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Home > Explore the best of the Altiplano

Explore the best of the Altiplano

Terra Argentina is offering a mixed tour in Argentina, Chile and Bolivia. Private service with English speaking guides. The Altiplano is a sensational region with incredible views and landscapes. Enjoy its wide spaces.

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Buenos Aires - City Tour Buenos Aires - Buenos Aires
  • Day 2: Buenos Aires - Salta - Buenos Aires - Salta - City Tour Salta - Salta
  • Day 3: Salta - Cachi
  • Day 4: Cachi - Cafayate
  • Day 5: Cafayate - Salta
  • Day 6: Salta - Purmamarca
  • Day 7: Purmamarca - La Quiaca - Villazon - Tupiza
  • Day 8: Tupiza
  • Day 9: Tupiza - Uyuni
  • Day 10: Uyuni - San Juan
  • Day 11: San Juan - Laguna Colorada
  • Day 12: Laguna Colorada - San Pedro de Atacama - Paso Hito Cajon - San Pedro de Atacama
  • Day 13: Atacama Salar - San Pedro de Atacama
  • Day 14: Pukara de Quitor - Valleys of the Atacama Desert - San Pedro de Atacama
  • Day 15: El Tatio Geysers - San Pedro de Atacama - Santiago de Chile
  • Day 16: Santiago de Chile

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: Buenos Aires - City Tour Buenos Aires - Buenos Aires

Welcoming at Ezeiza International Airport and transfer to Buenos Aires in a private vehicle.

Transfer with an English-speaking guide.
Visit Buenos Aires (half day, private tour).

Buenos Aires, a cosmopolitan city with European features, is among the 10 most active cities in the world. City of arts, cultures, theaters, traditions ... The variety satisfies the most demanding visitor.
You visit the 9 de Julio Avenue, the widest in the world, dominated by the obelisk, a symbol of Buenos Aires. You will pass the Colon Theatre, one of the jewels of the Argentine architecture. Then you arrive to the famous or central Plaza de Mayo, next to buildings such as the Casa Rosada or Casa de Gobierno, the Cabildo and the Cathedral.

You end your day with the picturesque neighborhood of La Boca, and specifically the alley El Caminito, the spot for painters, tango dancers and singers.
Return to your hotel after the visit.
An English-speaking guide will acompany you during the city tour.
Night at the Two Hotel ***.
Included : transfer arrival, reception with english-speaking guide, english speaking guide, room & breakfast

Day 2: Buenos Aires - Salta - City Tour Salta - Salta

Transfer from the hotel to the Buenos Aires Domestic Airport in a private vehicle
Welcoming at Salta's Airport and transfer to the hotel in private vehicle.

Transportation with an Engish-speaking guide.


Half day (morning or afternoon) dedicated to the visit of the city with an english speaking guide in a private vehicle.

Salta is the capital city of the province of the same name and it is located at 1,187 masl, at the foot of Mount San Bernardo. The city was founded on April 16th 1582 by Hernando de Lerma. Both colonial-style houses and modern buildings coexist harmoniously.
Out of all the historical buildings, you visit the cathedral, built in the nineteenth century, the San Bernardo convent and the Cabildo, which houses the picturesque historical museum of the northern region of Argentina.

Visit to the very recent and interesting MAAM museum (Museo Archeologia de Alta Montaña or High Mountain Archaeological Museum) which exhibits several mummies discovered at an altitude of over 6,000 meters.

Note: MAAM closed on mondays.

Night at Antiguo Convento hotel ***.
Standard room
Included : transfer departure, transfer arrival, reception with english-speaking guide, english speaking guide, entrance fees, room & breakfast

Day 3: Salta - Cachi


Departure to Cachi, located at 2200masl, at 157km from Salta.

We drive through spectacular landscapes such as those offered by the Piedra del Molino mountain pass at 3,600 meters, the Quebrada de Escoipe, a deep gorge where the green of the woods contrasts with the ochre of the soil on the bare mountains of “Cuesta del Obispo” and Los Cardones National Park composed of stark expanses scattered with candelabrum-shaped cacti…

Cachi is a tranquil Andean native village featuring low-whitewashed houses and the San José Church with its sculpted roof of cactus-wood dating back to the eighteenth century. We visit the small archaeological museum which has a wonderful collection of pre-Inca and Inca ceramics, especially those pertaining to the Santa María culture.

