1. Santiago: Portillo, Inca Lagoon with Optional Aconcagua Park
Your tour will begin as you are picked up from your centrally located Santiago hotel, at which point you will begin driving to Portillo. You will pass through the intermediate depression, and will also be able to admire the Andes mountain range. You will soon reach the Chacabuco Monument, which is a historical site where a battle for Chile's independence took place in 1817. You will then cross a tunnel which borders the region, before reaching a place where you can see the Aconcagua Mount in the background. Along the road, you will see the old Andean railway and, as we cross Rio Blanco, you can admire the small towns, mining camps, glaciers, and the impressive Andes mountains. You will reach Portillo and see the protective passageways that were built as shelters from avalanches which occur during the winter season. It will then be time for lunch (not included), as you marvel at the beautiful and imposing Inca Lagoon. Finally, you will be returned to your hotel in Santiago. If you choose the option with Aconcagua Park, you will also see Puente del Inca, a geomorphological curiosity that is 48 meters long, 28 meters wide, 8 meters thick, and is suspended 27 meters above the river. A series of stalactites, calcium inflorescences and winter ice needles hang from this natural bridge. After the visit to the Puente del Inca, head to the Aconcagua Provincial Park, where you can see the highest mountain in South America. Depending on time availability, a short trek may be available for interested guests.