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HomeTours to Central and South AmericaBoliviaHighland Highlights of Bolivia & Chile
14 days

Highland Highlights of Bolivia & Chile

Unforgettable experiences await you in Bolivia and Chile in the form of spectacular mountains, volcanoes, geysers, lagoons and the Salar de Uyuni salt flat. The tour rounds off with wine experiences in Santiago.

Highland Highlights of Bolivia & Chile Highland Highlights of Bolivia & Chile
14 days

Highland Highlights of Bolivia & Chile

Unforgettable experiences await you in Bolivia and Chile in the form of spectacular mountains, volcanoes, geysers, lagoons and the Salar de Uyuni salt flat. The tour rounds off with wine experiences in Santiago.

Choose this tour because…

This tour is packed with visits to exciting cities and extraordinary, impressive landscapes in the highlands of Bolivia and Chile. The trip starts in La Paz, the administrative capital of Bolivia, where you will have time to see all the best-known sights. Just outside the city, you will have the chance to admire the strange ‘lunar landscape’ of Valle de Luna, as well as the Inca ruins at Tiwanaku. You will then move on through the magnificent Bolivian countryside, taking time to admire the sputtering geysers, hot springs and colourful lakes. One of the absolute highlights is Uyuni, the biggest salt flats in the world, surrounded by red-brown volcanoes towering up against the background of the deep blue sky. The place is so beautiful it will most likely send chills down your spine. You then head off to Chile, where you can look forward to viewing strange geological shapes in the driest desert in the world, and to experiencing the 80 scalding hot geysers of Tatio, where the columns of steam in contrasting colours are a truly amazing phenomenon to behold. You will also call in at the harbour town of Valparaíso on the Pacific coast, and the garden city of Viña del Mar, with its fascinating mix of beaches and verdant parks. Your tour ends in the inviting Chilean capital, which is ringed by some of the finest vineyards in the world.

What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Flights from the UK to La Paz
  • Flights from Santiago de Chile to the UK
  • 1 domestic flight in Bolivia: La Paz–Uyuni
  • 1 domestic flight in Chile: Calama–Santiago de Chile
  • Private transfers from and to airports
  • 11 nights’ accommodation in good hotels incl. breakfast
  • 4 x lunch (days 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • 2 x dinner (days 4, 5)
  • Individual tour with private transport, Spanish-speaking driver and local English-speaking guides on all excursions
  • Emergency hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your trip
  • ATOL certificate included
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants
  • Daily departures

Comprehensive package of excursions:

  • Tour of La Paz including Moon Valley
  • Full-day excursion to the Uyuni salt flats
  • Full-day excursion to the Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve with its colourful lakes and flamingos
  • Half-day excursion to the hot geysers of El Tatio
  • Half-day excursion to Moon Valley at San Pedro de Atacama
  • Half-day tour of Santiago de Chile
  • Full-day excursion to Valparaíso and Viña del Mar
  • Half-day trip to the Maipo Canyon wine region
  • Admission to the sights mentioned, though not including Incahuasi Island at Uyuni and Eduardo Avaroa Reserve,  or admission to the guided city walk in Santiago de Chile, which is paid locally.
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Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Flight to Bolivia

Departure day, where you will fly to La Paz with connecting flights along the way.

Day 2: Arrival in La Paz

You will arrive in La Paz, the administrative capital of Bolivia, in the morning, where you will be met in the arrivals hall by a guide who will drive you to your hotel.

Day 3: Tour of La Paz – including Moon Valley

The day is given over to a tour of the city of La Paz. You will start in the centre of the city at Plaza Murillo, a square rich in tradition and the site of the cathedral and the presidential palace, which is heavily inspired by Italian architecture. The narrow streets stretch up the mountainside behind Plaza San Francisco with the large stone church that is the site of a statue of Jesus with a luminous blue halo. The surrounding area is usually packed with Bolivian ‘campeninas’ (country women) in colourful clothes selling items such as blankets, nuts, herbs and woolly jumpers decorated with pictures of lamas. It is then time to visit one of the most charming parts of the town around Calle Jaén, a cobbled street free from motorised traffic and lined with well-preserved colonial style buildings. Here you can visit the outdoor museum devoted to the Tiwanaku culture. The tour then moves on to ‘Valle de la Luna’ (Moon Valley), which is named for the strange rock formations that dominate the landscape.

Day 4: By plane from La Paz to Uyuni

The day starts with a visit to the ‘Train Graveyard’, where you can see locomotives and carriages dating back to the nineteenth century. It is then time to move on to the town of Colcachi to watch the local salt production process. You can also buy local arts and crafts and distinctive salt crystals here.

The tour continues on to ‘Salar de Uyuni’, the biggest salt flats in the world, which extend over an area of 10,500 km2. The lake is located close to the border with Chile at an altitude of 3,653 metres above sea level. It can be quite cold here, so make sure to bring some warm clothes with you. The surrounding landscape is dominated by red-brown mountains and volcanoes, which present a neat contrast with the deep blue sky. The view is truly breath-taking, and seems to stem from another world. There are lakes of different colours on account of the minerals and algae they contain. You will then make your way to the old Hotel de Sal to admire the salt architecture before continuing on to Isla Incahuasi, to admire the magnificent view out over the salt lake. In the afternoon, you will head for the little town of San Pedro de Quemes, which is located on the edge of the salt desert.

