Signature Salt Flats & Highlights of the Andes

From San Pedro de Atacama to Puno
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Peru
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

An 11 day journey of awe inspiring vistas, from the desert landscapes of the Atacama, across the beautiful Salt Flats of Uyuni, to the shores of Lake Titicaca

Explore  the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world from the town of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. Look for flamingoes, soak in hot springs, watch geysers bubble. explore desert landscapes and gaze at the magical night sky!

Spend time exploring the famous Uyuni Salt Flats. The largest salt flat in the world offers a stark yet awe-inspiring vista, considered one of the most remarkable in South America. In the dry season the dazzling salt desert stretches as far as the eye can see, this is a great time to explore as much as possible, including Incahuasi Island, an oasis covered with giant cacti up to 10 metres high.  Or, if you are there in the wet season, rain can mean there is a thin layer of water sitting on top of the salt flat reflecting the sky in stunning ways - a photographers dream! The hardest thing will be deciding when to go!

Visit La Paz, the highest administrative capital in the world, with its spectacular setting in a deep bowl surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Wander the local streets, churches, visit the witches market, ride the cable car over the city and photography the incredible moon valley. 

See Aramu Muru, the "gate of the gods" and explore the pre Incan ruins of Tiwanaku enroute to Peru. From the shores of Lake Titicaca, explore the famous floating reed islands, witness an ancient Pachamama ceremony and learn about local indigenous cultures, as you visit several islands on the lake.

Looking to do this in reverse? Check out our Signature Highlands of the Andes and Salt Flats

Viva's Best Bits...

This journey will take you from the shores of Lake Titicaca, across the world’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni, to the driest desert in the world, the Atacama Desert. Witness geysers, colourful lagoons, lunar like landscapes & dazzling salt flats!

In the Atacama Desert, enjoy a night of star gazing, from a small private observatory - without light pollution this is best places in the world to observe stars, planets and constellations! Other fantastic sights include steaming geysers and hot springs

Magical experiences - participate in an ancient ceremony on Lake Titicaca, and stay in a "Salt Hotel" in Bolivia. This hotel is built of salt blocks, and is located at the edge of Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat.

Tour Itinerary

Customisable ? This tour can be customised to suit your tastes and timing. Enquire here for more information.
Day 1
San Pedro de Atacama

On arrival at Calama Airport, your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall to transfer you to the small oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama, the gateway tourist centre for the Atacama Desert. Overlooking the Licancabur Volcano, its dramatic surrounding landscape ranges from desert, salt flats, steaming geysers and hot springs to fascinating rock formations. The rest of the day is free to enjoy at your leisure. This evening you will be collected from your hotel for Astronomy in the Desert, one of the best places in the world to observe stars, planets, and constellations.

Day 2
San Pedro de Atacama

Start your day with a tour of San Pedro de Atacama, the archaeological capital of Chile. Located near the mouth of the main river that feeds the salt flat, this tour will orientate you and give you an understanding of the history, the town, and the surrounding areas. In the afternoon, travel across the Salt Mountain Range to reach the Valley of the Moon in time for sunset when the sun brings out the best of the valley's incredible colours.

Day 3
San Pedro de Atacama

There are no activities planned for the morning, allowing time to wander the streets of San Pedro de Atacama and browse the local stores at your leisure. In the afternoon, you’ll visit the Salar de Atacama, one of the world’s largest salt lakes, home to a variety of bird species, including the three types of flamingos, and one of the most important lithium reserves in the world. En route you will stop at the picturesque village of Toconao, built from white volcanic stone and then on to Chaxa Lagoon, we will be able and another dramatic sunset. (

Day 4
San Pedro de Atacama to the Bolivian Altiplano

This morning you will be transferred from San Pedro de Atacama to Hito Cajon, the mountain pass on the border between Chile and Bolivia. After clearing Bolivian immigration, make your way to the village of Villamar. Along the way you will be rewarded with some of the most dramatic and beautiful landscapes in the world, stopping off for plenty of photo opportunities. This high-altitude desert environment is home to dozens of colourful lagoons, snow-capped mountains, llamas, flamingos, hot springs, and geysers. Tonight, your accommodation is unique as it has been built into a rock and offers a warm, cosy and comfortable refuge from the desert night.

