Itinerary in brief:
- 3 nights in San Pedro de Atacama
- 1 night in Villamar
- 1 night in Tahua
- 1 night in Colchani
Day 1: Arrive in Calama
On arrival at Calama airport, you will be met and driven to the town of San Pedro de Atacama. This colourful village is located at an altitude of 2,440m in the middle of a green oasis.
Mid-afternoon you will be picked up to join a small group tour to visit the mystifying Death Valley & Moon Valley - boasting incredible stone and sand formations. Watch the fading light and catch the spectacular sunset over this vast landscape. After sunset, you’ll be driven back to your hotel in San Pedro for your overnight stay.
Day 2: Toconao archaeological tour & Atacama salt lake
After breakfast, you will be taken on a tour of San Pedro followed by a short drive to the pre-Columbian village of Tulor.
These archaeological remains are the oldest evidence of human settlement in the valley and you’ll also visit the Pukara de Quitor fortress before stopping for lunch. In the afternoon, continue onto Toconao village and the Atacama Salt Lake, an ancient inland and an impressive site dominated by crystallised salt and rock formations. You will be driven back to your hotel in San Pedro in the early evening.
Day 3: El Tatio geysers and Machuca
An early start pays off today! Before dawn breaks, you will be picked up at your hotel and head north to the famous El Tatio Geysers, a geothermal field flanked by soaring peaks. Make sure to bring warm clothes as temperatures at this altitude are considerably low this early in the morning.
El Tatio is the highest geothermal field in the world at 4,300m on the Altiplano. As dawn breaks, you’ll be able to see powerful jets of steam shoot out from geyser blowholes and steaming ponds, against the cool morning mist. Below are the brilliant white salt and above, the dawning blue sky.
You’ll have breakfast and be driven to the village of Machuca, the old resting place for llama caravans that travelled the Inca Highway. Afterwards, you will return to San Pedro de Atacama to enjoy the afternoon at leisure. Overnight in San Pedro de Atacama.
Day 4: Villamar
After breakfast, you’ll be picked up at your and driven by private transfer with English speaking guide towards the Bolivian border.
Once you cross the border, you’ll visit the Blanca and Verde Lagoons; two colourful lakes at the base of the Licancabur Volcano. Then you’ll continue to the Dali Desert – a landscape named for its resemblance to the famous painter’s surreal works. From there, you’ll journey to the Chalviri salt flat situated in the heart of Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve. Continue on to the Poloque hot springs for a relaxing break and a picnic lunch. Your final destination for the day will be Villamar where you will spend the night and have a typical Bolivian dinner.
Day 5: Uyuni and Tahua
Today, you will leave Villamar behind and head towards the picturesque Valle de Rocas, known for its huge boulders and rocky environment. You will reach Uyuni where you will stop for lunch and a little break. In the afternoon you will continue a little further to the town of Tahua, where you will check into your hotel for one night and will have dinner.
Day 6: Incahuasi Island and Colchani
After breakfast, you will head towards the impressive Uyuni salt flats. First, you’ll visit Incahuasi Island in the middle of the salt lake; famed for its stunning views over the flats and its gigantic cacti, reaching heights of over 10m!
After lunch here, you’ll continue towards the town of Colchani, your last stop for the day. Here you will check into a ‘salt hotel’ (a hotel made entirely of salt!) and will learn how locals incorporate this important mineral into their art and crafts. Dinner is also included today.
Day 7: Depart Uyuni
Today you will be collected from your hotel at any time after breakfast and be taken to Uyuni airport by private transfer to connect with your onward travel plans.