Chile, Bolivia, Peru
Atacama, Uyuni & Titicaca Expedition
With three countries in one 13-Day small group expedition, this is one of the most fascinating, diverse, and complete travel experiences in South America. Also, the expedition is designed from South to North, the only way to supply you with the ideal acclimatization to the Andes high altitude.
Once you arrive in San Pedro de Atacama, Northern Chile, you will lodge for three nights at a superb small boutique hotel located right in the heart of the charming town. You will enjoy two full-day excursions -to the Moon Valley and Tatio Geysers, to acclimatize your body to the high altitude destinations ahead.
Properly acclimatized, we cross the border to Bolivia and start our three-day exploration of the Uyuni Salt Lake, the biggest and most impressive in the world. We will cover several national reserves, visit the biggest volcanoes in the world, observe the rare James Flamingos and many other high altitude bird species, the valley of Dali, multiple multicolored lagoons, thermal waters, more geysers, visit remote local homes and salt lake Islands, stargaze (Our expedition is scheduled to coincide with new moon nights!), and a lot more.
We cross the salt lake using first-class 4×4 vehicles with a window seat guaranteed for all participants. There is something special about navigating the white vastness of this salt lake and be able to stop in the middle of nowhere to enjoy magnificent sunsets with a sundowner. We will spend two nights at the best Salt Hotel in Uyuni (Yes, it is completely built with salt bricks!)
We will then continue to Potosi, the most important Silver mine in colonial America, and then to Sucre, the historic capital of Bolivia. We will visit the city landmarks, the largest fossilized dinosaurs’ footprint park that exists, an impressive Andean textile collection, and an excellent display of traditional dances during dinner.
We then fly to La Paz to experience all that the highest capital of the world offers before continuing to Tiwanaku, the impressive remains of the capital of the imperium that dominated these lands before the Incas, who are descendants of the Tiwanaku.
We will then drive through beautiful Andean towns and villages to Puno in Peru, where we will board our private boat to explore Titicaca Lake, the highest navigable one in the world. We will visit the remote and free of tourist masses man-made read Islands, and the western side of Taquile Island, also seldom visited by tourists, to interact with this unique and colorful culture.
On our last day, we will visit the enigmatic Sillustani Pre-Inca cemetery before flying back to Lima to connect with your flights back home.
You may want to consider adding the Colca Canyon and Arequipa extension, Cusco and Machu Picchu, or even Easter Island.
Please note that you may add a few days in Santiago de Chile to explore the nearby wine country and a few days in Lima-Peru to visit its museums and superb dining.
WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY
- Ideal acclimatization process.
- Three countries in 13 days.
- Boutique hotel in the middle of charming San Pedro de Atacama.
- Atacama desert Moon Valley
- Tatio Geysers
- Cross the Uyuni Salt Lake using top quality 4×4 with window seats guaranteed.
- Lodge at the best Salt Hotel that exists.
- Multiple extensions available
- Visit to Laguna Verde, located below Licancabur Volcano, one of the highest and most beautiful in the world
- See rare James Flamingos in Laguna Colorada
- Visit Potosí and the villages of Tika Tika and Chaquilla
- Enjoy a half-day tour of Sucre
- Complete tour of La Paz
- Visit Tiwanaku Pre-Inca Remains
- Titicaca Lake Navigation
- Visit Taquile and Uros Islands
We took this expedition because of the Uyuni Salt Lake. Still, we were impressed by the richness of the destinations: Superb natural history, the complexity of the Pre-Inca, Inca, and Colonial history, the beauty of the multiple ecosystems explored. If you want remote, unique, impressive and seldom visited, you should put this one in your list.
NPE’s itinerary is complete, full of details that matter, and takes care of the much-needed acclimatization.
Clark M – Orange C. CA
If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!
13 DAYS THROUGH CHILE, BOLIVIA, AND PERU, INCLUDING THE NATURAL HISTORY, HISTORY, AND LOCAL CULTURE OF THE ATACAMA DESERT, THE UYUNI SALT LAKE, AND THE TITICACA LAKE FOR $9625.
Itinerary in Brief
- Day 8: Sucre (B, L, D)
- Day 9: Fly to La Paz (B, L)
- Day 10: La Paz full day (B, L, D)
- Day 11: La Paz – Tiwanaku – Desaguadero – Puno (B, L, D)
- Day 12: Uros and Taquile Island (B, L, D)
- Day 13: Diablada demonstration. Visit Sillustani. Drive to Juliaca. Fly back home (B, Box lunch)
- Day 1: Arrive in Calama (Meals Aloft)
- Day 2: The Moon Valley (B, L)
- Day 3: Full day Geiser El Tatio (B, L)
- Day 4: Hito Cajón – Lagunas de Colores – Villamar (B, L, D)
- Day 5: Villamar – Lagunas Vinto y Catal – Valle de las Rochas – Colchani (B, L, D)
- Day 6: Colchani – Salar – Colchani (B, L, D)
Arrival in Calama, Chile – Drive to San Pedro de Atacama
Fly to Calama in Chile via Santiago de Chile. Upon arrival, our representatives will pick you up and drive you to charming San Pedro de Atacama (1hr 50 min drive).
