In 2020, Argentina will experience a total solar eclipse—the last over inhabited land for several years—and we will have a front row seat for this out-of-this-world (literally) phenomenon. Enhancing our eclipse escapade, we explore on foot and by boat in the mountains of Bariloche, the Chilean Lake District, and the mind-blowing Atacama Desert, a world-renowned star-gazing destination.
Following on the July 2019 total solar eclipse in Argentina, excitement is high for this next solar event. But don’t just take our word for it. Hear it from our local team operations manager who was there:
"As seekers of transformational experiences, we feel grateful to have participated in such a surreal natural phenomenon. For those of us who were there, it was a profound experience that is impossible to describe. Time stopped in the two minutes, 46 seconds of totality. If you have never viewed a total eclipse of the sun, then we can only encourage you to come experience for yourselves."– Wendy Z., Buenos Aires, Argentina, July 2019
Arrival in Buenos Aires
Welcome to Buenos Aires! Upon arrival, you will be transferred to our hotel, where we will meet our local guide.
Buenos Aires is a colorful cosmopolitan city, full of fascinating architecture. The capital of Argentina — often described as the "Paris of South America" — Buenos Aires has its own distinct culture and is noted for its friendly, welcoming nature. If you walk the streets with a map, someone will surely stop and ask if you need directions.
After some time to freshen up, we will meet for dinner to toast our upcoming celestial and terrestrial adventures.
Casa Sur Recoleta HotelBuenos Aires, Argentina
Casa Sur Recoleta is a charming boutique hotel located in the Recoleta district of Buenos Aires, next to the Alvear Palace, the Recoleta Cemetery, and several shops and restaurants. Stylish furnishings and Neoclassic decor create a warm environment. Enjoy your room’s private balcony and an on-site spa.
City Tour & Tango Show
After breakfast, we begin our adventure with an exploration of Buenos Aires' most important historical monuments and significant buildings, such as the Casa Rosada — an iconic pink stone building that houses the office of the Argentine President. Along the way, we learn about the Porteños' lifestyle, vibrant culture, and music ("Porteño" is the name those hailing from Buenos Aires—a port city—call themselves).
We also experience the city's European flair, strolling through eclectic neighborhoods, from the historic San Telmo, to the colorful, working-class La Boca, to chic Recoleta. Among Recoleta's well-known sites is its famous cemetery, where we find the graves of many of Argentina's emblematic figures.
This evening, we will have a festive night of dinner and dance performances in one of the best tango houses of Buenos Aires, where the ambience exudes the charms of a bygone era.
Bariloche & Cerro Otto
Today, we take a short flight south to Bariloche. Upon arrival, we will have a chance to stretch our legs as we hike at Cerro Otto. Along the trail, we'll enjoy panoramic views of Lake Nahuel Huapi, the city of Bariloche, and the Andes Mountain Range stretching into the horizon.
Between viewpoints, our walk on a well-packed trail will take us through a typical Patagonian lenga forest, where yellow flowers cloak the understory in summer. At the end of the trail, we reach the Habsburg Stone, where we have a wonderful vista of Lake Gutierrez, Mount Ventana, and Mount Catedral.
After the hike, we will enjoy dinner at a local refugio.
Hotel Villa HuinidBariloche, Argentina
Located overlooking Lake Nahuel Huapi, Hotel Villa Huinid offers deluxe accommodation with traditional Andean flair and beautiful mountain and lake views. Amenities include an indoor pool and fitness center.
Llao-Llao Nature Park
We continue exploring the stunning nature in this region by hiking a trail past Cerro Llao-Llao, Tacúl Bay, the Roman Bridge, Hidden Lake, and Troncos Bay, taking in the beautiful Patagonian forest and magnificent panoramic views of Lake Nahuel Huapi, Lake Moreno, Blest and Tristeza Sounds, and Mounts Lopez and Capilla.
To refresh ourselves after the hike, we enjoy a beer tasting and lunch at a local brewery.
This afternoon and evening you are free to explore town, and dinner tonight is on your own. Bariloche has a number of good restaurants to choose from, and our guide will be happy to make recommendations.
Today is the day we've been looking forward to! Beginning early in the morning to leave plenty of time, we will transfer to Piedra del Aguila (about 3 hours, depending on traffic). Here, private festivities for our group and others are being held, and we will enjoy the eclipse and viewing with the assistance of an expert astronomer.
