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Signature Highlands of the Andes & Salt Flats

10 Days FROM USD 4,800

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Overview

Enjoy the unparalleled scenery of Peru, Bolivia and Chile on this 10 day itinerary. Start your journey in Puno exploring Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world, that covers both Bolivia and Peru. Continue through to the highlands of La Paz and explore this beautiful city, perhaps checking out the 'Witches Market'. Then head to Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt lake. 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. Pass by volcanoes and colourful lagoons before crossing to Chile and entering the world's driest desert - the Atacama Desert. Explore the desert over a couple of days before finishing your journey in San Pedro de Atacama. 

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

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: MCKMFSF

Travel Style: Personalised Itinerary

Location: Peru, Bolivia, Chile

Flights: Ask us about booking your internal flights with your flights to/from South America to save money by creating an 'airpass'. Contact us for more info.

WHY YOU'LL LOVE THIS ITINERARY

  • You will experience some of the most spectacular scenery of Peru, Bolivia and Chile on this 10-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 Juliaca Airport, your driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall to transfer you to Puno. Puno lies on the shores of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. It is the largest city in the Southern Altiplano and an important agricultural and livestock (llamas and alpaca) region. It sits at an altitude of over 3,800 metres and is a picturesque hillside city and a melting pot of the Aymara and Quechua cultures.

Puno

Spend a full day visiting Lake Titicaca’s islands and communities. You will be collected from your hotel and transported to the lake to board a speedboat. You will spend the day visiting 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

Depart Puno and head for the Bolivian border and the world’s highest capital city – La Paz. Travelling along the Pan-American Highway through the Peruvian and Bolivian highlands, you will stop off at temples, ruins, and historical sites and arrive in La Paz late afternoon. 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,L)

Puno 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

Today you will fly from La Paz to Uyuni. On arrival, you will be collected from the airport and 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. After witnessing an amazing sunset over the Salt Flat, you will be transferred to the luxurious Palacio del Sal Hotel. (B,L,D)

La Paz 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. Tonight, your accommodation is unique as it has been built into a rock and offers warm, cosy and comfortable refuge from the desert night. (B,L,D)

Uyuni Salt Flat to Bolivian Altiplano

This morning you will be transferred to Hito Cajon, the mountain pass on the border between Bolivia and Chile. 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. After clearing Chilean immigration, make your way to the village of San Pedro de Atacama. 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. (B,L)

Bolivian Altiplano to 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 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. In the afternoon you will 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, where we will be able to see another dramatic sunset. (B)

San Pedro de Atacama

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

San Pedro de Atacama
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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


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Tried & tested upmarket properties with above average facilities and service

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Important Information

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

    EXCLUSIONS: 

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

  • 3 (High altitude, unsealed roads and basic accommodation)
  • Available upon request

  • *** 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.

  • Season and availability

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 South 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 customise your travel plans by adding extension packages.

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.

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