Bolivia-Chile 16 days BOLCH16

 

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 – Valle de la luna and city tour
In the morning 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. After this impressive visit we return to the centre of La Paz and our first stop is the Plaza Murillo (km 0), where we can see the Presidential Palace, the Parliament and the Cathedral. We visit the colonial street Calle Jaén and the old part of the town from where we continue to the famous church San Francisco which was built by the indigenous people. From here we visit the popular commercial zone of La Paz with its coloured markets and we walk up the Calle Sagarnaga – the main shopping street for typical clothes and handicrafts. From here we also visit the Calle de las Brujas (the Witches street) and we finish our tour with a visit to the Indian market San Pedro. The rest of the afternoon and evening is free to enjoy the highest capital in the world.

Day 3. 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 4. 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 5. 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 6. La Paz – Sucre City Tour
After breakfast we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Sucre (departure times vary depending on the day). Arrived in Sucre we are transferred to the hotel and after lunch we leave to visit Sucre, the constitutional capital of Bolivia also called the White City. This gem of Baroque art and the Renaissance is the most European cities 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. Sucre is considered the most beautiful city in Bolivia, but apart from its beauty and atmosphere of the 18th & 19th centuries, Sucre also has the advantage of being the historic capital of Bolivia. We visit the various museums, the Convento de Santa Clara and also 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). The evening is free to enjoy Sucre.

Day 7. Sucre – Potosi - Visit of the mines (Cerro Rico)*– Uyuni
At 08h00 we leave Sucre by bus for Potosi. Potosi was once one of the largest cities in the world with a population over 200.000 people and is one of the highest cities in the world. It lies beneath the Cerro Rico Mountain (“rich mountain”) which was the reason for the town’s historical importance because of its important silver ore. After lunch we visit the miners market. Custom says it brings good luck to buy Coca leaves, cigarettes, alcohol or even dynamite as presents for the miners that 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 head back to the bus terminal to take the bus to Uyuni. Upon arrival our team will transfer you to your hotel and the rest of the day is free.

Day 8. Uyuni – Colchani – Salar de Uyuni – Incahuasi – Cueva de las galaxias – San Pedro de Quemez
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 9. 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. *

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

Day 10. Ojo de Perdiz - Laguna Colorada – Geyser de Sol de Mañana – Polques Thermal Spring – Dali Desert – Laguna Verde – Licancahur (5971m/19.590ft) – Villamar – San Pedro de Atacama
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 continue south to the bolivian/Chilean border at Hito Cajon. After the border formalities we will change vehicle and continue to San Pedro de Atacama where the rest of the day is free.*  

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

Day 11. San Pedro de Atacama – Tatio Geyser Field – Valle de la Luna – San Pedro de Atacama
We leave very early to visit the enormous geyser field “Los Géiseres del Tatio”. With over 80 active geysers it is the largest geyser field in the southern hemisphere. We have breakfast on the site before heading back to San Pedro de Atacama by the village Machuca. In the afternoon we visit the Valle de la Luna which was created through the centuries by floods and winds giving it an extraordinary colour and texture. The valley is also considered one of the driest places on earth, as some areas have not received a single drop of rain in hundreds of years!! We return to San Pedro de Atacama and the rest of 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 12. San Pedro de Atacama – Salar de Tara – San Pedro de Atacama
After breakfast we leave to visit the Salar de Tara which is only accessible by 4WD. The Salar de Tara is located approx. 100 km from San Pedro de Atacama in the National Reserve Los Flamencos and is probably one of the most impressive landscapes on the Altiplano. Situated at 4300m of altitude the salar is surrounded by volcanoes and we’ll see numerous volcanic rock formations, created by centuries of erosion, which present some particular formations; Guardianes de la Pacana (the guards of the Pacana), which are enormous stone pillars that rise vertically and lonely from the deserts sand, or the Farallón de Tara (craggy stone). After this impressive visit we return to San Pedro de Atacama 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 13. San Pedro de Atacama – Calama - Santiago de Chile
We transfer to the airport in Calama to take the flight Calama – Santiago. Upon arrival in Santiago our team will be waiting to transfer you to the hotel and the rest of the day is free.

Day 14. Santiago – Vineyard visit – Colchagua valley – Santiago
Today we visit Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. Nicknamed “The Jewel of the Pacific”, Valparaíso was declared a world heritage site based upon its improvised urban design and unique architecture. In 1996, the World Monuments Fund declared Valparaiso’s unusual system of funicular elevators (highly-inclined cable cars) one of the world’s 100 most endangered historical treasures and the city was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003. Built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Valparaíso boasts a labyrinth of streets and cobblestone alleyways, embodying a rich architectural and cultural legacy. We continue to Viña del Mar which is Chile’s main tourist attraction and also known as “La Ciudad Jardin” (The Garden City). You can have lunch in one of the many seaside restaurants and in the afternoon we visit the town: the Casino which is one the oldest gambling establishments in South America, walk along the beach, Reñaca and of course the botanic garden Quinta Vergara where the biggest musical festival in Latin American is celebrated each year. We return to Santiago where the evening is free to enjoy the last day on the South American continent.

Day 15. Santiago - Valparaiso and Viña del Mar – Santiago
Today we visit Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. Nicknamed “The Jewel of the Pacific”, Valparaíso was declared a world heritage site based upon its improvised urban design and unique architecture. In 1996, the World Monuments Fund declared Valparaiso’s unusual system of funicular elevators (highly-inclined cable cars) one of the world’s 100 most endangered historical treasures and the city was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003. Built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Valparaíso boasts a labyrinth of streets and cobblestone alleyways, embodying a rich architectural and cultural legacy. We continue to Viña del Mar which is Chile’s main tourist attraction and also known as “La Ciudad Jardin” (The Garden City). You can have lunch in one of the many seaside restaurants and in the afternoon we visit the town: the Casino which is one the oldest gambling establishments in South America, walk along the beach, Reñaca and of course the botanic garden Quinta Vergara where the biggest musical festival in Latin American is celebrated each year. We return to Santiago where the evening is free to enjoy the last day on the South American continent.

Day 16. Santiago 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.  

 

 

 

General information:
Highlights: La Paz, Lake Titicaca,Sun Island, Sucre, Potosi, Salar de Uyuni, Incahuasi, South Lipez, Laguna Colorada, Laguna Verde, San Pedro de Atacama, Salar de Tara, Calama, Vineyard visit, Colchagua Valley, Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, Santiago. 

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

 

 

 

Back to the top