Since 2018, I have led an annual (with the exception of 2020, of course) group trip to an exciting destination. In 2018, we explored Morocco. In 2019, it was Iceland. And just this past April, we saw the best of what Costa Rica has to offer wheelchair users. All three trips have been absolutely incredible and the Curb Free group trips are consistently my favorite trip of each year. There’s just something awesome about traveling with fellow wheelchair users who quickly become friends.
When thinking about a potential group trip for next year, I had a lot of options (the world is quite big after all…), but I really wanted a destination that had three things: beautiful scenery, a bit of adventure, and superb accessibility. After thinking about destinations for a couple months, I finally decided that the 2022 Curb Free Group Trip will take place in…
That’s right, in March 2022 we will be heading to South America, where we’ll first explore the capital city of Santiago and then we’ll go to Patagonia. Chile is a stunning country and has some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. And even better, this trip will be in collaboration with Wheel the World, so you can 100% count on it being a fully accessible trip!
Wheel the World offers accessible tours in more than a dozen destinations around the world, but Chile is where the journey started for Wheel the World and it’s also the country that they call “home”. There is no better company to experience Chilean Patagonia with and I’m so thrilled that they are willing to partner with Curb Free with Cory Lee for this epic trip!
We will arrive in Santiago on March 3rd, 2022 and depart on March 12th, 2022. During those 10 days, we are going to see a LOT! Here is the itinerary:
March 3rd: ARRIVE IN SANTIAGO, CHILE
Today, you will be picked up at Santiago International Airport (SCL) and taken to your hotel. Depending on what time you arrive, you’ll have a free day to rest and enjoy the hotel facilities. We will be staying at the Atton Vitacura Hotel.
March 4th: SANTIAGO CITY TOUR
After breakfast, our WTW guide will be at the lobby of your hotel to begin a city tour in this beautiful city of contrasts.
We will start the tour at the bustling Plaza de Armas, the heart of Santiago and home to the ornate baroque Metropolitan Cathedral, the magnificent Post Office building, the Pre-Colombian Museum, and more.
After a stroll around downtown Santiago, we will continue showcasing both the colonial and modern highlights of the city. You’ll visit the Central Market, where you’ll see why Chile is famous for its seafood and fish. You’ll have lunch and then continue visiting the Centro Civico and Plaza Constitución. You’ll visit the Casa de la Moneda, one of Spanish America’s most stunning examples of colonial architecture and the executive office of the Chilean government.
You’ll continue the tour with a spectacular panoramic view from San Cristobal Hill, the largest park in the city. To round off the tour, you will pass through the modern residential areas of the city with bold architecture and the bustling Providencia shopping zone.
You’ll end your tour near your hotel at Bicentenario Park in the neighborhood of Vitacura. Stroll around before going back to the Hotel to rest.
Included today: Breakfast & Lunch
March 5th: VALPARAISO CITY TOUR & COOKING CLASS
Known as “the Jewel of the Pacific”, Valparaiso was declared part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2003. The Valparaiso Bay and surrounding hills make it a unique place to visit.
You will be picked up at your hotel in an accessible van and enjoy an hour and a half drive from the mountains to the coast, where you will arrive at the beautiful city of Valparaiso. You’ll experience the vibrant colors and street art of this unique port city.
You will begin the tour in the city center and make your way to Punta de Angeles de Playa Ancha lighthouse. From there you will get an impressive view over the Pacific Ocean.
On the way back to the city, you will stop by the Paseo 21 de Mayo viewpoint, where you will enjoy a full view of the city to then enjoy a cable-car ride, up to the historical part of the city.
Starting to get hungry? Local chefs will show you how to make traditional pisco sour, and typically chilean snacks at a perfect place to have lunch!
You’ll then head back to the city of Santiago.
Included breakfast and lunch
March 6th: ARRIVAL TO PUERTO VARAS
We will check-out of the hotel in Santiago and transfer to the airport, where we’ll take a JetSmart flight to Puerto Varas.
Located on the shores of Lake Llanquihue, Puerto Varas is one of the most beautiful cities in Chile. With a clear German influence, it has been a tourist-city since its birth in the XIX century. Now, this super accessible city offers beautiful landscapes, excellent hotels and places to eat, a modern casino and many outdoor activities during the summer.
Once we land in Puerto Varas, we will transfer to the Hotel Cabañas del Lago. There are no activities planned for today. After traveling from Santiago to picturesque Puerto Varas, you’ll have the chance to explore the city, visit the lake and rest at your hotel. We can recommend accessible restaurants to get a bite to eat.
March 7th: PUERTO VARAS AND FRUTILLAR IN A DAY
Today you will get to enjoy the best of this beautiful city and its surroundings.
After breakfast, our guides will pick you up to start with a beautiful boat tour on the calm morning waters of Lake Llanquihue. You’ll board an accessible boat where you will be able to admire the city from another point of view while feeling the smooth morning breeze. The tour will take about 70 minutes, and once back on land, you’ll take a city tour on accessible transportation, where you’ll learn about its history and culture with 2 stops along the way.
