Day 1. Buenos Aires Arrival and city tour
Once arrived at Buenos Aires airport our team will pick you up and drive you to the hotel. After a short break we will visit the city.
Buenos Aires is a 4 Million cosmopolitan city and the biggest of Argentina with a nice mix of European and South American culture and architecture.
We will start the visit with the Avenida 9 de Julio, the largest avenue in the world. Will pass by the Teatro Colon and the Plaza de Mayo where we can observe La casa del Gobierno, el Cabildo and the Cathedral.
At the end of the afternoon we visit la Boca area and the street « El Caminito » the artist and bohemian spot in town. Then we will go back to the hotel.
Day 2. Buenos Aires – Salta City Tour
After breakfast, we will be transferred to the airport to take the flight to Salta where we will be brought to the hotel. After lunch, we will discover Salta, in the Spanish colonial style, which is the largest city in northern Argentina with its 500,000 inhabitants. We will visit the city and its historical monuments: the "Plaza 9 de Julio" surrounded by magnificent colonial buildings such as the Cathedral Basilica of Salta, the Historic Town Hall, the High Mountain Museum and the former Government Palace. We will continue our visit by the Church of San Francisco, the Museum of "Cabildo", the Convent of San Bernardo where we can admire the wooden portal carved by the natives of the region. From the top of Coline San Bernardo, we will be able to observe the valley of Lerma and will continue our route towards the monument of the hero "gaucho" Martin Miguel de Güemes and the monument "20 de Febrero". The tour continues towards the area of San Lorenzo with impressive houses and exuberant vegetation. We will end with the visit of the craft market. The rest of the day will be free.
Day 3. Salta – Cachi – Molinos – Cafayate
Early in the morning, we leave to drive to the small village of Cachi. From Salta the road offers a nice landscape composed with forests, canyons « Quebradas », rivers and high mountains. The road goes through « La cuesta del Obispo » and up to 3348 m where we can appreciate a full view on the valley. Then we continue on la « Recta de Tin Tin », ancient road use by the Incas et goes to the national park « Los Cardones » where we can observe the Mountain Cachi 6380 m. Cachi village is located at the bottom of this mountain and we will visit and discover the church classified National Historic Monument. We will be also able to walk around Cachi or visit the Cachi historic museum. Later we will drive on the R.N 40 and visit Colte the handcraft road and the village of Seclantás, Molinos, San Carlos located in the « Quebrada de las Flechas » and its wonderful landscape. We will spend the night in Cafayate famous for its white wine Torrontes.
Note : 295 km, around 6 hours driving
Day 4. Cafayate – Quebrada de las Conchas – Salta
Today we will discover the impressive and marvelous « Quebrada de las Conchas » where we will enjoy the sight of several geologic phenomenon. We will go back to the hotel in Salta at the end of the afternoon.
Day 5. Salta – Purmamarca – Humahuaca
We will leave Salta to reach the village of Humahuaca. On our way, we will go through the city of San Salvador de Jujuy then we will take the winding road of the Cornisa and cross a mountainous area before reaching the "Quebrada d'Humahuaca". It is about 155 km long and 3 km wide and was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 2003. We can discover small villages with colonial lanes, salt pans, canyons and lagoons. We will arrive at the village of Humahuaca at the end of the afternoon and we will move to the hotel.
Day 6. Humahuaca – La Quiaca/Villazon – Tupiza
We will continue our route to the north of Argentina to reach the border Argentino-Bolivian La Quiaca / Villazón. After the administrative formalities of immigration and customs control, we will enter Bolivia and continue to Tupiza.
Day 7. Tupiza
This city, with an average temperature of 18 to 32 degrees, is located in southern Chichas. This oasis named the pearl of Bolivia is full of impressive scenery. The valley of Tupiza shelters a kind people, "los chicheños". Colorful landscapes with reddish earth and ocher tones, cacti decorating the space and rocks carved by water. After breakfast we will go to our triathlon tour to discover the surroundings of Tupiza and these colorful valleys by bike, on foot and on horseback. During our trek we can admire the cactus and Queñuas forests, and the spectacular surrounding mountains. We'll follow the footsteps of the famous butch bandits Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid. We will have lunch while admiring the landscapes to continue our course and we will go towards San Miguel, Salo, the Apacheta del camino de herradura, Huaca Huañusca until the hostal.
Day 8. Tupiza – San Pablo de Lípez
After breakfast we will leave early to San Pablo de Lípez. We will visit the "Quebrada De Palala" with spectacular formations of red rocks, then we will visit "El Sillar" or "Valle de la Luna" with craters and eroded earth formations reminiscent of the moon's landscapes. Then we will continue to different mining areas and we will pass through the village of Nazarenito, which lives mainly from the exploitation of gold. We will also pass through Chilcobija, considered the deepest antimony mine in the world, Cerrillos, Polulos and Río San Pablo before arriving at the abandoned village of San Antonio de Lípez. We will arrive in San Pablo de Lípez in the middle of the afternoon and we will have the rest of the day free.
