From majestic mountain views, to natural wonders and cityscapes, this tour through Bolivia and Chile is sure to be unforgettable. You will visit some of the most famous landmarks in Bolivia, like Yungas Road (also called "Death Road) where you are sure to be awestruck by the lush rainforest and mountainside scenery, and travel to the Salar de Uyuni, where it's hard to tell where the earth ends and the sky begins. Your journey through Bolivia and into Chile will take you to new heights and extremes - you will explore cities with some of the highest altitudes in the world, and visit one of the driest regions on earth, the Atacama desert. End your journey with a modern city tour of Santiago that reveals the rich Chilean culture and history - a stop to one of Pablo Neruda's three Chilean residences is just one of the stops on this epic voyage.
Upon arrival at the La Paz International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight Stannum Boutique Hotel & Spa, daily breakfast included - 3 nights.
The Stannum Boutique Hotel & Spa is located in the entertainment center of La Paz with easy access to cinema, restaurants, shops, bank , ATMs. A few steps from the historic and business center in the heart of the city and relatively close to many tourist attractions. All rooms are equipped with LED TV, work desk, minibar, Wi-Fi Internet access, 19" safe box, hair dryer, telephone. Hotel facilities include restaurant/bar, Aqua Spa, Premier Gym, business center.
You will be met at your hotel this morning and set off on a full-day tour of La Paz and the Valley of the Moon. You will start with a visit to downtown La Paz.
There is no other city like La Paz in South America where more than one culture blends. Learn about history and politics; take the pulse of the city and its people. This interesting tour passes through traditional neighborhoods such as Mercado de Brujas (Witches’ Market), San Francisco Church, Jaen Street, Museo de Metales Preciosos (Precious Metals Museum) and Plaza Murillo (Congress and Palacio de Gobierno).
This afternoon after lunch you will visit the Zona Sur and Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), both located in the lowest and warmer parts of the valley. Strangely eroded clay formations have created an eerie landscape in the Valley of the Moon. If you are interested in books, fine jewellery and alpaca shops, the San Miguel neighborhood, located in the Zona Sur, offers some of the best shopping in La Paz.
Lunch is included.
This morning around 6:30 you will be met at your hotel driven from La Paz and across the beautiful Cordillera Real and down into the lush and steep Yungas (subtropical cloud forest zone). After the descent the car will take the so-called Death Road. This road now is used for tourism; hundreds of bicyclists ride this road every day. The absence of cars allows spectacular walks meandering steep cloud forest hill sides carved by the road. Most of the hill sides are covered by dense cloud forest adorned by bromeliads, orchids and abundant bird life. You will pass through several villages such as: Yolosa, Yolosita, Mururata, Suapi, Kili Kili Alto and Santa Rosa de Kilo Kilo. You will hike to see the Petroglyphs. You will return to La Paz by car on the new road.
Hotel pickup and transfer to the La Paz Airport for your flight to Sucre.
Half-Day Sucre City Tour
You will be met at your hotel by your guide and start the half-day city tour throughout the most beautiful city in Bolivia and a World Heritage Site. This tour will visit several colonial and republican monuments, including museums, convents, churches, monasteries and the textile museum. A walk around Sucre’s downtown area is recommended. There are nice plazas, cafés, restaurants, and also three chocolate factories.
Located at 8,500 feet, Sucre is the official capital of Bolivia and its most beautiful colonial city. Sucre is considered a World Heritage Site by U.N.E.S.C.O. Previously called Charcas, and then Chuquisaca, before finally being renamed Sucre, this is the city where Simón Bolivar founded Bolivia and wrote the Bolivian constitution, after defeating the Spanish Army in the mid-1820s. The city has important historical monuments like the Liberty House, the former National Congress, old monasteries, and temples. Sucre is an open book of historical events between 1640-1850 that influenced new republics in other Andean countries. Going back even further, to prehistoric times, you can also visit a rich assortment of newly discovered dinosaur tracks and fossils. Besides being of historical interest, this is also an important cultural center with colonial and textile museums, as well as one of the first universities in America, the University of San Francisco Javier, which is older than Harvard. The rich textile traditions (weavings) of this area, centered around Tarabuco, are another very popular attraction. The lovely subtropical weather enhances Sucre´s special ambiance for international tourists. Days are sunny with bright blue skies and the nights are filled with stars.
