Bolivia and Chile

Chile and Bolivia: Altiplano highlights

Altiplano Atacama Chile

Atacama desert Chile

Duration of journey: 6 jours, 5 nuits

Visiting: San Pedro de Atacama / Valle de la Luna, Ruinas del Pukara de Quitor, Lagunas Meniques & Miscanti, Salar de Atacama, Termas de Puritama (hot springs), Lagunas Verde, Blanca & Colorada, Calama, Chuquicamata.



Day 1: San Pedro de Atacama / Moon Valley Pukara - museum archeological - Atacama
Welcome at the Calama Airport. Rather at 2.250 M o.s.l. we will drive higher and higher. We will drive one hour along the Andean Mountain Range observing the changes of the andscape and the diversity of colours. The final point today will be the oasis of San Pedro de Atacama. The adobe village offers an very singular ambience compared to the modern world. After check-in at your selected hotel, you will have the possibility for a first walk throughout the village.
In the afternoon you can walk across the Mars Valley feeling as a mars-like people and can observe the layers of earth and the shade plays of the salt mountain range. Afterwards we will drive into the Moon Valley and will climb up the sandy dune, where you can enjoy the sunset and the reflecting of the sunbeams on the Andes.
With a glass of Pisco Sour, the most famous cocktail in Chile, we discover the first stars, which appear on the southern sky. The evening sounds out in relaxing resting and widens silence in the middle of the moon valley and underneath the Milky Way.

 DesertCoirones Altiplano Atacama

Day 2: Ruin fortress / Museum
In the morning we will walk about 3 km to the ruin fortress of Quitor. We climb up the protection facility from IX-XII century and enjoy a 360░ panorama: the Andes in the foreground, the salt mountain range in the background and in the foot hill - the fruitful valley of the river San Pedro.
Back in the village, where we will visit the archaeological museum and will know the history of the founder, as well as the best pieces of find of the 300,000 copies collection. The best cactus wood ceiling we can see in the church. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 3: Altiplano Lagoons Meniques & Miscanti
After breakfast we will drive to the Atacama Salt Flat and at the Chaxa Lagoon we can observe flamingos, elegant birds at 2.305 m.p.s.l. living in their natural biotope. We will walk over salty ways. From here we are only some kilometres away from the Tropic of Capricorn, the imaginary line that separates the Tropics from the moderate climate zone. Geysers - Puritama hot springs
From the village Socaire, a pre-inka settlement with vegetable gardens in terrace form on 3.300 m., only an hour later we will come at the Altiplano Lagoons Meniques & Miscanti: twin lagoons from the ice age, where you can see diving ducks, different altiplano birds and the camel-like lamas.
During the lunch we will enjoy a nice view to the two mountains of the same name Meniques and Miscanti. One hour late we will see the Salt flat of Aguas Calientes, a Picasso original picture and later on the emerald green lagoon Tuyaito. The pink colored flamingos also flew here, in order to find their food. Accompanied by the yellow Coiron meadows of the Altiplano we begin the descent to Socaire. On the terrace of the Refugio Likan Antai we rest with a cup of coffee and observe the Atacama salt lake. Return to San Pedro de Atacama.


Day 4: Tatio Geysers / Puritama Hotsprings
In order to be able to see the steam columns of the El Tatio Geysers, we wake up early this morning somewhat early and drive at 04:30 a.m. from 2.400 m. to 4.300 m.o.s.l.. From direct proximity we observe the steaming sources and enjoy our open-air breakfast and the warming sunbeams. A walk through the geysers field leads us by "cook boilers" of the volcano El Tatio, which is the reason for these fascinating nature play.
The sun discovers you another side of the colored altiplano. Short walk to the mud pools and wide boiling pools contributes to the extension of the knowledge about the earth secrets. Slowly we begin our return trip, whereby we always pay attention to the herds of vicu˝as. With much luck we see the ostrich something similar birds, ˝andues, as well as Puna tinamou and vizcachas (andean rabbit). Lagoons - flamingos Chile and Bolivia
In the pond of the river Putana we observe Guallatas (large white-black altiplano birds), as well as diver and cinnamon teal.
Soon we reach the cactus upper limit and here and there we see on the slopes some broad planar Chuchambe cactus, as well as the large trunk Echinopsis Atacamensis cactus. We take our lunch at the luxurious hot springs of the Puritama river. The 31░-33░ C warm water does its task to the physical well-being, as well as the glass of Chilean late harvest. Return to San Pedro and rest of the afternoon at leisure.


Day 5: BOLIVIA: Green & White and Pink Lagoons
Today we dedicate to the Altiplano, the colored lagoons and the flamingos. After a short border control between Chile and Bolivia we cross on a height of 4.400 M. The first highlight offers the view to the Green Lagoon and the reflection of the volcano Licancabur in it.
In direct proximity we see the white surface of the White Lagoon. Against noon we take our pic nic lunch with view to the Laguna Colorada, where hundred of pink colored flamingos peacefully look for their food. In the evening we return back to Chile.


Llamas Altiplano AtacamaDay 6: Calama
In the morning we will drive back to Calama. The Andes Mountain Range accompanies our travel and offer to you a great views. After nearly one week you recognize without doubt the volcano Licancabur and Juriques or also the smoke cloud from the crater of the volcano Lascar. A parting view to the Atacama salt desert opens again and again the most beautiful colour plays of this unbelievable desert landscape.
From far away you see the smoke of the smelters of the world-wide-largest open pit copper mine Chuquicamata, which can be seen like the China wall also from the space. At the small airport in Calama your journey goes into the large world away.