You'll have plenty of time to set up any viewing and camera equipment, and food and refreshments will be available throughout the day. Folk music will entertain us, and then, at the height of the day, as the sun moves into the moon's shadow, we will focus our attention skyward for a mesmerizing experience that those who have seen it find difficult to describe.
When the sun makes its way out of the shadows and daylight returns to earth, we will pack up our things and make our way back to Bariloche, where we will enjoy dinner together, toasting to our shared experience.
Lake Crossing to Chile
This morning, we board the ferry at Puerto Pañuelo to begin our overland and over-lake excursion into Chile. This journey includes crossing the Andean lakes by boat and various mountain passes by bus until we reach the Chilean side of the range.
This Andean lakes crossing is the most scenic way to travel from Argentina to Chile. Passing through the pristine lake waters with mountains rising up on both sides is a serene journey, allowing us to enjoy the great beauty of the Andes.
During the day, we will cross Lago Nahuel Huapi at the point where it meets the Rio Negro (with its ethereal green waters), Lago Frias, and Lago Esmeralda. We will also have views of Tronador Mountain, Osorno Volcano, and Volcan Punta Gudo. The pristine nature that surrounds us makes this long voyage worth every minute.
Upon arrival, we will be taken to our lakeside hotel. This evening you are free to have dinner at your leisure, independently.
CabaÃ±as Del Lago HotelPuerto Varas, Chile
Set on the shores of Lake Llanquihue and offering panoramic views of Puerto Varas, the lake, and towering volcanoes, Hotel CabaÃ±as Del Lago offers modern, spacious accommodations and features a restaurant, heated swimming pool, and spa.
San Pedro De Atacama
A short flight and a 1.5-hour transfer brings us to San Pedro de Atacama, a small town in the driest desert in the world. Little adobe houses and cozy restaurants make this the perfect base from which to explore one of Chile's most spectacular natural landscapes.
The Atacama Desert skies are world-renowned for astronomic observations. Its elevation (7,900'), dryness, and freedom from light pollution make it a particularly fantastic place to gaze at constellations, stars, planets, and galaxies.
This evening, we have the privilege of enjoying a tour of the night skies at the Alarkapin Observatory. Alarkapin, meaning "bright star" in the native language of Kunza, is more than just an observatory — it's an experience. We will discover the southern sky with a lecture that integrates scientific knowledge and the unique Andean world view, a naked-eye sky gaze, and finally, an observation of different astronomical bodies through one of the biggest private telescopes in the region.
Cumbres San Pedro de AtacamaSan Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Boasting 3 swimming pools and a fitness center, Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama offers rooms with private balconies in an ideal location for exploring the Atacama Desert. Spa facilities include two hot tubs and two saunas.
Valley of the Moon
After last night's celestial exploration, this morning you will have some time at leisure to rest, explore town, or enjoy the hotel pool.
After lunch, we will venture into the unique terrestrial landscape of the famed Valley of the Moon. By visiting the amazing geological formation located in one of the most hostile climates in the world, we begin to appreciate the great power of the natural forces of our planet, which have sculpted the landscape into an otherworldly natural work of art.
We begin with the fascinating forms of salt and clay in the "Three Marias" area, where we explore salt caves in the middle of the salt mountain range.
Later, as the Atacama sun sets, we'll take in the unforgettable changing colors of the mountains.
The Nature of Atacama
We will continue our discovery of the highlights of the Atacama today, finding our own hidden gems along with more well-known sites. The desert is full of astonishing phenomenon produced by nature — contrasting colors created by steam columns, crystal-clear springs, salt lakes dotted with pink flamingos, and more.
We will have ample opportunities for taking photos, and depending on the temperature, may have time for some hiking with views of the imposing Andes, before returning to town for dinner together.
Santiago City Tour
We return to Calama for our flight to Santiago, the capital of Chile and home of the Pisco Sour and renowned Cabernet Sauvignons. Upon arrival, we will check in to our hotel before heading out on a tour of the city.
Our local guide will lead us on a discovery of this vibrant city, including the Hidalgo castle, incredible views of the city from Santa Lucia hill, Constitution Square and La Moneda palace (the current seat of government), and finally a walk through the Plaza de Armas. In addition, we will visit San Cristobal Hill and the Central Market to see the great variety of Chilean seafood.