We head to La Paya Ruins. It is an important site, with many ring walls, circular stone tombs and the place known as the Casa Morada del Inca, a separate building from the rest, apparently built as a transit station in the Inca Trail.

We return to Cachi

Night at El Cortijo hotel ***.
Superior Room
Included : english speaking guide, entrance fees, excursion (private), room & breakfast

Day 4: Cachi - Cafayate


Departure by private vehicle to reach the small town of Molinos, dating from 1659; there is a church, probably erected in the late eighteenth century, by the last royal governor of Salta, Don Nicolás Severo of Isasmendi, buried there. Around this chapel, the town of Molinos grew.

You cross the majestic "Quebrada de las Flechas" surrounded by a mysterious moonscape.

White dunes announce the nearness of Cafayate, the largest city in the valley of Calchaquies, whose economy relies on the wine industry. Wine tasting in the evening.

Night at Killa hotel ***.
Suite Junior.
Included : english speaking guide, entrance fees, excursion (private), room & breakfast

Day 5: Cafayate - Salta


This morning, we travel to Salta through the “Quebrada de las Conchas” which undoubtedly offers the visitor one of the most spectacular landscapes in the Northwest of Argentina, with its imposing semi-desert mountains featuring multi-colored rock formations sculpted by erosion.

A century-old sight conceived by nature for our benefit!

Night at Antiguo Convento hotel ***.
Standard room
Included : english speaking guide, entrance fees, excursion (private), guide expenses, room & breakfast

Day 6: Salta - Purmamarca


We ride in a private vehicle along the railway tracks of the famous “Tren de las Nubes” and head first for Salinas Grandes and then for Purmamarca.
We leave Salta (1,200 masl) and after a 166km (104mi) ride, we arrive in San Antonio de los Cobres at 3,774 masl. Before we stop to visit Santa Rosa de Tastil (3,200 masl) and the pre-Inca site which dates back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries AD (a half-hour walk, approximately).

Later, we stop in San Antonio de los Cobres. Surrounded by mountains with virtually no vegetation, this wind swept village and its low buildings give an impression of remoteness. We visit the small museum dedicated to the highest railway-track in the world. Countless pictures describe its construction in the 1930s: what a saga!

As we follow our road, we reach a vast white expanse of land which contrasts against the pure blue of the sky. We are now in the very midst of one of the largest salt deserts in Argentina (1,200 sq. km), Salinas Grandes.

As we drive along a winding dirt track for a few miles, we reach the Lipán Mountain Pass, located at 4,170 masl and later the last stop of the day’s tour: Purmamarca, “the Holy Land” in Aymara language. This little town is renowned for its seven-colored mountain, “Cerro de los Siete Colores”, a mineral rainbow.

Night at the hotel in Purmamarca.
Note 1: a 347km (216mi) trip with some delicate mountain tracks lasting approximately 6h30 min.
Note 2: during the rainy season, between November and March, the access to the Salinas Grandes might become virtually impossible.
Night at Los Colorados Cabins ***.
Included : english speaking guide, guide expenses, entrance fees, room & breakfast

Day 7: Purmamarca - La Quiaca

A quiet day-start to enjoy the "Cerro de los 7 colores" and the village of Purmamarca.
Departure by private vehicle to hit the Andean road, arrive after twenty kilometres to Pucará Tilcara, a pre-Hispanic Omaguaca village founded over 900 years ago. We visit the village and the remarkable collection housed in its museum including mummies, funeral vases, jewellery and other objects found in archaeological sites in the Northwest of Argentina.
We continue north to Humahuaca, located at 2940masl, one of the most important trade centres in times of the Vice Regency of Peru.
We pass through Abra Pampa and reach finally La Quiaca, next to the Argentine – Bolivian border.
Night in La Quiaca.
Meals not included.
233 km – 3 hours

Included : english speaking guide, guide expenses, entrance fees

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 2: Buenos Aires - Salta


Domestic flight Buenos Aires - Salta.

Included : domestic flight, airport tax

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 7: Villazon - Tupiza

We meet our 4WD at the Argentinean – Bolivia border. Transfer to the pleasant town of Tupiza (1 hour 30 on a road).
Lunch and dinner open.