Day 9. San Pablo de Lípez – Laguna Verde
Head west towards the wonders of southern Lípez. Visit the ancient village of San Antonio de Lípez, better known as the ghost village, abandoned for reasons we do not know, then we will go down to the lagoon Morejón. We continue our way to the village of Quetena, Kollpa Laguna to enter the National Wildlife Reserve Eduardo Avaroa by the Salar de Challviri where we will stop to take a bath at the thermal baths of Polques. After this swim at 4200 we continue heading south towards the desert of Dali, reverence to the Catalan artist for the unreal and natural colors of this fantastic landscape that we will remember the colorful touch of the master. Then we will continue our trip to Laguna Verde and Blanca at the foot of Licancahur, where we can stop to take some pictures. Laguna Verde owes its green color to its high concentration of lead carbonate, sulfur arsenic and calcium. Thank you for not bathing! From Laguna Verde we will go to Laguna Verde refuge.
Day 10. Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina "Eduardo Avaroa" – Damas del desierto – Dali desert – Geyser de Sol de Mañana – Polques Thermal Spring – Laguna Colorada – Ojo de Perdíz
We will continue our journey by borrowing the tracks of South Lipez, on our way we will observe the "Ladies of the Desert" important rock of several tons cut by the winds and placed in this desert landscape of South Lipez, then we will cross the desert of Dali, reverence to the Catalan artist for the unreal and natural colors of this fantastic landscape that will remind us of the colorful touch of the master. We will go from art to geology by visiting the seething geysers of Sol de Mañana, an impressive geothermal field of the region, mud wells boiling with accentuated sulfur smells. Our visit continues towards the thermal bath of Polques, swimming pool of natural hot water in which we will be able to bathe, if one wishes it. We will visit the Laguna Colorada, which owes its name to its reddish color caused by microscopic crustaceans, the main nutrient of flamingos, which owes its pink color. Due to climate change and the strong evaporation of the Altiplánico basin, the water level of the lagoons in the region is rapidly decreasing, which year after year limits the Flemish population. We will visit the tree of Peter (thank you not to try to climb the tree) planted in the desert of Siloli and finally after this busy day we will end at the northern end of it for a well deserved rest.
Day 11. Ojo de Perdíz/Huallajara – Ruta de las Joyas Alto Andina (Lag. Colorada – Lagunas Ramaditas, Honda, Chiar Khota, Hedionda, Cañapa) – Siloli desert – Ollagüe Volcano – Salar de Chiguana – San Pedro de Quemez
Our way up North Cape continues. We will cross the famous jewel route composed of Ramaditas Lagoon, Honda, Chiar Khota, Hedionda and Cañapa before crossing the Salar de Chiguana and past the railroad Uyuni - Ollagüe owned by the FCA (Empresa Ferroviaria Andina). We will follow the railway to arrive in the middle of the afternoon to San Pedro de Quemez, the first Bolivian village burned by the Chilean army during the Pacific War, where we spend the night. The rest of the day will be free.
Day 12. San Pedro de Quemez – Cueva de las Galaxias – Salar de Uyuni – Incahuasi – Colchani – Uyuni
We will leave the small village of San Pedro de Quemez and we will have the opportunity to visit the "Cueva de las Galaxias" strange phenomenon of fossilized algae, which reminds us that the ocean was present in this area and as far as Oruro. In the cave next door we can see the Chullpas, Inca funerary remains that fills this cave size consistent. Then we will go up to the watchtower from where we will enjoy a breathtaking view of the desert and also observe the fossilized corals that once had to be part of an impressive coral reef if we bother to look around. After this amazing visit we will continue and we will enter the famous Salar of Uyuni the largest salt desert in the world with an area of 10582km². This salar has the particularity of containing a reserve of 9 million tons of Lithium 40% of world production. We will drive to Incahuasi Island which by mistake is better known as Fisherman's Island. This geological formation which is a petrified coral remains is covered with giant cactus that are up to 12m tall. From the highest point of the island we will have a breathtaking 360 ° view of the Salar of Uyuni. We will visit "los Ojos del Salar" (geological phenomena of rising water from the depths of the salar) and a few kilometers further we will also stop at the salt hotel, the first salt hotel built on the same salar. We arrive at the small village of Colchani located east of Salar Uyuni whose inhabitants live from the exploitation of salt, we will go into a salt operator in Colchani, a special meeting with these artisans from the end of the world. At Colchani we will be able to discover the manual work of the elaboration of salt and we will visit the small salt shop which acts as a museum where we can discover huge pieces carved in salt and curiosities (pottery, jewels, tools, etc.). ). We will visit the locomotive cemetery - remains of more prosperous times - before going to Uyuni in the late afternoon.
