Appreciate the beauty and science of both the celestial and earthly natural wonders in the Lakes District of Chile and Argentina. Renowned as a mythic land of glaciers, volcanoes, primeval forests, and pampas, it will also be one of the best places to view the total solar eclipse on December 14, 2020.

Starting at: $8,290 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Puerto Varas and Osorno Volcano  Osorno Volcano with Petrohue Falls, Vicente Pérez Rosales National Park, Chile  Downtown Santiago, Chile  Santiago

Solar Eclipse 2020: Chile, Argentina, and the Path of Totality

A Journey Through Argentina and Chile’s Lake District

11 days from $8,290

Appreciate the beauty and science of both the celestial and earthly natural wonders in the Lakes District of Chile and Argentina. Renowned as a mythic land of glaciers, volcanoes, primeval forests, and pampas, it will also be one of the best places to view the total solar eclipse on December 14, 2020.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

Appreciate the beauty and science of both the celestial and earthly natural wonders in the Lakes District of Chile and Argentina. Renowned as a mythic land of glaciers, volcanoes, primeval forests, and pampas, it will also be one of the best places to view the total solar eclipse on December 14, 2020.

Highlights Include

  • Santiago: Savor Chile’s capital during visits to select historic sites and museums, including Lastarria neighborhood, the Plaza de Armas, the Precolumbian Museum, and poet Pablo Neruda's La Chascona home. 
  • Patagonian Lake District: Be immersed in a landscape of pristine lakes, forests, snowcapped mountains, and the rural life of the renowned Lakes District of Chile and Argentina. Fly to Chile's Puerto Montt and visit Lahuen-Nadi Natural Monument Park for a walk among the trees of Chile's temperate rainforest. Continue to the lakeside town of Puerto Varas and from your lakeside hotel, explore the scenic countryside around Lake Llanquihue. Visit the Fulmer Museum, which detailed the lives of the early German pioneers to this region in the 1900s, and explore the lakeside town of Furtillar, famous for art, classical music, and German kuchen. Then spend a day making the famous "Lakes Crossing" from Chile to Argentina, first visiting the beautiful Petrohue waterfalls, with Osorno Volcano ad a backdrop. Cruise the waters of Lakes Totos Los Santos and Nahuel Nuapi and enjoy panoramic vistas of the Andes. Later, drive along the Route of the Seven Lakes," stopping for walks and a picnic lunch at several lakes and waterfalls within Nahuel Huapi and Lanin National Parks. 
  • Total Solar Eclipse: Accompanied by a noted astronomer, experience the eclipse from a specially chosen viewing site at a private estancia (ranch), located in the middle of the band of totality and in a dry area known for clear skies.*

*Despite being in a prime location to experience the total solar eclipse, this event is weather dependent. 

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. and Arrive in Santiago, Chile

Depart the U.S. on your international flight to Santiago, Chile. Arrive at Santiago’s Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport and transfer to the Hotel Cumbres Lastarria located in the artistic Lastarria neighborhood.

Enjoy an optional afternoon visit to San Cristobal Hill for a panoramic view of Santiago. Gather this evening for a welcome reception, opening remarks and dinner. (R,D)

Day 3 – Santiago

Explore Santiago’s highlights including a walking tour of the Lastarria neighborhood, the Plaza de Armas, Precolumbian Museum, and poet Pablo Neruda’s La Chascona home.

This evening visit the Andean Astronomical Observatory for an introduction to the constellations of the southern skies. (B,D)

Day 4 — Santiago / Puerto Varas

Fly directly to Puerto Montt and visit Lahuen-Nadi Natural Monument Park for a walk among the trees of Chile’s temperate rainforest. Continue to the lakeside town of Puerto Varas.

Settle into your hotel overlooking Lake Llanquihue this afternoon and enjoy free time to explore Puerto Varas. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Puerto Varas

Explore the scenic countryside around Lake Llanquihe and the Osorno volcano. Visit the Fulmer Museum detailing the lives of the early German pioneers to this region in the 1800s. Continue to the lakeside town of Frutillar, famous for art, classical music, and German kuchen. (B,D)

Day 6 — Puerto Varas / Lakes Crossing / Bariloche, Argentina

Today you’ll experience the famous Lakes Crossing from Chile to Argentina, beginning with a short walk to the beautiful Petrohue Waterfalls. Cruise across several lakes including Lake Todos Los Santos, surrounded by stunning volcanoes such as Mt. Puntiagudo and Mt. Tronador.

Settle into your centrally located hotel in the town of Bariloche this evening. (B,L)

Day 7 – Bariloche / Villa La Angostura

Begin the day with a chairlift ride up Mt. Campanario for a stunning panoramic view of the Andes and Lake Nahuel Huapi.

Enjoy a short walk along the Llao Llao Peninsula before driving north to your hotel in Villa La Angostura perched above the world’s shortest river connecting Lake Correntoso with Lake Nahuel Huapi. (B,L,D)

Day 8 – Route of the Seven Lakes

Drive the scenic “Route of the Seven Lakes” between Villa La Angostura and San Martin de los Andes, stopping for walks and a picnic lunch at several lakes and waterfalls within Nahuel Huapi and Lanin national parks.

Enjoy time to visit the shops and cafes of the lakeside town of Villa la Angostura late this afternoon. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — Eclipse Viewing Party

Depart early this morning and drive approximately three and a half hours to a remote estancia near Santo Tomas on the dry Patagonian steppe. Arrive with ample time to prepare for the eclipse which starts at 11:45 a.m. and concludes at 2:35 p.m., with maximum totality at 1:08 p.m.

Return to the hotel this evening to celebrate your eclipse journey with a farewell reception and dinner. (B,L,R,D)

Day 10 – Bariloche to Buenos Aires / Depart for the U.S.

Drive to San Carlos de Bariloche Airport for an afternoon flight to Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport. Connect to your U.S. bound flight this evening.

Day 11 – Arrive in the U.S.

Your overnight flight arrives in the U.S.

Important Program Notes:

Eclipse Day: Argentina’s Patagonian Steppe will be a prime location to experience the Total Solar Eclipse. It is the largest desert in Argentina and the 8th largest in the world. We will provide an optimal viewing location in the desert to experience this phenomenon. Please keep in mind that viewing the eclipse will involve a longer motor coach transfer (3.5 hours each way) to the eclipse viewing site and though the steppe is usually quite dry, viewing the eclipse will still be weather dependent. Since we have no control over the weather, there is always a chance that we will not be able to view the eclipse or only for a short period of time. Your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will keep you fully informed of any changes to viewing the eclipse and any other planned activity while on tour. A sense of humor, flexibility, and patience will be greatly appreciated during this program and especially on eclipse day!

Group Travel Experience: Smithsonian Journeys will be traveling as a cohesive group but we will be sharing this departure with like-minded travelers from Cornell's Adult University which will add to the excitement and energy of this very special program. The Cornell group will be participating in the excursions, activities, and presentations as well as staying at the same accommodations along with Smithsonian Journeys. Also, in addition to our Smithsonian Journeys Expert, Cornell's Adult University will be sending an expert in astronomy who will also provide presentations and commentary throughout the trip. More information about your trip will be provided in your pre-tour documents.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)