Amazing Andes La Paz to Santiago

From La Paz to Santiago
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Custom
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Tour Description

Experience the best of Bolivia and Chile on this 12 day tailor made journey. Embarking in lofty La Paz, the city that touches the sky will impress with incredible views stretching to snow capped mountains. A city tour takes in historic monuments and fascinating local markets. Leaving La Paz your journey encompasses the natural and classical wonders of Bolivia as you journey further into the Andes mountains towards Chile. Witness the incredible beauty of the Salar de Uyuni, visit the ghostly skeletons of Bolivia's mining industry at the train cemetery. Explore geysers and hot springs high in the mountains and marvel at archaeological ruins in San Pedro de Atacama.

Crossing into Chile immerse yourself in exciting Santiago and explore the modern and historic highlights on a tour of the capital city. Sample that famous Chilean drop in wine country and finally delve into the glittering jewel Valparaiso. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is famous for beautiful architecture, colourful people and culture and the funiculars that cling to the precipitous hills. Experience the natural and cultural wonders of Bolivia and Chile as you travel in comfort and style.

 

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Tour Itinerary

Day 1
La Paz

On arrival you will be transferred from the airport to your hotel. El Alto airport is the highest International airport in the world at 4,080 metres above sea level.
Overnight in La Paz

Day 2
La Paz

Discover the fascinating city of La Paz, on a full day city tour. We take you through the Gold, Murillo and Costumbrista Museums and to the "Mirador de Killi Killi" viewpoint, offering magnificent views over La Paz. Visit various street markets including a traditional market where agricultural products from the highlands, such as quinoa, tunta, chuño (dehydrated potato) and oca (sweet tuber) are sold and the Witches Market, where locals buy supplies for ritual ceremonies like the Ch'alla and offerings to Pachamama (Mother Earth). Take the “Teleférico” cable car that gives an excellent and beautiful view of La Paz.
Continue on to the Valley of the Moon, where a clay mountain has been impressively shaped by erosion resulting in a formation that resembles the face of the moon. Lunch is included today.
Overnight in La Paz

Day 3
La Paz

Tiwanaku is a 1.5 hour drive from La Paz, located near the southern shores of Lake Titicaca on the Altiplano, at an altitude of 3,850 metres. Tiwanaku was the spiritual and political centre of the Tiwanaku culture that dates back to 1500BC - 1000AD. The Tiwanaku people were outstanding in agriculture, hydraulics, architecture and medicine, as well as in social organization, but due to an economic crisis caused by a long dry season, Tiwanaku collapsed around 1,000 AD.
The main constructions visited during this tour include the Kalasasaya Temple and the Gate of the Sun constructed out of stone, Ponce and Fraile monoliths, the Pyramid of Akapana and the semi-underground temple.
We also visit two local museums to view pottery and stone work and to learn more about the culture.
Afternoon at leisure.
Overnight in La Paz

Day 4
La Paz Uyuni

Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Uyuni.
Uyuni, founded in 1889 by Bolivian president Aniceto Arce, is still an important military base. It lies in south-western Bolivia, 3,670 metres above sea level and situated on the edge of the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world. The Salar de Uyuni covers over 10,000 square kilometres of the Bolivian Altiplano and is fringed by the mountains of the Andes. Beneath it lies the world’s largest lithium reserve estimated to be about 100 million tons and accounting for around 70% of the world’s lithium reserves. The salt in the salt flats is over 120 metres deep. The area is remote, arid and cold, stark, yet stunning, boasting extraordinary beauty and a silence that is captivating.
Today we depart across the Great Salt Flats to Colchani village, to observe the methods of salt extraction and salt processing. The tour then continues to Incahuasi Island (better known as Fish Island) - an oasis with a unique and isolated ecosystem that is populated by giant columnar cacti up to 10 metres high, some over 100 years old. We continue, travelling north to visit the pre-Columbian Pucara de Ayque fort and the nearby chullpares on the foothills of Thunupa volcano, then east to our hotel near Colchani (2 hours). A picnic lunch and dinner are included today.
Overnight at a Salt Hotel

Day 5
Colchan Villamar

Today we head south, first visiting the cemetery of old trains on the outskirts of Uyuni. Uyuni was an important transportation hub and in the late 19th century, rail lines were built by British engineers and the trains carried minerals to the Pacific Ocean ports. After the collapse of the mining industry in the 1940’s, many trains were abandoned outside Uyuni with the resulting Train Cemetery. The salt winds have led to the corrosion of the metal.
Continue through the highlands, passing the villages of San Cristobal and Culpina K until we reach the high and rich valley of Alota (3 hours). San Cristobal was relocated from its original location because of the zinc and silver deposits in the vicinity. The San Cristobal silver mine is one of the largest silver mines in the world. The colonial church was moved stone by stone from its original location. Culpina K features artwork designed by the Bolivian artist Gaston Ugalde, including several metal trees. The town is built from natural materials and the houses painted with natural pigmentation.
After a picnic lunch, we continue through areas with great stone formations caused by erosion and through high valleys to the village of Villamar (1 hour).
Dinner is included at the hotel.
Overnight in Villamar