Overnight Hotel Parador Santa Maria La Real, daily breakfast included.
The Hotel Parador Santa Maria La Real is located in an historic 18th-century house. Facilities include 23 rooms, Terrace Restaurant, Spa/fitness center, room service, laundry service, currency exchange. All rooms are equipped with telephone and wireless Internet access.
You will be met at your hotel and transferred by private vehicle along paved roads to Potosi. Approximate driving time - 3 hours.
Half-Day Potosi Tour
You will be met at your hotel and depart for a three-hour walking tour of Potosi, a “World Heritage” site preserving over 400 years of history. You will walk downtown, with its narrow streets and mix of baroque, gothic and indigenous architecture, to visit historic monuments, such as plazas, churches and convents which illustrate an intact and well-preserved style of architecture that blends baroque with the local indigenous traditions. You will visit the impressive Royal Mint House, and continue to other attractions such as the Main Cathedral, Torre Compania, Arco Historico and San Francisco Church.
Overnight Hotel Coloso Potosi, breakfast included. All rooms have wireless Internet access. Hotel facilities include Apajata Restaurant, bar and discoteque, swimming pool, 24-hour room service, laundry service, currency exchange.
Half-Day Potosi Mine Tour
You will be met at your hotel this morning. First you will go to the Mercado Minero (Miners Market) to buy gifts for the miners and offerings for “Pachamama” (Mother Earth) and “El Tio” (Mine’s Guardian). The gifts and offerings consist of: coca leafs, tobacco and alcohol. At the mine entrance you are given a special outfit which includes a coat, rubber boots and a helmet. Before entering the mine you first give the offering to Pachamama then after entering the mine you give the offering to “El Tio”. Having completed the offerings you move through various tunnels that take you to different levels. Along the way you will encounter the working miners and distribute your gifts.
Transfer Potosi - Uyuni
You will be met at your hotel and transfer to Uyuni. The extraordinarily scenic drive will take about 6 hours. You will stop at interesting points along the journey.
Overnight Hotel Palacio de Sal, breakfast included.
You will depart from a small village of Colchani where locals extract and process salt. You will be shown interesting aspects of the geological history of the Uyuni´s Salt Lake, about current natural processes of salt formation that had continued for thousands of years, also observe the Ojos de Sal (or salt eyes), where ice-cold mineral water bubbles through the salt. This water originates from an underground river at the Tunupa Volcano. On the way to Isla Incahuasi, the drive will pass two of the first hotels made entirely from salt blocks, now converted in small museums. At Isla Incahuasi, lunch will be served followed by a hike among the huge cacti and observe the wildlife of this rare habitat with a 360-degree view of the endless Uyuni Salt Lake. In the afternoon you will head north crossing the salt lake towards the Tunupa Volcano, a unique location for an amazing sunset that colors up the landscape of the salt lake. Later you will arrive at the nearby village of Tahua. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included today.
Early in the morning don´t miss the beautiful sunrise! After breakfast, the tour will cross another section of the Uyuni Salt Lake towards south to observe the Ollagüe Volcano, which is currently mildly active. There will be stops at several lagoons, such as Cañapa, Hedionda, Chiarcota, Honda, and Ramaditas which offer views of 3 different flamingo species: the James, the Andean and the Chilean, as well as wild troops of Vicuna. Lunch will be served en route to the Siloli Desert. All meals included today.
After an early breakfast continue crossing the Siloli Desert. There will be stops to appreciate some natural monuments carved by the wind, such as the Arbol de Piedra (Stone Tree). Thereafter, arrive at Laguna Colorada, inside the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna Reserve. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to San Pedro de Atacama. Tierra Atacama is a boutique hotel on the edge of San Pedro de Atacama. It was created by the Purcell family, long time owners and operators of the Portillo Ski Resort and Hotel, famous in Chile for its excellent skiing, food and warm hospitality. Like Portillo, Tierra Atacama provides guest experiences that combine outdoor adventure and sports with indoor comforts, hospitality and service.
