Time Well Spent: Journey to the End of The World
Explore some of South America’s most spectacular landscapes in the first of our new ‘Time Well Spent’ series of bespoke private jet itineraries, sampling local cuisine and staying in luxury accommodation along the way. Highlights of this once-in-a-lifetime journey to the End of the World include discovering Easter Island’s monolithic Moai statues, trekking up an active volcano in Chile, and staying overnight in a camper van on Bolivia’s vast salt flats.
This itinerary has been crafted in collaboration with James Wallman, time design expert and best-selling author of Time and How to Spend it. It utilises his philosophies on time and experience design, combined with our private jet charter know-how to create a life-affirming journey that is only possible by private jet.
Route: Santiago > San Pedro de Atacama > Easter Island > Temuco > Ushuaia > Torres del Paine > Los Glaciares National Park > Uyuni > Santiago
Our itinerary starts in Santiago, Chile’s leafy capital city; a buzzing cultural hub surrounded by the snow-capped Andes. Enjoy a late lunch at a local restaurant with fabulous views of the city and its mountainous backdrop, followed by a stroll around the colonial plaza to admire the neoclassical cathedral.
Then fly on to Calama and drive to the arid mountain town of San Pedro de Atacama, stopping en route to watch a spectacular sunset over the desert at the Valley of the Moon, whose otherworldly rock formations resemble a lunar landscape. You’ll spend the next two nights at Explora Atacama, a luxury desert retreat where you can while away nights stargazing at the private observatory.
Rise before the crack of dawn to visit the Tatio Geysers – the early start is well worth the chance to witness the world’s highest geysers blow spectacularly at sunrise, with water columns reaching up to 10 metres in the air. On the way back, stop for a soothing dip in the Puritama Hot Springs before meeting local llama breeders in the traditional village of Machuca.
This afternoon you’re free to relax at the hotel, which boasts a pampering spa and outdoor pool. Alternatively, head out on a bike-ride or hike to explore the desert landscape. After dinner, marvel at the dazzlingly clear night sky under the expert guidance of a star specialist – the Milky Way is so bright here that it casts a shadow.
Depart the desert for a five-hour direct flight to Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean. You’ll head straight from the plane to stretch your legs at the destination’s most famous attraction; an ancient collection of over 300 monolithic Moai statues carved by the early Rapa Nui people. These enormous stone sculptures date back at least 500 years and their origins have fascinated scientists for decades.
Relax this afternoon on palm-fringed Anakena Beach, whose white coral sands are lapped by crystal-clear turquoise waters. Then head for an overnight stay at Explora Rapa Nui, where you can enjoy upscale rooms and fabulous cuisine with breathtaking views of the coast and countryside.
Wake up early for a dawn visit to the Ahu Tongariki, Polynesia’s most important megalithic monument, which is home to a line of 15 ethereal Moai. Then fly to Temuco before transferring by helicopter to Pucón and checking in at &Beyond Vira Vira, your base for the next few days.
Set on a 34-acre organic farm in Chile’s Lake District, this magnificent wooden lodge is known for its breathtaking vistas of the snow-capped Villarrica Volcano, farm-to-table cuisine and excellent guided excursions. Spend the afternoon admiring the views in style from an outdoor hot tub, or head out in the lodge’s own helicopter to marvel at the scenery from above.
Today you’ll embark on a once-in-a-lifetime guided trek up Villarrica. One of Chile’s most active volcanoes and part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, this iconic peak looms over Pucón at 2,840 meters above sea level. The gruelling uphill climb is well worth it when you finally reach the glacier summit, where you can look into the volcano’s smouldering crater and take in spectacular 360-degree views of surrounding volcanoes, sparkling lagoons and forested hills.
This morning, ease sore muscles from yesterday’s climb with a visit to the nearby soothing hot springs. After lunch, get your adrenaline pumping again with a thrilling white-water rafting adventure on the Trancura River, passing incredible scenery as you race over zig-zagging rapids. In the evening, enjoy a delicious meal with a local Mapuche family, learning about their indigenous community and ancestral culture.
Start the day by heading back out onto the water, this time for stand up paddle boarding down the tranquil Liucura River, taking in the glorious landscape of volcanoes and native forest as brightly coloured birds swoop overhead. This crystalline river is so clear that you can even snorkel in it, spotting wildlife like trout and salmon darting through the water.
After lunch, you’ll depart Temuco – make sure you look out of the aircraft window for incredible views of the Andes Mountains bathed in the light of the setting sun. Your flight brings you to the world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia, which sits on Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego archipelago and is nicknamed the “End of the World.”
You'll stay overnight at Arakur Ushuaia Resort & Spa, a sustainably built hotel in the Cerro Alarkén Natural Reserve. Set minutes from downtown Ushuaia on a spectacular outcrop high above the city, this peaceful resort is perfectly placed for both urban exploration and outdoor adventure.
Today you’ll embark on a private boat trip on the Beagle Canal, a narrow seafront between Argentina and Chile. Stop along the way to discover some of the region’s fascinating wildlife at Isla de los Lobos, which is home to a colony of sea lions, and Martillo Island, where you can see adorable magellanic and gentoo penguins.
In the afternoon, fly to Puerto Natales and drive to your base for the next two nights, Explora Torres del Paine. Exclusively located in the heart of Chilean Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park flanked by snow-capped peaks and Lake Pehoé, this luxury hotel is the perfect base from which to explore the surrounding wilderness of glaciers, mountains, lakes and valleys.
Begin the day with a trek through the national park, taking in the spectacular scenery of this UNESCO biosphere reserve. Look out for the region’s famous cuernos – horn-like granite peaks that tower over the glistening lakes – as well as a host of wildlife such as condors, guanaco, nandu and pumas.
This evening you’ll meet American conservationist Kristine Tompkins*, former CEO of clothing brand Patagonia and co-founder of the Tompkins Foundation. Kristine and her late husband, entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist Douglas Tompkins, have helped to protect millions of acres of Patagonian wilderness by spearheading the creation of five new national parks. During the evening you’ll find out more about their work and hear Kristine’s stories about the region’s incredible landscapes.
Fly from Puerto Natales to El Calafate in Argentinean Patagonia, before driving to Los Glaciares National Park. Here you’ll see the Perito Moreno glacier, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that towers over the water. This natural spectacle periodically forms a natural dam across the southern arm of Lake Argentino and, unusually, is still growing. Trek over part of the glacier or journey by boat around its base.
As the day draws to a close, fly to Santiago and transfer for a two-night stay at Viña Vik, one of Chile’s most luxurious hotels. Perched on a hilltop in the country’s finest wine region, this achingly chic vineyard retreat boasts breathtaking views of the Andes and uber-stylish rooms individually designed by Chilean and foreign artists.
Today you’re free to make the most of your time at Viña Vik. Stay onsite to enjoy amenities like the cantilevered infinity pool and pampering spa (we recommend a vinotherapy treatment), or explore your vine-filled surroundings on horseback. At mealtimes, feast on exciting Chilean cuisine made using fresh local ingredients.
Fly to Uyuni in southwest Bolivia to discover the legendary Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest Salt Flat. Formed when a prehistoric lake dried out, this dazzling landscape of bright-white salt covers nearly 11,000 sq km. View the breathtaking expanse from Incahuasi Island, looking out for the vivid pink flamingos that live there. You’ll spend the next two nights in one of six futuristic eco-pods at Kachi Lodge, where you’ll feast on local cuisine and sleep under the stars.
Enjoy two nights in the Kachi Lodge
Return to Santiago for lunch with beautiful views of the city and the mountains beyond to reflect on your experiences.
*Subject to availability