From La Paz to Potosi to the salt flats of Uyuni and San Pedro de Atacama, this trip will take you through some surreal landscape in Bolivia and Chile. Explore the Witches Market in Laz Paz, see the dinosaur footprints at Cal Orcko, and bathe in the hot springs of Sol de Mañana. Culture, nature and the mystical collide on this incredible adventure.

Highlights

  • Explore the Witches Market and San Francisco Cathedral in La Paz
  • Discover dinosaur footprints at Cal Orcko
  • See the giant cacti on Incahuasi Island in the Uyuni Salt Flats
  • Bathe in the hot springs of Sol de Mañana
  • See Laguna Verde at the foot of Licancabur Volcano

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to La Paz La Paz
Day 2 La Paz city tour La Paz
Day 3 Tiwanaku Ruins La Paz
Day 4 Sucre, Bolivia's symbolic heart Sucre
Day 5 Dinosaur prints at Cal Orcko Potosi
Day 6 Silver Mines of Sumaq Urqu Uyuni
Day 7 Incahuasi Island & Uyuni Salt Flats Colchani
Day 8 Eduardo Abaroa Reserve Uyuni
Day 9 Laguna Verde & Licancabur Volcano San Pedro de Atacama
Day 10 Valley of the Moon & Death Valley San Pedro de Atacama
Day 11 Geysers del Tatio & Machuca Village San Pedro de Atacama
Day 12 Depart from Calama  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to La Paz

La Paz
Aerial view of La Paz

On arrival in La Paz, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.  La Paz is situated at 11,975 feet above sea level, so spend today resting and acclimatizing to the altitude in one of the highest capital cities in the world.

Day 2: La Paz City Tour

wo local woman wearing traditional clothing in front of a store in a street of the city of La Paz in Bolivia
The mystical Witches Market, La Paz

Your half-day La Paz city tour begins in the central neighborhood. Explore the Witches' Market, with its medicinal herbs and spices, as well as spiritual and superstitious artifacts. You'll also visit San Francisco Cathedral, one of the oldest cathedrals in the city, and Plaza Murillo, before continuing to Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) — a fascinating geological anomaly with a bizarre, moon-like landscape. As we drive back to La Paz, see the Cordillera Real, part of the Andes Mountains, and ride on a cable car.

Day 3: Tiwanaku Ruins

Tiwanaku Ruins
Tiwanaku Ruins

Travel through the high plateau of the Andes on an hour-long scenic journey to the Tiwanaku Ruins. At the archeological site, you will explore the main temples, the Pyramid of Akapana and Kalasasaya, as well as the inspiring Gateways to the Sun and Moon. In addition to the traditional Tiwanaku architecture, giant monoliths and ancient art are scattered throughout the archeological complex. The sculptures of spiritual figures have intricate details of both the people and the gods of Tiwanaku.

Day 4: Sucre, Bolivia's Symbolic Heart

Sucre is Bolivia's most beautiful city
Sucre, Bolivia's most beautiful city

Today you will fly from La Paz to Sucre, located at an altitude of 9,214 feet. Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia and its symbolic heart.  In the afternoon, you will tour this amazing city, including La Casa de la Libertad, where the act of independence was signed, and the Asur Museum, where you can see artwork by local indigenous people.

Day 5: Dinosaur Prints at Cal Orcko 

Dinosaur prints at Cal Orko
Dinosaur footprints at Cal Orcko

In the morning, you'll get to spend a little more time in Sucre before traveling a few miles to Cal Orcko, the site of the largest dinosaur footprints in the world. Here you'll find around 5,000 footprints of 332 species of dinosaur that lived in the Cretaceous period 65 million years ago. In the afternoon, you'll climb even higher into the Andean highlands as you make the three-hour drive to Potosi, starting at 9,052 feet and reaching 13,320 feet.

Day 6: Silver Mines of Sumaq Urqu

Potosi at sunset
Potosi at sunset with Sumaq Urqu in background

In Potosi, you will visit the legendary mountain of Sumaq Urqu (also called Cerro Rico). Sumaq Urqu was once the largest silver mine in the world. Then, visit the Casa de la Moneda (Mint House), where you can learn about the fascinating history of the first global currency. In the afternoon, continue to Uyuni while enjoying great views of the Andes range.

Day 7: Incahuasi Island and Uyuni Salt Flats

Incahuasi Island in the Uyuni Salt Flats

Today begins with a short visit to the famed (and rusting) Train Cemetery of Uyuni. You will then continue to the salt-harvesting village of Colchani to see how the locals produce salt. Enter the great Uyuni Salt Flats and visit the enigmatic Incahuasi Island, which is covered in enormous cacti. Enjoy the sunset before returning to Colchani to overnight.

Day 8: Eduardo Abaroa Reserve

Flamingos at Eduardo Abaroa Reserve

Today is filled with surreal landscapes, tiny villages, Andean flora and fauna and wide open skies. Depart Colchani in a 4WD Jeep, heading south past a series of lakes and lagoons, each one different (and often shocking) in color. Stop for photos, a picnic lunch, some short walks to vista points, and for wildlife observation. In Eduardo Abaroa Reserve, you'll see three species of flamingo. You will also visit some unusual geological formations, formed by wind and water erosion and similar to those found on other planets. At night enjoy star-gazing as there is virtually no light pollution in this region.

Day 9: Laguna Verde and Licancabur Volcano

Laguna Verde, Licancabur Volcano
Laguna Verde, at the foot of Licancabur Volcano

Leave early today to visit the Stone Tree and the geysers of Sol de Mañana. At this point, you will reach the highest elevation of the trip at 16,404 feet. In Polques, it's possible to bathe in the hot springs of Sol de Manana. After this, head to Laguna Verde (the Green Lagoon), at the foot of Licancabur Volcano; the waters of this lagoon change color from emerald green to deep green. At the end of the day, you will cross the Chilean border into San Pedro de Atacama.

Day 10: Valley of the Moon and Death Valley

Valley of the Moon
Valley of the Moon

Today you will visit the Valley of the Moon and Death Valley, two magical places. Here you'll see giant dunes and volcanoes almost 19,685 feet tall. Spend your afternoon at leisure.

Day 11: Geysers del Tatio & Machuca Village

Geysers del Tatio
The 100-foot Geysers del Tatio

Today you will visit the geothermal field at Geysers del Tatio. You'll arrive at sunrise when the geysers are most active. The steam from these geysers rises 100 feet into the sky. While watching this amazing nature show, a delicious breakfast will be offered. Then step back in time in the charming village of Machuca. The remote village, which lies on a Chilean high plateau at 13,123 feet, features just 20 small houses and a church, all built in the traditional style. 

Day 12: Departure from Calama

The road from San Pedro de Atacama
The road from San Pedro de Atacama

Today your trip comes to an end. You will be transferred from San Pedro de Atacama to the Calama airport.