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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.

Highlights

  • 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

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Cajon del Maipo Day Trip from Santiago

Enjoy a glass of local wine

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.

Customer Reviews

Pamela L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

This day trip was super! The hotel pick-up was right on time, and we were greeted with hugs by our friendly, knowledgeable, and energetic guide, Valentina. Our driver, Sebastian, was excellent as well. We would never have gotten into the mountains at all if not for this tour. The scenery is beautiful, and the natural reservoir a stunning turquoise. We had a short stop before we got there for light breakfast, then a picnic snack that we all thought was lunch at the reservoir . We had a short stop at the entrance to an old train tunnel where if you say your dreams, they're supposed to come true. Then we continued along, stopping for real lunch, giant and delicious homemade empanadas. We were back at the hotel about 4:15, ready for a siesta before going out again. A wonderful day! Especially excellent for people like us who cannot do a big hike but still love to get out in nature.

Alicia Z

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

Great tour! Beautiful scenery, very informative tour guide and driver. Highly recommended tour.
Alicia Z.

Lynn L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

Absolutely fantastic! There were 10 tourists, the driver Sebastian, I think - superb driver! and the guide in a minivan. Alejandro, the guide, was a delight! Very personable and knowledgeable. Early pickup 7:30 for us, then off to the mountains. Coffee and tea break and rest stop at a charming little place that reminded me of the English tea rooms in the Los Angeles area. Then up into the mountains to Embalse el Yeso, a long turquoise lake fed by 3 rivers and held by a dam. Gotta warn you - it's all natural up there, which means a lot of unpaved therefore bumpy roads and no restroom facilities. They served us a picnic put together by the place where we had our break - yummy watermelon, ceviche I think it's the national dish of Chile, cheese chunks, a cheese spread with pine nuts, bread, carrot and celery sticks, a raisin and nut mix similar to trail mix, some fantastic non-oily non-salty black olives, strawberry juice, and a Chilean wine made from the French grapes that the French no longer have. What a feast! Note: the feast 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 huge! with local craft beer.
It sounds like all we did was eat. The food was all included in the price of the tour, although notes on Viator indicate the lunch might not always be.
The minivan can theoretically hold 13 passengers. Glad we had a little space. The far back corner behind the driver where I was sitting didn't get much of the air conditioning, but I consider that a minor discomfort far outweighed by the rest of the experience.
The scenery was magnificent. We went up to about 9800 feet in the Andes. It was a hot sunny day in Santiago about 100 degrees, but there was a cold wind blowing when we got up to the lake, and we were glad to have windbreakers. The turquoise waters of the lake are such an unbelievable color! Occasionally mixed with brown where one of the rivers fed into it. Surrounded by mountains that still had some snow on the peaks. A condor sailing overhead - unusual for the time of year, we were told. Rushing rivers and waterfalls. The old camp where the workers lived while they built the dam. Plenty of photo opportunities.
We are so glad we went on this trip! It was a fabulous day out!

Christopher T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

We enjoyed it very much.

Lolee

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

It was quite a tour. The views were excellent. The driver and guide were top notch. I would recommend this tour.

Jacob F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

This is a great tour. The views were beautiful, and the picnic by the lagoon was very nice.

Joe F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

We really enjoyed this excursion, and our guide Bernadita was awesome! Getting to get out of the smog of Santiago and see the Andes up close made the trip worthwhile.

john i

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

Brilliant. Martin was an amazing host who shared his passion for his country, its culture and its environment

Christiane S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

Best viator tour ever. Guide outstanding, its the best way to get well into the Andes small van, see the bluest lake imaginable lagoon providing all water to Santiago, have a wilderness experience, and stop at 2 local small cafes one for morning coffee and cake, one for afternoon drink and empanada. Dont miss this one.

cbart

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

The driver Sebastien and guide Alejandro were great! We drove up one side of the canyon, enjoyed the view and short hike at the end of the trail and enjoyed a picnic lunch with wine fruit nuts and crudites. On the return trip we went down the other side of the canyon and stopped for an empanada lunch and beverage. Friendships were made. It was an amazing experience and Alejandro told history and geography lessons along the way.

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