My husband and I are planning a trip to Chile in December 2010. How would we best use 10 days? We would fly into Santiago. Just doing some preliminary research and reading, we are interested in Valparaiso, wine country, the lake district, and Patagonia, but I am sure that is too much for 10 days. Basically I think we are overwhelmed at all the places we want to go! I have done some searching on the forum here but it just seems to complicate everything! And unfortunately we can’t take more than 10 or so days.
We like day hikes (can be strenuous, but no camping), cultural activities (museums, music), flat water kayaking, and we love great food and wine. We prefer to avoid ultra touristy places.
A few other things - we’d like to avoid renting a car if at all possible. I know if we want to get to Patagonia we’ll have to fly or take a long bus, but can anyone recommend particularly good areas for visiting without a car? Towns where it’s easy to get to parks via buses, hired cars, etc.