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Home > 4WD CORDILLERA EXPEDITION

4WD CORDILLERA EXPEDITION

This expedition takes us off the beaten track to discover the vast desert of the Altiplano and the amazing valleys of the Yungas.
We discover the Sajama National Park, dominated by the imposing figure of the volcano of the same name, which rises to 6 542m and highest of Bolivia point, then the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt lake in the world, before diving into the Yungas region.
In this buffer zone where the Andes fall brutally in the Amazon basin, suddenly the vegetation is tropical, mangoes replace the "llareta" and "ostriches" have changed in parrots!

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: El Alto Airport - La Paz
  • Day 2: La Paz
  • Day 3: La Paz - Sajama
  • Day 4: Sajama - Sabaya
  • Day 5: Sabaya - Jirira
  • Day 6: Jirira
  • Day 7: Jirira - La Paz
  • Day 8: La Paz - Coroico
  • Day 9: Coroico - La Paz
  • Day 10: La Paz - El Alto Airport

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: El Alto Airport - La Paz

A private driver will pick you up at the international airport of El Alto and drive you to your hotel in La Paz.

Night at the Naira hotel***.
Included : transfer arrival, breakfast buffet , room

Day 2: La Paz

Our private driver will pick us up in the hotel lobby at 09:00 am for a full-day tour around the best points of view over the city and into the Moon Valley. La Paz, world’s highest capital elected in 2014 as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities, is surrounded by the high picks of the Andes. From many parts of the city we can admire the white summits of the Cordillera Real and the imposing Illimani, protector of the city. From the K’Illi K’Illi mirador and the Laykakota Park we will enjoy a panoramic view over the capital. The Montículo, in the bohemian Sopocachi is the classical meeting point of lovers and newlyweds for romantic pictures. Since 2014 La Paz is proud of its new gondolas. From the sky the panorama over the city and the mountains is unique and we can get an impression of the social gaps while flying over different neighborhood. We will then drive to the south, cross the rich "Zona Sur" and get out of the city to enter the Moon Valley. Here we can enjoy the quietness and walk among the lunar rock formations during an hour. In the afternoon we will go back to the historical center and wander along its colorful markets.
NOTE: The K’Illi K’Illi mirador and the Laykakota Park are closed on Mondays.

Night at the Naira hotel***.
Included : lunch (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, local spanish-speaking guide, breakfast buffet , room

Day 3: La Paz - Sajama

Departure from the hotel at 9 a.m. in a private vehicle for the beautiful traverse of the altiplano. We head south to Patacamaya, from where we turn to the West and let ourselves be guided by the majestic Sajama Volcano.
On the way, we stop by chullpas (carangas sepultures) empty today after their systematic pillaging. Short stop in the village of Curahuara de Carangas with its colonial church known as the Sixteen chapel of the Altiplano. The church, indeed, possesses some perfectly preserved intricate frescoes, contrasting with the abandoned atmosphere of the village.
The paved road now climbs through a surprising panorama of canyons and rock formations, and then we find ourselves on Sajama’s desolate plateau. We enter the park by a dirt road taking us to the ranger station.
Lunch on the way. Night at Doña Isabel and Don Marcelo’s (Basic comfort).

Night at the Oasis hostel*.
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, room & breakfast

Day 4: Sajama - Sabaya

Excursion to the geysers in the morning by 4WD. Bubbling pools are spread over a few hundreds square meters in this particularly active area. We can even try to cook eggs in this lightly sulfuric water.
We will then head south through the country of Urus by sandy and treacherous dirt roads. After crossing the Río Lauca, some polychromatic chullpas will appear to sight, the most beautiful of Bolivia (chullpas were tombs of the Aymara lords; pre-Inca time).
We will arrive to the village of Sabaya at the end of the day, after a 4 to 5-hour drive in a total remoteness.
Cold lunch. All included. Night in a shelter (basic comfort).


Night at the Bernal hotel**.
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, room, breakfast

Day 5: Sabaya - Jirira

We will leave Sabaya following deserted roads and enter the Salar de Coipasa which is often difficult to cross due to the swampy and treacherous terrain.
Welcome to the altiplano wilderness, in the middle of an arid landscape, surrounded by the volcanoes marking the Chilean border nearby...
After driving along the volcano Tunupa, we will arrive to the village of Jirira, near the Salar de Uyuni (around 5-hour).
Cold lunch. All included. Night at Doña Lupe and Don Carlos’ (basic comfort).



