Pope Francis to visit Chile, Peru in January

Pope Francis celebrates mass after a procession through Rome, on June 18, 2017

Pope Francis will visit Chile and Peru in January, the Vatican said Monday, on a trip that will take the Catholic Church's first South American pontiff from Santiago to Lima.

"His Holiness Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Trip to Chile from 15 to 18 January 2018... and Peru from 18 to 21 January," the Vatican said in a statement, adding that the details of the trip would be released at a later date.

Plans for a papal trip to the two countries were raised earlier this year during a meeting between the pope and several Chilean bishops after an initial idea for Francis to tour Argentina, Uruguay and Chile was deemed too extensive.

The pontiff's trip to majority-Catholic Chile will take him from Santiago, to Temuco and Iquique, while his stay in Peru will see him travel from Lima to Puerto Maldonado and Trujillo.