This evening, we will enjoy a final celebratory dinner and raise one last glass in honor of our adventures over the last ten days.
Cumbres LastarriaSantiago, Chile
Cumbres Lastarria is perfectly situated in downtown Santiago for travelers to take advantage of the surrounding museums, restaurants, and culture. It features an outdoor pool, fitness center, and restaurant.
This morning, we will be transferred to the Santiago airport in time for our international flights home.
Please note that this is a typical itinerary, and actual activities may vary due to weather conditions, local events, and to allow serendipity to play a hand in your experience. Accommodations are as outlined in the itinerary, although we reserve the right to change these or the order visited should the need arise.
Dec 10-20, 2020
Sold out! New departure added - see Chile & Argentina: Solar Eclipse Adventure
From $7,295 Per Person
$550 Per Person
Buenos Aires-Bariloche; Puerto Varas-Atacama; Atacama-Santiago (subject to change)
First two reserved:$1,195
See single supplement policy below.
See Chile & Argentina: Solar Eclipse Adventure for details!
Accommodations (hotels, tents, cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is paid by participants who specifically request single accommodations, subject to availability. If you reserve at least 120 days prior to departure, you may be eligible for a reduced or free single supplement.* This is generally limited to the first one or two solo travelers to reserve, and the reduction is outlined in the pricing for each trip. Please note, free or reduced single supplements are not combinable with other offers or promotions.
If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we will try to match you with a roommate of the same gender. If you reserve at least 120 days ahead and a roommate is not available, you will only be charged a “forced” single supplement in the amount of 50% of the standard single supplement* (unless otherwise noted in the detailed itinerary). Single accommodations are limited so you are encouraged to reserve early!
*This may not apply to certain trips with unique accommodation arrangements. Please see specific trip information for more details.
Boundless Journeys' trips are designed for energetic and flexible individuals who like to be active and have a spirit of adventure and a positive attitude. Argentina & Chile: Solar Eclipse Adventure is rated 2, easy to moderate, on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being the most strenuous). Walking and hiking is on well-maintained trails and city streets. Elevations range from sea-level in Buenos Aires to nearly 8,000' in the Atacama Desert. Our walks and hikes range from 2 to 4 hours (up to about 5 miles), and several days will have less physical activity.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Most Convenient Arrival Airport
Ministro Pistarini International Airport, Buenos Aires, Argentina (airport code: EZE)
Most Convenient Departure Airport
Santiago International Airport, Santiago, Chile (airport code: SCL)
Argentina and Chile are large countries with substantial changes in latitude from north to south, and climate varies greatly from region to region. Buenos Aires has a subtropical climate, and summers (i.e. December) are generally hot and humid. The low/high temperatures range from 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit, with the potential for heat waves in the low 100s. The warmest months are December, January, February.
In the mountains and lakes of Bariloche and Puerto Varas the weather is less predictable. Temperatures at this time of year are cooler, typically topping out in the low 70s Fahrenheit in December.
Neuquen (Eclipse Site)
Like the countries themselves, Argentinean and Chilean cuisine is reflective of its melting pot of cultures. European traditions are frequently combined with indigenous influences, both in cooking techniques and the use of local ingredients. Throughout the region, food is culturally important, and social gatherings typically occur around a meal, especially Sunday afternoon family dinners.'
If there is one universal feature of Argentinean and Chilean cuisine, it's beef (or carne) — in fact, Argentina has the highest consumption of red meat in the world.
On most menus, you are also likely to find milanesas, or thin cuts of breaded and fried meats, various sausages (like chorizo) and sweet breads, and empanada pastries filled with everything from beef to cheese and sweet corn. Italian transplants, such as pizza and pasta, are also common, while salads and vegetables such as squash, eggplant, tomatoes, lettuce, and onions are typically served as side dishes. For dessert, the nationally-beloved dulce de leche (a caramel-like spread made from heated, sweetened milk) is used to flavor cakes, toasted bread, ice cream, and more.
Please call our office with any questions or concerns about our ability to meet your needs.
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Join us in Chile & Argentina on this Special Departure to see the 2020 total solar eclipse!