Bolivia-Argentina 17 days BOLAR17

Day 1. La Paz (3663m/12.020ft) Arrival
Today you arrive in La Paz. Flying into La Paz is always an experience; if you arrive at night you can admire the lights of the city between the mountains or during the day you might get a view of the Lake Titicaca – the highest navigable lake in the world. Once arrived in the International Airport of El Alto, which is also the highest commercial airport in the world, our team will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. After a short briefing, there are no more activities planned and you can take the time to acclimatize to the altitude and explore La Paz on foot.

Day 2. La Paz – Tiwanaku – La Paz - PeÑa
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 return to La Paz and in the evening, we go to a local “peña” to enjoy a folkloric dance show.

Day 3. La Paz - Chacaltaya (5300m/17.390ft) – Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley)
After breakfast, we leave to visit Chacaltaya – the highest ski run in the world (now closed due to lack of snow) – only a 1-hour drive from La Paz. From where the car drops us off we only have to climb approx. 200m/656ft to reach the top, from where we have a wonderful view of a big part of the Cordillera Royal in particular the Nevado Illimani, the Huayna Potosi and the Condoriri. We can also observe the Altiplano and the Lake Titicaca and if the weather permits we can also see the clouds over the Yungas (semi tropical part of Bolivia) as well as the volcanoes Sajama (highest summit in Bolivia – 6542m/21,463ft), Parinacota and Pomerata. After lunch (not included) we descend to visit the Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) in the southern part of La Paz. Because the area is composed of clay rather than rock, erosion has worn away large parts of the mountain creating impressive formations, that offer us a lunar landscape. We return to the centre around 15h30 and the rest of the day is free.

Day 4. La Paz – Copacabana
We leave the hotel at 07h30 and after approximately 3½ hours we arrive in Copacabana, where we leave our luggage at the hotel. Before lunch we visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Copacabana which is a 16th century church that houses the image of the patron saint of Bolivia. The church attracts thousands of local tourists throughout the year and it remains one of the two principal sacred places both for indigenous people and Catholics. After lunch, we have the option to climb to the Calvario from where we have a beautiful view over the lake and the village or climb to Intiwatana or Horca del Inca which is believed to have been an astronomical observatory. If time allows it we can visit both the Calvario and the Horca del Inca and the rest of the day is free to enjoy Copacabana.

Day 5. Copacabana – Isla del Sol (Sun Island)
After breakfast, we leave by boat to visit the famous Sun Island (Isla del Sol). We visit the Inca Staircase, the Inca Fountain as well as the ruins of the Palacio de Pilkokaina (“place where the birds rest”). This construction is characterised by its walls and doors that are particularly well conserved. We spend the night in an Eco Lodge in Yumani.

Day 6. Isla del Sol – Copacabana – La Paz 
In the morning, we return to the harbour of Yumani (walking down the Inca Staircase) from where we take a boat back to Copacabana. Upon arrival in Copacabana we have time for lunch before returning to La Paz where the evening is free.

Day 7. La Paz - Uyuni – Colchani – Salar de Uyuni – Incahuasi – Cueva de las Galaxias – San Pedro de Quemez
In the morning, you are transferred from your hotel (La Paz centre) to the airport in El Alto for your flight to Uyuni. During the short flight, you can observe the Altiplano and if the weather permits you’ll have a great view of the different lakes and salt flats of the region. You are picked up from the airport and after a short stop in Uyuni we start our tour. The first visit will be the locomotive cemetery, the result of an abandoned project to build a big network of trains out of Uyuni. From here we continue to Colchani which is a small village situated on the edge of the Salar and who’s inhabitants live from salt exploitation. In Colchani we discover how salt is processed manually and we visit the small salt boutique. We now enter the famous Salar de Uyuni; the biggest salt desert in the world with acreage of 10.582km²/4.086mi2. One of the particularities of the Uyuni Salt Flat is that it contains a reserve of 9 million tonnes of Lithium which represents 40% of world production. We head to the Island Incahuasi, a geological formation that is a remnant of petrified coral and is covered with giant cactus that can get up to 12m/39.37ft high. From the top of the island we have a wonderful 360° view of the Salar de Uyuni. After lunch our journey continues in the direction of San Pedro de Quemez and we have the possibility to visit the “Cueva de las Galaxias” which is a strange phenomenon of fossil algae which reminds us that the ocean was present here all the way to Oruro. In the adjacent cave, we can observe the Chullpares which are Inca funerary remains. We climb to the viewpoint from where we have a great view of the desert and if we take a closer look we can also observe the fossil coral that once were part of a coral barrier. After this impressive visit, we continue to San Pedro de Quemez situated at the doors of the Lipez desert. We arrive at San Pedro de Quemez around 16h00 and the evening is free.

