Santiago, Chile

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clock-o10 hours (Approx.)
TransportHotel pickup offered
ticket-oMobile ticket
commentOffered in: English and 1 more

Overview

Immerse yourself in the natural splendor and spectacular scenery of Cajon del Maipo on a full-day tour from Santiago. Awaken your senses to the fragrant mountain air and dramatic landscape of the mountainous enclave while gaining insight into the fascinating flora and fauna with an insightful guide. Visit the traditional town of San Jose de Maipo to learn of the cultural customs of the region. Personalized attention from your guide is guaranteed on this small group tour, where numbers are limited to eight or twelve.
  • Cajón del Maipo day trip from Santiago
  • Follow the course of the Maipo River and take in stunning panoramas of Maipo Canyon
  • Stop at Embalse el Yeso, a beautiful reservoir surrounded by mountains
  • Visit San José del Maipo and learn about its history and architecture from an expert guide
  • Enjoy a picnic with local wine in front of the reservoir
  • Tour limited to eight or twelve passengers, ensuring a more personalized experience
  • Taste of traditional Chilean Empanadas
Depart from your Santiago hotel in a comfortable, air-conditioned minivan and relax during the scenic southeastern drive to the heart of the Andean mountain range. Ascend a winding off-road path and admire the stunning sights as you approach your destination.
Arrive at the dramatic valley of Cajon del Maipo and marvel at the hypnotizing landscape; scour the natural panorama for jagged snow-capped peaks, bounteous orchards and verdant vineyards before disembarking at 9,843 feet (3,000 meters) above sea level, at the Embalse el Yeso reservoir.
Set out on a walk around the glittering turquoise waters of the lake; capture incredible photographs as you circumvent the rugged canyons, listening to captivating commentary about the geology and ecology of the area with your guide.
Return to the vehicle and enjoy a delicious picnic-cocktail accompanied with a nice selection of Chilean wines. Then venture along a picturesque rural road to San Jose de Maipo, a charming town enveloped by the Andean mountains. Declared the capital of the region since 1792, the provincial pueblo boasts quaint artisan shops and an ambient central plaza. Take some time to stroll the serene streets, learning about local folklore as you absorb beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and try a traditional "empanada" at a local empanada shop. 
Return to the minivan and appreciate the luscious landscape as you travel back to your Santiago hotel.

Reviews

Viator Traveller's Reviews

5.0
114 reviews
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w
, Sep 2018

What an awesome day with Filipe and Sebastian! There knowledge of local history and the cajon del mail is exceptional. They also know where to suggest you stand for some of the most breathtaking views/photos. We had a stop for some of the best home crafted hot chocolate I have ever tasted at La Cafetería del Cajon. his delightful cafe is constructed from giant barrels bookending a single story building. Seriously we ate inside one barrel and the main kitchen is in another!. We drove up the canyon following Camino Embalse El Yeso. This is a road where the sign Danger Falling Rocks actually has value! We were never at risk though with Sebastian driving. Once the road narrows, you get out and walk the remaining 10 minutes along the banks of the Yeso to where the bank/road makes a hard turn Eastward toward the pass into Argentina. The view at this point is stunning! Rugged beauty and definitely a beautiful sister of the Austrian Alps. Filipe guided the photographers of our group to some of the best locations for pictures. You are high and you are in the Andes so having gloves, warm cap, windbreaker, sunglasses, and sunscreen available at this point definitely will up the personal comfort factor! On the way back down the valley, we stopped at the side of the road for a picnic. The sampler snacks of Chilean wine, juice, cheese, bread, and nuts was a perfect way to enjoy reflections on the Yeso. While Filipe and Sebastian set up the goodies, a few of hiked over to the Rio Yeso canyon for another great view. We stopped for a traditional lunch empanada and beer and water in San Alfonso forgot to write down the Restaurant name then a detour to Casa Chocolate. The chocolate and ice cream is delicious and boutique. Some may find it pricey - though if you are a connoisseur the quality will not disappoint.. I enjoyed walking around the owner's house which is architecturally designed to re-purpose old wood and the furniture style along with the house architecture follows design curves from nature. Then Sebastian took a different route back into the city of Santiago so we could see some of the vineyards before dropping us back at our hotel. A delightful day. Highly recommend this tour because the guides are fun, knowledgeable, committed to you as a guest having fun, and the picnic at the roadside after seeing the Yeso was a first rate experience.

