Bicycling and Walking Vacations Since 1971 Call a VBT Tour Consultant: (800) 245-3868

Chile’s Coastal Vistas & Vineyards

Sweeping coastlines and gently sloping Andean foothills. Lush vineyards and quaint, inviting towns.

  • 10 Days
  • Activity Level: Easy
  • Daily Mileage: 10 - 25 mi
  • Daily Biking: 2 - 5 hr
  • Small Groups: 20
  • Biking Activity
  • Perfect for those trying a bike vacation for the first time.
  • Airfare Packages Available

Why You'll Love This Tour

Overview

Chile’s Coastal Vistas & Vineyards

Central Chile is a cycler’s paradise. The snow-capped Andes watch over us as we trace breathtaking Pacific byways and picturesque inland routes to traditional fishing villages and wineries. Explore the historic ports of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. Pedal tree-lined country roads in Santa Rita and the Casablanca Valley, where viniculture thrives. And experience true Chilean hospitality as you set out to sea with local crab fishermen, create your own wine blend with an expert sommelier and savor seaside spas, an historic wine hacienda and comfortable inns.

Cultural Highlights

• Cycle on a morning ride along Chile’s beautiful Ruta del Mar, or Route of the Sea
• Swim in the calm waters of a cove along the seaside La Rambla walkway
• Discover the chic yet quaint enclave of Zapallar, “The Hamptons of Chile”
• Join local fisherman as they collect their crab and shrimp traps
• Delight in the unspoiled penguin sanctuary at Cachagua
• Cycle a lovely coastal route and marvel at the huge sand dunes of Concon
• Discover the “Garden City” of Vina del Mar and the port of Valparaiso
• Savor a wine tasting and a picnic lunch at a family winery in Casablanca
• Enjoy 6 nights in splendid sea-side and sea-view hotels and a Tuscan-style villa
• Pedal through the Santa Rita Vineyards, on a route flanked by ancient trees
• Learn about the fine art of wine blending from a Santa Rita sommelier
• Gather for a festive farewell dinner of traditional Chilean barbecue

What to Expect

This tour offers easy terrain and short mileage rides throughout, and is ideal for beginning cyclists. Longer mileage options with easy-to-moderate terrain offer fun for more avid bikers with rides in the afternoons. Many of the scenic coastal rides are on primary roads with traffic. Our VBT support shuttle is always available for those who need assistance with hills or do not feel comfortable with some of the more heavily trafficked roads.   In order to provide a variety of scenery and rides, there is considerable transferring and shuttle time required on this tour.  Transfers can range from 1.5 to 2.5 hours and some of the rides require a shuttle time of 30 – 45 minutes to the ride’s starting and ending points.

Average Daily Mileage: 10 – 25 miles
Average Cycling Time: 2 – 5 hours

Climate Information

Average High/Low Temperature (°F) – Santiago
Jan 85°/54°  Feb 84°/53° Mar 80°/49°  Apr 72°/45°  Oct 71°/45°  Nov 77°/48°  Dec 82°/51°

Average Precipitation (in.) – Santiago
Jan 0  Feb 0.1  Mar 0.2  Apr 0.5  Oct 0.5  Nov 0.2  Dec 0.2

Please note: For those taking the Post-Trip Extension to the Atacama Desert, unlike more familiar deserts, like the Sahara desert in Africa and the Mojave in California, the Atacama is actually a pretty cold place, with average daily temperatures ranging between 0°C and 25°C.

What’s Included:

Bicycle Tour Only – without Air

  • 6 nights in fine hotels and inns
  • 13 meals – 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners

Air Package Plus

  • Roundtrip international airfare
  • 7 nights in fine hotels and inns & a dayroom at the Santiago International Airport
  • 14 meals – 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Transfers
  • AND the option to add our Low-Cost Trip Extensions: Pre-Trip Santiago – 2 nights for only $345 • Post-Trip Atacama Desert – 3 nights from only $1,145 and may vary depending on your departure date

Both Vacation Options Include

  • FREE use of our custom VBT bicycle and helmet
  • Service of two bilingual VBT Trip Leaders
  • FULL VAN SUPPORT
  • Daily route directions and maps
  • Welcome reception
  • Sightseeing and cultural activities
  • Special Good Buy Discount
  • 5% Frequent Traveler Credit to use on your next VBT vacation. See details.

New! Reading List

Click here to download our Suggested Reading List.