San Pedro de Atacama (8000 ft) is the entrance to some of the fascinating landscapes of the World. The majority of its attractions are part of the Los Flamencos National Reserve.
As soon as you arrive, you will check-in at Desertica Hotel, located in the middle of town. Use the rest of the day to recover from the flights.
Overnight at Desertica Hotel (No meals)
The Moon Valley
San Pedro de Atacama is located in the Atacama desert, the dryest and most beautiful desert in the World.
After a complete pre-departure briefing and geographic orientation, you will explore the Moon Valley, San Pedro’s most
After our complete excursion to the Moon Valley, you will have time to enjoy your hotel and wander around San Pedro de Atacama.
Overnight at Desertica Hotel. (B, L)
Even though we start in San Pedro de Atacama, our expedition will take us to lands much higher than that.
The Geysers of Tatio, the third largest geyser field in the World and the largest in South America, offers some of the most breathtaking panoramas and superb wildlife encounters.
Today we will depart early and gently climb up to 14000 feet. Along the way, we will stop to observe wild vicunas, flamencos, incredible rock formations, sights of snow-capped mountains, and volcanoes that will take your breath away without a doubt.
We will then return to our upscale hotel in San Pedro to rest.
Overnight at Desertica Hotel (B, L)
To Bolivia – Hito Cajón – Lagunas de Colores – Villamar
After an early breakfast and already correctly acclimatized to the altitude, we will drive to Hito Cajón, leaving Chile behind and entering Bolivia.
Our first stop will be at the impressive Laguna Verde, located below Licancabur Volcano, one of the highest and most beautiful in the World.
Then, we continue to Laguna Colorada, usually packed with the rare James Flamingos and multiple other high altitude species.
Our day’s ride is mainly in the National Reserve Los Flamencos and includes stops at the Valle de Dalí (Dali’s Valley), the Chalviri thermal waters, and the Geysers Sol de Mañana (Morning Sun).
By the end of the day, we will arrive at our simple but comfortable and warm hotel to enjoy dinner and a restful night.
Overnight at Jardines de Mallku Cueva Hotel. (B, L, D
Villamar – Lagunas Vinto y Catal – Valle de las Rochas – Colchani
Today we continue our way by 4×4 to the Uyuni Salt Lake. Our drive includes stops at the cave paintings and ruins near Tomas Lajas, The Stone Valley, and the Catal and Vinto Lagoons. The villages of Alota, Culpina K and, the church of San Cristobal Church follow until reaching Uyuni town where we’ll visit the trains’ cemetery before continuing to the village of Colchani.
At Colchani, we will check-in at Palacio de Sal Hotel, the first and by far the most upscale hotel in the Uyuni Salt Flatlands area.
This lodging is entirely novel, one of the most distinctive inns on the planet. Investigate yourself and book your excursion to Salar de Uyuni with us, including a stay at Palacio de Sal lodging. Look at our Uyuni salt pads visits; we have a total and fluctuated offer (counting stargazing visits) to meet your desires and itinerary items.
Overnight at Palacio de Sal Hotel. (B, L, D)
Colchani – Salar
After breakfast, we will visit Colchani to observe the traditional salt extraction methods and then continue to Incahuasi Island (also known as Fish Island).
Fish Island is an oasis in the middle of the Salt Flatlands. A former Island, it is now an isolated ecosystem mainly populated by giant cacti up to 10 meters high. Much of its flora and insects are endemic. A spectacular picnic lunch will be served in the middle of Salt Lake before continuing to visit the mummies of Pucara Ayque at the foothills of the Sacred Thunupa Volcano.
After enjoying a fantastic sunset – with sundowners, of course, we will return to our beautiful and unique salt hotel.
We have planned this expedition to have no moon tonight. If your energy allows, join your leader for a spectacular stargazing session after dinner.
Overnight at Palacio de Sal Hotel. (B, L, D)
Potosí – Sucre
Today we leave the Uyuni salt lake behind and travel to Potosí, passing by the villages of Tika Tika and Chaquilla.
Potosi is of utmost historical importance. Once in Potosí, enjoy a walking tour of the city, admiring the colonial streets, visiting the most important historical and religious monuments.
