Terra Bolivia » Multi-Country » Andean trilogy in 20 days: Chile, Bolivia and Peru

Andean trilogy in 20 days: Chile, Bolivia and Peru

The current borders of Bolivia, Peru and Chile are the result of contemporary wars. They are not natural. The Incas used the Andean topography to delimit their empire. It is this natural area that the "Trilogy of the Andes" circuit, fruit of many years of experience, wishes to make you discover. It is therefore a question of abolishing borders to take advantage of a single geographical block, which alone today condenses several cultures, several nationalities, folklore and different gastronomies. But the historical base, him, remains common: empire Inca and Spanish Conquista ... The trip has many facets and allows you to multiply the sensations, day after day: a cultural part (the largest Inca sites and colonial cities) combined with a 4x4 adventure part in little known regions of the Bolivian Altiplano. This tour brings together a wealth of ecosystems and landscapes that are hard to beat: the Pacific coast, the volcanic mountain range of Sajama Park, the colorful Indian markets of La Paz, Lake Titicaca, the desolate expanses of the Altiplano and the semi-tropical Macchu valleys. Picchu. A complete palette of Andean wonders!

Classical
19 Days

MAP

PROGRAMME DAY TO DAY

Peru

DAY
1

Lima

Arrival at the international airport where our english-speaking guide will give you your travel documents.
Night at the hotel Costa del Sol Ramada.

Note: The hotel is located within the airport parking area outside of the international arrivals automatic doors.

DAY
2

Lima - Cusco

Flight with destination Cusco.
Reception at Cusco airport and transfer to the hotel.
English speaking assistance from airport to hotel.
Departure for an half-day dedicated to the discovery of Cuzco's historical downtown.

In the morning, visits of the Koricancha (Temple of the Sun), and of the Cathedral, exhibiting some paintings from the School of Cuzco and many goldsmith’s art, silver and precious stones treasures.

Then we walk down to the San Blas quarter (the artists’ place).

Note: The Qoricancha is closed on Sunday mornings.
Night at the hotel Inkarri Cusco.

DAY
3

Cusco - Pisac - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes

At 8:00 am departure by private vehicle to the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

First step, Pisac, one of the major sites of the Inca culture with different neighborhoods (administrative, religious, military) dotted in the mountains. You will observe the important terraces intended for agriculture and protecting from erosion. Then, stroll on its colorful artisanal market, one of the largest in the Sacred Valley!

Then Ollantaytambo direction. This village is also called "the last living Inca village" because its inhabitants maintain their very old customs and traditions. Then, visit the Inca fortress of Ollantaytambo and its Cyclopean stones which was the seat of fierce battles between Incas and Spaniards. If time permits, after the visit you can stroll through the cobbled streets of the city.

Train to Aguas Calientes, starting point for visiting Machu Picchu.

Note: The train company allows passengers to carry a cabin bag of up to 8 kg per person. It will be necessary to leave your "checked" luggage at the deposit of the hotel in the Sacred Valley and Cusco.


Afternoon train.
Night at the Tierra Viva Machu Picchu hotel.

DAY
4

Machu Picchu - Ollantaytambo - Sacred Valley - Urubamba

Direct connection to the shuttle service that will drive you to the citadel of Machu Picchu.

Departures, for the ascent and as well as the descent, run every 5 minutes.

Note: 1st shuttle to the citadel: 05:30am / Duration: 30 minutes

Last Shuttle to the citadel: 3:30pm / Last Shuttle to Aguas Calientes: 4:45pm
Arrival on the site of Machu Picchu, wonder of the world.

Machu Picchu is an ancient Inca city of the fifteenth century in Peru. Abandoned during the collapse of the Inca empire, the sacred city of the Incas, was forgotten for centuries. It is considered as a masterpiece of the architecture of this civilization. It was unveiled by the American archaeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911.

In1983, Machu Picchu was declared UNESCO World Heritage List. On July 7, 2007, Machu Picchu was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World by the NewOpenWorld Foundation, an unofficial and commercial organization. Finally the site is part of a whole cultural and natural complex known as the "Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu".