Dates & Prices
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2017 Air Package Plus Single Supplement: $995 | 2017 Land Only Single Supplement: $845

Please note: Web Special savings cannot be combined with any other offer. Standard Terms & Conditions apply when purchasing this trip. 2017 Prices include all airline surcharges and Government taxes and fees. Ask our Tour Consultants for details. Every effort has been made to produce this information accurately. We reserve the right to correct errors. Prices are based on preferences selected above, including meals and sightseeing as specified in What’s Included. All prices are subject to change. Departure dates and prices shown may be updated several times daily, and apply to new bookings only.

Itinerary & Map
Or, Expand All Days
DAY 1: Depart from home / Fly overnight to Chile

Depart from home and travel to Chile. The particulars of your arrival overseas are detailed with your flight itinerary.

DAY 2: Arrive in Chile

Upon arrival at Santiago’s International Airport, proceed to immigration for passport control. You will be given an immigration document that you will need to keep with your passport during your stay in Chile. Upon departing Chile, you must return this document to the immigration officer, as it is an official means of monitoring your entry/departure dates in Chile. After clearing immigration, claim your luggage and clear customs. Please note that Chile is very strict with importation of any fruits or vegetables, so ensure that you have eaten or disposed of any foods prior to clearing customs.Chile imposes strict fines for illegal importation of food items. If your luggage is delayed, fill in a PIR form before leaving the customs area—VBT representatives are not allowed into the customs area. Please make certain that your VBT luggage tags are affixed to your bag so your VBT representative can identify you. After exiting customs, enter the arrival hall, where your VBT representative will be holding a VBT sign and will make arrangements for your transfer via van to your Santiago hotel. Transfer time is approximately 30 to 45 minutes depending on traffic. If for some reason you cannot find your VBT representative, please ask the airport information desk to assist you in calling the VBT transfer company for assistance in locating the VBT Meet & Greet person. The transfer company is ADS Mundo, and the 24-hour emergency telephone number is (+56) 9 77651363.

VBT provides you with City Information that includes recommendations on what to see and do in Santiago. You have the rest of the day free to relax or explore.

Hotel: The Singular Santiago

DAY 3: All guests meet at Santiago hotel / Warm-up ride / Transfer to Pacific Coast / Welcome reception and Dinner in Zapallar

VBT No-Air Package guests: Meet one of your VBT Trip Leaders at The Singular Santiago hotel at 8:45 a.m. The contact information for the hotel will be included with your final documents. Please contact your first hotel to advise them of any travel delays or changes, so the staff can alert your Trip Leaders. When you depart the hotel this morning, please be dressed in your cycling attire for your warm-up ride. You will shuttle (approximately 1.5 hours) to the starting point of your warm-up ride, where you will meet your second Trip Leader.

VBT Pre-Trip Extension and Air Package guests: Meet one of your VBT Trip Leaders at The Singular Santiago hotel at 8:45 am. When you depart the hotel this morning, please be dressed in your cycling attire for your warm-up ride. You will shuttle (approximately 1.5 hours) to the starting point of your warm-up ride, where you will meet your second Trip Leader.

Leave the hustle and bustle of the Santiago Metropolitan area and shuttle northwest toward the Pacific Coast. Crossing the coastal mountain range, you’ll travel through the agricultural heartland of Chile. The Mediterranean-like climate of Chile’s central region is ideal for growing avocados, peaches, walnuts, olives, almonds, citrus fruits, flowers for export, and, of course, grapes for producing the country’s excellent wines. Your warm-up ride immerses you in this farming landscape on a scenic and seldom-traveled country road. Following your ride and lunch, continue your journey with a shuttle (approximately 1 hour) to the quaint coastal fishing town of Zapallar and your charming inn overlooking the Pacific.

You’ll meet tonight for a cocktail reception before enjoying a delicious welcome dinner at the hotel.

Hotel: Hotel Isla Seca
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 12 miles

DAY 4: Playas Salinas de Pullally / Papudo

Following breakfast, you’ll depart the hotel on your bike for a morning ride along Chile’s scenic Ruta del Mar, or Route of the Sea. Enjoy the marvelous vistas as you travel along Chile’s central coast. Later, turn off the Ruta del Mar and follow a narrow paved road past small farms to Playas Salinas de Pullally. This beach derives its name from the salt dunes that attracted indigenous populations in the past. Today the beach is a refuge to surfers and kayakers. There’ll be time to explore before you enjoy your included box lunch. Following lunch, cycle on an easy, quiet rural road before shuttling back to your hotel (approximately 40 minutes). For those looking for a longer ride this afternoon, you may opt to continue on a longer and scenic route to your hotel.

Please note: There will be heavy traffic on the coastal “Ruta del Mar” during the summer months of January and February, which could cause longer transfer/shuttle times and less desirable riding for guests opting for the longer afternoon ride option.