You’ll visit Philippi Park, which features several scenic trails and roads that lead to the top of a hill, where panoramic views look out over Puerto Varas and the nearby lake. After some pictures, you’ll leave for your last stop: Frutillar – another beautiful town with german influence known for its amazing cuisine and pastries.
Lunch will be served here, and after some free time to stroll around the town and its quaint shops, you’ll be driven back to Puerto Varas to rest.
Included breakfast & Lunch
March 8th: THERMAL WATERS & PATAGONIAN ASADO
This is a long, but magical day! You’ll leave the Hotel in accessible transportation and head to Termas del Sol hot springs while stopping by a few picturesque Patagonian towns.
The first stop will be Ensenada, where you’ll have time to walk through local markets, try or buy classic products from the area, and learn about the culture and typical chilean crafts. You’ll continue on a magnificent drive full of beautiful viewpoints, rivers and mountains and you’ll stop at Cochamo before arriving at Termas del Sol.
This amazing place, full of pristine thermal pools, is surrounded by breathtaking green forests and accessible trails through hills and mountains. Accessible bathrooms and changing rooms are available to get ready to take a dip in the hot springs. There is no lift to get into the water, but our WTW assistants will help you out to get comfortably in.
If you don’t feel like getting wet, don’t worry! The place is so amazing that you will be happy exploring the area and enjoying the amazing Patagonian Asado (BBQ) that will be prepared for you.
You’ll take a different route back to Puerto Varas, that will stop at small villages and even take a ferry to cross the Reloncavi Estuary.
Rest assured, there will be always accessible bathrooms on the way!
Included: Breakfast and lunch
March 9th: VICENTE PEREZ ROSALES NATIONAL PARK AND MORE
Get ready to enjoy one of the most renown activities in the area. Accessible transportation will pick you up at 10am to head toward the towns of Ensenada and Petrohué. You’ll take strategic stops to see some beautiful rivers and landscapes
You’ll pass by Ensenada, heading to Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) at the foot of Osorno Volcano within Vicente Perez Rosales National Park. Here you’ll stop and stroll through accessible trails in the forest that will lead you to Petrohué Falls: icy cold, blue falls. You’ll also have time to relax and enjoy the source of the falls, beautiful Todos los Santos Lake (also known as Lake Esmeralda) with great views of Osorno Volcano.
You’ll have a delicious lunch and finish your day with an accessible boat tour of Lago todos los Santos on the Chilean-Argentine border. You’ll then return to your hotel.
March 10th: THE BEST OF CHILOE IN A DAY
Today we are heading to Chiloe: A land of myths and legends, unique folklore and culinary traditions. From the moment you arrive on this extraordinary island, its singular identity will take you by surprise.
Discover its quaint palafitos (colorful houses built on stilts above the water), explore some of its beautiful wooden churches, try the traditional food curanto, and discover the hundreds of colorful potato varieties for which Chiloé is famous.
We will also visit some “pinguineras”, areas where penguin colonies live and reproduce.
You’ll love the island’s striking landscapes, traditional architecture, and unique culture.
March 11th: BIRD WATCHING AND FLIGHT TO SANTIAGO
Before leaving the beautiful South of Chile, you’ll do one last activity: birdwatching.
You’ll visit 3 different wetland areas over the course of three hours and explore magical accessible trails between ancient forest and giant trees several thousands of years old and still living!
You’ll search for Patagonian rainforest specialties including Chilean Hawk, Green-backed Firecrown, the skulking Black-throated Huet-huet, Ochre-flanked Tapaculo and White-crested Elaenia and experience nature through your senses.
In the background, snow-capped volcanoes and blue lakes provide unique opportunities for landscape photography.
You’ll return to your hotel at around 12pm to grab your bags and catch your flight back to Santiago.
Once back in Santiago, we will check-in to Atton Vitacura Hotel. No more activities are planned for today. If interested we can arrange a farewell dinner in a nice restaurant in Santiago with accessible transportation for all.
March 12th: DEPART CHILE
Today, depending on your flight departure, we will organize an accessible van to the Santiago International Airport.
The itinerary sounds AMAZING, doesn’t it?! I cannot wait to experience Chile with you!!
Now, let’s talk about the details regarding price…
Total price (based on double occupancy): $3,950 USD per person
• To confirm your spot on the tour, a nonrefundable deposit of $950 per person is due. Your spot on the tour will not be confirmed until this nonrefundable deposit is received.
• Another $600 per person will be due by August 3rd, 2021 and the remaining $2,400 per person will be due by February 3rd, 2022. The $600 is refundable only if it’s because of Covid or another “out of our hand’s circumstance”. The $2,400 (final payment) will be refundable always if you need to cancel the trip before 1 month beforehand.
• If you are traveling solo, there is a single-person supplement of $210 USD total. All rooms are for a total of 2 people unless the 3rd is a kid.
If you want to reserve your spot(s) on this Curb Free Group Trip, email me now at [email protected] with the subject line “Curb Free Chile [insert your name]”! Hurry because we only have a select number of spaces available!!
I hope to travel with you in 2022!!!