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“Great way to spend the day”

Ranked #67 of 276 Tours in Santiago
Attraction details
Waimea, Hawaii
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great way to spend the day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 7, 2011

This was the only tour I've taken so far that has been on time! And Pedro actually was early! We were all picked up in his van(4 other women) and our 1st stop was for breakfast at El Volcan. We had coffee, tea, cake, etc. Delicious and all prepared by Pedro. The day just kept getting better and better: the hike to El Morado was very pleasant and Pedro was very knowledgeable. Back down at the bottom, we made a little side trip to the Mineral Baths where people were actually orange from the clay. On our way back to Santiago, we stopped for a snack at a little town. I would highly recommend spending a day hiking with Pedro; he 'made the day so enjoyable with his personality, friendliness, professionalism, etc.!

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank chillyinchile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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64 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kingston, Canada
1 review
“Coastal Splendour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 22, 2011

We thoroughly enjoyed our trip with Pedro and Alexandra to the Pacific Coast. Our first stop was the port of San Antonio where sea lions and pelicans greeted us. Shortly afterwards, we had a breakfast snack with a stunning view of the ocean before heading to Isla Negra for a tour of one of Pablo Neruda’s houses. We then enjoyed a delicious lunch watching “las olas grandes” crash against the rocks at Punta de Tralca. From there we headed to Algarrobo for a scenic hike along the coast, before making our way to Las Cruces for a beer and Empanadas de Camarones—mmmm! Pedro is a thoughtful, kind, knowledgeable guide and his tour is not to be missed!

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank Nelly624
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing day at El Morado”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2011

Last week my friend and I were lucky enough to spend a day hiking in El Morado with Pedro. The trek with Pedro was my favorite day in Chile. Pedro's friendly demeanor and knowledge quickly put my friend and I (2 single girls) at ease. The scenery at the park was absolutely spectactular. Pedro provided morning snacks and lunch along with a post hiking stop for some Chilean dessert. I would absolutely recommend this trip to anyone looking to get out of the city and see the mountains.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Mindy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Spectacular birds of the Andes near Santiago”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 6, 2011

When we were planning our holiday to Peru and Bolivia, we decided we should spend a couple of days in Santiago before our flight back to Australia. We wanted to see and enjoy some of Chile’s natural environment and also some of the wildlife it offers, especially the flying varieties (birds!). We were very keen on seeing (not ‘twitching’) endemic South American birds. During our visit to Peru and Bolivia we expected to see many species. In Chile, in addition to experiencing the beautiful scenery of the Andes, our main bird watching goal was to see the Andean Condor and then of course any other Chilean birds we could find. We did a search of the web for possible tours and found Fueguinos Nature Trips. Fueguinos offers nature tours, not bird watching tours. We felt, however, that these trips provided the ideal fit for our purpose. Via emails, we pre-booked a day trip to the Andes followed by a day trip to the coastal region, on 26 and 27 September 2011. We were certainly amazed by our experience, which exceeded our expectations. As it turned out, our Fueguinos tours were among the highlights of our South American holiday.

Pedro, the owner and tour guide of Fueguinos, arrived early on the first day. He is very friendly, fluent in English, and we immediately felt very comfortable and at ease with him. This day, we were the only two people on the tour. We mentioned that aside from seeing and walking around the beautiful natural environment, we are interested in the wildlife and especially the birds found in these places. He mentioned that there was no guarantee of seeing condors - and when he does see them there are only two or three flying around above the mountains. Pedro was driving us to an area called “El Volcan” up in the mountains southeast of Santiago. The day started very well. Everything was new to us - the surroundings and the birds.
Our first bird, which Pedro pointed out, was the Loica (Long-tailed Meadowlark), a handsome bird with a bright red breast. And along the way we also saw more species including Chincol (Rufous-collared Sparrow), Diuca (Common Diuca-Finch), Yal (Mourning Sierra-Finch) and Zorzal (Austral Thrush). Pedro has a good knowledge of flora and fauna and knows the birds by their local names. We brought with us a copy of the field guide, “Birds of Chile” to complement his local knowledge and to identify the English names when necessary. We stopped at a disused mining village for morning tea provided by Pedro. The coffee was excellent (real coffee!) and so were the sandwiches. There were plenty of birds around such as Golondrina Chilena (Chilean Swallow), Tenca (Chilean Mockingbird), Tiuque (Chimango Carara) and Tordo (Austral Blackbird). On the grassy ground, there were groups of Cometocino de Gay (Grey-hooded Sierra-Finches) – delightful birds, a bit shy but we could still get fairly close to them. Then Pedro excitedly pointed to our first ever view of a Condor (Andean Condor), flying over the mountain high above us. We thought – well, that’s it for our condor sighting - a long way off but least we finally got to see it!
We then left the area to continue on to El Morado. We were driving along the valley and taking in the dramatic scenery when suddenly, to one side, we were stunned by the amazing sight of some 20 condors congregating in an open area. These huge birds were coming to feed on the carcass of a dead horse! Pedro could not believe his eyes either – he had never seen such a great number condors at one time. We stayed there for a long time photographing them and watching their behaviour. Adults and immatures were present. In flight they are magnificent, flying around in such spectacular surroundings. This was what we had come for and was the highlight of our trip to Chile. Near the condors, and dwarfed by their great size, were also some caracaras and lapwings. It took quite a while for the three of us to calm down after the excitement of watching the condors.
We then continued our drive on to our destination. El Morado Natural Monument is a very scenic protected area, good for trekking and nature and bird watching activities. We parked at the entrance of the reserve and hiked up the graded trail for breathtaking views of the Andean mountains and the San Francisco Glacier. While leisurely hiking to the top, along the way we saw various interesting birds, such as the Turca (Moustached Turca), Dormilona Nuca Rojiza (Rufous-naped Ground-Tyrant) and Minero Cordillerano (Rufous-banded Miner). Here is also an abundance of Andean plants and flowers. At midday, we stopped at this beautiful place for our lunch, which Pedro had brought along. The lunch was excellent and quite filling. We sat on rocks and every now and again a condor or two, or three, would fly high above the mountains. We couldn’t ask for more – around us were the high Andes, excellent weather, beautiful scenery, and new birds for our list. Walking back to our vehicle, around the attractive settlement and mountain stream, we found more special birds, including Churrete (Dark-bellied Cinclodes), Pajaro Plomo (Plumbeous Sierra-Finch) and Tortola Cordillerana (Black-winged Ground-Dove). To top it off, on the way back to our hotel, Pedro took us to a little town for a nice mug of tea and apple pie while we relaxed and shared stories and experiences. He dropped us off at our hotel just after seven o’clock in the evening. What a great day!