The architecture, interiors, grounds and spa of Tierra Atacama were designed by Chilean professionals with an aim to preserving local cultural influences while also creating a place that speaks to guests, saying… relax, enjoy, share tales of your day's adventure, sit back, laugh with friends, take a nap, savor your dinner and wine, wonder at the stars, and fill yourself with the awesome beauty of this unusual part of the earth.
The Uma Spa at Tierra Atacama offers many services for your pleasure and to help you fully rejuvenate during your Chilean vacation.
Tierra Atacama's rooms all have private terraces and views of the Licancabur volcano.
ATACAMA DESERT CIVILIZATIONS
The Atacama Desert, running over 600 miles between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, is one of the driest regions on earth. In fact it has hardly ever rained here in recorded history. During your stay here you'll enjoy full days of exploration with your guide in the Atacama Desert, an incredible world of soaring volcanoes, stark lava fields, and huge rolling trackless dunes. In addition, you'll learn of the ancient civilizations that once inhabited this region.
Meals and daily guided excursions are included
Days to explore the Atacama Desert on guided excursions. Tierra Atacama offers an extensive list of excursions guided by expert bilingual guides.
Excursions are by vehicle, hiking or horseback and include the following:
Altiplanic Lagoons (Miscanti and Meñiques Lagoons)
You depart the hotel towards the highland lagoons of Miscanti and Miñiques, which are at an altitude of 4,200 m /13,860 feet. The scenery here is ideal to make a stop in your journey and contemplate the beauty of the Altiplanic landscape, with its mountains, many contrasts and extraordinary colours. Lunch is taken in a local restaurant in the village of Socaire, a small way to give much needed support to the local community.
Toco Volcano Climb
Duration: 6 to 8 hours
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Salar de Tara
Heading east from the hotel, you travel towards the Argentinian border and the Salar de Tara. As the terrain rises, enjoy marvellous views of the Licancabur volcano and spot bird life, salt lakes and areas of marshland. At a height of 4200m/ 13,860 feet approximately igneous rock plugs from the "nuns" of Tara, a marvellous sight in the middle of an amazing plateau. Continue to Tara itself, where lunch is enjoyed.
Duration: 6 to 8 hours
Level of Difficulty: Easy
The Tatio Geisers
The Tatio Geisers are located at an altitude of 4300m /14,190 ft. The geothermal field has close links to the volcanic activity in the zone and consists of huge steam columns which reach heights of 12m/almost 40 ft. Breakfast is served as dawn breaks. On the way back to the village, there is the opportunity to spot families of vicuñas and if you are lucky, foxes, vizcachas and Andean ostrich. You stop in the hamlet of Machuca before returning to the hotel by vehicle.
Duration: 7 hours
Level of Difficulty: Easy (with acclimatization)
To the north of San Pedro and reached by van via a steep road, is the tiny village of Machuca at an altitude of 4000 m / 13,123 feet. The village of Machuca has a privileged site surrounded by nature and in its only street we can see the roofs made of cactus and maybe taste barbecued llama, offered by the villagers. The church is of special interest for the cultural significance and birds
Another day of excursions into the Atacama Desert.
You will transfer to the Calama Airport for your flight to Santiago. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
CasaSur Charming Hotel is located in the heart of Barrio Italia, a stylish neighborhood where historic homes share the block with design and antique shops, art galleries, bars, restaurants, small markets, cafes and furniture restorers. Just a 3-minute walk to the Santa Isabel subway station, a 4-minute walk to Parque Bustamante, one of the city’s most important parks, a 15-minute walk to Plaza Italia, an iconic urban landmark marking the center of the city. Hotel facilities and services include free wi-fi available throughout the hotel, lounge area, laundry service, complimentary 24-hour self-service tea, coffee, water. The hotel has five lovely rooms, each equipped with central heating, private bathrooms, premium cotton sheets and towels, in-room safety box, hair dryer. Daily breakfast included. 3 nights.
