ANDEAN PALETTE 2016

Chile- Bolivia- Argentina 12 days/11 nights

  • Day 01  Santiago
  • Day 02   Santiago-San Pedro de Atacama
  • Day 03   San Pedro de Atacama
  • Day 04   San Pedro de Atacama
  • Day 05   San Pedro de Atacama-Uyuni
  • Day 06   Uyuni
  • Day 07  Uyuni-La Paz
  • Day 08  La Paz-Lake Titicaca
  • Day 09  Lake Titicaca-La Paz-Buenos Aires
  • Day 10  Buenos Aires
  • Day 11  Buenos Aires
  • Day 12  Buenos Aires-Home

DAY 1

SANTIAGO DE CHILE - / - / -

Arrival to Santiago de Chile and transfer to your hotel.

Overnight at the selected hotel

DAY 2

SANTIAGO - SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA B / - / -

In the morning, departure to the half day City Tour of Santiago: Santiago de Chile combines the characteristics of a rapidly modernizing metropolis with the historic features of a colonial city. This private tour introduces you to both the historic centre and Santiago’s modern side.

In the historic centre, you visit the presidential palace, once the national mint, and hence named La Moneda. Additional sights are around the historic main square, the Plaza de Armas, with its cathedral and the beautiful old post office; the Palacio de la Real Audiencia, now home to the National History Museum; and the Casa Colonial, which was once the governor’s residence during the colonial era. The best views of Santiago and the Andes can be enjoyed from the summit of Cerro San Cristóbal, The hill is part of the Parque Metropolitano – the city’s largest municipal park – where many Santiaguinos spend the weekends practicing sports or enjoying a BBQ. After visiting the Cerro San Cristóbal, the tour continues through Providencia, one of the capital’s exclusive districts, with attractive shops, good restaurants and modern high-rise buildings.

After the City Tour, private transfer from the hotel in Santiago to the airport, in order to take the flight to Calama. Upon arrival Transfer from the airport in Calama to the hotel in San Pedro.

Overnight at the selected hotel

DAY 3

SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA B / - / -

Private half day excursion to Tulor Village (Aldea de Tulor) and Quitor Fortress (Pukará de Quitor)

This half-day tour follows in the footsteps of the ancient Atacameños and Incas, and your tour guide will show you two archaeological sites: Aldea de Tulor and Pukará de Quitor. The Aldea de Tulor is a ruined village dating from around 800 BC, where once up to 200 inhabitants lived. Next to the ruins, two domestic buildings have been reconstructed according to authentic designs, and turned into a museum.

The fortress of Pukará de Quitor is just 3km/2mi north of San Pedro. It was erected by the Atacameños in the 12th century BC, and later extended by the Incas. The Spanish took the fort in 1540. There is a beautiful view towards San Pedro and the Andean mountain chain from the fortress, including of volcanoes in the background.

In the afternoon, half day excursion to Death Valley (Valle de la Muerte) and Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna)

This half day excursion leads you first to the impressive Death Valley (Valle de la Muerte).

This Valley was a lake in ancient times, which still can be seen in the horizontal sediment layers in its rocky slopes. Wind and rain have carved the most peculiar sculptures from sand, gypsum and clay that delight visitors today.

Afterwards you continue to one of the best-known destinations in the Atacama Desert: The Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna), where you arrive at dusk. With the Licancabur volcano providing the backdrop, strange salt and rock formations in the middle of the valley’s barren sandy landscape really do look like a moonscape. After a tour past the bizarre natural rock and salt shapes, the excursion ends with a hike up a giant sand dune, from whose highest point, a breath-taking view onto the valley and the Licancabur volcano can be enjoyed. The setting sun bathes the valley in a light that changes with every minute, providing a mesmerizing play of colours.

The return drive to San Pedro is after sunset.

Overnight at the selected hotel

DAY 4

SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA B / - / -

Day at leisure where you can take one of these optional tours:

Full day excursion to the Geysers of El Tatio

Those who wish to experience the El Tatio Geysers have to get up early, because the fountains that shoot up to 10m/33ft high, occur when the morning sun melts the nightly ice caps over the hot springs, located over 4300m/14,108ft above sea level. The sun’s first rays reflecting countless colours as they mingle with boiling jets coming from the geysers create a strong contrast with the rising steam and the surrounding summits.

The tour begins in the very early hours of the morning in San Pedro, to ensure a timely arrival at the geyser field at sunrise. The return drive to San Pedro takes place around midday.

Half day excursion to the Atacama Salt Flat (Salar de Atacama) and Toconao Village

The departure to the Salar de Atacama with your tour guide is in the early morning. A salt lake of huge proportions (3000 sq km/1,158 sq mile), its surface is covered by a thick layer of snow-white salt crystals, as far as the eye can see, caused by the evaporation of the lake’s water. The world’s largest lithium deposits are found here, but the salt pan is also home to several flamingo species, including the Andean, Chilean and James flamingo, who feed on the micro organisms found in the saline lagoons. These beautiful birds and other species can be observed in their natural habitat at the Salar de Atacama’s Chaxa Lagoon, which is part of the Reserva Nacional de los Flamencos.

On the way to the salt flat, you will stop at the village of Tocoano to see its green square with large cacti, and also its white church with free-standing spire, and interesting constructions using cactus wood. The return drive to San Pedro is around midday.