*Depending on the season and the weather, the itinerary will change and there are some sights which are not always accessible!

Day 8. San Pedro de Quemez – Salar de Chiguana – Ollagüe Volcano – Siloli Desert – Ruta de las Joyas Alto Andinas (Lagunas Cañapa, Hedionda, Chiar Khota, Honda y Ramaditas) – Stone Tree – Reserva Nacional de la Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa – Ojo de Perdiz
We continue our tour of south Bolivia and from San Pedro de Quemez we pass the Uyuni – Ollagüe railway before crossing the Salar de Chiguana. We observe the still active volcano Ollagüe and even from far we can see its fumarole. We follow the famous Jewel Route which is composed of the Lagunas Cañapa, Hedionda, Chiar Khota, Honda and Ramadita. Today we also visit the Stone Tree (please refrain from climbing on the rock) planted in the middle of the Siloli desert and at the end of the day we enter the Reserva Nacional de la Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa and we arrive at the Laguna Colorada (coloured lake). The name is because of the red colour that is caused by microscopic shellfish and a variety of algae which thrive in the salt water which is the principal nutriment of the rose-coloured flamingos that live in this area. Due to climate changes (lack of rain) and the high evaporation of the Altiplanic basin the water level of the regions Lagunas is reduced rapidly, which year after year unfortunately also reduces the population of the flamingos. Mid-afternoon we leave to get installed in our hotel Ojo de Perdiz and the evening is free. *

Day 9. Ojo de Perdiz - Laguna Colorada – Geyser de Sol de Mañana – Polques Thermal Spring – Dali Desert – Laguna Verde – Licancahur (5971m/19.590ft) – Villamar – Valle de Rocas – San Cristóbal – Uyuni
We leave the Laguna Colorada to go even deeper into the Reserva Nacional de la Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa. We visit the boiling geysers of Sol de Mañana which is an impressive geothermal field with pits of boiling mud and strong smells of sulphur. Our tour continues in the direction of the thermal bath of Polques, a natural source of hot water where we can go for a swim. We continue through the South Lipez and we observe the “Damas del Desierto” which are enormous rocks planted in this barren landscape and carved by wind and weather over the years. We also cross the Dali Desert, which was named in reverence to the Catalan artist because of the resemblance of the landscape with the unreal yet natural colours, to the masters’ work. We continue to the Laguna Verde and Blanca at the foot of the Licancahur, one of the most southern points in Bolivia. The Laguna Verde gets its green colour from the high concentration of lead, arsenic sulphur and calcium. From the Laguna Verde we start our drive back north. We pass by the small village Villamar which seems lost in the middle of the gigantic Lipez desert before passing by the biggest mining project in Bolivian history at San Cristóbal. We arrive around 18h00 in Uyuni where we spend the night.

* Depending on the season and the weather, the itinerary will change and there are some sights which are not always accessible!

Day 10. Uyuni – Tupiza
After breakfast we will drive to the colorful valley of Tupiza. It will take around 6h00 to reach Tupiza will cross the Cordillera de las Chichas and on the road, we will stop for lunch. Once in Tupiza the rest of the day will be free.

Day 11. Tupiza
The valley of Tupiza is very colorful with reddish ochre bland earth. We will find also a very friendly community « los chicheños ». Today we will have 5 kinds of activity of your choice to propose:
Discovery by foot: we’ll walk few kilometers around Tupiza
Horseback riding: a small expedition Tupiceña style around 15 kilometers.
4wd tour: discover the surrounding a drive a bit further and see a little bit more
Mountain biking: the sporty way to discover Tupiza and have a rush of adrenaline
Butch Cassidy and Sundance road: we will follow the last road of the bandit toward Huaca Huañusca.