You will be met at your hotel by your private guide and set off on your tour of Santiago. Proceed through the main avenue of the city, Alameda del Libertador General Bernardo O’Higgins, passing by the San Francisco Church, the oldest monument of the country erected in 1568 housing a convent, miraculously withstanding several earthquakes.
Start off by visiting the Santa Lucía Hill, where the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia founded the city on February 12th 1541. After a quick visit to its top, descend to visit the Lastarria Neighborhood, located right below the hill. This recently renovated neighborhood houses little cute cafés, exquisite restaurants and a couple of museums worth visiting (time permitting).
From here, you will be taken to the La Moneda Palace, nowadays the neoclassical style government palace, but originally constructed to house the Mint of the Spanish Crown during the 18th century.
A few blocks away, walk along Paseo Ahumada to the Plaza de Armas (the Main Square). When Pedro de Valdivia founded Santiago in 1541, he laid out this square as the heart of the newly-formed city. This bustling spot houses the oldest buildings of the capital: the Cathedral Church of Santiago, rebuilt in 1748 on the very site where all four previous churches were destroyed by fires and earthquakes, the Central Post Office and the National Historical Museum, the former “Real Audiencia” or Spanish Royal Court.
A little further, cross the Mapocho River and head straight towards the Bellavista Neighborhood, a lively place, core of the night and artistic life, where pubs, cultural centers and international gastronomy can be found. From here, ascend the San Cristóbal Hill, a spur of the Andes marching into Santiago, where the famous Virgin Mary statue overlooks the city. Conclude the day with a panoramic view of the city and the majestic Andes in the background.
Return to your hotel.
Visit Viña del Mar, Valparaíso, and Isla Negra, the land of Neruda, where the most important points of historical, social, multicultural and economic interest can be found! You will be picked up in the morning from your hotel and begin your journey from Santiago by heading towards the coast to Isla Negra, where one of Pablo Neruda´s three houses in Chile is situated. Located about 85 km south of Valparaíso and 110 km west of Santiago, it was his favorite house and where he and his third wife, Matilde Urrutia, spent the majority of their time in Chile. In English, Isla Negra means "Black Island," which refers to a rock outcropping nearby; however Isla Negra is not, in fact, an island. Neruda, a lover of the sea and all maritime things, built the home to resemble a ship with low ceilings, creaking wooden floors, and narrow passageways. A passionate collector, every room has a different collection of bottles, ship figureheads, maps, ships in bottles, and an impressive array of shells, which are located in their own "Under the Sea" room. Neruda and his wife Matilde Urrutia are buried there, with a clear view of their beach.
Leaving Isla Negra, you will continue north towards the beautiful city of Viña del Mar, also known as the Garden City, for a visit of its main streets and avenues, museums, and its large homes and palaces.
Later, head along the coast towards Reñaca, one of Chile’s most famous beach towns to enjoy a bit of sunshine and nature! Around the bay is Valparaíso, a busy port city with charming hills. You will pass by Chile’s parliament building as well as other examples of the historical architecture that have made Valparaíso a World Heritage Site since 2003. The first stop is a must; the “Artillería” lift will take you to the 21 de Mayo lookout point. There is no other place in Valparaiso with this view. You can watch the port activity, the rolling hills full of color, and see how the city has developed over recent years. You will continue around the “cerros” or hills of the city to the San Luis square. Come across Cerro Concepción, and discover on foot its Anglican and Lutheran churches and the Paseo Atkinson alleyway with its famous Brighton Restaurant. Walk over to Paseo Gervasoni where the famous Café Turri and the house of the cartoonist Lukas are located. Cross over to Cerro Alegre where the Paseo Yugoslavo and Baburitza Palace, once home to a Croatian immigrant and now the recently renovated Fine Arts museum of Valparaiso, are situated. From here you will descend on the “El Peral” lift to the Plaza Sotomayor where you will see the Monument to the Fallen Heroes of Iquique.
After a full day of exploring, you will return to your hotel in Santiago.
Hotel pickup and transfer to the airport.
|Price from||$5,798.00 per person, based on double occupancy|
The highlights of our trip were the excursions to the Valley of the Moon and The Sentinels of the Pakana.