Natural Wonders of Chile and Bolivia: Salt Flats to Deserts | Yampu Tours

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Natural Wonders of Chile and Bolivia: Salt Flats to Deserts

PRIVATE TOUR - 13 DAY SAMPLE ITINERARY

FROM £$6714+

Private Tour Highlights

  • Witnessing the largest salt flats on earth, Uyuni, which sprawls for 12,000sq km and provides epic photo opportunities!
  • Learning all about the way of life in the Uyuni Salt Flats during a visit to Colchani, a quaint village whose livelihood revolves around producing salt.
  • Spending the night on Lake Titicaca’s Sun Island, at the exquisite Ecolodge La Estancia which affords unrivaled views over the mountains and lake.
  • Marveling at the exquisite colonial architecture and intriguing handicrafts at the street markets of bustling La Paz.
  • Stepping through the ethereal Chincana Ruins on Sun Island, boasting sublime views of the sapphire-hued lake.
  • Exploring the Moon Valley in the Atacama Desert, with its impressive array of colors and textures.
  • Watching as steam rises from the El Tatio Geysers into the sky, magnifying the beauty of the sunrise over the Atacama Desert.
  • Meandering through the winding streets and staircases of Valparaiso, marveling at the colorful architecture along the way.
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

Yampu will show you the best natural wonders of Chile and Bolivia: Salt Flats to Deserts. Starting in La Paz, the highest capital in the world, we then move to the border between Bolivia and Peru, where we explore Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. The Uyuni salt flats beautifully reflect the sapphire-blue Altiplano sky. Crossing the highlands we move into Chile and the Atacama Desert, the highest desert in the world. After seeing volcanoes, hot springs and salt flats see the modern Chilean capital of Santiago.

This tour will show you the most exciting parts of Bolivia and Chile. We start in La Paz, at 12000 feet, it is the highest capital in the world. It is surrounded by the majestic Royal Andean Range, with a view of the Illimani Peak at 21000 feet. We will cruise across the highest navigable lake in the world, Lake Titicaca, with sapphire blue waters and skies, the region gives a very mystical feeling. Legend says that the first Inca God, Manco Capac, rose from the waters of the lake. One of the greatest “natural wonders”, the Uyuni salt flats are the biggest salts lakes in the world. 12,000 sq km of salt at an elevation of 12,000 ft, create a truly unforgettable experience as the flats reflect the sapphire-blue Altiplano sky. San Pedro de Atacama is the place to visit for history buffs, as it is full of incredible archaeological treasures. San Pedro’s scenery is sensational as well, with the Andes Mountain range providing a fabulous backdrop to the town. We will also spend two days in Santiago to visit this fascinating and modern city.

Inclusions
Prices include airfare from La Paz to Uyuni, airfare from Calama to Santiago, hotel accommodation including daily continental breakfast, transfers between airports and hotels with assistance and baggage handling, and guided tours including all entrance fees, where applicable.

*Please note that 5 Star and Deluxe clients will be staying at all-inclusive accommodations in San Pedro de Atacama and will not follow the standard day tour itinerary below. You will have the option to choose your daily activities from a fixed list each night, the all inclusive program will vary based upon specific lodging.

*During the rainy season (November to March) the Uyuni salt flats get flooded, making it sometimes difficult to visit the area and also cross from Bolivia to Chile. We do not recommend booking this program between those dates.
Exclusions

Local airport departure taxes that are payable in the country of destination are not included. Airfare taxes and security fees that can be paid at time of ticketing are included in the cost.

Best Time to Travel
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Best Good Consult

Pricing Details
  3-Star 4-Star 5-Star Luxury
Double £$6413 £$6714 £$6979 £$7472
Single £$10564 £$11282 £$11803 £$12789

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary

Day
1

International Flight to La Paz

Take the overnight flight to La Paz, Bolivia. Look out for the magnificent views of the city and the Royal Andean Range when landing.

Take the overnight flight to La Paz, Bolivia. Look out for the magnificent views of the city and the Royal Andean Range when landing.

Day
2

City Tour of La Paz

Upon arrival in La Paz airport, transfer to the hotel. Afternoon, city tour of La Paz. Head through the colonial part of the city with the San Francisco Church, Gold Museum, Murillo Square and the outdoor replica of Tiahuanaco Temple. One will also visit the street markets, rich in handicrafts, weavings and witchcraft artifacts that represent the traditional beliefs of the Ch'alla (ritual of offerings) and Pachamama (mother earth and symbol of fertility). See the modern part of the city and the dramatic drops in elevation. Finally, leave the city to enter the Valley of the Moon and enjoy its natural geological formations. ...read less