After lunch, we will visit the local miners’ market to learn about the importance of using coca leaves, alcohol, and dynamite to continue with a visit to one of the current mining cooperatives.
The day will end with a drive to Sucre, where we will enjoy dinner at our excellent boutique hotel.
Overnight at Mi Pueblo Samary Boutique Hotel. (B, L, D)
Enjoy a half-day tour of the “white city,” including the convent of Recoleta, the museum of textile art of ASUR, the main square, the famous Casa de la Libertad, and the Bolívar Park.
In the afternoon, we change gears entirely and visit the largest fossilized dinosaurs’ footprints deposit in the World. The site is called Cal Ork’ o, in the Quechua language, and is the largest cement quarry in Bolivia, located just 5 km away from Sucre.
At night, and after time to freshen up at our hotel, we will enjoy dinner at Espacio Cultural Origenes. This restaurant has a large stage where they put on a colorful, high-energy dance show featuring traditional dances from Sucre and Bolivia.
Overnight at Mi Pueblo Samary Boutique Hotel. (B, L, D)
Fly to La Paz
After breakfast, we will drive to Sucre airport and fly to La Paz.
After our arrival, we will enjoy lunch at a fine local restaurant and later check-in at our La Paz hotel, the most upscale in the city.
We have left this afternoon free for you to relax, or if you prefer to explore the city and try one of its excellent restaurants.
Overnight at Hotel Casa Grande. (B, L)
La Paz City Tour
Today enjoy a complete tour of La Paz.
The tour includes visits to the Gold, Murillo, and Costumbrista museums and a stop at “Mirador de Killi Killi” to enjoy magnificent views of the city.
Later we will explore various street markets, including a traditional one dedicated to the commerce of Andean agricultural products such as quinoa, tunta, chuño (dehydrated potato), and oca (sweet tuber).
At night, and after time to rest at your hotel, we will enjoy an 8-course dinner at Gustu Restaurant.
Overnight at Hotel Casa Grande. (B, L, D)
Visit Tiwanaku Pre-Inca Remains – Drive to Puno
Today we will drive 1.5 hours towards Titicaca Lake to visit the remains of the Tiwanaku’s capital city to be awed by the Kalasasaya Temple, the Sun Gate, multiple monoliths the Akapana pyramid.
After this fascinating archeological experience, we will drive four hours to Puno, in Peru, a city located at the shores of Titicaca Lake. The drive is quite scenic and includes going through immigration and enjoying the sights of multiple colonial Andean towns.
Once we reach Puno, we will check-in at the Premium Casa Andina Hotel, right in front of the Titicaca Lake Puno bay.
Overnight at Casa Andina Premium Puno. (B, L)
Uros and Taquile Island
After an early breakfast, we will board our private speedboat to navigate the Titicaca Lake waters to Taquile Island.
To provide you with a more intimate experience, we have selected a remote corner of the Island for our visit. By visiting this secluded section of the Island, we will avoid the tourist masses and strenuous uphill walks.
Once we reach the Island, we will visit the community of Huayllano, whose members will show you their uses and customs, crafts, farming activities, and traditions. After this time of sharing, you will enjoy a picnic lunch and then sail to the famous Uros Islands, a set of human-made reed islands in the middle of the Lake Titicaca National Reserve.
In the late afternoon, we will be back at our bayside hotel.
Overnight at Casa Andina Premium Puno. (B, L)
Diablada demonstration. Sillustani Tour. Drive to Juliaca. Fly back home.
This morning enjoy a demonstration of “Diablada,” a traditional dance named after the devil’s masks colorful costumes used by the performers.
After the unique experience, we will drive to Sillustani cemetery, one of the most enigmatic archeological sites in South America and the World. Located beside a gorgeous Lake, Sillustany is a cluster of Chullpas (Stone build tower-like burial vault tombs).
Afterward, we will drive to Juliaca airport and fly to Lima, Peru, where you will connect with your flight back home.
(B, Box Lunch)
San Pedro de Atacama: Desertica Hotel
Located in San Pedro de Atacama, Hotel Desertica has free bikes and a garden, as well as free Wi-Fi. All guest rooms at the hotel are equipped with a seating area.
Each room comes with a private bathroom with free toiletries and a hairdryer. It also includes a wardrobe. The daily breakfast offers à la carte and American options.
