Overlanding and easy hikes in the Andean foothills and altiplano

This trip through the north of Chile includes three ecological levels between sea and mountains: coast, foothills and altiplano. It begins in Arica, Chile's northernmost city, and ends in the city of Iquique, after crossing deserts, national parks, lakes, volcanoes and hot springs. On the way, we'll see a wide variety of Andean fauna, including llamas, vicuñas, condors, ostriches, and three types of flamingoes.
We'll also visit native villages, joined of old by the famous Inca Trail. These villages are still inhabited by descendants of the original Aymará people, who preserve many of their ancestral traditions intertwined with elements of Spanish culture in a rich mixture whose most colorful expression is found in colorful practices related to their ardent Catholic faith. We invite you to share with us this unforgettable experience.

Welcome reception at the airport of Arica. Transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon visit to the historic city centre with the San Marcos Cathedral, the old train station of the Arica-La Paz railway line, the Morro rock and the coast with its beaches. After continue to the Archeological tour in the afternoon, visiting the Azapa Valley with its geoglyphs of the Cerro Sagrado, the fortress San Lorenzo and the tombs, ending in the Archeological Museum of San Miguel where you can find some of the worlds oldest mummies of the Chinchorro people. Return to hotel, meals on your own. Overnight.
Breakfast. In the morning we drive towards Lluta Valley to visit archaeological sites, geoglyphs and petroglyphs of Rosario. After, our visit continues to the Devil's Canyon, to arrive to Poconchile, with exceptional view over the Lluta Valley. Along the way it is possible to see the Candelabro Cactus (Browningia candelaris), unique from this area. Visit to Copaquilla village and its fortress. Picnic lunch. From Copaquilla starts the trekking toward Socoroma village, where it is possible to see ancient techniques of cultivation in terraces of corn and potatos. From here the excursion continues to visit the town of Parinacota Ceremonial Village. Then visit to Lauca National Park, the Chungara Lake, (elevation 14,815 ft), in Lauca National Park, is our first contact with the altiplano's magnificent scenery, intense blue sky, and profound silence. Arrival in Putre, dinner and accommodations. (B, L, D)
During this day visit to 2 protected areas: Las Vicuñas National Reserve and Surire Salt lake Natural Monument, full of native wildlife such as ñandues, vicuñas and flamencos. Visit to the Aymara towns of stones, such as Ancuta, Guallatire, Viluvio, embedded on the feet of the Andean volcanos, like Guallatire with its fumaroles in constant activity. Picnic lunch during excursion. We reach the Surire (means: place of suris; suri = ñandu) Salt Flats, nesting place for flocks of rosy flamingos. After, we continue towards Colchane. The road pass through the typical "bofedales" and forest of "queñoas" (trees that lives very high and in dry climatic conditions). Visit to Mucomucone, Vilacollo, Arabilla, ancient towns, where the inhabitants practice millenarian rituals looking for the equilibrium among the nature and the man. Arrival in Colchane. Lodging and dinner in hostel with shared bathroom. (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we head back down towards the coastal desert, where we find the Cerro Unita geoglyphs (8the Atacama Giant). Picnic lunch. From the road it is possible to see Chuzmiza and San Lorenzo de Tarapaca, ancient center to stock the caravans that were crossing the desert, before coming to the end of out expedition in the city of Iquique. Accommodation in the hotel. Dinner on your own. (B, L)
Breakfast. At agree times transfer to the airport. (B)
· B = Breakfast; L = lunch; D = dinner
· Daily departures on request min. 2 people.
· We include the last night in Iquique, but it is also possible to reach a later flight on day 4 to Santiago as you prefer.
2006 -2007 RATES, PER PERSON
Based on double occupancy
Valid up to
December 2006
December 2007
2 - 4 people
US$ 890
US$ 960
5 - 9 people
US$ 690
US$ 750
10 - 14 people
US$ 600
US$ 690
Single Supplement
US$ 110
US$ 120
  • All private support transportation during trip.
  • All airport transfers.
  • Vehicles equipped with supplemental oxygen in case of need .
  • 3 nights lodging in hotels of Arica, Putre and Iquique with breakfast.
  • 1 night in B&B in Colchane, in double room with shared bathroom.
  • All meals from breakfast on day 2 to breakfast on day 5.
  • Expert bilingual guide.
  • Sleeping bags and air mattresses (please bring this personal equipment).
  • Any form of personal insurance.
  • Tips, extra expenses such as laundry, meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary, other expenses.
ADDITIONAL NIGHTS: Prices may changed without previous notice.
REQUIREMENTS: The hikes are relatively easy, though some will be in Andean heights of the altiplano. Participants should be in good physical condition, but no special abilities are necessary. In the mountains, the climate is cold at night, while the deserts will be very hot during the day.

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Coyancura 2270, oficina 801, Providencia, Santiago, CHILE
Telefóno: (56 2) 333 1390 - Fax (56 2) 234 9783

Email: info@altue.com