Chile & Argentina Hotel-Based Program
with NASA astronomer Richard Terrile, PhD

Sold Out!

This special event is now sold out, but we continue to take names for a waitlist. Please contact us if you have any questions or wish to join the waitlist. Or join our Total Solar Eclipse of 2020: Tropical Polynesia Cruise, a ship-based program, on which we travel the South Pacific aboard the luxurious 332-passanger Paul Gaugin with special guests Jean-Michel Cousteau and astronomer Alex Filippenko, PhD.
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Overview

For our hotel-based program, we’ve selected a site in the Andes that optimizes the prospects for good viewing and the length of totality—around two minutes and eight seconds. Our adventure begins in the scenic mountain town of Bariloche, Argentina, and brings us across the Andes to our private viewing site in Chile’s picturesque Lake District.

Our Guest Experts

Astronomer Richard Terrile, PhD, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will join us for the full program, giving lectures on eclipses and astronomy.  Dr. Terrile is a veteran of seven solar eclipses and an expert on eclipse photography.

Lorenzo Sympson is a noted wildlife researcher specializing in the study of Patagonia’s Andean condor. Sympson participated in the re-introduction of captive-bred condors in Patagonia and coordinates a program for researching their biology and behavior.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2, December 9-10
Bariloche, Argentina

Arrive in Bariloche, a mountain town known for its Swiss alpine-style architecture, adventure activities, and chocolate. It sits on the shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi, a glacial lake rumored to be the home of a serpentine monster called Nahuelito. While we’re unlikely to see the mysterious monster, we will enjoy panoramas across snow-capped Andean peaks from Cerro Campanario, then gather for a Welcome Reception and Dinner. A boat journey brings us to Isla Victoria for a magical walk in the Bosque de Arrayanes, a forest of native myrtle trees with unique, cinnamon-colored trunks—some a meter or more in diameter. We enjoy a talk by Guest Expert Lorenzo Sympson on Andean condors and an introductory eclipse presentation by Dr. Terrile.

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Day 3, December 11
San MartÍn de los Andes

A beautiful drive on the “Route of the Seven Lakes”—with its picturesque waterfalls and ancient cypress forests—brings us to our hotel outside the charming mountain town of San Martín de los Andes. The views of the lakes are phenomenal, and we’ll stop along the way for photography and a hike, and gather in the evening for a second astronomy presentation.

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Days 4-5, December 12-13
Volcán Lanín / Pucón, Chile / Hiking and Cultural Activities

We’ll hike at the base of towering, snow-capped Volcán Lanín and walk through the native auracaria (or “monkey puzzle tree”) forest in Lanín National Park before we cross into Chile at a remote mountain border post. Our hotels are in Pucón, set at the foot of Volcán Villarrica in the Chilean Lake District. Here we’ll enjoy additional astronomy presentations as well as a choice of other activities: hiking Pichillancahue Glacier, a more challenging hike in the Parque Nacional Huerquehue, and excursions to the area’s famous hot springs.

Other options include exploring the culture of Chile’s indigenous Mapuche, who have maintained their independence from the Incas and the Spanish conquistadors for more than 300 years. We’ll visit the local anthropological museum, with its collection of jewelry, masks, musical instruments, and statues, and spend time with Anita Epulef, a traditional Mapuche chef and the owner-operator of a Mapuche cooking school in Curarrehue.

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Day 6, December 14
Eclipse Day!

We view the total solar eclipse from a private location on the slopes of dramatic Volcán Villarrica, close to Pucón. We travel to our site after breakfast, so we’ll have plenty of time to set up for photography and viewing. Totality doesn’t occur until around one o’clock in the afternoon. Those who wish can enjoy an optional morning hike through the nearby forest, home to red and grey foxes, mountain monkeys, and several species of endemic marsupials. We’ll also have the opportunity to learn more about Volcán Villarrica, originally called “Rucapillán,” which means “house of the devil” in Mapuche language. It’s easy to understand why, as this volcano is Chile’s most active and has been smoldering for hundreds of years. A guided walk through dramatic volcanic caves and a tour of the small volcano museum enhance our experience, and we’ll enjoy a catered lunch at our viewing site.

With a totality of about two minutes and eight seconds and the stability of a land-based location, this expedition is ideal for serious eclipse photographers. Even if you’re an amateur photographer, be sure to bring your camera and a tripod; Dr. Terrile is an expert on eclipse photography and will provide recommendations and guidance for capturing the best images of this breathtaking event. This exciting day ends with a festive Farewell Dinner.

*Local Contact Times For Our Planned Viewing Position at 39° 22.688' S 71° 56.789' W

First contact Partial eclipse begins 11:41:36 59.7° altitude
Second contact Totality begins 13:03.25 71.9° altitude
Third contact Totality ends 13:05:34 72.1° altitude
Fourth contact Partial eclipse ends 14:31:37 70.8° altitude

Duration of totality: 2 minutes, 8.3 seconds
*Times and duration approximate for our viewing site.

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Day 7, December 15
Temuco / Santiago / Depart

Transfer to Temuco for a charter flight to Santiago and connect with homeward-bound flights, or extend your stay in Chile.

Optional Pre- or Post-trip Extensions

The solar eclipse program can be combined with a variety of extensions and full-length trips, including our selection of inspiring Patagonia adventures among majestic snow-capped peaks, towering ice walls, and vast glacial fields. Extension details and pricing  will be available approximately one year before the trip begins.

Our Exclusive Eclipse-Viewing Site

We will view the total solar eclipse from a very special private site on the slopes of
Volcán Villarrica, a perfectly symmetrical, snow-capped volcano that dominates the views in this mountain region.

At 3,773 feet in elevation, 700 feet above the town of PucÓn, our fenced-in eclipse-viewing site is reserved exclusively for our use, and offers spectacular views of the volcano and the sparkling waters of Lake Villarrica below.

The duration of totality will be about two minutes and eight seconds, so we’ll have plenty of time to enjoy and photograph this spectacular event. We’ll also have the opportunity to tour a small volcano museum and volcanic caves, take an easy hike through the nearby forest, and a delicious catered lunch will be served on site.

Highlights

Highlights

More than two minutes of totality!
Stable, land-based viewing, perfect for serious eclipse photographers.
Enjoyable hikes in Argentina and Chile’s spectacular lake districts.
Choice of varied activities in Pucón, including additional hikes, visits to hot springs, and cultural excursions.
Wide choice of extensions, including Iguazú Falls, Easter Island, and the Atacama Desert, or join one of our signature Patagonia trips.

Details

Length: 7 days
Cost From: $6295  
Arrive: Bariloche, Argentina
Depart: Temuco, Chile
Lodging: 6 nights hotels
Meals: Meals from dinner on December 9 through breakfast on December 15, with one dinner on own (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Eclipse, Cultural Adventures, Hiking / Trekking, Eclipse
Trip Level:

Optional day hikes, cultural and natural history exploration
Total solar eclipse of 2020 brochure

Download Brochure

Download a PDF of our Total Solar Eclipse of 2020 brochure to learn more about our day-to-day itineraries, prices and dates, lodging, and guest experts.