Chile Tourism Update

Both explora and Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) are relieved to report that no clients or employees were injured after the devastating earthquake in Chile. Meanwhile, more flights will be added Friday, March 5, at Santiago Airport, which has been operating with restricted flights due to damage to its terminal building.

The sites most visited by travellers to Chile — Patagonia, Easter Island, Atacama and the Southern Lake District — are undamaged. Santiago has largely recovered, with electricity and communications restored within the city and traffic flowing away from damaged areas. Major businesses, as well as government services, are operating as normal.

Pedro Barraza, A&K's regional managing director in South America, reports that all scheduled group and independent departures to Chile will operate as planned, including: Patagonia: A Luxury Adventure (March 10 – 25), Signature Chile (March 31 – April 11), and Chile & Argentina Educational Study Tour (April 17 – 26). The wine country of the Colchagua Valley sustained damage, and A&K staff is currently evaluating the condition of hotels and vineyards.

Call 1-800 554 7016 or visit www.abercrombiekent.com.

Josef Stirnimann, general manager of explora, announced that the explora + Wine Program in Alto Cachapoal Valley has been suspended after the site, Casa Porta Estate, suffered extensive damage from the earthquake. For guests already booked and reserved, the company has proposed alternative destinations for the tailor-made wine program, including Valparaiso, Zapallar and Santiago

Employees at explora have been asked to donate clothing, blankets, diapers and non-perishable food items through Hogar de Cristo. Monetary donations are being channeled through Red Cross Chile, while personal and work hours can be dedicated to the rebuilding process through A Roof for Chile NGO.

Call 1-866-750-6699 or visit www.explora.com.