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Journey through the Andean heartland on an action-packed three-week exploration of Chile, Bolivia and Peru. Designed to showcase the diversity of each nation, this 17-day tour takes you to some of South America’s most iconic sites.
Begin in Chile with a tour of Santiago and an exploration of the Atacama Desert before moving on to Bolivia where the world’s largest salt flat and the wonderfully chaotic markets of La Paz are waiting. The sacred Lake Titicaca serves as your final destination in Bolivia before you cross the border into Peru for an unmissable trip to Machu Picchu, complemented by stays in Cusco and the Sacred Valley.
Days 1 & 2 - Santiago
Days 3 - 5 - Atacama Desert
Days 6 & 7 - Uyuni Salt Flats
Day 8 – La Paz
Day 9 - Lake Titicaca
Day 10 - Puno
Days 11 & 12 - Cusco
Day 13 - Machu Picchu
Days 14 & 15 – The Sacred Valley
Day 16 – Lima
Day 17 - Transfer to the airport for your onward flight
Any element of this holiday can be tailormade to your requirements, including the places you want to see and the things that are important to you. Just contact one of our Travel Specialists today.
Arrive in Chile, where you will spend your first two nights in Santiago, a compelling city that is beautifully flanked by the Andes mountains. Whilst your first day is at leisure, a guided tour is included on your second day to discover the cultural significance of the capital’s divergent neighbourhoods.
Day 2: B
Fly to Calama to begin a three-day exploration of the Atacama Desert, staying in the town of San Pedro de Atacama. The highest, driest desert in the world, Atacama is a wonderland of mesmerizing valleys, archaeological wonders and geological marvels and your time here is unrushed to immerse yourself in the rugged lunar-like landscapes.
Observe the sun set majestically over the Moon Valley, hike amongst the multi-hued topography of the aptly named Rainbow Valley and explore the enigmatic archaeological site of Yerbas Buenas. On your third day, you will be heading north to observe the El Tatio Geysers, a geothermal field fringed by both the Andes and the Chilean Coast Range.
Days 3 & 5: B
Day 4: B & L
Travel from Atacama through the Bolivian border to the Uyuni Salt Flat, arriving in the late afternoon. The world’s largest salt flat remains one of South America’s most iconic destinations and is certainly one of the most surreal. Unfathomably vast and staggeringly beautiful, it is a magical experience to observe the light glistening off the barren surface, blending seamlessly into the skyline. On a guided tour of Uyuni, you will also visit the rustic factories that harvest the salt using traditional methods and stop at the foot of the Tunupa Volcano, where Flamingos roam freely. Finish the day by visiting the Mummies of Coquesa and the Chantani Museum.
Meals: B, L & D
Early morning flight to La Paz, where upon arrival you will embark on a guided tour of the wonderfully chaotic city. Begin at the main plaza where the current government palace and the National Congress sit and the nearby San Francisco Church before heading to the south of the city. La Paz’s south contrasts greatly to the rest of the city and it is here you will find the fascinating geological wonder of the ‘Moon Valley’. You will also enjoy a cable-car ride to the highest point within the city limits - it goes without saying that the views are incredible. Finally explore La Paz’s incredible market scene before heading to your central hotel for the night.
Straddling both the Bolivian and Peruvian borders and immeasurably sacred as the birthplace of the Andean civilization, Lake Titicaca is an incredible destination. To reach it will require a 4-hour drive to the lakeside town of Copacabana, where upon arrival and after settling into your hotel, you will immediately embark on a private boat excursion to the lake’s iconic Sun Island. Here, enjoy a delicious traditional lunch and a gentle hike to some of the island’s remaining Inca era ruins. Watch the sun set over the lake before retreating to Copacabana for an evening at leisure.
Meals: B, L & D
There is no major rush today to reach Puno, your gateway to Peru, also lakeside to Titicaca and just 140km from Copacabana. Enjoy a leisurely morning in the town with options to visit the Basilica shrine of El Calvario or to explore Copacabana’s colourful morning market.
Take the morning tourist bus from Puno to Cusco, a journey of approximately 390km. Whilst the drive is long, the scenery is beautiful, taking you into the heart of the Inca Empire via a magnitude of rural villages, archaeological sites (stops included), and sacred churches.
The next day is more leisurely, with the morning completely free to wander through the cobbled streets of Cusco at your own pace. In the afternoon, a gently paced guided tour will bring you to some of the most esteemed sites of the city.
Today, embark on a journey to see one of South America’s most iconic landmarks – Machu Picchu. It will need no introduction, but your guided tour will help convey some of the hidden secrets of the citadel. A scenic Expedition train ride beginning in Ollantaytambo is required to reach the majestic site and is a wonderful excursion in its own right, as you climb through Andean valleys, passing many tiny hamlets and sloping hillsides on the way.
Meals: B & D
Enjoy a second visit to Machu Picchu, this time unguided allowing to go at your own pace. Climb Huayna Picchu to visit the Temple of the Moon and / or see the incredible architecture of the Intipunku (Sun Gate) and the Inca Bridge. In the afternoon, return to Ollantaytambo by train before transferring the short distance to your hotel in the Sacred Valley.
On you second day, explore the peaceful sacred corner of the Andes on a full day tour visiting rural towns and discovering many of the secrets of ancient civilizations. Visit Chinchero, where the locals preserve the culture of the Incas then make a short trip to the Living Museum of Yucay where Andean traditions are perfectly demonstrated through elaborate textile, pottery and silverware work, before reaching the Ollantaytambo fortress, the site of one of the last Inca strongholds against the Spanish conquistadors.
Day 14: B
Day 15: B & L
Private transfer to Cusco airport for a flight to Lima. On arrival in Peru’s capital, you will be transferred to your hotel and the rest of your time today is at leisure.
Transfer to Lima airport where you will take your onward flight.
(Valid for 2021 & 2022 departures, based on 2 people sharing a room)
International flights to Chile from the UK start from £699 per person
Send an enquiry and your travel specialist can find you the best available options from your local airport
16 nights’ accommodation
24 meals; 15 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 4 dinners
Guided city tours of Santiago, La Paz and Cusco
Three guided tours in the Atacama
Full-day tour of Uyuni
Half-day private boat excursion on Lake Titicaca
Return Expedition train tickets to Machu Picchu
Two entrances to Machu Picchu, one guided and one unguided.
Full-day guided tour of the Sacred Valley
Transfers and domestic flights as per itinerary
International flights if not added
Meals not indicated in your itinerary
Local departure taxes payable locally
Items of a personal nature such as laundry and drinks etc
Tips for guides and drivers (discretionary)
Camera or video fees at any sites
Our Truly Individual Holidays allow you to choose the destinations, inclusions & budget
Our Escorted Small Group Tours offer fantastic itineraries, travelling with like-minded people
Winner of 'Best Tour Operator' at the 2019 & 2018 L.A.T.A. Achievement Awards
All of our holidays are ATOL protected (11104), for your complete peace of mind