J
, Sep 2018

This was such a great day, we were picked up from our hotel by Felipe and our driver was Sebastian. We were a small group which made for a very personal tour. Our first stop was for hot chocolate and home made cake in a very cosy cafe run by a very friendly lady. Felipe was such great company to be with and Sebastian a first glass driver. The views we had will stay with us for a very long time and to be in the Andes is just so special. After visiting the lagoon Sebastian drove a short while and we had an amazing picnic surrounded by the Andes, life doesn't get any better than this. Last stop was for lunch before we were taking back to our hotel. Thank you both for the memories, and for taking care of us. If visiting Santiago don't miss the change to go on this day tour you will not be disappointed, kind regards from Alan and Julia UK

j
, Apr 2018

Excellent guide. Very informative, funny and spoke very good English. Very enjoyable day.

J
, Mar 2018

I loved this tour! Our guide Felipe and our driver Sebastian were both awesome. The guide shared so much information, and was so knowledgeable about any topic we wanted to discuss. For those who don't hike, the hike is not demanding...it's maybe a 5 minute walk to the beach, maximum, with a slight decline and a few rocks. But we were the only group actually at the water! All other groups started way far back, and just saw the lake form afar. The spread Felipe and Sebastian prepared for us was awesome, and then we even had lunch afterward.

Definitely bring a jacket, as the wind is extremely cold, even if the sun is warm.

L
, Mar 2018

Be prepared to spend 5 hours in a rickety van. It was most uncomfortable and the two of us sat in the back received quite a jolt and concussion...left us feeling sick as we hit the roof badly due to a road ramp. The tour was not very exciting except the mountains were spectacular. Don't bother!

b
, Mar 2018

Our guide Simon and our driver made the trip extra special for us. We felt like we had been friends forever!

s
, Mar 2018

Ben, the tour guide, was one of the best I've come across. Funny, very knowledgeable and easy going, Ben and our driver delivered a great day. The canon is a must see!

K
, Mar 2018

Was a good tour with great guide. However, double check the tour details with the operator. Viator states tour includes a 2 hour hike, which we were dressed for. Operator does not include a hike at all! Apparently Viator doesnt always get the info correct and the operator doesnt check this properly. Was a little disappointing but we enjoyed the tour immensely nevertheless. Certainly worth getting out of town for a day to see the beautiful Andes, a glacier in the distance with condors flying above. Highly recommend if youre into mountains.

J
, Mar 2018

Very well planned and led. We had 11 in the group and a nice, comfortable mix of ages and nationalities.

First stop was for coffee/tea/hot chocolate on the way to the lake. A couple of photo stops at the lake entailed a bit of walking but nothing at all strenuous. But the lake is about 5000 feet higher than Santiago, so be prepared for it to be cooler there.

Near the lake, we stopped for wine and snacks. The last stop was about 2 pm for empanadas baked in a wood-fired oven.

More than just the beautiful scenery at the lake, the drive out there and back is very nice and, with the stops along the way, gives a view of small towns in the Chilean countryside.

D
, Mar 2018

A good small tour with Tomas, the guide. Early pickup of 7:40am, then off to the mountains. Coffee with rest stop, then off to the Andes Mountains to Embalse el Yeso, a long turquoise lake fed by 3 rivers and held by a dam. It is very natural there which means a lot of unpaved, bumpy, narrow to very narrow roads with no restroom facilities. If you are uncomfortable with heights, think twice before going on this tour! I felt the driver drove too fast for the road conditions. Tomas and the driver served us a picnic put together near the beautiful turquoise lake - cheese chunks, carrot and celery sticks, a raisin and nut mixture, black olives, a spread made out of cream cheese and sesame seeds topped with soy sauce spread on bread and topped with a mixture of chopped tomatoes, onions, and olive oil, plus a Chilean wine. Note: the picnic may vary from trip to trip. We gorged on it, then discovered we were headed for a lunch stop with restrooms where we ate the local empanadas with local craft beer! It sounds like all we did was eat. The food was included in the price of the tour. The van can hold 13 passengers. The scenery was magnificent. We went up to about 9800 feet in the Andes. It was a warm sunny day in Santiago, about 85 degrees, but there was a cool breeze when we got to the lake, so we were glad to have a jacket. The turquoise waters of the lake are such an unbelievable color and surrounded by mountains that still had a small amount of snow on the peaks made for plenty photo opportunities. While Tomas spoke English well, he could have been more informative and enthusiastic.


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