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Signature Atacama Desert, Uyuni Salt Flats & Salta

10 Days
From AUD 9,737

STYLE:

Signature Package

Trip Code: MCHMASS

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure - high altitude, unsealed roads & basic accommodation)

Start: Atacama Desert, Chile

Finish: Salta, Argentina

DestinationDestination

Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, South America

DestinationDeparture Date

Departs Daily

MealsMeals

9 Breakfasts (B), 5 Lunches (L), 3 Dinners (D)

TransportTransport

Transfer from Calama Airport to Atacama Hotel, Transfer from Salta hotel to Salta airport. Some Touring in private 4-Wheel Drive Vehicle

TransportAccommodation

Hotels (including Salt Hotel)



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Included SightseeingIncluded Sightseeing

San Pedro de Atacama – Astronomy Tour, Half-Day Archeological Tour of Tulor & Quitor, Tour Salt Mountain & Valley of the Moon, Atacama Salt Lake, Village of Toconao & Chaxa Lagoon
Bolivia Salt Flats- 3 Days of exploring Salt Flats and Altiplano including Village of Villamar, Valley of Rocks, Culpina Village, Uyuni Salt Flats, Colchani Village - Private driver/guide and 4WD included 
Salta/Purmamarca - Half day tour of Salta city, Full day of touring between Salta and Purmamarca 

HOW OUR SIGNATURE TOURS WORK

Booking a South America trip with Chimu is easy! Our signature tours are developed so you can choose your own departure date, choose your accommodation style and add extensions to customize your trip!

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OVERVIEW

Explore Argentina, Chile and Bolivia on this10 day itinerary. Start your trip in the desert oasis of Atacama, located high in the Andes Mountain ranges. Enjoy some of Chile’s most stunning scenery and admire volcanoes, geysers and fascinating rock formations as well as an astrology tour. Head up into Bolivia and see the stunning-coloured lagoons in the south and the Uyuni Salt Flats – the largest in the world. Enjoy a picnic in the middle of the salt flats and visit Incahuasi island, home to towering cacti up to 10 metres high! Continue onto the north of Argentina, visiting the charming town of Purmamarca, located in a narrow mountain valley. From here you will explore the vivid landscapes, including the Hill of the Seven Colours enroute to the city of Salta. Spend some time exploring the city.


This trip is perfect to add on before or after an Antarctic cruise. Ushuaia in Argentina and Punta Arenas in Chile are the two most popular cities for beginning a journey to the white continent. You can also combine the trip with a visit to Patagonia or explore more of the wonders of Argentina and Chile. 
 

This itinerary is also offered in reverse - Salta, Salt Flats & Atacama Desert

ITINERARY

Arrive 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.

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.

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 you will have the chance to view another dramatic sunset.

San Pedro de Atacama to 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.

Bolivian Altiplano to Uyuni Salt Flats

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. See more stunning coloured lagoons and keep an eye out for native birds.

Uyuni Salt Flats

This morning you will explore Colchani village, where you observe the methods of salt extraction and salt processing. Set off across the Great Salt Flats to Incahuasi Island, an oasis covered with giant cacti up to 10 metres high. Continuing north to visit the foothills of Thumpa volcano and see Coquesa, which is home to pre-Colombian “mummies. After a long day of exploration, finally arrive at your accommodation –a hotel made from salt bricks and located on the shores of Salar de Uyuni, the perfect place to rest easy for the night.

Uyuni Salt Flats to Huacalera

Depart your hotel and head towards the Argentinian border. En route you will have the chance to see the Valley of the Machos, surrounded by beautiful hills of various natural shapes. On arrival at Villazon you will complete border formalities and farewell your guide, before crossing the Bolivian border into the Argentine town of La Quiaca. You will meet your new guide and transfer to the charming and quaint town of Huacalera and will be dropped at your hotel for a relaxing night of rest.

Huacalera to Salta

Today you will head south towards the city of Salta. En route you will be able to explore the UNESCO listed Querberada de Purmamarca area – enjoy stunning Altiplanos to the west and north and Andean hills to the east. You will see the breathtaking Hill of Seven Colours, with its striking and jagged formations. Walk through the colourful handicraft market of Purmamarca and see the Pukara of Tilcara. On arrival in Salta, marvel at the stunning colonial architecture and cobblestoned streets of this charming city.

Salta

This morning is at leisure and later in the day you will take a half day tour of the city. Visit the fascinating MAAM museum and main square with its stunning cathedral, as well as the San Fransisco Church and San Bernardo convent.

Depart Salta

Today you will be transferred to your hotel for your onward journey.

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS ITINERARY

  • Explore 3 countries with this adventurous itinerary. You will see the wonders of Atacama, the Uyuni Salt Flats and the Northwest of Argentina 

  • Tour the Uyuni Salt flats via 4WD. The days can be long, with a lot of driving but the stunning vistas make up for it. In the wet season you will enjoy stunning reflections as far as the eye can see. In the dry season the salt sparkles in the sun and this is the perfect time for photography using perspective to make unique and memorable photos. Enjoy a picnic in the middle of the salt flats. 

  • Atacama and it's moonscape like vistas are not to be missed. Explore lagoons and geysers and see the beautiful constellations on an astronomical tour. 

  • Wander through the charming streets of the colonial city of Salta and venture into Argentina's Northwest. Here you will find valleys, gorges and stunning jagged mountains. 

  • See a range of coloured lagoons in the southern national parks of Bolivia. The bright colours are created by varying minerals and sulfur. Although they aren't safe for swimming you can enjoy some hot springs in this region as well, where you can take a dip! 

  • Stay in a unique hotel that is almost entirely made of salt. What an experience to remember! 

  • This trip can be combined with a cruise to Antarctica or with additional exploration of Chile, Argentina and Patagonia. 

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

Standard

Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.

Superior

Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.

Deluxe

Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.

Pricing per person & date


Best Value!

Superior

Tried & tested upmarket properties with above average facilities and service

10 Days FROM AUD 9,737 Enquire Now

Important Information

  • Inclusions

    Transfer from Calama Airport to Atacama Hotel
    Transfers from Salta hotel to Salta Airport 
    Private full day of sightseeing with a local English speaking guide from Salta to Purmamarca and a private transfer to the Bolivian border
    Private transfer from Bolivian border to Uyuni 
    3N/4D Private Salt Flats Package - travelling with a local English speaking guide in a 4WD 
    Accommodation with breakfast daily
    Sightseeing with local English-speaking guide as detailed in itinerary
    Other meals where stated 

     

    Exclusions

    International and internal flights (unless otherwise specified)  
    Visa & reciprocity fees (if applicable)
    Travel insurance
    Beverages 
    Personal expenses
    Gratuities for tour guides & drivers
    Any items not mentioned as included

  • 2 (light adventure - high altitude, unsealed roads & basic accommodation)
  • A single supplement surcharge applies and is subject to availability. Please contact us for more information.

  • During the rainy season (Nov/Mar) the visit to Uyuni salt lake & Isla Pescado will be possible only if weather conditions permit it.
    We would recommend packing clothing suitable for a mountain environment, including sun protection and sunglasses.
    Weather at high altitude can change very quickly and the sun reflected off the Salt Lake is particularly strong.

    Prices are based on per person, twin share.
    Prices are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change at any time.
    All entrance fees are subject to change without prior notice.

  • Currency fluctuation, seasonality and availability at time of booking. 

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