Chile + Chile wine regions

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I am beginning the planning process for an anniversary trip to Chile for April 2019. I would like to tap into knowledge of the wine regions of Chile that can be accessed mainly as a self guided couple. We are open to hiring guides by the day, particularly to drive/guide whilst we sample/taste. We would like to stay in extra nice accommodations that are close to wineries and fine cuisine. This will constitute about 5 days of our trip. After that we would like to visit some other areas of the country. We would appreciate opinions of what is the most rewarding for the travel time (realize the country is very vast) involved: Patagonia, Easter Island, Atacama desert or other recommended areas. Thank you for any input/ideas. Frequent T.

I hope you get to the Atacama and especially to Easter Island. I have just made arrangements for my second trip to the island and found the best way to organize a visit is to deal with a company on the island. I booked with Maururu Travel (www.maururutravel.com and email: ventasrapanui@maururutravel.com) and found them easy to work with. They also own the Tata Tai Hotel (which I have stayed at previously) and can arrange a complete package with transfers, hotel and either private or group guiding.
LATAM airlines is the only company that flies to Easter Island. They are partners with American Airlines, but also check LATAM's own website for fares. It is a 5 hour flight from Santiago to Easter Island. Four to six days on the island would be perfect.

While I cannot suggest visits to wine regions, I do suggest you visit Torres del Paine National Park, Puerto Natales, and Punta Arenas while in the region. The Rio Serrano Hotel [www.hotelrioserrano.cl] is a comfortable hotel just outside the park offering full expedition team to help you appreciate the moody mountain scenery and park activities. Just sitting in the hotel's expansive public and private areas watching the light change on the mountains is a thrill. This area is noted for unpredictable weather so minimally 3-4 nights are suggested. Only two hours away is Puerto Natales, considered a gateway to Torres del Paine. Hotel Costaustralis [www.hotelcostaustralis.com] is well located on the waterfront promenade. A couple nights here would offer time to explore glaciers in nearby fjords and city sights. Punta Arenas is a jumping off point for cruises to Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica. While I did not get to stay in Punta Arenas, I would have liked 2-3 nights so I could have visited Isla Magdalena to walk among the penguins and adequate time to explore this historic city. If you're traveling on your own, you'd be able to see highlights of the area without driving major distances. Enjoy!

Thank you for these suggestions. I have been thinking about Easter Island, however, it is a long haul. It is difficult to prioritize (as in most travel); and also how much time to budget in each destination.

We spent several days a few years back in the scenic Colchagua wine region of Chile (it's 112 miles south of Santiago with good roads all the way down). This area has a number of wineries that produce excellent wines. I didn't take time to check out lodging, but I recall that there were several up-scale places (we stayed at one overlooking a winery that was wonderful). Check Trip Advisor or Booking.Com for accommodation ideas. What we particularly liked about this area is that it caters to foreign visitors interested in wine -- English is widely spoken and each winery has a twist in addition to wine tasting such as carriage rides through the vineyards, craft shops, a funicular, etc. We also dined very well in the area. We have made several trips to Chile. Other areas we enjoyed were Santiago (interesting historical and cultural activities; also a couple of nearby wineries easily reachable by taxi), the island of Chloe (incredible shell fish and great architecture), and the Atacama Desert (way north but incredibly beautiful). If you go to Santiago, you might also want to consider a day trip by bus (several options) to nearby Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. Have a wonderful trip!