Day 6
Villamar - REA - Hito Cajon San Pedro de Atacama


Villamar
San Pedro de Atacama
Long day! Trip to REA through Polkes and visiting: Laguna Colourada (4,278m – 2 hours), declared a RAMSAR site due to the nesting of over 30,000 Andean flamingos, geysers “Sol de Mañana”, Chalviri lagoon and its hot springs of Polques. Continue the high deserts of Pampas de Dali until “Laguna Verde” (3 hours), a beautiful green lagoon at the foothills of the Licancabur Mountain, continue until de Bolivian boarder Hito Cajón. Includes a picnic lunch
Once you have completed immigration formalities, you will be met & transferred to your hotel
The small oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama lies on an arid high plateau in the Andes Mountains in the heart of some of northern Chile’s most spectacular scenery.
Overnight San Pedro de Atacama.

Day 7
Tulor, Quitor, Moon Valley & Salt Mountain Range

San Pedro de Atacama is considered the archeological Chilean capital due the human establishment twelve thousand years ago. In the XII century aborigines built the fortress of Quitor to defend their people to the attack of enemies, foreigners or border natives. Tulor village is the oldest archeological human establishment of the entire region and it was occupied between 300 BC and 500 AC. The tour visits the ayllus de Coyo, most important part of the archaeological route. There you will find circulars constructions, antiques Lickanantay’s residences and can appreciate the original fauna and flora.This afternoon, travel across Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountain Range) to reach the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon), one of the main attractions of this region. Located 19km from San Pedro de Atacama, the valley's landscape resembles the surface of the moon with small but sharp crested hills created by the wind. You will visit in the late afternoon when the setting sun brings out the best of the valley's incredible colours.
Activities in San Pedro de Atacama might be rescheduled upon arrival to the destination.
Overnight in San Pedro de Atacama

Day 8
Salted Chaxa Lagoon Toconao

Visit the Salar de Atacama, one of the world’s largest salt lakes and the most important lithium reserves in the world. The lagoons here are home to various species of flamingos and other wildlife. En route to the Salt Lake, visit the town of Toconao. The houses in this small picturesque village are built from bricks of white volcanic stone and its friendly inhabitants are famous for their fine wool knitting skills.
Overnight in San Pedro de Atacama

Day 9
Tatio Geysers - Atacama Santiago

Located 90 km Northwest of San Pedro, the Tatio Geysers sit at an altitude of 4,300 metres above sea level and are said to be the highest geothermal field in the world. Set off in the early morning to see the 100 geysers erupt water and let off steam to heights of up to 50 metres. On the way back to the town, drive downhill through a wonderful landscape where you can spot guanacos, vicuñas, flamingos and other wildlife.
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Santiago (Included)
Upon arrival in to Santiago, you will be met & transferred to your hotel.
Overnight in Santiago

Day 10
Santiago

Take a tour of the charismatic Santiago, visiting both the old and new areas of the city. Highlights include the Plaza de Armas & Cerro Santa Lucia, the hill on which Santiago was founded in 1541.
Afternoon at leisure
Overnight in Santiago

Day 11
Valparaiso & Casablanca Valley

We head west towards the Pacific Ocean starting in the Casablanca Valley, famous for its many wineries and towns full of Chilean traditions. Vines were first planted here in the mid 1980’s and the area is known for its cool climate white wines, most notably Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, as well as Pinot Noir. The region’s world class wineries are mostly located along the road and we will visit one of them to enjoy a premium wine tasting before continuing on to Valparaiso.
Valparaiso is a historic port and is known as the “Jewel of the Pacific” and the cultural capital of Chile with festivals every year and a number of street artists and musicians. Its charming, picturesque and colourful houses are set on cobblestone alleyways in the hills that surround the city, creating a natural amphitheatre. In the 19th century, Valparaiso saw an influx of European immigrants. The historic quarter of Valparaiso was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2003 based on its unique architecture and urban design. The city’s system of funicular lifts was declared one of the world’s most endangered historical treasures by the World Monuments Fund in 1996.
A short drive along the coast will allow us to have a perfect view of the hills and the city. We walk around the town to discover hidden treasures such as art galleries, small cafes, breweries and the house of the famous Chilean Poet, Pablo Neruda.
Lunch is not included but we will recommend some restaurants for you and time is allowed for you to enjoy lunch.
Overnight Santiago

Day 12
Santiago Depart

Transfer to the airport with bag-loads of memories.
Why not add on a Galapagos cruise, Antarctica Cruise or a Patagonia adventure. Please ask for more details

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 11 nights accommodation in standard hotels
  • Included Copy 31 Hotel upgrades available
Food
  • Included Copy 20 Breakfast daily, and other meals as outlined in the included sightseeing tours
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Sightseeing on a shared basis as outlined in the tour itinerary with English speaking guides
  • Included Copy 20 Internal flight from La Paz to Uyuni & Calama to Santigo
  • Included Copy 20 All airport transfers on either a shared or private basis
  • Included Copy 7 International flights are NOT included. However can be added. Please ask for more details.
Transportation
Land, Air, Ship, Train ...

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Duration

12 days

Price from

$4,000 USD

Per person, twin share

Daily departures
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