Day 13. Uyuni - Potosi – Visit of the Mines (Cerro Rico)* - Sucre
We leave for Potosi early in the morning and upon arrival we start with a visit to the miner’s market. Custom says it brings good luck to buy Coca leaves, cigarettes, alcohol or even dynamite as presents for the miners who will receive us at their workplace. Once we have finished our purchases we visit one of the mines in the Cerro Rico mountain. The mines here are quite different from western mines, some of them are very old – dug out by hand by the slaves of the Inca Empire and later by African slaves during the Spanish occupation - and very narrow and short (not for claustrophobics). Our visit of the Cerro Rico starts by the “Tio” (uncle) who is the protector of the mines and to whom the miners on many occasions make offerings in order to be protected from bad spells. We visit the 1st level of the mine and have the possibility to descend up to 3 levels below – 500 or 600 m into the depths of the Cerro Rico. After this impressive visit, we return to the hotel to pick up our bags and drive to Sucre. Once installed in the hotel in Sucre the rest of the evening is free.
*The mines are closed on Sundays so if today is a Sunday we will go for a tour of the city instead.
Day 14. Sucre City Tour – La Paz
After breakfast, we visit Sucre, the constitutional capital of Bolivia also called the White City. This gem of Baroque art and the Renaissance is the most European city in Bolivia and probably one of the most beautiful in Latin America. Founded in 1538 by order of Pizarro, Sucre was destined to become the residence and the centre of the Spanish bourgeoisie. From an architectural point of view, Sucre has remained like a postcard of the 19th century which is of course part of its charm. Apart from its beauty and atmosphere of the 18th & 19th centuries, Sucre is also the historic capital of Bolivia. We visit the various museums, the Convento de Santa Clara as well as the Casa de la Libertad, which saw the signing of the Declaration of Independence August 6, 1825 (all visits may vary depending on the day because the museums are closed on Sundays and public holidays). In the afternoon, we are transferred to the airport in Sucre for the flight back to La Paz. Upon arrival in La Paz we are transferred to the hotel and the evening is free.
Day 15. La Paz – Tiwanaku – Puno
We leave around 08h30 for our visit of the ruins of Tiwanaku, the capital of the pre-Inca empire. Tiwanaku was one of the oldest civilisations in the world and is recognized by Andean scholars as one of the most important precursors to the Inca Empire. We visit the Akapana Pyramid and the semi-subterranean temple as well as the archaeological area where we can see the Temple of Kalasasaya, one of the largest and oldest ceremonial centres of the world. We also visit the famous “Puerta del Sol” (Gateway of the Sun) which is a monolithic structure that weighs about 10 tons. On the Puerta del Sol we can observe the Tiwanakota calendar which is expressed in 365,24 days distributed over 12 months. We visit the archaeological museum where we see the Monolith Bennet which measures 7,20 meters and weighs 20 tons, and we also get an insight in the 13 centuries of history which make Tiwanaku the oldest civilization in Latin America. After our visit of the site we have lunch (not included) in a typical restaurant where we can taste quinoa; the most important grain of the Andes. After lunch, we will drive to Desaguadero the Peruvian border. From there we change vehicules and drive to Puno, the rest of the day is free.
Day 16. Puno – Uros – Taquile – Puno
We leave at 07h30 to visit the floating island of the Uros. The small islands are made of totora reeds, which grow in the lake. The dense roots that the plants develop and interweave form a natural layer called Khili (about one to two meters thick) that support the islands. They are anchored with ropes attached to sticks driven into the bottom of the lake. The reeds at the bottoms of the islands rot away fairly quickly, so new reeds are added to the top constantly, about every three months. The islands last about thirty years. The islands were originally created by the Uros to prevent attacks from their neighbours the Incas. After this fantastic visit, we continue to the Taquile island. This is quite a unique place at the lake where the inhabitants speak Quechua while all the other islands speak Aymara and the island is famous for its traditions and the lifestyle of the inhabitants. We return to Puno where the evening is free.