Upon returning to the hotel this afternoon, relax in the hotel’s pool or venture down a hillside path through tall pines to walk along the seaside La Rambla, a series of stone walkways built around giant boulders along the coast. Nearby, you’ll come upon a popular beach where you may join local residents sunbathing and swimming in the calm waters of a horseshoe-shaped cove.

This evening, enjoy dinner at your leisure at your inn’s small restaurant or on the outside terrace. Or you may opt to walk along the scenic La Rambla to a seaside restaurant where you may sample the fresh seafood caught daily.

Hotel: Hotel Isla Seca
Meals: B, L
Daily Options: 26 or 39 miles

DAY 5: Zapallar & Cachagua by bike / Humboldt Penguins / Fisherman’s Catch / Transfer to Concon

This morning, you set off on your bicycle to explore Zapallar. Zapallar’s history explains the appeal of this quaint seaside town. The village was settled more than 100 years ago by an affluent Chilean who wanted to develop a modest South American version of the French Riviera. He offered land to his affluent friends and relatives with the condition that they build within a couple years, which they gladly did. Descendants of the original families still own many of the homes, but only the very rich can afford to live in what some have called “The Hamptons of Chile.” Today this elite town boasts lavish homes with impeccable flower gardens.

You’ll cycle from your hotel to Zapallar’s small fishing port. Fisherman still work as they have for centuries here. Join some of them as they venture out to sea in their small boats. Help collect traps with crab and possibly the rare rock shrimp only found in these waters. Back on land, you’ll continue your morning cycling amid the winding streets lined with cypress and eucalyptus trees, stopping by one of the most famous houses, named “Hildesheim,” after the name of a German town. This charming house is a perfect replica of a Bavarian house from the 16th century.

Continue our ride to Cachagua, a small seaside town south of Zapallar famous for the Humboldt penguin’s community. In the past, local people and fishermen protected and fed the penguins that migrated here after they were injured or got lost from their colony. Today this is one of the few Humboldt penguin communities left in South America. This unspoiled island sanctuary is one of Chile’s treasured national parks and home to thousands of Humboldt penguins and other birds. Your afternoon ride will lead you to the beach to see this tiny island, which is a short distance offshore. Don’t forget your binoculars for a more up-close observation.

You’ll then continue your ride to the south to reach Maitencillo, a very active destination where you’ll see surfers, paragliders, cyclists, joggers, and skaters. Here you’ll stop for a lunch on your own and a chance to sample helado or a cerveza in one of the many local kiosks on the beach. Then continue your trip on the shuttle (approximately 1 hour) south along the Pacific Coast highway to your next destination, Concon. Your unique seaside accommodation is partially built into huge stone boulders, providing all of the rooms with spectacular ocean vistas with crashing waves below.

Dine on your own by the marina of Concon or enjoy seaside dining at your hotel.

Hotel: Radisson Acqua Hotel & Spa
Meals: B
Daily Options: 12 miles

DAY 6: Viña del Mar / Valparaíso Walking Tour

Take a leisurely morning ride from your hotel this morning. Enjoy the sound of the crashing waves as youcycle along the lovely coastal route to the site of sea lions sunbathing on offshore rocks. Don’t forget your binoculars for a more interesting observation. You will also have the chance to stop along the way for an outstanding photo opportunity of the huge sand dunes of Concon.

Later this afternoon, shuttle (approximately 45 minutes) to one of Chile’s most vibrant cultural centers, Vina del Mar. This seaside city hosts an annual International Song Festival and an International Film Festival that is considered one of the most important in Latin America. The town is known as the “Garden City,” as you’ll see upon your arrival to the Reloj de Flores: there’s a a large clock made of flowering plants. From here, you will walk to the local metro stop to take the metro into the next town, Valparaiso.

Valparaiso is a major Chilean port and was a popular stopover for late-19th-century ships sailing from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans through the Straits of Magellan. The city also supported and supplied the California Gold Rush of the 1850s. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique urban design and distinctive architecture, its cobblestone alleyways and hillside buildings are the focus of our walking tour today. You’ll pause to enjoy some free time to browse the tiny boutiques and art galleries and to enjoy dinner on your own in one of the city’s restaurants overlooking the port.

Hotel: Radisson Acqua Hotel & Spa
Meals: B
Daily Options: 11 miles

DAY 7: Casablanca Wine Valley / Kingston Family Winery picnic lunch and wine tastings

This morning, you’ll leave the cool coastal climate and travel inland (approximately 1 hour) to the Casablanca Wine Region. The valley is relatively new to wine growing, as the grapes were planted as recently as the 1980s, but the region is widely known for its white wine grapes, especially Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Your ride today traces shaded roads through eucalyptus forests to expansive vistas of vineyards and olive groves. You’ll be rewarded with a tasting of some of the region’s wines and a sumptuous picnic lunch at the 5th-generation American-Chilean Kingston Family Winery.