La Paz City_Bolivia
Day
3

La Paz – Copacabana

Enjoy a private trip from La Paz to Copacabana with a wonderful view of Lake Titicaca. Visit the famous Virgen Morena and its church, and take a stroll through the town, before taking the boat to the Island of the Sun. Upon landing in Huacani port, have a typical lunch, "Aptapi". From here, hike about one hour to the Ecolodge La Estancia, offering spectacular views of the mountains and the lake. La Estancia is located in the southern part of Sun Island on Lake Titicaca. It was built preserving the Andean architecture and combines modern comfort with respecting the harmony of the surrounding nature and habitat. Overnight on Sun Island. Dinner tonight is included. ...read less

Isla-del-Sol-Lake-Titicaca-Bolivia
Day
4

Exploring Chincana Ruins

After breakfast there will be an opportunity to enjoy the sunrise. Then take a boat north to visit Chincana ruins and the Sacred Rock. After the excursion, travel by boat to the Island of the Moon and explore the the Inak Uyu ruins before finally reaching Copacabana. After lunch (included) return to La Paz.

After breakfast there will be an opportunity to enjoy the sunrise. Then take a boat north to visit Chincana ruins and the Sacred Rock. After the excursion, travel by boat to the Island of the Moon and explore the the Inak Uyu ruins before finally reaching Copacabana. After lunch (included) return to La Paz.

La-Paz-Island-of-the-Moon-Peru
Day
5

La Paz – Uyuni

This morning, transfer to Uyuni. The trip starts from la Paz going southwest through the highlands by bus to Oruro. From there take a train to Uyuni, crossing a big portion of the highlands.

This morning, transfer to Uyuni. The trip starts from la Paz going southwest through the highlands by bus to Oruro. From there take a train to Uyuni, crossing a big portion of the highlands.

Uyuni-Fish-Island-Bolivia
Day
6

Trekking Through the Salt Flats and Pucara de Aique

This morning, take a trip to Colchani, to see locals producing salt. Enter the great Uyuni salt flats to Isla Incahusai, a special habitat of volcanic rocks and giant cactus. Continue north to see the pre-Colombian Pucara de Ayque fort and the nearby chullpares. Return to Colchani.

This morning, take a trip to Colchani, to see locals producing salt. Enter the great Uyuni salt flats to Isla Incahusai, a special habitat of volcanic rocks and giant cactus. Continue north to see the pre-Colombian Pucara de Ayque fort and the nearby chullpares. Return to Colchani.

Uyuni-Salt-Piles-Bolivia
Day
7

Exploring Frog’s Valley

This morning, head south, visiting the cemetery of old trains. Then travel through the highlands, passing the villages of San Cristobal, Clpina K until the high and rich valley of Alota. Continue on to see the areas with great stone formations done by the erosion. Continue through high valleys until the village of Villamar.

This morning, head south, visiting the cemetery of old trains. Then travel through the highlands, passing the villages of San Cristobal, Clpina K until the high and rich valley of Alota. Continue on to see the areas with great stone formations done by the erosion. Continue through high valleys until the village of Villamar.

Day
8

Uyuni – San Pedro de Atacama

Depart early in the morning for la REA reserve, visiting Laguna Colorada, going through Polkes, geysers, Sol de Ma, Chalviri lagoon and its natural hot springs of Polques. Continue through the high desert of Pampas de Dali until Laguna Verde, a beautiful green lagoon at the foothill of the Licancabur Mountain. Continue until the Bolivian border Hito Cajon. Enjoy lunch en route to and change cars before continuing to the hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.

Note: 5-Star and Deluxe clients will be taken to the all-inclusive hotel instead of following the itinerary below. Programs will vary depending upon accommodation. Please ask a Yampu Travel Consultant for more information.
...read less

San_Pedro_de_Atacama_Moon_Valley
Day
9

Tulor, Quitor, Atacama Salt Lake and Toconao

Morning, read more...

Morning, half-day archeological tour to Tulor and Quitor. Departure at 9 am to visit the Padre Gustavo Le Paige Museum, which has an important anthropological collection of the Atacemenan culture. Then continue to the indigenous fortress of Quitor where the first shepherds of this civilization lived. Continue on to one of the "ayllus" or settlements which reflect the social system and communal aspects of this subsistence society and the ruins of Tulor, which is composed of a series of round rooms connected to each other and with communal patios. Today, this site is covered partly by the sands of the desert and represents an archaeological enigma. Afternoon, half-day excursion to the Atacama Salt Lake and Toconao. Upon leaving San Pedro de Atacama (3 pm in the winter, 4 pm in the summer), head along the side of the huge salt flat and continue until arriving at Toconao, a village where the inhabitants dedicate themselves to the working of the local liparite stone. Visit the old church and wander around the handicraft shops before a short visit to the Jeri Valley, an oasis in the center of the desert. Continue to the Chaxa Lagoon, where three types of pink flamingos breed. Return to San Pedro de Atacama. ...read less

Flamingo_in_the_Atacama
Day
10

Tatio Geysers with Machuca Village

Early departure (around 4am) from San Pedro towards the El Tatio Geysers. A guided walk around the geothermal field as the fumaroles of steam which appear at dawn rise into the sky. Journey through the Andes mountains, with wonderful views of the Putana volcano and the peaks of Torcopuri. Return to San Pedro, stopping on the way to visiting Machuca, a picturesque village of shepherds where the ancient llama caravans used to rest from their travels on the "Inca Highway".

