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01 Front Cover final.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel

01 Front Cover final.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel

Chilean wine Owner's

Chilean wine Owner's cellar, Casa Lapostolle On the land where the Andes meet the Pacific in a series of steep-sided valleys that flow down to ancient river beds and glacial paths, some of the best wines in the world are produced. Historically this region of Chile has been the fruit bowl of the country, but over the last couple of decades there has been a significant increase in money invested in what is now a flourishing wine industry. Chile has now become established in the top ten wine producers, by volume, in the world and many (professionals and amateurs alike) would put them in the top five for quality. It has not been an easy road to reach this status however. In the 1980s the quality was low and the climate and soil dismissed as too poor to produce high grade wines. But today, Chile is considered the perfect environment for a wide range of wine production; this is no longer a country that just produces a cheap merlot. These days Chile grows a wide variety of grapes, mostly red, from chocolaty carmeneres to robust cabernet sauvignons and wonderfully rounded merlots. In the Colchagua Valley you will find some of the best accommodation in the region such as the stunning Casa Lapostolle (on the Clos Apalta estate) and Casa Real (on the Santa Rita estate). For any wine lover this area is an essential part of a trip to Chile, Grapes, Colchagua Valley but if you are a serious connoisseur then you must get off the beaten track a little. Travelling south from Colchagua you will find the Curico and Maule valleys and further south still you reach Itata and Bio Bio regions where many of the new wines that are on our shelves originate. Here you will find Casa Porta and their pinot noirs, and organic blends. However Chilean wine is not all about the reds. With fish featuring heavily in many Chilean diets, white wines are a natural complement, and the region west of Santiago specialises in this. In the rolling hills that work their way down from the mountains to the old port town of Valparaíso you will find the Casablanca and San Antonio Valleys, home to Viña Matetic. It is from here that the sauvignon blancs and an increasing number of chardonnays are produced. The environment here is a perfect blend of fresh sea air and mineral-rich soil left behind by millennia of seismic activity in the region. Whether you are something of a connoisseur looking to learn more about wine production or you simply appreciate great wine alongside lovely scenery and peaceful accommodation, then a few hours or days in this area will be time well spent. We can arrange trips that best suit your level of interest. Colchagua Valley vineyard www.audleytravel.com/chile ● 01993 838 640 ● Chile 105

Atacama Desert The Far North The far north of Chile shares not only a border with Peru and Bolivia but also a common history derived from the pre-Conquest cultures of the region. The startling barren landscape holds a rich archaeological heritage – here you can discover immense geoglyphs, ancient cave art and excellent museums in and around the coastal towns of Arica and Iquique. To the east, this arid landscape, in shades of brown and gold, gives way to the foothills of the Andes and rises up to become part of the vast altiplano. Here panoramas of snow-topped volcanoes, herds of vicuña grazing amongst flowers and brightly coloured lakes await. Lauca National Park is visually stunning, and is en route for travellers who are taking the road from La Paz in Bolivia to Chile, via the equally sublime Sajama National Park. Cycling past Licancabur Volcano 106 Atacama Desert Eerie, austere, remote yet beautiful, never more so than at sunrise and sunset when the surfaces and the skies turn all manner of improbable hues of orange, crimson and gold, Chile’s Atacama Desert is so dry that there are many parts of it in which no rainfall has ever been recorded. This is an unlikely landscape to have a variety of attractions, yet the Atacama is a must-see for visitors to Chile, and the oasis town of San Pedro, at its heart, has some of the most original hotels in all of South America. After flying into Calama, a mining town with Chuquicamata, the largest open cast mine in the world in the hills behind it, travel by road through rolling swathes of parched lunar landscape to the welcoming town of San Pedro de Atacama, the base for explorations into the desert. From here you will join small guided groups, usually organised via your hotel, to marvel at the Atacama’s natural spectacles, and to discover archaeological sites; ancient mummies, geoglyphs, and crumbling ghost towns. Rise before dawn to drink your morning coffee at the world’s highest geothermal field, and watch the steam from your cup rise along with the spurting fumaroles of the Tatio geysers. Pick your way across the crunchy salt flats to spot the pink flamingos, photograph the vivid colours of the Miscanti and Meñique Lagoons, and climb the sweeping sand dunes of the Valley of the Moon to watch the sun set, turning them scarlet as it goes. This desert is an active person’s paradise, offering unique terrain through which to hike, cycle or horse ride, but it is also entirely accessible to those wishing to investigate it by vehicle, with the excellent hotel options offering total relaxation after an aweinspiring day’s exploration. Spotty llama, Atacama Desert

01 Front Cover final.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel
01 Front Cover final.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel
01 Front Cover final:Audley brochure ARTWORK ... - Audley Travel
01 Front Cover final.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel
01 Front Cover final:Audley brochure ARTWORK ... - Audley Travel
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01 Front Cover final.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel
01/144 front and back cover.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel
01/144 front and back cover.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel
01/144 front and back cover.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel
01/144 front and back cover.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel
01/144 front and back cover.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel
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01/144 front and back cover.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel
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01/144 front and back cover.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel
01/144 front and back cover.qxd:Audley brochure ... - Audley Travel