After lunch, continue inland to the foothills of the Andes (transfer time approximately 2 hours depending upon traffic). Your home for the next two nights is the regal Hotel Casa Real, surrounded by the Santa Rita vineyards, which have been making wine since 1880. With only 16 luxurious rooms, this Tuscan-inspired villa will be exclusively yours.

After settling into your accommodations, this evening you’ll be treated to a welcome reception on Casa Real’s veranda, followed by a gracious candlelit dinner served in the villa’s intimate dining room.

Hotel: Casa Real
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 13 or 25 miles

DAY 8: Andean foothills / Santa Rita Vineyards / Wine Making / Chilean Barbecue Farewell Dinner

After breakfast. begin your ride through the Santa Rita Vineyards. Your scenic morning follows country roads flanked by magnificent ancient trees. You’ll pass local farmers in their ponchos, many still using horses as their means of transportation. Feel free to stop and sample delicious pan amadado and fresh empanadas along the way. You’ll share a picnic lunch at the end of your ride. Later, shuttle (approximately 45 minutes) back to Casa Real, where you may tour the impressive Museo Andino, or Andean Museum, located just steps away in the vineyard. The museum houses more than 1,800 pieces of art from several Andean cultures, as well as artifacts from as far away as Easter Island and the Atacama Desert. You may find enjoy a relaxing swim in the pool or a stroll through the expansive gardens, where you can admire the second-tallest bougainvillea in the world, or walk through the Santa Rita vineyards to the monument marking where the “lost Carmenere grape” was recently discovered. In 1863, the phylloxera aphid invaded European vineyards, destroying all the grapes by 1870. However, European vinifera was grafted to American rootstock, which was impervious to the insect, and eventually the European vineyards bounced back. The Carmenere grape was thought to be lost forever until it was discovered in 1994, here in Santa Rita’s vineyards.

Later, you’ll learn about blending wines from an expert Santa Rita sommelier. Create your own wine blend to your specific palette’s desire. Your concoction will be bottled and labeled as your very own. Afterward, you’ll be treated to a typical Chilean barbecue for a festive farewell dinner on the lovely patio of the Casa Real (weather permitting).

Hotel: Casa Real
Meals: B, L, D
Daily Options: 19 or 31 miles

DAY 9: Transfer to Santiago / La Vega Market / VBT Land Package ends / Begin optional Atacama Desert Extension

VBT No-Air Package guests: This morning we transfer to Santiago for an included walking tour of La Vega, Santiago’s Central Market. After the tour and lunch on our own, we transfer to the Santiago airport where our tour concludes at 3:00 pm. Departure flights prior to 6:00 pm are not recommended; you will need to make your own transfer arrangements to the airport if you have an earlier departure.

VBT Air Package guests: This morning we transfer (approximately 45 minutes) to Santiago for a walking tour of La Vega, Santiago’s Central Market. Lunch is on your own here so you can follow your own whims. After, we transfer to the Holiday Inn Santiago International Airport, where a day room is provided until you depart for your overnight flight to the U.S.

VBT Post-Trip Extension guests: After breakfast, transfer to the Santiago International airport for your flight to Calama airport in the Atacama Desert. Your flight schedule does not allow you to participate in the Santiago’s Central Market walking tour. After you collect your luggage in Calama and exit the luggage area, a VBT representative will meet and assist you to your accommodations in San Pedro de Atacama. Travel time from the Calama airport to San Pedro de Atacama is approximately 2 hours. Take the remainder of the afternoon to adjust to San Pedro’s 8,000-foot altitude before enjoying dinner on your own at the hotel or in town.

Please note: Your post-trip extension includes all excursions detailed in the itinerary. To maintain VBT’s excellent value, you might be joined by non-VBT guests during your transfers and excursions.

Please note: VBT transfer times and departure points are finalized in advance and cannot be modified for individual guests. If you extend your stay beyond the scheduled program dates, return transportation to the airport will be at your own expense.

Air Package Guests Hotel: Holiday Inn Santiago Airport – Day Room
Post-Trip Hotel: Altiplanico San Pedro
Post-Trip Alternate Hotel: Hotel Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama
Meals: B

 

DAY 10: Air Package Guests arrive home

Flights arrive home this morning, allowing for connections to your home city.