Day 17. Puno – Cuzco
In the morning we are transferred to bus station to take the touristic bus that goes to Cuzco. On our way we visit the ruins of Pukará and also the thermal springs in the region before passing the Raya mountain pass at 4321m/14.180ft. We stop at Sicuani for lunch and from here we continue to the Raqchi ruins where we can observe the remains of the central wall of the Wiracocha temple, which was one of the highest covered buildings constructed by the Inca. The tour continues through the valley of Cuzco close to the Huacarpay Lake where we make a halt at the pre-Inca site Pikillaqta from the Wari culture (XIIth century) which is partly destroyed. And finally we visit the church Andahuaylillas from the XVIIth century where we can observe some beautiful paintings. After being transferred to the hotel the evening is free to explore Cuzco.
Day 18. Cuzco – Sacred Valley – Aguas Calientes
After breakfast, we visit the Sacred Valley and all the important Inca ruins in the area. We’ll see the ruins of Pisac with (depending on the day) the market, Urubamba and Ollantaytambo - a superb Inca fortress made of megalithic stones. In the evening we take the train to Aguas Calientes - a small village where all the buildings are concentrated along the railway giving it a “gold-digger” ambiance where we spend the night.
Day 19. Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu – Cuzco
We leave at 07h00 or earlier by bus to visit the famous Machu Picchu. After this impressive visit we return to Aguas Calientes to take the train back to Ollantaytambo where upon arrival we are transferred to the hotel in Cuzco and the evening is free.
The Citadel of Machu Picchu is the most important attraction in Cuzco. It was discovered in 1911 by the American explorer, Hiram Bingham, and is considered to be one of the most extraordinary examples of scenic architecture in the world. In Quechua Machu Picchu means “old mountain”. The Citadel was built on a hilltop which dominates the deep valley of the Urubamba river in the middle of tropical rainforest. Machu Picchu was both a centre of worship and astronomical observation and the private domain of the family of the Inca Pachacuteq.
Day 20. Cuzco – Lima City Tour
In the morning we are transferred to the airport for our flight back to Lima and upon arrival in Lima we are transferred to the hotel. After lunch we go for a city tour of Lima and the evening is free.
Ancestral Lima: We start our tour with a panoramic view of the “Pucllana Pyramid” a magnificent ceremonial and archaeological centre built in the 4th century a.D. and considered a “Sacred Village” by the Incas. The Viceroyalty of Perú was the most important of the Spanish Empire and Lima was its capital.
Colonial Lima: We visit the Historical Centre of Lima, where you will see more than fifty monuments and Colonial buildings, such as the Paseo de la República, the San Martín Square, the Main Square, the Government Palace, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Cathedral Basilica, and the City Council Palace. We also visit the museum of the Banco Central de Reserva where we can admire the “Treasures of Perú” collection which is a fine selection of objects made of gold, ceramics and textiles from different pre-Columbian cultures. During the tour we also visit the monumental San Francisco convent, which displays the largest collection of religious art in America. Our highlight will be the visit of the underground vaults, known as “Catacumbas” or Catacombs.
Contemporary Lima: We visit some traditional residential areas of Lima, such as El Olivar of San Isidro, Miraflores and Larcomar.
Day 21. Lima Departure*
According to your time of departure you are transferred from the hotel to the airport in Lima. For international flights it is recommended to arrive at the airport 3 hours before scheduled departure. End of our services.
Important: Itinerary can change because of weather or social conditions and some sights are not always accessible – Lipiko Tours cannot be held responsible for any changes in itinerary and sights not visited as a result.
Porterage: Your luggage will be transported either by plane, car, boat, and bus. You will have to carry the personal belongings (camera, water, etc.) which you need during the day.
Service: For group above 4 people you will be accompanied by a tour leader in the chosen language. His role is to make sure that everything goes smoothly during the tour and that each individual and the group as a whole are safe. Don’t hesitate to ask him if you are unsure of anything and, very important, to follow his advice.
Included in the price:
- Water, air and land transfers as indicated in the program
- Accommodation in hotel/hostel in double rooms, Ecolodge, shelter, home stay, camping, bus and plane as indicated in the program.
- Meals as mentioned in the program
- The assistance of specialized local English speaking guides, their fees and expenses
- The assistance of our local teams; driver(s) and logistics department (24/7)
- Visits as outlined in the program
Not included in the price:
- Entrance fees to sites visited, national parks and museums as indicated in the program (allow for approx. 1500 Argentine Peso (Argentian national currency) per person – in Brazil (allow for approx. 150 Brazilian Real (Brazilian national currency) per person – this is an estimate and actual prices may vary)
- Meals not mentioned, drinks, tips, individual equipment, everything not mentioned in “included in the price” and all personal expenses
- Individual obligatory personal travel insurance (this could be included with your credit card – please check with your credit card provider)
- The supplement for a single room: 390 USD (subject to availability, must be reserved and paid upon reservation). Attention; no single room available for the nights with accommodation in shelter, home stay and camping.
- Possible visa expenses
- International flights