March 8 Essence of South America pre tour

We are booked on the March 8, 2016 Essence of South America Tour and will be arriving in Santiago a day early. We are looking into a day tour to Valparaiso from Santiago on March 8 with return to the hotel by 4:30 pm in time for the 6 pm welcome meeting and dinner. If anyone has interest in this, please advise and more details will be provided.

Comments

  • We are taking the March 25 Essence of South America tour. May I ask which company you are using for your day tour of Valparaiso? Looks like a place not to be missed! Thanks!
  • Hi Judy,
    My husband and I took this tour in Sept. 2014. Absolutely loved it. We arrived a day early and used Santiago Adventures to take us to Valparaiso. We would recommend them.
  • I really appreciate your response. Thanks so much!
  • We have looked into using a guide from toursbylocals.com. I have emailed a few of their guides and the day trip is definitely doable. I am waiting to see if anyone else on the March 8 tour is interested. I will look into Santiago Adventures. (Thanks, Crackeroo, for the tip)
  • Thanks, Pete04! I have more information since I originally posted. The company recommended by Crackeroo -- Santiago Adventures -- is now a company called Upscape. I ended up emailing the Ritz Carlton and have gone back and forth with the concierge who has been very responsive and incredibly helpful. He recommended either taking a car and guide from the hotel or using a company called Enotours. We are traveling with friends and there will be five of us. We decided to take the car from the hotel. (A guide is an additional $80.) We will be picked up at 8 a.m. and return to the hotel at 4 p.m. -- well in time for the 6:00 welcome dinner. Here is a copy and paste of the information from the concierge:

    Greetings from Santiago, this is Michael and along with our concierge team we will be assisting you during your stay.

    We do offer yours to Valparaiso & Viña del Mar. We work with Mercedes Benz and the cost is of $193.000CLP / $275.00USD approx. due to daily exchange.
    All Transportation services with hotel cars can be charged to your room.

    I can also recommend a second company called Enotours, they offer the following option for Viña del Mar & Valparaiso:

    · Vino, Valparaiso & Viña del Mar – This tour has a cost of $65.000CLP p.p. for a party of 5.
    This tour includes – Driver + Guide + Bottles of wine for the road + stop at 1 winery + Viña del Mar & Valparaiso

    Please do not hesitate in contacting us and I hope this information has been useful.
    We will be awaiting your reply!
  • Thanks, Judy05, for the great info. We will definitely look into Enotours and let you know what we decide since we will be traveling before you.
  • Thanks, Pete04! Would also love to hear your thoughts when you return. We are really looking forward to this trip!
  • Thanks to all for suggestions on Santiago. We are on the February 9 trip. If anyone has suggestions for the other locations where we have a day to explore I would love to hear them.
  • Pete04 wrote:
    We are booked on the March 8, 2016 Essence of South America Tour and will be arriving in Santiago a day early. We are looking into a day tour to Valparaiso from Santiago on March 8 with return to the hotel by 4:30 pm in time for the 6 pm welcome meeting and dinner. If anyone has interest in this, please advise and more details will be provided.


    This from a friend of ours sister that lives in Santiago. We will be on the March 8th tour.


    Valpo and Vina are very nice and would be a good trip, however it is about a two hour drive from Santiago, so you have to figure at least four hours traveling…and it sounds like you will have plenty of opportunities to see the ocean on your trip, which is the main attraction in both Vina and Valpo.




    There are several things to do in Santiago:

    *Walking Tours: there is a company called Spicy Chile that offers walking tours that run from 11am-2pm and gives a tour of the downtown area and a overview of the history. You do not have to schedule this in advance…you just show up at the meeting point and then give the guide a tip at the end of the tour. The company offers three tours, but the best one is the one called “Good Morning Santiago."

    *There is an observatory deck on the Costanera Center (close to your hotel) that gives you a beautiful 360 degree view of the city…

    *Los Dominicos: a little market where the locals are making/selling handmade goods (paintings, leather, copper)…nice place to get souvenirs.

    *There are also a couple vineyards close to the city, but again I see on your itinerary that you are going to a vineyard.

    *There a few nice areas of town to walk around and go for lunch: Lastarria, Bella Vista, Bellas Artes…I can give you a list of nice restaurants for lunch in these areas if you are interested. (These places are also very close to where the walking tour ends)




    The public transportation (metro, bus, taxi) in Santiago is very easy and safe…we can help you put something together from the list above and I’m happy to help you get around on Tues. If I think of other things or if you have additional questions about the things above, please feel free to email me again.




    We look forward to seeing you in Santiago soon!:)
  • Thank you heywood for the great info. Looking forward to the March 8 trip and meeting you.
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