Arrival to La Paz Airport, transfer your accommodation and check in. Free day to relax and take it easy, maybe explore a little this high city.
Note: La Paz is really high so it is best to do everything slow the first days. Drink a lot of water, eat light, avoid alcohol and don´t rush!
Be ready to be picked up for a full-day tour to Tiwanaku ruins at 08:00. These pre-Columbian ruins surrounded by beautiful nature are located about a one and a half hour ride away from La Paz. The ancient city and culture of Tiwanaku is one of the most important on the American continent. It is believed that they were even more advanced in pottery, astronomy and math than the neighbouring Incas. You will be amazed to learn how this ancient people used to live and what they believed, so different from us nowadays. If you are travelling further north, you will see the Tiwanaku influence in the archaeological sites of Peru. After a visit to the uncovered ruins (there is a lot that is being uncovered, but is not open to the public), the tour returns to La Paz and will leave you at you accommodation at around 16:00.
Free day in La Paz to visit the old town.
After breakfast, check out and make your own way to thee bus station for the bus to Copacabana, a small town at the shores of Lake Titicaca. After a 3-hour ride, you will arrive in town and check in your accommodation. At 14:30, you will go for an easy hike to Kasanani Hill, a beautiful and ancient astronomical observation site built by the Incas to follow the movement of the Sun and the Moon and also to calculate eclipses and follow the change of seasons. 200 m from there, you will find the Intikala Temple, or Stone of the Sun, a series of big seats carved in stone. Then you will visit the Cathedral of the Virgen de Copacabana, that holds inside the image of the Holy Mary, carved by an Inka in 1583. After that, you will reach the summit of the hill so see great views of the Titicaca Lake and surroundings. Back to hotel and dinner.
At 08:00, you will take a boat to the northern part of Isla del Sol, arriving around 10:30 to the community of Challapampa. You will visit the Gold Museum and then walk for half an hour to the Inca Chincana Ruins, to later reach the Table of Stone. Along the island, many archaeological sites can be seen with one highlight: the Sacred Rock, or the Rock of the Origins, where according to the legend, Manco Capac and Mama Occlo departed to stablish the city of Cusco later on. At mid day, back to the Port to have lunch.
At 14:00, you will board the boat to begin the trip to the south of the island, stopping at Yumani Port to see boats made of "totora" (cattail in english). From the port, you will hike up to the village of Yumani at the southern end of Isla del Sol, passing by a series of Inca ruins and 3 sacred springs of water. Yumani is an Aymara comunity that built its town on top of an Inca site, with streets and walls made of stone. At the summit, you will see the sunset, and then it's back to the hotel and dinner.
After breakfast, walk down to the port through another route to pass by the ruins of the palace of Polkokaina and the Temple of the Sun. Back to Copacabana at 11:30 with time to catch the bus to La Paz. The bus to La Paz takes about 3 hours. From La Paz you will take an overnight bus to Uyuni Town.
Arrival at Uyuni. Breakfast before the Overland Tour begins. After mid day, departure to the village of Colchani, the entrance of the most beautiful salt flat in the world (as well as the biggest and the highest!). You will board the Jeep 4WD you are going to use until the end of the overland tour, and meet your driver and other staff. They do not speak English and even their Spanish is basic, but are very friendly and helpful. This is the beginning of the real adventure.
Lunch is at a restaurant built on salt. During the salt flat crossing, you will be amazed by the colours of the "out of this planet" landscape. The driver has to drive slowly, so you will have plenty of time to relax, enjoy and be amazed by this wonder. You will never forget this day. At the end of the day, you will be transferred to a Salt Hostel to spend the night. Salt Hostel means that the walls and some beds are built with salt bricks.
Note: The itinerary can be changed en route if the driver sees any changes in weather conditons or in the roads, or for any reason they judge the itinerary needs to be different. But the atractions will remain the same.
After a night by the salt flat, the tour heads towards the desert and the high plateau, also called Puna or Altiplano. In the morning, you will see the canyon of river Anaconda and in the afternoon, you will go past the Siloli Desert, where the wind and sun and a bit of rain carved strange volcanic rock formations. By lunchtime, you will probably be at Laguna Escondida (Hidden Lagoon, also called Laguna Negra). Arrival at the hostel and dinner. The hostels are very basic, but clean, and a part of the Altiplanic experience.
