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Magic of the Altiplano

 

Departures:  Year-round

Places Visited: Arica & Putre

 

Highlights

Visit the heart of the Chilean Altiplano and discover a stunning setting of lakes and volcanoes with a unique collection of fauna and flora. Explore the breathtaking Lauca National Park with its imposing landscape and blue-steel colored Chungara Lake, one of the highest lake of the world, surrounded by snowcapped volcanoes and flocks of flamingoes. The rocky landscape is home to vizcachas, vicuñas, the Andean fox and other wild fauna while the villages attest to the importance of the region during colonial times.

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • 1 night of accommodation in Putre
  • 2 nights of accommodation in Arica
  • Daily breakfast and local taxes
  • 1 Half day city tour of Arica & Museum San Miguel de Azapa
  • 1 Half day tour to Lluta Valley
  • 1 Full day tour to Lauca National Park and Chungara Lake

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED:

  • Meals and drinks other than those mentioned
  • Tips or personal expenses
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional tours and experiences
  • Any items not mentioned

Day 01: ARICA.

Upon arrival airport, private transfer to hotel, followed by a tour to explore the historic, cultural and natural sights of Arica. The tour starts in the city center at the San Marcos church and the former Customs Building, which is now an art center. Both buildings are the works of famous French architect Eiffel. Stroll down Arica’s shopping streets and Colon square to feel the modern vibe of the city. Explore Arica’s port to see not only local fishermen but also watch sea lions and pelicans. Then drive up Morro hill to learn more about the history of Arica. This area was once was the scene of one of the greatest victories of the Chilean army during the Pacific War. More history can be discovered at the Miguel de Azapa Museum in the Azapa valley. This collection at this archaeological museum includes sand-preserved mummies and pre-Incan relics dating back to 5.000 B.C. Return to hotel in the afternoon.

Day 2: ARICA/PUTRE.

In the morning drive towards the Lluta Valley with its stunning views of the high plateaus. Visit the pre-Incan village of Poconchile, famous for its colonial cemetery and the picturesque 16th century San Gerónimo.  Continue through the Lluta Valley and admire the enormous geoglyphs and petroglyphs called “the Giants” and “the Eagles”. Admire also the vast fields of planted corn, alfalfa, onion and garlic. Return to Arica, the “City of eternal spring”, along the coast to observe rare birds such as the Chilean Woodstar at the mouth of the Lluta River and 11 kilometers of breathtaking and beautiful pristine beaches. Overnight stay in Arica.

Day 3: PUTRE/ Lauca National Park and Chungara Lake.

Depart from the hotel to discover the home of llamas, alpacas, vicuñas and many special Andean birds in the Lauca National Park, a Biosphere Worldwide Reserve. Lauca is the most accessible park in the Chilean Altiplano with Chile’s highest lake and over a hundred bird species. It also has an extraordinary flora and fauna, three different flamengo species, vicuñas and vizcachas in an awe-inspiring landscape of beautiful lagoons, lakes and impressive volcanoes at incredible altitudes. Keep an eye out for the “cactus candelabro” which grows at 2,500m/8,200ft above sea level. Reach the emerald colored Lake Chúngara (4,600m/15,000 ft), set against a stunning backdrop of snowcapped volcanoes. The National Park not only surprises with geographical wonders but also with archeological and anthropological mysteries. Pass through the village of Caquena with its extensive wetlands before arriving in the Aymara ceremonial town of Parinacota, famous for its pretty baroque style church, which was declared National Monument in1979. After an easy trek, explore vast wetlands and amazing lagoons near Parinacota and experience the union between man and nature. When arriving at Lake Chungara at an altitude of 4,517 m/14,819 ft, the cool blue waters of one of the highest lake of the world offer impressive views of the astonishing Payachatas Volcanoes. Enjoy a delicious boxed lunch while soaking up the many superb and indescribable impressions. Overnight stay in Arica.

Day 4: ARICA. At appropriate time, private transfer to the airport.


Tour descriptions and approximate times are for informational purposes only.

Some places described may be substituted and/or approximate times may be subject to change, due to unexpected circumstances or weather conditions.