Night at the Doña Lupe accommodation*.
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), private transport, room & breakfast

Day 6: Jirira

Visit of Coquesa in the morning, a little village at the limit of the Salar, famous for its Chipayas mommies. We will then enter the Salar of Uyuni (el. 3650 m.a.s.l), the biggest salt desert in the world. The feeling there is unique: the horizon seems limitless and the immensity is overwhelming. We will stop in the middle of the Salar on Incahuasi Island, a volcanic island covered with stromatolites (fossilized bacteria representing the first traces of life on earth) and giant cacti. Superb walk in the less frequented Isla del Pescado nearby. The viewpoints over the Salar are breathtaking. Return to Jirira late in the afternoon.
Cold lunch. All included. Night at Doña Lupe and Don Carlos’s (basic comfort).


Night at the Doña Lupe accommodation*.
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, room & breakfast

Day 7: Jirira - La Paz

Early departure for a long drive across the Altiplano (8 to 10-hour journey) from the South to the North. We will arrive in the village of Challapata, where the sealed road starts. Return to La Paz via the mining city of Oruro.
Lunch on the way (included). Dinner not included. Hotel.


Night at the Naira hotel***.
Included : lunch (no drinks), private transport, breakfast buffet , room

Day 8: La Paz - Coroico

Departure at 8:30 a.m. from the hotel for a 4WD trip to the Cordillera Real. After passing La Cumbre, a saddle at 4750 m of altitude, the Andes abruptly drop down. The Amazonian Basin is only a few hundreds kilometers on a straight line! Welcome to the Yungas, an incredible area which name is from a pre-Incan tribe which used to live on these steep slopes. As we will drive down the winding road, the vegetation will becomes thicker, the air more humid, the wind warmer... it is a more than 3500 meters of elevation loss to reach Yolosa (el. 1100 m.a.s.l.) in just a few hours!
To end the day, a steep, 7-kilometer uphill (650 m of elevation gain) takes us to the village of Coroico, the “pearl of the Yungas”.
Excursion to the village of Tocaña with one of the black african-bolivian communities and its so particular music and costumes. Return to Coroico at the end of the day.
Lunch and dinner are not included.


Night at the Viejo Molino hotel****.
Included : private transport, english-speaking driver guide, room & breakfast

Day 9: Coroico - La Paz

We will cross by 4WD the Yungas from north to south in the morning on very steep mountain slopes. The vegetation is still thick and the waterfalls and rivers very cold. We will drive through the villages of Coripata and Arapata before arriving at Puente Villa after 3/4h on a dirt road, with successive uphills and downhills via a very poorly frequented route, crossing coca terraces, coffee plantations and orchards during our journey; on the way we will stop to visit an bizarre building: el Castillo, a Scottish style castle lost in the middle of a tropical vegetation… Arrival in La Paz at the end of the day.




Night at the Naira hotel***.
Included : lunch (no drinks), private transport, english-speaking driver guide, breakfast buffet , room

Day 10: La Paz - El Alto Airport

A private driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport.
Included : transfer departure

Night hotel Naira   La Paz

Level : 3*
Included : breakfast buffet , room

Beautiful Naira Hotel is located in the heart of downtown of La Paz. With 22 warm, confortable and big rooms, private bathroom, hot water 24 hours, TV, Phone and room service. The aditional services included, laundry Service, Safety Box, travel agency and restaurant. It also has a cafeteria and Internet. Few steps from San Francisco Church.

Hotel Oasis   Sajama

Level : 1*
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Cordial welcome. It's a clean hostel with warm water.

HoteL Bernal   Sabaya

Level : 1*
Included : dinner (no drinks), room, breakfast

Lodging Doña Lupe   Jirira

Level : 1*
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Doña Lupe is pleased to welcome you in her little hostal, situated at the northern part of the Uyuni's Salt Flat, at the bottom of the Tunupa volcano. The scenic view over the Salt Lake is simply incredible.The comfort is basic.Its rooms with private bathrooms and toilets, are not heated and the hot water is not always available.

Hotel Viejo Molino   Coroico

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

The Viejo Molino Hotel is located a 1km from Coroico on Santa Barbara road. The Hotel is surrounded by the nature and very quiet. This is one of the best hotels in Coroico, because of its service and quality.

Option : Accomodation of the guide who speaks your language

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