Note: Possibility to include the ascent of Huayna Picchu or Montaña Machu Picchu (these two climbs are subject to quotas and require early booking)
Together with your english speaking guide, you will start to discover the archaeological complex (around 2:30 hour of visit).
Train to Ollantaytambo.

Note: The train company allows passengers to carry a cabin bag of up to 8kg per person. It will be necessary to leave your "checked" luggage at the deposit of the hotel in the Sacred Valley and Cusco.
Afternoon train.
Reception at the train station and transfer to the hotel in the Sacred Valley.
Night at the hotel San Agustin Urubamba.

DAY
5

Sacred Valley - Chinchero - Moray - Maras - Cusco

In the morning, departure in a private vehicle for a day dedicated to the discovery of the Sacred Valley. First stop at the cultural site of Moray, a former Incan agricultural ‘laboratory’.
Then, continuation of the excursion to Maras: salt mines in the middle of the Cordillera! Visit of the village of Chinchero and its colonial church. Walk around the traditional handcraft market on Sundays or visit of the Awana Wasi Tocapo textile association on the other days.

Drive back to Cuzco and transfer to the hotel.



Night at the hotel Inkarri Cusco.

DAY
6

Puno





English speaking assistance from hotel to bus terminal station.

Departure by tourist bus to Puno, town located on the shores of Lake Titicaca. We enjoy wonderful landscapes along the road. We go over the Raya Pass, at an altitude of 4320 meters. Visits of the Pukara Museum, of the archaeological site of Raqchi and of the “Sistine Chapel” of the Andes in Andahuaylillas. Lunch included (buffet restaurant at Sicuani). An English-speaking guide, exclusive to the bus company, participates to the journey and gives information along the way.
Reception at Puno bus station and transfer to the hotel.
Night at the hotel Casona plaza centro.

DAY
7

Puno - Uros - Amantani



Early departure from your hotel by private transport, to reach the pier from which you will go to the Uros Islands by kayak. Depending on your level, several routes will be offered: between 45 minutes and 1:30.

On the lake, you can discover many species of birds, observe the fishermen, and enjoy the beautiful landscapes that can offer the banks and islands of the lake.

You arrive on the Uros Islands where your kayak trip ends.

You join the group to visit the floating islands. These islands are not natural; they were built by the Uros tribe, whose main activity is fishing. We then head for Amantani (around 2 and a half hour cruise) where we will be welcomed by a local family who will share their lunch with us.

In the afternoon we will take a walk up to the high point of the island and visit the archaeological sites dedicated to Pachamama and Pachapapa.

Dinner and night in the home of a local family.

Note: Very basic accommodations at a local family's home.

DAY
8

Amantani - Taquile - Puno

In the morning, departure by boat for a one-hour cruise to Taquile, an island of great cultural interest, where residents live in harmony with the ancestral traditions.

Visit and lunch in a typical restaurant (not included). Back to Puno in mid-afternoon.

Transfer to the hotel.

Night at the hotel Casona plaza centro.
In the morning, departure by boat for a one-hour cruise to Taquile, an island of great cultural interest, where residents live in harmony with the ancestral traditions.

Visit and lunch in a typical restaurant (not included). Back to Puno in mid-afternoon.

Transfer to the hotel.

DAY
9

Puno - Desaguadero

Private transport Puno - Desaguadero.

DAY
9

Desaguadero

We meet our guide at the border (at the Bolivian immigration post after the bridge). Departure in private vehicle. Along the way, we stop at the archaeological site of Tiwanaku. Guided visit through the pre-Columbian ruins, which are considered to be amongst the most important of the continent. Arrival in La Paz by late afternoon.
Note: On Friday, the local market in Desaguadero can make traffic difficult leading to delays in crossing the border.
Night at the Naira hotel***.

DAY
10

Free time to enjoy the world’s highest capital. Maybe you can have a nice walk in the historical center, go handicraft shopping in the numerous stands of the Sagárnaga street, discover which artifacts are used for the offering ceremonies to Mother Earth ("Pachamama") in the Witches Market or even visit one of the various museums of the city… Or maybe you will prefer see the city from the air taking one of the three gondola lines of the capital?
Night at the Naira hotel***.