Early departure to be able to dive deeper (or higher!) into the desert and the Puna. The vehicle will drive along deserted landscapes, climbing higher and higher without even noticing it is happening. You will see lagoons with plenty of wildlife (Red and White lagoons), huge white-topped mountains and volcanoes, and altiplanic plains while you talk to your companions and learn about their travels. Lunch is provided near hot springs and after that, the second part of the day takes you to the Sol de Mañana Geysers and finally to Laguna Colorada, where more than 30.000 flamingoes nest every year. Please note that on this day you will reach 4.500 meters above sea level, so take into consideration the many tips to avoid “soroche”. The trip ends in San Pedro de Atacama after crossing the border at Hito Cajon. Check in and free day in San Pedro de Atacama.
Free day to relax or to visit valle de la Luna
Geysers del Tatio Excursion:
You will be picked up at the hostel between 04:30 - 05:00 depending on season to be able to admire the driest and highest desert in the world. The road will take you between hills and mountains of the tough Andes range until you reach the geothermal site of the Geysers, 1 hour and a half after departure. There you will be able to admire the out of this world Geysers, fumaroles and steaming craters that show the volcanic activity of the region. The Geysers reserve is located at 89 km from San Pedro and 4.230 meters above sea level. So temperature is low in summer (-6 degrees Celcius) and even colder in winter (July-August) (-20 degrees Celcius). It is very important to take warm clothes and plenty of water to help your body adapt to such a high altitude. Breakfast is offered viewing the geothermic field and on the way back there is a short stop at Machuca Village. Back to San Pedro hostel at about mid day.
Check out, go to the bus station to take the bus to Salta. After a long and very interesting ride, you will arrive in Salta in the afternoon. Find your own way to the hostel. Check in and free evening.
Cafayate and Villages Day Tour
We are leaving from Salta to the South, taking the route 68, passing through little towns like Cerrillos, La Merced, El Carril, Cnel. Moldes, La Viña (agricultural area which main production is tobacco). We are visiting the village of Alemanía, and from there we are entering to Cafayate Gorge, where we´ll see in the mountains the erosion of millions of years, created by wind and water (Devil´s Throat, Amphitheater, The Monk, The Castles, Parrot´s House, The Windows and The Toad). After visiting these places, we are arriving to the town of Cafayate to visit a winery and to taste the specialty of the region, torrontés wine. After walking through the town, we are coming back to Salta through the same gorge, which will offer us a different landscape in our way back to the city.
Departure time: 07:30-07:50 (there can be variations depending on location of accommodation)
Duration: 10 hours
Frequency: Daily departures. Blackout 25 dec and 1 jan.
Transport: Mini-Bus (19 or 24 pax
Breakfast and free day to relax, walk around this beautiful colonial city and try to go to a “peña” at night. There are many available optional day trips.
Check out, make your own way to the airport or to the bus station. End of adventure!
Arrival transfer in La Paz
3 nights hostel accommodation in La Paz with daily breakfast
1 night hostel accommodation in Copacabana, including breakfast
1 night hostel accommodation in Isla del Sol, including breakfast
3 nights accommodation in San Pedro de Atacama
3 nights accommodation in Salta, including daily breakfast
2 nights accommodation while on Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama Overland tour
2 dinners, 2 breakfasts and 1 lunch during activities in Copacabana and Isla del Sol
Tiwanaku Ruins day tour
Regular bus between La Paz and Copacabana
Night bus from La Paz to Uyuni
Transportation from Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama
Bus from San Pedro to Salta
1 afternoon, 1 full day and 1 morning guided activities during trip to Copacabana and Isla del Sol
Entrance fees to the sites in Copacabana and Isla del Sol
Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama Overland tour, including 3 breakfasts and lunches, 2 dinners, and Spanish speaking guide/driver
Geisers del Tatio Excursion
Cafayate Full Day Excursion