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Signature Salt Flats & Highlands of the Andes

11 Days FROM USD 5,140

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Overview

Enjoy the unparalleled scenery of Chile, Bolivia and Peru on this 11 day itinerary. Start your journey in the small oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama, located in the world's driest desert - the Atacama Desert, before crossing to Bolivia passing volcanoes and colourful lagoons until you reach the world's largest salt lake, the Salar de Uyuni. This vast salt desert has a landscape that is unforgettable, stark yet awe-inspiring, a dazzling white that stretches to the horizon, interspersed with geysers and coloured mineral lagoons. Continue through to the highlands of La Paz and finish at Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake that covers both Bolivia and Peru. 

This itinerary is also offered in reverse - Signature Highlands of the Andes & Salt Flats  

On this all-encompassing personalised itinerary, Chimu will provide travel logistics for your travel party for the duration of your journey, plus expert guides for all the major sightseeing as per itinerary.  Each night you will stay in superior accommodation, handpicked by our experienced team for their creature comforts, convenient locations, and impeccable service. 

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Trip Code: MCFMKSF2

Travel Style: Personalised Itinerary

Location: Chile, Bolivia, Peru

Flights: Ask us about booking your Internal flights with your International flights to/from South America to save money by creating an 'airpass'. Contact us for more information. This package includes a flight from Uyuni to La Paz.

WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS ITINERARY

  • You will experience some of the most spectacular scenery of Chile, Bolivia and Peru on this 11-day itinerary.

  • You will travel through unparalleled scenery as you explore the Atacama Desert - the driest desert in the world and the Salar de Uyuni - the world’s largest salt lake.

  • You will see colourful lagoons, volcanoes, geysers and hot springs.

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

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.

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. (B)

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. (B)

San Pedro de Atacama

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. (B, L)

San Pedro de Atacama to the Bolivian Altiplano

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. (B,L,D)

Bolivian Altiplano to 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. (B,L,D)

Uyuni Salt Flat

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. (B)

Uyuni Salt Flat to 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. (B,L)

La Paz

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. (B,L)

La Paz to Puno

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. (B,L)

Puno and Lake Titicaca Uncovered

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

Puno
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ITINERARY ADD-ONS

  • Travel by train or by bus through the scenic La Raya pass from Puno to Cusco and add on our Signature Peru package, visiting Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley  

  • With several direct flights per day from Santiago to Atacama, spend time in Chile's capital city - Santiago, before starting this package with our Santiago Extension package.

  • Fly direct from Puno to Lima and spend time in Peru's capital visiting some of the worlds greatest restaurants, then head south to see the Nazca lines, a UNESCO world heritage site. See of Lima & Nazca Extension package

Pricing per person & date


Best Value!

Superior

Tried & tested upmarket properties with above average facilities and service

11 Days FROM Now USD 5,140 Enquire Now

Important Information

  • Inclusions

    Private airport transfers
    Internal flights as part of this itinerary
    Accommodation with breakfast daily
    Sightseeing with local English-speaking guide as detailed in itinerary
    Other meals where stated 

    Exclusions

    International flights
    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.
    (Departs Mon, Thurs, Sat)

    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.

  • Seasonality and availability at time of booking. 

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.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your Latin American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first-hand experience, our consultants will piece together one of our Signature Packages and can customise your travel plans by adding Extension Packages.

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so, and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion, and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equipped with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals, or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums, and landmarks, our travellers are encouraged to explore whilst remaining culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e., shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE

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