North Chile Excursions

As with any and all itineraries and experiences, we will customize your trip for what fits your wants and needs. The below itineraries are just samples and will be modified to make your unique trip everything you are looking for.

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Mapuche Cultural Immersion

The word Mapuche means “people of the Earth” in the Mapudungun language. This could not describe these ancient people more clearly and accurately. The Mapuche people have inhabited parts of Southern Chile for over 2000 years and have ancestral connections with diverse groups who inhabited this region for much longer. In the modern world the Mapuche are struggling to maintain their culture against an all out assault by many outside forces. Chile’s Mapuche people are proud, diverse, and eager to share their heritage with visitors. Through our immersion programs you will come to know these beautiful people on a personal level. Adventures include:

  • Village Homestay Program. Get to know the daily life and dreams of the Mapuche community of Quinquen near the town of Longquimay. Share in exchange of learning and experiencing the culture and life of the Mapuche people. Partake in breathtaking hikes, horseback adventures, and exhilarating water activities all lead by people of the community.
  • Artisan Workshops. Learn ancient skills from the people who have passed them down from generations. Whether it is weaving, cooking, or harvesting local plants you will come to have a deep understanding about how the Mapuche live in harmony with the world around them.
  • Santiago Cultural Preservation. Learn about the fight to preserve Mapuche culture in the area around Santiago. Visit a local ruka to partake in delicious food, learn a skill, and understand how the Mapuche people fight each day to maintain their culture in our modern world.

As part of our commitment to social justice through travel, 30% of profits from Mapuche Cultural Immersion trips goes to help the Mapuche People preserve their culture. This is in addition to our base goal of directing at least 50% of dollars spent every client trip directly into local goods and services provided by the people in our partner communities. We support the communities we travel in by supporting work they are already doing to achieve their goals.

There are many unique and transformative experiences we can offer. View a sample itinerary here.

Atacama High Desert Adventure

Most of us will never travel to another planet, but spending time in the high desert of Atacama is just about as close as you can get. This otherworldly landscape is right out of science fiction and holds treasures of all kinds for you to experience.

In addition to beautiful landscapes, this region is home to the Lickan Antay people. Being able to explore this magical place and learn of the daily community activities gives you a true sense of this place. Coming to know the lifestyle is coming to know the ancient past and the rich future of these people. A trip to the Atacama desert is one that you will never forget.

  • Community Lead Desert Adventure. This excursion will give you the opportunity to walk through the desert in company of a llama caravan, a traditional activity that lives on today. Sandra and Carlos, your local guides, will tell you the stories about the Atacameña community and their bond with the desert and the llamas as a fundamental travel companion.
  • Moon Valley. This salty mountain range is an extraordinary place that might make you feel as though you are on the moon. Over millennia, the floods and the wind have been shaping the stones, dunes, and salt mountains to produce this truly unique place.
  • Lickan Antay Experience. In the company of Wildo, your local guide, you’ll learn the history of the ancient Lickan Antay culture (Atacameña culture) through traditional activities. Things such as corn and alfalfa farming as well as livestock keeping and building practices. This ancient culture is full of spiritual symbols and fascinating practices that will leave you wanting more time to learn.
  • Coastal Atacama.  This little visited region near the town of Chañaral de Aceituno is where the high desert meets the ocean. Experience an isolated and thriving culture in a setting you will have to see to believe.

For a small sample of what you can experience in this region view a sample itinerary here.