For 12 days and 11 nights, this tour to South America will take you through major destinations in Bolivia and Chile, including the Bolivia’s vast Uyuni salt flat and that nation’s colorful capital city of La Paz. As for Chile – stretching from the bellybutton of South America down to its big toe – you will experience the moonlike landscape of the that country’s Atacama desert in the north, as well the contrasting cosmopolitan capital of Santiago towards the south. Discover both the “rooftop of the world” and the commically thin Chile on this amazing journey to the heart of South America.
“My wife and I just completed a 5-day tour around the Cotopaxi volcano and the stunning Quilotoa loop – overall an excellent trip and wonderful experience.”
Upon your arrival at the airport or bus station in the Bolivian capital — La Paz — you will be welcomed by our guide, and then driven to your hotel.
This morning we will head out for Tiwanaku, a UNESCO-declared “World Heritage Site” that is the most important archaeological center of the country. Upon our arrival, we will visit the local museum that displays a collection of objects found on the site. We will then walk through the archaeological complex to find its main attractions: the Akapana pyramid, the semi-subterranean temple with heads embedded in its walls; and the temple of Kalasasaya, with the famous Puerta del Sol (“door of the sun”) in it. Returning to La Paz, we will visit the Valley of the Moon, which is the product of erosion of ancient sedimentary formations. From there, we will go downtown for a city tour through the main square, which is the government palace and the Assembly of Bolivia are located. Continuing on to the popular Las Brujas (“Witches”) market, you can buy any and every magical remedy you need to cure ailments of the body and soul.
This morning we will begin our trip to the city of Sucre, which is the constitutional capital of Bolivia and a UNESCO-declared “World Heritage Site.” Reaching the city this afternoon, we will walk on the rooftop of the San Felipe Neri convent. From there, we will meander through the main square, around which you will discover the Cathedral and the Casa de la Libertad, where the act marking the country’s independence was signed. Later, we will visit the museum of the ASUR Foundation, which preserves the textile art of the indigenous Jalq’a and Tarabuco communities; and later visit the Recoleta lookout point, which allows for a great view over the city.
Early in the morning, you will be driven to the city of Potosi, climbing up from the temperate valleys to reach the Bolivian highlands. After arriving and settling in at your hotel, we will immediately head out on a city tour: walking through the main square and then going to the “Royal Mint,” where indigenous people and black slaves used to mint coins with silver mined from the local hillside. We will then wander through the adjacent streets to discover and admire facades of the most outstanding buildings, such as the church of San Francisco and San Lorenzo, in addition to masterpieces of baroque art in the city. In the afternoon, we will visit the mining market and then stop at a mine in the bowels of Cerro Rico (“Rich Hill”) where miners still worship the devil Tio (“Uncle”) Oscar, the master of all the riches in the interior of the earth.
Early in the morning, we will drive to Uyuni town. During the morning we wil have the opportunity to visit Colchani, this is a tiny salt mining town located outskirts of Uyuni Salt Flats, the main attractions are the salt factory and museum. Then, we continue to check in at one of the salt hotels (subject to availability) to have lunch.
In the afternoon, we will immediately proceed to the great Salar de Uyuni. The world’s largest salt deposit — covering more than 10,500 km2 (4,000 sq. miles) — it is roughly the same size at the island nation of Jamaica. We will visit then piles of salt and the Ojos del Salar.
We will wait for sunset inside the salt flat, taking spectacular photos of the reflections in the water. This is a truly unique experience!
We will leave Uyuni early in the morning (around 6:00 am) for the Siloli Desert, whose arid and untamed landscape is marked sand dunes and volcanoes in the background. On the way, we will stop at the Cañapa and Hedionda lagoons, where pink flamingos can usually be seen. Arrival and accommodation at your hotel.
We will again head out early in the morning, this time en route to Laguna Colorada, an important nesting site of the region’s three varieties of flamencos: the Andean, Chilean and James. Continuing on to the Sol de Mañana geyser and the Polkes lagoon, you will have a chance to bathe in their hot springs. We will then travel through the surrealistic Dali Desert before arriving at Verde Lagoon to observe this lake’s changing colors. From there we will drive to Hito Cajon, the border point between Bolivia and Chile, for immigration formalities before continuing to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. This small town, situated in the driest desert of the world, is characterized by its small adobe houses and cozy restaurants, which are the base for exploring one of Chile’s most spectacular destinations.
After such an active week, today you will have a relaxed morning. However, in the afternoon you will be picked up for your excursion to the remarkable Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley). The trip will take you to observe unique forms of salt and clay, as you will see in the “Three Marias” area. There you will be visiting the strange geological shapes located in one of the world’s driest and most hostile zones, the Atacama Desert. Here, you will not only appreciate the great power of the natural forces of our planet, but also find yourself amazed with the delicate work of nature over thousands of years, and contemplate and photograph incomparable sculptures. The highlight of your adventure will be waiting for the Atacama sunset, opening your senses to the wonderful landscapes and colors of the mountains, with the Licancabur Volcano as the age-old witness of yet another night in the Chilean desert.
Early this morning, you will be picked up from your hotel to go more than 100 kilometers from San Pedro of Atacama into the Andes mountain range. There you will participate in one of the most astonishing phenomenon produced by nature as you see contrasting colors produced by the steam columns in the highest geothermal field in the world. Here you will have the unique opportunity to swim in the mineral-rich waters of the Tatio spring, and then enjoy a complete breakfast while enjoying the magnificent views of the area. Later, we will travel through the imposing Andes mountain range and participate in the adventure of observing native plants and animals in their natural habitat, as well as visiting a local village – all this with an incomparable volcanic background in one of the most pristine places in the world. We will make it back to San Pedro for lunch time, leaving the rest of the afternoon free to relax and maybe even have a nap after such an intense morning!
At the appropriate time, you will be driven to Calama (about two hour away) for your flight to Santiago de Chile.
This cosmopolitan city, which is the capital of the country and its political and administrative center, is considered the safest in Latin American. What’s more, it enjoys beautiful views of the Andes and excellent restaurants.
Upon your arrival in Santiago de Chile, you will be driven (private service) to your hotel.
After breakfast, you will head out on a half-day private city tour that will give you a good introduction of the city and its attractions. On this tour, you will visit beautiful Forest Park, the Bella Vista district, the art center of Santiago, and the San Cristobal Hill, a beautiful park located at the foot of the Andes range. From here you’ll get panoramic views of the city of Santiago. Continuing along this mountain range, we will arrive at the new urban area of La Piramide. You’ll visit the highlight districts of Santa Maria de Manquehue, Lo Curro and La Dehesa. As we drive along the Mapocho River canyon, the village of Arrayán may be seen on the hillsides and you will be surrounded by a beautiful landscape and snow-capped peaks. After this, you’ll find excellent shopping center for handicrafts and fine clothes in the Las Condes district. After a full day, we will return to hotel in the afternoon.
At appropriate time, you will be privately driven to the airport for your flight back home.
|La Paz||Casa Grand Hotel|
|Sucre||Parador Santa Maria|
|Uyuni||Cristal Samaña Salt Hotel|
|Desierto Siltoli||Tayka del Desierto Hotel|
|Desierto de Atacama||Terrantai|
|Santiago de Chile||Sotomayor|
“Everything about Surtrek was amazing. The hotels, the food, the tours. Everything exceeded our expectations. I cannot recommend Surtrek highly enough!”