A selfie with an alpaca is enough to complete any trip to South America. Now, you can join Local Guide Thomas to see not just one, but many of these photogenic, adorable creatures! You'll start your day being picked up from your hotel in Valparaíso (or Viña del Mar) by your Local Guide Thomas, who will then take you to enjoy a wine tour at a nearby, stunning Chilean vineyard. This tour is a unique and fun way to explore the valley’s best kept secrets. At the vineyard, you will participate in a tour and wine tasting of the best wines Chile has to offer!
After your visit to the winery, you will experience one of the best-kept secrets of Chile’s Central Valley: the alpaca farm of Quintessence! It is one of the only places in the country where you can spend some quality time with this friendly animal. The tour will start at the farm where you can interact with adult and baby alpacas of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Feed them, pet them, and visit the workshops where they process their silky wool into fiber. You’ll also get a chance to see handmade alpaca garments, perfect to keep you warm in the winter. At the vineyard, you will participate in a tour and wine tasting of the best wines Chile has to offer!
Must be 18 years or older to participate in the wine tasting
Born and raised in France, Chile has been my adopted home for over ten years now. When I first came here in 2005, the country stole my heart, literally because it is where I met my beautiful Chilean wife. At first, I started my life here working as a journalist, because that’s what I did in France. Yet, I felt like the career wasn’t right for me anymore, I had reached a point where I needed a job that would combine my skills in a new and exciting way. With the curiosity of a journalist, I began researching new career options until eventually, I decided to give being a tour guide a try. The career seemed like it would be a natural fit because I was fluent in three languages, loved history, and had a passion for discovering new things!
For about ten years now, I've worked as a guide, sharing my passion and knowledge of Chile with curious travelers from all over. While I have taken hundreds of guests on tours, my mission is to treat each as though they are my best friend. I want to customize my tours for my clients' exact hopes and desires. So don’t be shy, ask me anything! In fact, since I’m French, you can even ask me about my honest opinion on Chilean wines… you may be surprised by my answer, though!
I was born and raised in Santiago and Bellavista, where I now guide tours. Before I was a tour guide I worked as a traveling salesman and then as a private driver for the local high-end hotels. One day I received a call from a colleague asking me to guide a tour. At first, I was hesitant and thought he even called the wrong number but the next day he gave me some pointers on how to guide tours. After that first successful tour, I’ve been guiding travelers around my beautiful country ever since. When I think about being a tour guide I like to remind myself of a quote by Seth Godin, “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories, and magic.” I think of this as a motto for my life.
At home, I'm a family man with 2 sons, a daughter, and 5 grandkids. I love to cook for my family, especially fish, seafood, and vegetables with a Mediterranean touch. Chile is a 'wine country' and so I learned how to appreciate the good wines we produce and incorporate them into my cooking.
Thanks to my father, who was a French military officer, I lived abroad for many years during my childhood. I was in Germany for 13 years, England for three years, and Finland for three years. Moving around and discovering new places at a young age has given me the drive and passion to see more of the world.
I finally settled in Chile after working for big companies in France for several years and owning an English pub in Algarve, Chile. I have found in this splendid country everything I was looking for: kind people, the immense Andes, all kinds of climates and landscapes, and, best of all, my beautiful wife. Now, I have been a freelance guide in Chile since 2003. In my free time I spend my time reading about Chile, it’s medicinal plants, animals, geography, history, and more, in order to share my knowledge with all the clients who visit us. I also specialize in wines, Valparaiso, Santiago, and flora and fauna. I chose to work as a guide for these unique interactions I have with travelers.