Day 5: San Pedro de Quemes – Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve

The day starts with an early departure from the hotel so that you can see the desert in the magical light of the sunrise. As you make your way into Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve, where there is the opportunity to see the Yaretas plant and the wild desert rodent, Vizcachas.

Next stop on the itinerary is at the red lake – ‘Laguna Colorada’ – with its population of flamingos. The red colour of the lake and the flamingos is attributable in part to the rays of the sun and in part to the algae and plankton in the lake. From the lake, the trip continues on to Ojo de Perdiz, where you will spend the night.

Day 6: Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve - Hito Cajones – San Pedro de Atacama

The day begins with an early departure from the hotel to see the geysers at Sol de Mañana, as they are most active in the first rays of the sun. The landscape here is amazing, marked by holes filled with lava, and the air smells of smoke and sulphur. You then have the opportunity to take a dip in the hot springs before the trip continues to ‘Laguna Verde’ (the Green Lake), which is an absolute gem. Watch how the colour changes from emerald to an even deeper shade of green. The water is rich in copper minerals and its colour is attributable to copper deposits. From here, you will also be able to see the Licancahur volcano in the distance. The tour then moves on to Hito Cajon on the Bolivian–Chilean border, where our Chilean partner takes over and accompanies you to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile.

Day 7: San Pedro de Atacama – the geysers at El Tatio

At 04.00 it is time to leave the hotel and head for the scorching hot geysers of El Tatio, located at an altitude of 4,300 metres above sea level. There are around 80 active geysers here, and they are most lively around sunrise. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience one of the most amazing natural phenomena in the world as columns of steam in contrasting colours shoot skywards from the highest geothermal area on Earth. You will then pass through the geothermal area itself, where you will have the opportunity to take a dip in the hot springs of El Tatio, which are rich in minerals.

On the way back, you will pass alongside the Andes Mountains, where you can admire the sight of the volcano in the background and observe exotic plants and animals in their natural habitat.

Day 8: Moon Valley

This half-day excursion to Moon Valley allows you to experience the strange geological formations in the Atacama Desert, which is one of the driest areas on the planet. Take time to admire the landscape, which has been carved out by the forces of nature over a period of millennia. This desert valley is ringed by white mountain peaks, which stand in sharp contrast to the ochre colour of the valley floor. This trip also gives you the chance to see the salt caves and their very special shapes. The highlight of the day is the incredibly beautiful sunset over this magnificent landscape with Licanabur – the highest volcano in South America, towering to a height of 5,900 metres above sea level – in the background. The colours of the mountains change in the twilight, alternating between a variety of amazing shades.

Day 9: San Pedro de Atacama – Santiago de Chile

To start the day, you will be collected from the hotel and driven to Calama Airport – a 2-hour trip – from where you will fly to Santiago de Chile, the capital of the country. You will be met on arrival by a driver who will take you to your hotel.

Santiago is a modern metropolis, set in a delightful location surrounded by the Andes Mountains.

Day 10: Guided tour of Santiago de Chile

The day starts with a half-day tour of the city, taking in the most famous attractions and the contrast between the rich history of the capital and its impressive, modern buildings. The tour visits the parliament building – Moneda Palace – a neoclassical building dating back to the eighteenth century, the Plaza de Armas square, and the biggest cathedral in the country with its impressive Baroque interior. From here, you make your way to Santa Lucia, where you can admire a magnificent view out over the city. The tour finishes with a visit to the affluent residential areas of Vitacura and Las Condes.

Day 11: Full-day excursion to Valparaíso and Viña del Mar

The day starts with your being collected from your hotel and driven the 120 km or so to the harbour town of Valparaíso on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. During the trip, you have the chance to take in the varied landscape of Curacaví and the Casablanca Valley, which are famous as locations for the production of Sauvignon Blanc wine. The town itself is divided between the flat area around the harbour itself, and the 17 hills that rise up around the bay. The hills are covered in labyrinths of colourful houses, twisting streets and narrow alleys. The tour takes in the key attractions of the town: the Plaza Victoria and Plaza Sotomayor squares, the monument to Glorias Navales, and the 21 de Maya Boulevard, which leads up to a vantage point from where there is a magnificent view out over the harbour.

From here, the trip takes you to the harbour town of Viña del Mar, with its fascinating blend of sandy beaches and verdant parks. In the past, the town was a ‘refuge’ for the affluent classes from Valparaíso. They built houses with large gardens here, which later became the town parks. After lunch, you will have time for a walk along the beach, and before returning to Santiago de Chile, you will stop off at Quinta Vergara, which is the most elegant park in the town and features exotic plants from all parts of the world. It is then time to return to Santiago.

Day 12: Half-day excursion to the wine region

This day is largely given over to a visit to the Concha and Toro wineries, which make wine from the finest French vines. There is also a fantastic view of the mountains from here. During the visit, you will have the chance to taste and buy different wines, including the Casillero del Diablo and Don Melchor labels. The rest of the day is yours to do with as you wish in Santiago.

Day 13: Departure

The time has come to head for home. You will be collected from your hotel and driven out to the airport. You will fly to the UK with connecting flights along the way.

Day 14: Return trip

Arrival back in the UK.

Single supplement (when two or more travelers) £585
Single supplement (when single traveler) £1415
Discounts are available for groups of 3 or more people
When would you like to travel?
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Travellers' tales
Contact travel consultant Neil Smith

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