – Vallenar to Copiapó via Totoral, Tierra Amarilla and Quebrada Leones. O/N Copiapó.
Day 7 – Copiapó to Taltal via Caldera, Falda Verde, and Esmeralda. O/N Taltal.
Day 8 – Full day exploring Valle San Ramón, Cifuncho and Sinsil. O/N Taltal.
Day 9 – Taltal to Antofgasta via Valle Cascabeles and Paposo. O/N Antofgasta.
Day 10 – Antofgasta to San Pedro de Atacama via Morro Moreno and Calama. O/N San Pedro de Atacama.
Day 11 – Full day exploring El Tatio, Puritana, Quebrada Guatín and Quebrada Purita. O/N San Pedro de Atacama.
Day 12 – Transfer to Calama airport. Tour conclusion.
Around 65 species of Chilean cacti. The Atacama Desert. Unique photo opportunities for fauna, flora and landscapes.
Chile’s unusual, ribbon-like shape -4,300 kilometres (2,700 mi) long and on average 175 kilometres (109 mi) wide- has given it a hugely varied climate, ranging from the world’s driest desert -the Atacama- in the north, through a Mediterranean climate in the centre, to a snow-prone Alpine climate in the south, with glaciers, fjords and lakes.
The Pacific coastline of northern Chile, and the surrounding desert host an incredible diversity of cacti species, totally adapted to live in these extreme weather conditions. Several genera are present here, with beautiful examples of Eulychnia, Eriosyce, Neoporteria and others. But Chile is well known by most cacti enthusiasts for one particular cacti genus, which is restricted to this country: the Copiapoas. These wonderful plants thrive mostly along the Pacific coastline of the Atacama and Antofagasta regions, and some of them are highly restricted to very few hidden valleys, which we will explore along our journey.
Our Chilean cacti expedition is designed to explore central and northern Chile’s prime cacti habitats. We always make sure to spend enough time in the for watching as many cacti as possible, but also to discover Chile’s unique flora and fauna, making frequent stops to take pictures of the breathtaking lanscapes and for watching birds, mammals and places.
Best Time To Go
This tour runs well from September to April. Regardless, cacti blooming season is at its best in January and February, so try planning for these two months to improve chances of seeing and photographing cacti in flower.
Private transportation for all transfers and excursions. Accommodations on a twin/double basis. Single supplements on request. Full time Trogon Tours’ leader to accompany the group from day 1 in Santiago de Chile to day 12 on departure from Calama airport. Local guides where required by law. All breakfasts, lunches, box-lunches and dinners, from lunch on day 1 to breakfast on day 12 of the tour. No drinks included. Admission fees to all national parks and nature reserves.
What’s Not Included?
International and domestic airfares and airport taxes. Tips to guides, drivers, hotel & restaurants personnel, etc. Drinks with your meals. Personal travel and medical insurance. Anything not specified under “What is included?”