Uyuni Salt Flats to Santiago
If breath-taking, arid expanses excite you then this 10-day Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama tour is just the ticket. You will tour the expansive and otherworldly Uyuni Flats in Bolivia in a luxury private 4WD vehicle and sleep in a unique hotel constructed out of salt, then head South to the Atacama Desert, to explore thermal springs and Moon-like landscapes. Finally, you’ll spend three nights in Santiago, the Chilean capital, taking in the sophisticated delights of this cosmopolitan city and its surroundings.
Starting from $4,690 per person
Pricing includes everything from your international arrival to your departure, with the exception of flights and a few lunches and dinners.
HOW IT WORKS
- Spend a day acclimatizing to the altitude in La Paz before embarking on your Uyuni adventure.
- Tour the salt flats of Uyuni with a private 4WD vehicle, and learn photo perspective techniques from your expert guide
- Take in a privately-guided tour of the ghost silver mining town of Pulacayo, now a World Industrial Heritage site.
- Visit the Tunupa volcano and go inside caves to view the burial chambers of ancient Aymara mummies.
- Have fun taking mind-bending photos against the surreal backdrop of the salt flats, Nature’s answer to the blue screen.
- Take a tour to the Salar de Atacama, the largest salt field in Chile.
- See three types of Flamingo at Chaxa Lagoon in the National Flamingo Reserve.
- Float effortlessly in the extremely salty water of the Laguna Cejar.
- Visit the Tatio Geysers, and watch huge steam columns rising nearly 40 feet into the cool morning air. Take a dip if you’re up for it.
- Take another opportunity for a swim in the scenic warm-water pools of the Puritama hot springs.
- Get to know Santiago’s main attractions, including the Plaza de Armas, the main cathedral and the Presidential Palace, on a guided half-day tour of the city.
- Visit two of central Chile’s most popular coastal cities: colorful Valparaiso and tranquil Viña del Mar.
Welcome to La Paz, Bolivia – the highest capital city in the world! Gather your luggage and meet your personal guide, who will escort you to your hotel to acclimatize and recharge after your flight. If you’re feeling up to it, you may want to explore the barrio around your hotel and sample the food in one of the city’s up-and-coming eateries.
In the morning you will be transferred to the La Paz Airport for your flight to the town of Uyuni. You’ll be met upon arrival in Uyuni and depart for a tour of the silver mining ghost town of Pulacayo, now a World Industrial Heritage site. Next you’ll voyage into the heart of the world’s largest salt flat, visiting Fish Island (Isla del Pescado) known for its giant cacti and breathtaking panoramic views of the flats. Enjoy an unforgettable sunset over the salt flats before retiring to your unique salt hotel, relaxing and taking in this incredible place.
After a hearty breakfast, begin a highland safari through the lunar landscapes of the southern Bolivian altiplano. Heading south, today you’ll experience the otherworldly volcanic landscapes, highland deserts, and colorful lagoons that form the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve. With a little luck, you’ll get to glimpse unique Andean wildlife including flamingos, vicuñas, viscachas, Andean fox, and Andean ostrich. You will also visit the famous Stone Tree, formed by millennia of wind erosion, and the vibrant Red Lagoon, before continuing to your salt hotel where a hot dinner awaits.
Today you’ll continue your journey through the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve, where you’ll be able to witness geysers and even take a dip in a nearby thermal bath. Next, you’ll pass by the surreal Dali Desert, named after the eccentric artist, and the Green Lagoon, before reaching the international border with Chile. After a vehicle switch, you’ll continue onward (driver only) to your final destination of the day: your comfortable San Pedro de Atacama lodge.
Today you will head out to the Salar de Atacama, the largest salt field in Chile. This rough, white bed of salt and minerals lies on top of an enormous underground lake. At Chaxa Lagoon, the National Flamingo Reserve, you’ll see three types of flamingos: the James, the Andean and the Chilean. In the afternoon, you have the option of taking a visit to the Laguna Cejar, where you can relax in the water, floating effortlessly due to its large concentration of salt.
Wake up before dawn to be driven to above 14,000 feet to visit the Tatio Geysers, a geothermal field created by nearby volcanoes. In the cool morning air, you will see huge steam columns rising to heights of nearly 40 feet. Brave visitors can take a dip but keep in mind that it’s around 17 degrees Fahrenheit outside. After your excursion, breakfast is served picnic style. On the way back, you will stop at a small village and likely observe vicuñas, vizcachas and a variety of birds.
After breakfast at your hotel, you'll enjoy a tour of Santiago. During the day you'll visit the city's historic center where you'll find the Plaza de Armas, the main Cathedral, and the Presidential Palace. You will also have the chance to view the city from the top of Santa Lucia Hill.
Today you'll visit two of central Chile's most popular seaside towns: Valparaiso and Viña del Mar. Valparaiso is a vibrant, colorful collection of hillside houses overlooking the bay. Here you'll visit the summer house and now museum of Pablo Neruda, one of Chile's most prolific poets. You'll then continue on to the tranquil Viña del Mar, a popular retreat for the Santiago elite.
At the appropriate time today, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your international departure. Depending on when you fly, you may have one last chance to enjoy Chile’s suave capital at leisure.
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