Map of Chile Route for Bicycle Vacation

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Accommodations

Hotel Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama

Perfectly situated about a mile from the village of San Pedro de Atacama, at the edge of the world’s driest desert, Hotel Cumbres stands as a tranquil oasis. It is a special place, where the ancient architecture of Atacameños Ayllu blends with modern style and sensibility. Amid a design using native wood and stone, guests feel with a deep sense of connection to their surroundings. The hotel’s beautifully appointed accommodations feature spacious floor plans and private terraces with views of the desert landscape and Volcán Licancabur. Each room has been designed to be a private retreat, with classic furnishings and a minimalist decor in harmony with the natural environment. The aura of the desert sky and surroundings permeates the hotel, filling each space with rich reds, browns, and blues. Tranquil footpaths meander through garden courtyards and stone patios, offering opportunities for moments of serenity Savor locally sourced  cuisine at the cozy Kunza Restaurant. Unwind over cocktails and dessert in the lobby lounge, sip a drink at the poolside bar, or enjoy a moonlit meal in the courtyard. Relish a deeply soothing soak in one of three heated outdoor pools, or indulge with a restorative massage or treatment at the spa.
Free WiFi Included

The Singular Santiago

The Singular Santiago, a blend of early 20th century and neoclassical French architecture, enjoys a central location alongside the arboreal landscapes of the green and inviting Parque Forestal. The trendy restaurants and cultural and historic sites of the Lastarria district are also right outside your door. Sip wine or cocktails in the rooftop bar and savor dazzling views. Enjoy exemplary dining in the restaurant. And admire the cityscape from the elevated terrace or the rooftop pool. Visual art and performance art are just a short walk away at The Museum of Fine Arts, The Museum of Visual Arts, the Gabriela Mistral Center and more.
Free WiFi Included

Radisson Acqua Concon & Spa

The Radisson Acqua Concon & Spa enjoys a stunning setting, molded into dramatic seaside boulders. Gorgeous sea view rooms are generously outfitted with all the modern amenities, including complimentary Wi-Fi, flat-screen televisions, free bottled water and spacious desks. The hotel’s roof terrace offers outdoor sunbathing by its intimate pool; on cooler days, enjoy the indoor pool carved into the hotel’s rock foundation. During your stay, treat yourself at the Acqua Spa and soothe your body and mind with an indoor seawater pool with natural hydrotherapy and a vast array of massage services, beauty techniques and skin treatments.
Free WiFi Included

Hotel Isla Seca Zapallar

Hotel Isla Seca is a unique, European-style boutique hotel that reflects the history of Zapallar. This 4-star luxury property has stunning ocean views and offers first-class service. The hotel’s restaurant has an exquisite menu prepared from fresh and local ingredients. Rooms are decorated in a classic and cozy style; 400-thread-count cotton sheets, lush pillows, and French amenities are just a few of the special touches you’ll enjoy. The hotel’s location puts you a short walk away from the nearby coastal path that leads to Zapallar’s beautiful swimming beach.
Free WiFi Included

Santiago Airport Terminal Hotel - Holiday Inn Express

The only hotel located within the Santiago Airport, the Holiday Inn Express is a perfect spot for a dayroom to rest up and refresh prior to an overnight flight to the U.S. The hotel offers full services with a restaurant-bar, free WiFi internet access throughout, a gym, heated indoor pool, Jacuzzi, and sauna.  The entire hotel is non-smoking, and the spacious rooms offer either king or twin beds.
Free WiFi Included

Casa Real Hotel

This Tuscan-inspired hotel is nestled in a beautiful natural environment just 45 minutes from Santiago. Located in the heart of a century-old, 120-acre park, the regal hacienda is imbued with the history and traditions of the Santa Rita Winery. The park is home to the second-tallest bougainvillea in the world, as well as numerous gardens and paths for tranquil walks. You might also relax in the small swimming pool and pool house. The hacienda’s small chapel was restored by a craftsman from the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. As the villa has just 16 rooms, you have the entire place to yourself.
Free WiFi Included

Altiplanico San Pedro de Atacama

This unique desert resort was inspired by Altiplano Chilean-Bolivian design. Beautifully set amid desert brush and surrounded by Andean vistas, the lodgings were fashioned after an Altiplano village. The rooms’ thick adobe walls, small windows, and straw ceilings—mirroring the Atacama’s ancient design concepts—provide refuge from the daytime sun and cold nights. Each room is unique in decor, yet all offer modern amenities. The rooms are arranged in three semi-circles with cultivated gardens in between. WiFi is available at no cost in the common areas. After a day exploring in the desert, take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool. The inn’s restaurant offers a variety of dishes with Chilean and Peruvian influence.
Free WiFi Included
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