Bolivia

DAY
11

Uyuni - Tahua

A private driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport.
Domestic flight La Paz - Uyuni.
A private driver will pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel.
Today we will discover the world’s largest salt desert! At 9 a.m. we leave the hotel with our jeeps to the Salar de Uyuni (el. 3650 m.a.s.l.). After an half an hour ride, we stop in the village of Colchani to visit its salt exploitation and salt hotel (closed since 2001). We will then ride 73 km on the salt desert (around an hour and a half) to reach the Island of Incahuasi. This surprising island lost in the middle of the salar, offers an incredible view over the salt desert and the several volcanoes that surround it. Of volcanic origin, it is covered with stromatolites and giant cacti (stromatolites are fossilized bacterial colonies, first traces of life on earth). In the afternoon, we will keep riding 46 km on the white desert (around half an hour) to reach its northern extremity. Here, at the foot of the Tunupa volcano (el. 5432 m.a.s.l.) we will spend the night in the small village of Tahua. Before arriving, we will stop in the neighbor village of Coquesa, famous for its “chullpas”: mummies of the Chipaya culture.
Night at the Hotel de Sal***.

(availability of double room with matrimonial bed not guaranteed)

DAY
12

San Pedro de Quemez - Tahua

Night at the hotel de Piedra***.

(availability of double room with matrimonial bed not guaranteed)
Partial ascent - no technical difficulties - good physical condition required
We start the day early to climb up the volcano Tunupa, a colorful mountain located only few kilometers from the salar. Tunupa is the name of the pre-Inca god of volcanoes and thunderstorms.
Our jeep will drop us off at the end of the track above the village, at an elevation of 3850 m.a.s.l. We will then trek 3 to 4 hours to the mirador (el. 4700 m.a.s.l.). What an exceptional panorama! It almost seems like we are above the clouds or the sea, but it’s the world’s largest salt flat we are looking at! The summit (el. 5432 m.a.s.l.) cannot be attempted since the path is too dangerous.
We will walk back to Tahua in the afternoon and drive to the village of San Pedro de Quemez (el. 3690 m.a.s.l.), where we will spend the night. Therefore we will cross the Salar entirely from north to south (around 80 km) and drive 40 km more to the south.
Trekking time: 4h - Elevation gain: +850m/-850m

DAY
13

Siloli Desert - San Pedro de Quemez

Night at the Hotel del Desierto***.

(availability of double room with matrimonial bed not guaranteed)
We begin today our journey across the Sur Lipez area, elevated region of colorful landscapes and lagoons, rock formations and volcanoes.
After we leave San Pedro, we will cross the small Salar de Chiguana (el. 3650 m.a.s.l.), at the feet of the Tomasamil volcano (el. 5900 m.a.s.l.) The track will then climb up to 4200 m.a.s.l. and we will stop at the view point of volcano Ollagüe (el. 5868 m.a.s.l.). This volcano is still active and shelters one of the world’s highest open pit copper mines. We will then drive South along the Chilean border on the scenic “Route of the Jewels”, which owes its name to all the lagoons along its way: Honda, Ch’arkota, Hedionda, Cañapa. These lagoons are home to three specific species of flamingoes. Our track then continues in the middle of the superb landscapes of the Siloli (el. 4700 m.a.s.l.) desert where our hotel for tonight is. We will arrive at the end of the day, having driven around 170 km today.

DAY
14

Siloli Desert - Paso Hito Cajon

Let’s go to Chile! First we will cross the Siloli Desert and discover its famous “Stone Tree”. After 70 km we will reach the Laguna Colorada (el. 4278 m.a.s.l.). This immense lake of pinkish water owes its name to the presence in its waters of light sensitive phytoplankton, which also attracts thousands of flamingo part of the year. We will then visit the geysers Sol de Mañana (el. 4850 m.a.s.l.), a volcanic crater with sulphur springs and boiling mud. Next stop: the Polques thermal spring. You are almost 4200 m.a.s.l.; but get ready to jump into hot water (86°F/30°C), surrounded by an amazing frozen landscape of volcanoes. We will then jump back into the jeeps and ride along the Laguna Salada and the Dali Desert. Here the strong wind has created surprising rock formations that remind the paintings of the Spanish master. Before lunch we will reach the Laguna Blanca and Laguna Verde (el. 4350 m.a.s.l.), at the foot of volcanoes Juriques and Licancabur (el. 5704 and 5960 m.a.s.l.). After riding a total of around 200 km we will reach the border cross of Hito Cajón at the beginning of the afternoon. Here our Chilean driver awaits us to drive us to San Pedro de Atacama.