Early departure (around 4am) from San Pedro towards the El Tatio Geysers. A guided walk around the geothermal field as the fumaroles of steam which appear at dawn rise into the sky. Journey through the Andes mountains, with wonderful views of the Putana volcano and the peaks of Torcopuri. Return to San Pedro, stopping on the way to visiting Machuca, a picturesque village of shepherds where the ancient llama caravans used to rest from their travels on the "Inca Highway".

el-tatio-chile
Day
11

San Pedro – Calama – Santiago

This morning transfer to Calama airport to take the flight to Santiago. Upon arrival at Santiago airport, transfer to the selected hotel in the heart of the city.
This afternoon, enjoy a private city tour of Santiago. The tour begins from the Funicular de Santiago (Gondola), which provides a stunning and panoramic view over the city from the top of San Cristobal Hill. Travel to the heart of the city and Plaza de Armas the spot from where the city has grown throughout the centuries. Each Latin city has a plaza de Armas as when cities were founded the center was also where the armory and military base was established - hence the name Plaza de Armas (Plaza of Arms). Visit some of the more important buildings such as the Cathedral, the City Council, the Central Post Office and the National Historical Museum.
Continue to the Presidential Palace La Moneda; the current seat of the government. Wander the streets that were once elegant at the beginning of the 19th century and now are a commercial center. Also visit some the original colonial neighborhoods such as Concha y Toro Square. Characterized by its cobbled streets and old mansions that reflect the elegance and richness of the early twentieth century the neighborhood grew to prominence between 1870 and 1876 with the influx of wealth as a result of mining and the discovery of Silver. Many Chileans achieved great wealth, including Enrique Concha y Toro founder of the famed winery. Return to the hotel for the evening.
Note: Check-in is normally after 2 pm. Early check-in may be granted subject to availability (not confirmed).
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Santiago_Main_Square
Day
12

Casablanca Valley with Valparaiso and Vina del Mar

This morning, meet at the hotel and transfer to the Casablanca Valley, approximately 50-miles (80-kilometers) from Santiago. The Casablanca Valley is one of Chile’s most important regions for cultivating the grapes that produce crisp white wines, most notably Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Here guests will enjoy a tour, tasting and lunch at one of the local wineries situated along this thriving wine route.
After lunch, leaving the Casablanca Valley, visit Valparaiso, the oldest and most important port in Chile. Here there will be an opportunity to walk along the city’s winding streets and enjoy the scenery and culture of this charming port-city. Continue to Vina del Mar, a resort city that was founded in 1874, famous for its beautiful gardens and flower clock. Late in the afternoon return to the hotel in Santiago. Lunch is included today.
...read less

Day
13

International Flight Home via Santiago

Transfer to airport for international flights back home.

Transfer to airport for international flights back home.

La Paz, La Paz Department, Bolivia

Bolivia

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Santiago, Chile

Places You'll See

  • la-paz-bolivia

    La Paz

    Spend time up in the clouds in La Paz, the highest de facto capital city in the world, nearly 12,000 feet above sea level. Visit Calle Jaen, home to many well preserved colonial buildings and museums. Visit the Witches’ Market for all your charm and potion needs, and other fun souvenirs. Take a walk up to Mirador Killi Killi, to enjoy beautiful views of the city.

  • Sun-Island

    Island of the Sun

    Enjoy the peacefulness of Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun), where there are no paved roads and no motor vehicles. View any of the over 80 ruins on the island, dating back to the time of the Incas. Visit the Museo de Oro and see the many Incan artifacts discovered underwater from around the island. Enjoy the beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the clear skies.

  • Bolivia_Salt_Lake

    Uyuni

    Originally a railroad junction, Uyuni has become a very popular place to visit. Take a trip to the Train Graveyard and see dozens of decommissioned locomotives, wagons, and other antique machinery. Look up in awe at the massive 30 plus foot cacti that tower over the town. Bring a camera for some unique shots of the salt covered terrain at the world’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni.