Day 5
Bolivian Altiplano to Uyuni Salt Flat

Today is packed with jaw-dropping scenery. Pass through the Valley of Rocks, stopping off to view famous rock formations caused by wind erosion. Villages like Culpina, where the houses have been built from natural materials and San Cristobal, which was relocated from its original location because of the zinc and silver deposits in the vicinity. Continue to the famous train cemetery with dozens of abandoned and rusting trains imported from Britain over 100 years ago and then finally arrive at your accommodation – the luxurious Palacio de Sal Hotel. Made from salt bricks and located on the shores of Salar de Uyuni, this hotel is the perfect base to set off to explore the Uyuni Salt Flats the next morning.

Day 6
Uyuni Salt Flat

This morning we set off across the Great Salt Flats to Colchani village, where we observe the methods of salt extraction and salt processing. We continue to Incahuasi Island, an oasis covered with giant cacti up to 10 metres high. Continuing north to visit the pre-Colombian ruins of Pucarade de Ayque fort on the foothills of Thunupa volcano, we’ll then return to Palacio del Sal Hotel for your last evening in the world’s largest salt desert. Enjoy a dip in the swimming pool, soak in the jacuzzi or grab a drink from the hotel’s bar.

Day 7
Uyuni Salt Flat to La Paz

Today you will fly from Uyuni to La Paz, which has the highest international airport in the world at 4,080 metres above sea level. La Paz has a spectacular setting in a deep bowl surrounded by snow-capped mountains of the Altiplano. It lies in the shadow of the towering 6,438m high Mt. Illimani, always snow-covered and visible from many parts of the city. There are no other activities planned for the rest of the day.

Day 8
La Paz

Embark on a city tour through La Paz, wandering through the street markets rich in handicrafts, weavings, and witchcraft items, followed by a visit to the colonial section of the city. Then, descend into the more modern, southern part of La Paz to reach and visit the Valley of the Moon, where a clay mountain has been impressively shaped by erosion. Ride by cable car for an excellent and beautiful view of La Paz.

Day 9
La Paz to Puno

Depart La Paz and head for the Peruvian border and the lakeside town of Puno. Travelling along the Pan-American Highway through the Bolivian highlands, you will stop off and temples, ruins, and historical sites. Arrive in Puno and the rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore the city at your leisure.

Day 10
Puno and Lake Titicaca Uncovered

You will be transported to the port to board a speedboat to spend a full day visiting Lake Titicaca’s communities, with onboard service to visit various islands on Lake Titicaca, including the Uru people and a visit to the last authentic floating islands. There are optional tours in reed boats before we depart back to Puno.

Day 11
Puno

You will be collected from your hotel at the appropriate time and transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 Accommodation in superior hotels
Food
  • Included Copy 20 Breakfast daily, and other meals as outlined in the included sightseeing tours
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Private Airport Transfers
  • Included Copy 20 Internal flights as part of this itinerary*
  • Included Copy 20 Sightseeing on a shared basis as outlined in the tour itinerary with English speaking guides
  • Included Copy 7 International Flights, Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable), tips, travel insurance
Transportation
Land, Air, Ship, Train ...

Activities

  • Included Enjoy astro and archaeological tours in Atacama Desert
  • Included See colourful lagoons, volcanoes, geysers and hot springs, look for flamingoes!
  • Included See the floating reed islands of Lake Titicaca and learn how they are constructed
  • Included Visit Fish Island, Laguna Colorada and more
  • Included Stay in a Salt Hotel, explore Salar de Uyuni - the world’s largest salt lake.
  • Included Witness unparalleled scenery as you explore the Atacama Desert
  • Included Explore La Paz, its churches, witches markets and moon valley
  • Included Learn about pre Incan civilizations at Tiwanaku
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Tour on Special!
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Duration

11 days

Price from

$4,626 USD

Per person, twin share

Departures Mon, Thurs, Sat