On day two we visited coastal areas west of Santiago. Pedro picked us up right on the appointed time of 7:30am. A couple of girls visiting from Uruguay were joining us for the day. Our first stop was a fish market located in the harbour at San Antonio. We arrived just as the fishing boats were coming back from their fishing trip. All had good catches. It was a hectic morning and there was much to see. There were hundreds of Pelicanos (Peruvian Pelicans) flying around and congregating, and taking advantage of the fish scraps from the fishermen. And also lots of Gaviota Dominicana (Kelp Gulls) and Yeco (Neotropic Cormorants). The place also was popular with Sea Lions, which were everywhere and unbelievably tame. From there we drove to Pedro’s secret place for a morning snack. We stopped in a residential street and walked though an easement to a beautifully located small park on a cliff-top overlooking the ocean and rocky coast. Here we watched and photographed gulls and cormorants flying below us (instead of above us) while enjoying our coffee and cookies.
After a relaxing stop, we continued to Cartagena and stopped at the Laguna Cartagena nature sanctuary. This place is located a few hundred metres from the sea. It used to be a rubbish tip but has been redeveloped as a splendid wetland bird sanctuary. What a commendable wildlife conservation effort has been made here by the people and municipality of Cartagena! Here we saw numerous water birds such as Blanquillo (Silvery Grebe), various ducks including Pato Cuchara (Red Shoveler), Pato Rana (Lake Duck) and Pato Real (Chiloe Wigeon), three species of tagua (coot), Perrito (White-backed Stilt), Queltehue (Southern Lapwing) and Gaviota Caguil (Brown-headed Gull). One could spend all day in this place but unfortunately we still had other places to see, so we only had a couple of hours there. This sanctuary is fenced but outside there is the seashore and a small lagoon estuary where we were thrilled to see a group of the remarkable Coscoroba Swans, as well as other birds.
For lunch, Pedro again excelled himself. He drove to a place where Piquero (Peruvian Boobies) are nesting. Pedro and the girls stayed along the beach while we walked for about 20 minutes to view this colony. Along the way we admired the coastal vegetation, including large cacti and varied flowering plants. The booby colony is located on an offshore high rocky islet. Other than the two of us there were no other people present except for a lone surfer. There were many hundreds of the boobies nesting and flying within a few hundred metres from us, in full view. And on the rocks near us were Churrete Costero (Chilean Seaside Cinclodes) and Playero de las Rompientes (Surfbirds). We spent all the time we had available in watching and photographing these birds. Pedro provided us with the lunch in our backpacks. However, we didn’t manage to finish it (until later) because so much was going on around us. Pedro wanted us to be back by a certain time so we could visit the former house of the highly esteemed Chilean Nobel Laureate Poet Pablo Neruda.
Pablo Neruda’s house, now a museum, overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is located at Isla Negra, a pretty coastal town. It is very well cared for and is full of varied, weird and unusual items he collected throughout his life, mostly about the sea, such as bottles, ship’s figureheads, ships in bottles, shells and maps, and even a stuffed horse. It is a popular tourist place and we had an interesting cultural and informative tour of the house and its collections. From the garden overlooking the sea we saw many flocks of Peruvian Boobies flying past.
Finally, we stopped briefly at another wetland site to look at some more water birds, especially the iconic Cisne cuello negro (Black-necked Swan). And then, on the way back to Santiago, we stopped at a seaside restaurant to relax, share stories, take some more photos, and enjoy each other company over drinks and delicious empanadas – a perfect way to finish the day. Pedro dropped us off at the airport to catch our evening flight back to Australia. Another excellent and fruitful day!

We had two unforgettable days with Pedro, experiencing some of what the Andes and surroundings of Santiago have to offer. For those who love nature and are interested in bird watching and photography, we can highly recommend Fueguinos Nature Trips. Pedro is an excellent guide and very knowledgeable. He caters the tours to his client requirements. Even though he’s been to these places countless times, he runs them as if everything is new, not only to his clients, but to himself too. His enthusiasm and enjoyment is quite contagious.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
10 Thank Brian_Del
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mannheim, Germany
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Excellent experience and perfect organization”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 24, 2011

Was picked up by Pedro - unfortunately I have missed the meeting point and was looking around, so pedro came by for a second round and I could still get on board. After an early start we had a picknick/breakfast in el Volcan before continuing to Banos Morales. A beautiful hike up the valley to the Laguna Morales followed. Unfortunately the last km or so the path was not accessible due to too much snow. Spectacular scenery all around!
The day was rounded out by a tasty piece of cake and tea in a village cafe on the way back to Santiago...
Next time I am in Santiago, I would go with Pedro again!

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank altamiro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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