Chile

DAY
14

Paso Hito Cajon - San Pedro de Atacama

Your driver meets you at the border post of Hito Cajon. A steep road up the Altiplano takes you the village of San Pedro de Atacama. 

Note, in case of bad weather conditions, the border post can close for security reasons. To continue your journey, it will be necessary to reach the border post of Ollague - 300 kilometers more (190 miles - approximately 3h) generating additional costs.
Night in the hotel Pueblo de Tierra ***.

DAY
15

Moon valley - Rainbow valley - San Pedro de Atacama



At nightfall, you will join an astronomer at San Pedro de Atacama semi-professional observatory, for an unforgettable session observing the southern sky, undoubtedly the most beautiful in the world. Enjoy this 2 hours observation session in a pleasant ambiance mingling between the astronomer's explanations and the site’s 10 telescopes. You end this excursion with a hot beverage and a chat to later return to San Pedro.

Note: the excursion is in small group. It cannot be done during full moon periods and is subject to weather conditions. Take warm / thermic clothes with you (temperature can go down to-15ºC during winter)

Visit in English, Spanish or French, according to availability, to be confirmed at reservation time.
Night in the hotel Pueblo de Tierra ***.

DAY
16

Aguas Calientes\/Piedras Rojas Salar - San Pedro de Atacama





Today, get ready for a colorful day...

Early in the morning, your guide will pick you up at your hotel to go to the Salar de Aguas Calientes and Capur, better known as Piedras Rojas for its red stones produced by iron oxidation.

On the road, stop in the small traditional village of Socaire where you can find the oldest tower of Chile. Late lunch in a typical village restaurant.

You then discover the beautiful lagoon Tuyacto of a milky blue color and surrounded by mountains, later you retake the road towards the altiplanic lagoons Miscanti and Miñiques.

Return to San Pedro de Atacama in the late afternoon passing through the village of Toconao to visit its church, Central Square and craft market.

Altitude max. 4500m
Night in the hotel Pueblo de Tierra ***.

DAY
17

El Tatio Geysers - San Pedro de Atacama - Calama Airport - Santiago de Chile - Santiago Airport


Your guide picks you up at dawn so you can watch the sunrise over the Tatio Geysers. This is the best time of the day to observe the fumaroles, those violent jets of burning steam.

You enjoy a buffet breakfast made on site by our team. Then you can swim in the hot water pools of the Tatio. After that you go towards the Putana River’s bofedal, a great place to observe the Altiplano animals: birds, pink flamingos, vicunas…

You retake the road in direction to Machuca to discover another splendid Altiplano landscape, and if you wish you can go visit its little village, a bit “too touristic” for some. An easy walk in the Gautín area will help you stretch your legs while observing giant cactus.

Return to San Pedro in the late morning.

Altitude max. 4300m
Your driver takes you from the hotel in San Pedro to Calama airport.
Domestic flight from Calama to Santiago (around 2h, flight indicated in option).
Your driver welcomes you at Santiago Airport and takes you to your hotel.
Night in the hotel Río Amazonas **.

DAY
18

Santiago de Chile

With your private guide, visit of the Chilean capital, nestled at the foot of the Andes. Although Santiago has become over the years a modern and very active city, some older neighborhoods have maintained their atmosphere and a romantic charm. You will Visit the Plaza de Armas, San Francisco Church, the Bellavista area, Cerro San Cristobal, etc.
Lunch at the famous central market.
Night in the hotel Río Amazonas **.

DAY
19

Santiago de Chile

Your driver takes you from your hotel in Santiago to the airport.
It's time to say goodbye to Chile, the mind rich with incredible memories and wonderful landscapes...

End of our services.