Overnight at the selected hotel.

DAY 5

SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA - UYUNI B / BL / D

Pick up from your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama. Border crossing and overland drive to the Green Lagoon, which water surface has the appearance of a giant emerald. From this Lagoon there is an impressive view of Licancabur Volcano, at an altitude of 5,865 mtrs. The special brightness of the green waters in the afternoon is dazzling. The intensely green coloring is due to their high magnesium content. Continuation to the geysers “Sol de Mañana” and the Red Lagoon also called Laguna Colorada with an area of 60 km2, at an altitude of 4,278 mtrs. It is characterized by the red tone of its waters and it is inhabited by three species of flamingoes: tokoko -with red plumage-; chururu -with whitish plumage- and jututu, with pink plumage. The scenery is exceptionally beautiful and it is considered to be the most important flamingo watching site in the region. Also Vicuñas, Llamas and Vizcachas can be seen. Continuation to Uyuni.

Overnight at the selected hotel

DAY 6

SALT LAKE UYUNI B / L / D

Excursion to the Salt Lake Uyuni with Isla Pescado. This is the largest salt lake on Earth, located on the Bolivian Andean Altiplano with 12.000 square Km; the Bolivian Andes offer stunning sceneries which can be hardly matched. The noise of silence makes the heart beat faster and the surreal pentagons of crystalline salt, the pure sky, the color lagoons, the cacti and the flamingos, will certainly make you feel that there is not place like this in the whole world.

Lunch at Isla Pescado, also called “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, growing to a height of over 12 mtrs. The landscape against the background of the salt pans extending to the horizon makes it an ideal place for photography hunters.

Overnight at the selected hotel

DAY 7

UYUNI - LA PAZ B / - / -

Transfer to the airport for flight to La Paz. Upon arrival transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon City Tour in La Paz. The city of contrasts represents a unique blend of cultures and races. Indian markets, the Witch Doctor Market, the main square Plaza Murillo and the Moon Valley are the local main attractions.

Overnight at the selected hotel

DAY 8

LA PAZ - HUATAJATA/ LAKE TITICACA B / L / D

Pick up from your hotel and transfer to Huatajata at the shores of Lake Titicaca. Upon arrival visit of Andean Roots Eco-Village and the Altiplano Museum. Continuation by overland to Copacabana- visit of the famous “Mamita del Lago” and her shrine.

Hydrofoil cruise to the Moon Island with visit of the Sun Virgins Temple. Continuation to Sun Island where you have lunch with an amazing view over the lake and the Royal Range of the Andes. Return to Copacabana and overland drive back to Huatajata. Night experiences in the Mystical World of the Kallawaya and the Alajpacha Observatory.

Overnight at the Inca Utama Hotel

DAY 9

LAKE TITICACA - LA PAZ - BUENOS AIRES B / - / -

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the Argentinean capital- Buenos Aires. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel.

In the afternoon City Tour. This sightseeing tour allows you to discover the magic of this vibrant cosmopolitan city. The tour includes the beautiful parks and gardens of the Recoleta and Palermo neighbourhoods, the Colon Theatre (one of the world's five most important opera theatres), Plaza de Mayo, the cathedral, traditional Mayo Avenue, Congress Square and many other buildings and palaces of architectural, historical and cultural interest. Your tour then continues with a visit of San Telmo, the residence of aristocracy until the end of the 19th century. Then you have the opportunity to explore Caminito Street in La Boca, a colourful neighbourhood of Italian immigrants. You visit the recently revitalized area of Puerto Madero and on Sundays the tour includes a stop at the vibrant San Telmo Flea Market.

At night enjoy a Tango Show including dinner - Buenos Aires nightlife provides its visitors with numerous entertainment possibilities. This evening you attend an unforgettable tango show with performances by some of the best dancers and singers in the country, whilst enjoying a delicious meal. This is the perfect way to live Buenos Aires - the city of tango.

Overnight at the selected hotel

DAY 10

BUENOS AIRES B / - / -

Day at your leisure. If you wish you may participate at the following optional tour:

Full day Estancia Visit

Getting away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Buenos Aires, head out to the vast grassy plains of the Pampas, the birthplace of the gaucho tradition. Spend the day on an estancia where you can truly immerse yourself in Argentine tradition, by taking part in the activities on the farm. The day also includes horseback riding and ancient horse-drawn carriages accompanied by seasoned gauchos, You also have the chance to witness some of the gaucho's incredible skills on horseback: Ring racing, horse racing, racing with leathers and reins test. The amazing ability of these gauchos can be appreciated through these typical displays of past tradition.

Overnight at the selected hotel

DAY 11

BUENOS AIRES B / - / -

In the morning half day excursion to Tigre and Delta - Only 30km from downtown Buenos Aires, the city of Tigre constitutes the access to what is known the Delta of the Paraná River, a group of islands and streams that open up like a fan and offer an attractive natural scenery ideal for recreation and rowing, skiing, sailing or fishing. This 4 hour tour includes sailing along the different canals of the Delta and goes through the northern residential area of Buenos Aires suburbs, where the President's Main House is located.

The afternoon is at leisure.

Overnight at the selected hotel

DAY 12

BUENOS AIRES - HOME B / - / -

In the morning transfer to the international airport for your departure flight.

3219
More in this category: Nature & Culture 2016 »