Puno to San Pedro de Atacama via the Uyuni salt flats

Trip ideas
Duration (in days): 7

From: Puno

To: San Pedro de Atacama

From

£2,210

Exc. International flights (per person, based on 2 sharing) 
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Overview

Make the most of the journey from Peru to Chile with this overland journey through the Bolivian Andes.

You’ll be collected in Puno on the Peruvian side of Lake Titicaca and driven to Copacabana on the Bolivian side, where you can visit Sun Island and continue to La Paz, the world’s highest capital city. From here, the journey becomes wild; visit islands, oases and ancient ruins, admire the shimmering Uyuni salt flats and marvel at towering cacti.

Sleep in a hotel made of salt and finally, drive through the striking scenery of the Bolivia Altiplano, spotting jewel-coloured lagoons, flocks of flamingos and geothermal sites, before crossing the border to San Pedro de Atacama and arriving in Chile. Surely one of the most spectacular overland journeys imaginable!

This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.

Highlights

  • Discover the striking scenery of Bolivia’s Altiplano
  • Visit Tiwanaku, the ruins of one of the most ancient civilisations in the Americas
  • Spend a night on beautiful Sun Island on Lake Titicaca
  • Tour La Paz, the highest capital in the world and take a scenic cable car ride
  • Visit the world’s largest salt flats – Salar de Uyuni
  • Spot three species of flamingo
  • See gem-coloured mineral lakes and spouting geysers
  • Peer into volcanic craters and see bubbling lava
  • Take a scenic private overland journey from Uyuni to the Atacama desert in Chile
Itinerary

 

Itinerary in brief:

  • 1 night in Sun Island
  • 1 night in Huatajata
  • 2 nights in La Paz
  • 2 nights in Uyuni

 

 

Day 1: Puno to Sun Island  

This morning you will be collected from your hotel in Puno, Peru and taken to Copacabana, on the Bolivian shores of Lake Titicaca. From here, you’ll visit the shrine of Our Lady of Copacabana – Bolivia’s patron saint. The, you’ll take a hydrofoil cruise over to Sun Island to visit the Pilcocaina Sun Temple. Enjoy a llama trek to the hotel on Sun Island, where you will check in for a 1-night stay.

Lunch will be served when you arrive; then you have the afternoon will be at leisure to explore – before dinner at your hotel (included).


Day 2: Sun Island to Huatajata    

After breakfast today, you have the morning free to relax. Around noon, you’ll visit the Inca Grand Stairs and the Sacred Fountain, where you can taste the water that’s believed to bestow eternal youth and happiness!

Lunch will be at the Uma Kollu archaeological restaurant, where you can also visit a small handicraft market. After lunch, we’ve included a hydrofoil cruise to Moon Island to visit the Sun Virgin’s Temple Iñak Uyu, followed by another hydrofoil cruise over to Huatajata.

When you arrive, there will be a guided visit to the Andean Roots Eco Village, the Altiplano Museum, the handicrafts village, the Mud Igloos and the mortuary towers of the Urus Chipayas. This evening, you can also visit the observatory, to observe and learn a little about the southern constellations.

You will spend the night in Huatajata.


Day 3: Huatajata to La Paz 

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before the drive to Tiwanaku, on a spectacular route that runs parallel to the mighty snow-capped peaks of the Andes. You’ll get a guided tour of some magnificent ruins left by one of the oldest civilisations in the Americas.

A packed lunch is included today, and this afternoon you’ll be driven to your hotel in La Paz where you will check in for a 2-night stay.


Day 4: La Paz    

In La Paz, Bolivia’s capital, you’ll encounter a fascinating blend of histories - indigenous, colonial and modern at every street corner. Visit the traditional Indian market and Witch Doctor's market for a glimpse into Bolivian culture, but don’t forget to lift your eyes to the horizon, for breath-taking views of the Illimani Mountain.

We’ve included a private tour of the city and to the Moon Valley, a clay formation that resembles the face of the Moon. The tour also includes a stunning cable car ride over La Paz for amazing aerial views!


Day 5: La Paz to Uyuni      

After breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel and driven by private transfer to La Paz airport for your flight to Uyuni. Once you land, you will be met and escorted on a private tour of the Salt Lake and Isla Incawasi.

Located on the Bolivian Andean Altiplano, Uyuni salt flats are the largest salt flat on the earth – covering more than 12,000 square kilometres. The Bolivian Andes offer unrivalled scenery; the sound of silence on the salt flats adds to the surreal feeling as you look at the tessellating pentagons of crystallised white salt, under a pure sky, framed by enormous green cacti. This landscape feels other-worldly

You’ll have lunch at Isla Incawasi, an oasis with formations of algae and fossils. It is covered by thousands of giant columnar cacti, which can be more than a hundred years old and can reach over 12m in height! This landscape set against the background of the salt pans on the horizon makes it a magical place photo stop, so keep your camera on hand!

At the end of the day, you will be driven to your Salt hotel (which is entirely made of salt!) where you will check in for a 1-night stay.  


Day 6: Uyuni    

After breakfast you will be driven by private transfer to the Desierto de Siloli, a desert that’s characterised by bizarre rock formations, originating from petrified lava flows eroded by wind. You’ll visit the sulphurous Laguna Hedionda and several other stunning natural lagoons, with a packed lunch en-route.

After the tour, you’ll be driven to your hotel in the desert where you will check in for a 1-night stay.


Day 7: Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama         

After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel to start the final leg of this wonderful journey. You will visit Laguna Colorada, a red lagoon that’s inhabited by flocks of flamingos of three species – in fact, this is one of the premier flamingo-watching sites in this region. The scenery is exceptionally beautiful at these heights; all set off by the impressive redness of the Lagoon.

Continuing, you’ll reach the Sol de Mañana Geysers, with fumaroles (cracks in the earth’s crust) and some spectacular and active volcanic craters. Peering into the craters reveals bubbling lava, and the fumaroles spout a mixture of super-heated water and steam, up to 100m high! After a packed lunch, you’ll visit Laguna Verde. This lake resembles a giant emerald thanks to its deep green colour, tinged by the high magnesium content of the water. You will reach Hito Cajon in the afternoon, and here you’ll cross the border into Chile. From here, you’ll be taken to San Pedro de Atacama to connect with your onward travelling plans.

Info

May to October might be the best season for this itinerary if you want clear blue skies and drier conditions, however, bear in mind that it is also the time when temperatures will be lower especially at night in the highlands and the desert.

This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.

What's included: 

  • 6 nights accommodation with daily breakfast
  • Domestic flight from La Paz to Uyuni
  • Return airport transfers
  • All private transportation from Uyuni to San Pedro
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary

Not included: 

  • Any other flights
  • Any meals not mentioned
  • Any excursions not mentioned
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips & gratuities
  • International airport tax in Bolivia of $25.00 per person (subject to change)
  • Domestic airport tax in Bolivia of $2.5 per person (subject to change)
Accommodation

Six nights in 4* standard accommodation.

Hotels in this category include:

  • Posada del Inca Eco Lodge

  • Hotel Inca Utama & Cultural Resort

  • Hotel Presidente

  • Salt Hotel

  • Hotel Ojo de Perdiz
     
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