  • atacama-san-pedro-de-atacama-chile

    San Pedro de Atacama

    Enjoy some of the world’s most beautiful natural features such as lagoons, volcanoes, geysers, and hot springs in San Pedro de Atacama. Visit the San Pedro de Atacama to learn about meteorites and how to hunt them. Take a sandboarding tour through Death Valley, or gaze upon the dazzling colors of the Rainbow Valley.

  • santiago_chile

    Santiago

    As the political and cultural center of Chile, Santiago has much to offer. Relax at one of the many jazz clubs scattered throughout the city, or go for a wine tasting at one of the local wineries. Take a guided city trek to learn about the Chilean culture and their traditional meals. Or visit the summit of Cerro Santa Lucia for beautiful views.

  • Wine_Route_Casablanca_Valley_Chile

    Casablanca Valley

    Relatively new to the Chilean wine scene, Casablanca Valley hosts numerous modern Vineyards and cellars with the highest wine making technology. The area’s Mediterranean climate of Cool misty nights and hot days provide excellent growing conditions.

  • Valparaiso_Vina_del_Mar_Chile

    Valparaiso

    Known as Chile’s Cultural Capital, Valparaiso has much to see and do. View the enchanting colonial architecture in the historic downtown. Get caught up in the cities artistic and bohemian vibes as you gaze up at the hills covered in brightly colored houses. Visit the Naval and Maritime Museum dedicated to military naval exploits and battles, or dance the night away with the city nightlife.

  • boat-valparaiso-chile

    Vina Del Mar

    Located in the Valparaiso Region, the Garden City also known as Vina del Mar, is a beautiful German influenced beach city. Spend time along the marvelous beaches, and possibly stop by Castillo Wulf. Built by German immigrants for the locals, this spectacular castle will take one’s breath away with the ocean view.

Hotel Options

3 Star Properties

La Paz : Hostal Naira

San Pedro de Atacama : Kimal

San Pedro de Atacama : Hotel Tulor

Santiago : Orly (Providencia)

Santiago : Hotel Plaza San Francisco (Downtown)

Santiago : Torremayor Lyon (Providencia)

4 Star Properties

La Paz : Hotel Rosario

Island of the Sun : Ecolodge La Estancia

San Pedro de Atacama : Hotel Boutique Noi Casa Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama : Cumbres San Pedro de Atacama

Santiago : Hotel Magnolia

Santiago : Carménère ecoHotel

Santiago : Noi Victoria

5 Star Properties

La Paz : Ritz Apart Hotel

La Paz : La Casona Boutique Hotel

Uyuni : Cristal Samana

San Pedro de Atacama : Tierra Atacama (all inclusive)

San Pedro de Atacama : Alto Atacama Desert Lodge & Spa (all inclusive)

Santiago : Le Reve (Providencia)

Luxury Properties

La Paz : DM Andino Resort & Spa

La Paz : Casa Grande Apart Hotel

La Paz : Camino Real Suites

Uyuni : Luna Salada

Uyuni : Cristal Samana

Uyuni : Palacio de Sal

San Pedro de Atacama : Awasi Atacama

Santiago : Ritz Carlton

Santiago : Casa Bueras Boutique Hotel (formerly known as Lastarria Boutique Hotel)

Santiago : W Santiago (Las Condes)

Santiago : The Singular Santiago

Testimonials

Karen and Stephen

Traveled January, 2007

I cannot really convey in a few sentences how satisfied we were with your services.

I never took the time to thank you for the wonderful arrangements made by you and your team at Yampu for a trip we made in late January of this year to Peru and Bolivia. I cannot really convey in a few sentences how satisfied we were with your services. We had never used a travel company before this trip. Considering the fact that we were traveling to third-world countries where life simply is not the same as here in the U.S., we were wonderfully surprised at the smoothness of all of our travel. We attribute this to your choice of tour guides and accommodations chosen in those countries. I thought of you and Yampu recently because we are planning to travel to southern Spain next year, but unfortunately for us you don’t service Spain! Some day we plan to travel to Chile and Argentina, and hope to make use of your services again. Thanks again for such great travel arrangements.

Traveled To


Katalin and Denton

Traveled September, 2009

We could not be more satisfied

We appreciate your follow-up very much just as the service you provided. We could not be more satisfied, everything went so well. We have submitted very good evaluations in every country (Peru, Bolivia and Chile) respectively. Everything was well organized, the hotels were good and everyone showed up everywhere on-time providing valuable service. If we go again, we definitely would contact you and recommend your service to our friends as well. Feel free to post our comments and we will contact you again when we start planning our next trip to this region.

Traveled To



Kathryn

Traveled December, 2015

So far Bolivia is AMAZING

So far Bolivia is AMAZING. Hot yet cold winds. Sun intense. 12,500 ft above sea level. I think it and the condor Colcha Valley between Arequipa and Lake Titicaca the most wonderment.

Traveled To

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