Hito Cajón: Hotel Jardines de Mallku Cueva
Hotel Jardines de Mallku Cueva is a simple and rustic yet comfortable Andean hotel. The unique architecture – the hotel is built into a rock – is inspired by the wondrous desert surroundings and stones of all shapes and sizes. All twelve rooms have electricity and heating, plus private bathrooms with hot water. The amenities are basic but the rooms are one-of-a-kind for the region, with exposed stone and natural colors that blend well with the environment. The restaurant and bar area includes a cozy fireplace to warm up during cold nights.
Colchani: Palacio de Sal Hotel
Built out of salt bricks and also featuring salt furniture, Palacio de Sal offers guests accommodations with free WiFi and a complimentary buffet breakfast in Potosí.
Rooms at Palacio de Sal feature private bathrooms and the restaurant offers a regional menu with a wide variety of salty dishes like llama meat, lamb, and chicken.
Guests can enjoy the game room or request luggage storage services.
Sucre: Mi Pueblo Samary Hotel Boutique
In a colonial mansion with pieces of local artwork, the hotel offers rooms with private balconies and views of the charming interior patios and Spanish galleries.
Rooms at Mi Pueblo Samary, Hotel Boutique are styled with sculpted wood details, decorated bedsteads, and colorful tapestries. All rooms have flat-screen cable TVs, mini-bars, and private bathrooms with toiletries. A Continental breakfast with cereals, eggs, cheese, and fruits can be enjoyed daily. A traditional breakfast including Api, purple cornbread baked in the oven is also available.
La Paz: Casa Grande Hotel
Casa Grande Hotel offers accommodation in La Paz, in a great location. This modern hotel features designer décor, 2 bars, and spa and fitness facilities. The hotel has elegant rooms with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, and a private balcony. Some have a private balcony with city views and a bathroom with a bathtub with a shower.
The hotel also houses a restaurant serving local and international cuisine. At guests’ disposal there is a huge indoor swimming pool.
Puno: Casa Andina Premium
This 4-star hotel features a restaurant that has an expansive glass wall with stunning views of the lake and garden. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. The rooms at Casa Andina Premium Puno have panoramic views of the lake or mountains.
Offering a blend of historic décor and stylish furnishings, each room is fitted with a satellite TV. The restaurant, Alma, serves delicious local specialties and seafood dishes, made fresh with fish from Lake Titicaca.
Jorge Salas-Guevara has 30 years leading expeditions on all continents. He designed and pioneered this Atacama-Uyuni-Titicaca route over 20 years ago in response to the altitude problems that guests previously suffered. Since then, Jorge has led over 40 Atacama-Uyuni-Titicaca Expeditions. He guarantees access to the very best that the destinations offer.
Jorge is also an author and photographer published by Smithsonian, WWF, Nature Conservancy, among many others.
Jorge is the Founder and President of NPE and proud father of Josefina.
Angel was born and raised in the high Andes. Since his early years, he developed a passion for the complex natural history, history, and culture of his homeland.
For two decades, he guided and led English-speaking travelers through the Andes and the Amazon, becoming one of the most recognized guides of the region. For the last ten years, he has been a key member of the team formed by the founders of NPE, leading expeditions all around South America.
His charisma, organization skills, and attention to the individual needs of our Guests guarantee the delivery of unparalleled travel experiences.
Angel is a dedicated birdwatcher and photographer and father to two beautiful daughters.
Departure Dates & Rates
16 May, 2023
Note: All prices are in US$, per person, and based on double occupancy.
*Domestic Air prices are estimated and may change due to cost variation by the airline.
**The expedition and extension need 4 guests to depart.
Included in the Land Cost:
- Services of New Paths Expeditions in-house support team.
- Complete Pre-Departure documents.
- 24/7 services of an NPE Senior Expedition Leader during the expedition.
- Services of English-speaking local guides
- All ground transportation (including airport transfers) in 1 to 3-year-old vehicles with professional drivers.
- Accommodations as noted (The best available at each destination).
- All sightseeing, entrance fees, and visits as noted.
- Meals as noted.
- Water during included meals, transfers, and tours.
- Services of transfer assistants, drivers, and local staff.
- Gratuities for luggage porters, transfer assistance, and restaurant staff.
- International Flights.
- Excess baggage charges.
- Gratuity for Head Guide, Driver, and Expedition Leader.
- Personal expenses and incidentals, such as, but not limited to, phone calls, e-mail, and laundry.
- Trip cancellation, travel delay, and baggage loss insurance.
- Charges incurred as a result of delays beyond the control of New Paths Expeditions.
Deposits and final payments:
- To guarantee your space on this expedition a deposit of US$ 1500.00 is required at the time of booking. The remaining expedition cost will be charged 120 days before the expedition begins.
- The expedition is limited to 14 participants. There are just a few spaces left and we highly recommend requesting your spaces well in advance. To do so call us now at 888 832 7280, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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