Day 12. Tupiza – Villazón – Humahuaca
We leave Tupiza to reach the Argentian border Villazón/La Quiaca. After the migration and custom control, we will drive toward Humahuaca. Once in Humahuaca we will drive to the nice colorful mountain surrounding Humahuaca and appreciate de landscape

Day 13. Humahuaca – Purmamarca – Salta
After breakfast we will drive through Tilcara and discover the salt flat of « Salinas Grandes » the biggest salt flat in the West of Argentina. We continue our trip and pass by San Antonio de los Cobres before reaching the nice valley of Salta.

Day 14. Option 1: Salta – Cachi – Molinos – Cafayate / Option 2: Salta – Iguazu
Option 1 First Day: 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.

Option 2 First day: Salta – Iguazu
We leave the hotel and be transferred to the airport of Salta to flight to National Park of Foz de Iguazu. Once arrived our team will pick you up to drive to the hotel.

This park was created in 1934 and measure 55.000 hectares. There are 275 falls from 30 to 80 meters high. An ecologic train and 3 stations have been built in purpose to preserve the environment of each tour. The lower tour (1700m) has 8 belvederes on a terrace which allow a direct contact with the vegetation and the waterfalls.

The higher tour (1200m) which cross from the top part of the waterfalls Dos Hermanas, Chico, Ramírez, Bossetti, Adán y Eva, Bernabé Méndez, and finish in Mbigua and got 6 belvederes where we can appreciate the rainbow formed by the San Martin, Escondido, Dos Mosqueteros, Rivadavia and Tres Mosqueteros waterfalls. We continue toward Puerto Canoas 3 kilometers away from the Iguazu river bank where the third terrace start, from there we the best view on the most impressive waterfalls: La garganta del diablo. In the center of the waterfall there is the island of San Martin where we can walk, 650 meters and 172 steps to access the different panoramas views. We will be able to appreciate the different panoramas like this one use in the movie Mission (1986) take precisely from this spot. We will walk also on the green path (600m), and observe the animal and plants. After this nice and impressive visit, we will go back to the hotel where the rest of the days is free.

Day 15. Cafayate – Quebrada de las Conchas - Salta / Iguazu Brazilian side
Option 1 Second Day: 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.
Option 2 Second Day: Iguazu Brasilian Side
After breakfast we will visit the Iguazu Waterfall Brazilian side. We will discover through the bridge and miradors the Floriano et Teodora da Fonseca waterfalls and finish our visit withthe San Martin waterfalls with a complete view on the waterfalls and on San Martin Island. The rest of the day is free.

Day 16. Salta – Buenos aires / Iguazu – Buenos Aires
Option 1 Third Day: Salta – Buenos aires
 
In the morning we will leave the hotel and be transferred to the airport of Salta and flight to Buenos Aires. 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.

Option 2 Third Days: Iguazu – Buenos Aires
In the morning we will leave the hotel and be transferred to the airport of Iguazu and flight to Buenos Aires. 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 et la 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 17. Buenos Aires departure*
According to your time of departure* you are transferred from the hotel to the airport. 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.  

 

 

 

General information:
Highlights: La Paz, Tiwanaku, Lake Titicaca, Sun Island, Salar de Uyuni, Incahuasi, South lipez, Laguna Colorada, Laguna Verde, Humahuaca, Salta, Purmamarca, Iguazu Waterfall, Foz de Iguazu Argentinian side, Foz de Iguazu Brazilian side, Buenos Aires.

Support Team: English speaking tour leader for the entire tour for groups of 4 people or more. For smaller groups it is possible to book this tour without a tour leader. Instead you would have guided visits with a local guide in chosen language. Please contact us directly to receive a personalized quote.

Departure guaranteed: Group Tour: from 4 people. Individual Tour: from 2 people

Accommodation: 15 nights in hotel.

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

 

 

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