DURATION
5 DAYS

DIFFICULTY LEVEL:
EASY

Expedition to Chilean High Plains

On our 5 day tour you can discover a large portion of the Chilean highlands, starting with the region of Arica where you will begin to familiarize yourself with the flora and fauna of the area and visit villages in the foothills and the altiplano. You can also tour the Lauca National Park where you will find different natural attractions such as bofedales, thermal baths and lagoons. You can visit one of the salt flats of the region, the Salar de Surire and the incredible Geoglyphs of Pintados, rock figures shaped thousands of years ago by the pre-Hispanic peoples.

Highlights

  • Valley of Azapa
  • Valley of Lluta
  • Lauca National Park
  • Salar de Surire
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Itinerary

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Itinerary

Your tour will start at 10:30 a.m. with a visit to the Agricultural Terminal to see a typical regional market. You will enter the Valley of Azapa, where you can see the Geoglifo The Tropilla and visit the Museum San Miguel de Azapa along the way. You will cross into the Lluta Valley where you can enjoy views of both valleys. Lunch will be eaten in an eco-community called Ecotruly, where you will be shown a candelabra cactus is and visit what we call the magnetic zone, and also a pre-Incan fortress in Copaquilla. You will visit the town of Socoroma located at 3000 masl in the Andean foothills. After a 1 hour walk, you will take a short coffee and biscuit break. You will return to Putre (at 3500 masl) at approximately 18:30 hs.
Today you will leave from Putre at 08:30 am. approximately having breakfast here or in Jurasi Hot Springs and then continue to the Bofedal de las Cuevas where we will do a 40-minute walk. On the way you will see wild vicuñas, vizcachas and you will know the wetlands that are the base of the ecosystem in the highlands (Mirador Bofedal de Parinacota). You will be able to spot a great variety of birds such as the northern pythios, guallatas, taguas, among others and admire the Chungara Lake and the Cotacotani Lagoons where you will do a walk of approximately 3 hours (optional) if you feel like it. In the town of Parinacota you will make a stop to eat (lunch or picnic) and you will have time to tour the town (dinner and accommodation included in Putre).
After breakfast in Putre, you will head to the Salar de Surire. You will visit Ancuta and Guallatire, two altiplanic villages at 4000 meters altitude, at the foot of the Guallatire volcano, which is still active. Towards 12:00 hs. You will arrive at the Salar de Surire and visit Chilcaya where you will take a walk of about an hour to photograph the flora and fauna and see for yourself the three types of exotic flamingos that exist in this Salar (Andean, Chilean, James). You will continue your trip to Polloquere Hot Springs (4270 masl), highly mineralized warm waters heated by the volcano that are at a temperature of 80º C. You will have time to relax, eat (picnic) and enjoy this unusual landscape. On your return you will have dinner and spend the night in Colchane.
You will have breakfast early to start your tour with a visit to the giant cactus of Rio Grande, before arriving at the town of Cariquima, famous for its skilled artisan weavers who have been working in this way for centuries. You will descend to the Quebrada de la Felicidad to stop at the Victoria Lookout and appreciate the beautiful view of canyons and volcanic rockeries. You will continue towards the Miradors of Chusmiza and Pachica, the latter located at the edge of the Atacama Desert and then arrive at Cerro Unitas to see the largest geoglyph in the area: “El Gigante de Atacama”. You will stop at Huara for lunch and then visit the salt marshes of Humberstone and Santa Laura, arriving at the town of Pica approximately at 7:00 pm. (Dinner and accommodation included).
From Pica (at 1325 masl), after breakfast, you will walk towards the Cocha de Resbaladero, one of the many holes used to extract water in the Atacama Desert. These waters are semi-thermal and local people say they have medicinal properties. After taking a bath and relaxing for a while, you will leave Pica to visit the Pintados Geoglyphs that contain approximately 400 figures across 66 panels where you can see men, animals, birds and abstract drawings. You will leave from here crossing the Pampa del Tamarugal National Reserve to arrive later at the small town of Quillagua, an oasis next to the Loa river with its crops and village, a church and a railway station that should not be missed. You will pass through customs at Quillagua and then cross the desert until you reach Iquique, from where you can return to Santiago or continue your trip further into Northern Chile.

Include:

– All transfers mentioned in the itinerary
– 4 night accommodation
– Excursion to Lauca National Park
– Excursion to Salar de Surire
– Excursion to Geoglifos de Pintados
– Breakfast & Lunch mentioned in the itinerary

Not include:

– International and / or Internal Flights
– National Parks, Reserves and Museum Tickets (except for exceptions mentioned in the itinerary)
– Optional excursions
– Tips
– Medical or Cancellation Insurance

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