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

Day 8: Tupiza

Start at 09:00am with the mountain bikes for a trip the South through a green valley to the site of El Angosto and to the Mirador of Entre Ríos (9 miles / flat). The San Juan del Oro and Tupiza Rivers meet just down below, both very colorful in different colors. We can also see from there the Tower rock. We will then visit the Quebrada Seca by 4WD with its rugged red mountains covered with cacti very particular to the area. Stop at the Canyon Duende, before arriving to Toroyoj (1½-mile by car) where we will taste the famous Tamales (food specialty made out of corn).
We will find our horses in the afternoon at the entrance of the canyon of Palmira, for a trek to the Puerta del Diablo, the Canyon of the Inca and the “Valle de los Machos”. These strange multi-colored geological formations with phallic shapes explain the origin of their name! Return to Tupiza by horse. Back to the 4WD we will drive to the Quebrada of Palala and to El Sillar, at an altitude of 3750 meters. After enjoying the view, we will drop of 800 m to Tupiza… by mountain bikes, of course!
Lunch included. Dinner not included.

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

Day 9: Tupiza - Uyuni

We are now heading to the Altiplano. It is a steep climb! We then head north to cross the pampa de Colcha, where only ghosts seem to accompany us. (6 to 7 hours of dirt track).
Cold lunch (included). Dinner open (bar-restaurant La Loco recommended). Hotel.




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

Day 10: Uyuni - San Juan


Night at La Cabaña de Sal hostel* (basic comfort).
Included : english-speaking driver guide, room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 11: San Juan - Laguna Colorada



Night in a basic accommodation.
Included : english-speaking driver guide, room & breakfast

Day 12: Laguna Colorada - San Pedro de Atacama



Included : english-speaking driver guide

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 12: Paso Hito Cajon - San Pedro de Atacama


Early in the afternoon you pass the Bolivian border at Hito Cajón. An hour drive takes you to San Pedro de Atacama.

Night at the Takha Takha Hotel in a superior room **.
Included : private transport, room & breakfast

Day 13: Atacama Salar - San Pedro de Atacama

Departure from your hotel in the morning. Day fully dedicated to the discovery of the Atacama salt flat and its surrounding attractions. The Toconao and Socaire villages, la quebrada de Jerez, Chaxa, Miscanti and Miñiques lagoons with their volcanoes, are the “must” of this visit. Lunch in a restaurant at Socaire. Return to San Pedro at the end of the afternoon.

At nightfall, you will join an astronomer at San Pedro observatory, for a tour of the southern sky. After 2 hours of observation with the naked eye and through 10 different telescopes, the guide will complete the explanation around a hot beverage, before you head back to San Pedro.

Note: The excursion is open to other tourists. The excursion will be canceled if the moon is full, and is subject to weather conditions. Do not forget your jackets and coats (the temperature can go down to - 15ºC in the winter).

Night at the Takha Takha Hotel in a superior room **.
Included : lunch (no drinks), guide expenses, entrance fees, private transport, english speaking guide, drinks, excursion (shared), room & breakfast

Day 14: Pukara de Quitor - Valleys of the Atacama Desert - San Pedro de Atacama

Leave to the archaeological site of Aldea de Tulor, which houses, well-preserved in the sand, were built in around 2800 BC. Then, head to the pre-inca fortress of Quitor, passing by the Devil's Throats. This fortress has been the theater of violent confrontations during the Spanish conquest: that is where all the local leaders were decapitated. Drive up San Pedro river until the Inca site of Catarpe, before going back to San Pedro for lunch.

In the middle of the afternoon, leave San Pedro and drive to the Salt Cordillera and the Moon Valley. Once there, you can take a walk in a magnificent landscape made of sand dunes and sculpted calcareous mountains. Enjoy the sunset while having a drink before going back to San Pedro.
Included : guide expenses, private transport, english speaking guide, entrance fees

Day 15: El Tatio Geysers - San Pedro de Atacama - Calama - Santiago de Chile


Private transfer from your hotel to Calama airport.

Arrival in Santiago and private transfer to your hotel.

Night at the Rio Amazonas hotel **.
Included : guide expenses, entrance fees, private transport, breakfast, excursion (private), english speaking guide, transfer departure, transfer arrival, room & breakfast

Day 16: Santiago de Chile

Visit of the Chilean capital, nestled at the foot the Andes, with a unique charm. Although it has become over the years a modern and very active city, some older neighbourhoods have preserved a romantic charm and atmosphere. You will Visit the Plaza de Armas, San Francisco Church, the Bellavista area, etc.
Private transfer from your hotel to Santiago airport.
Included : english speaking guide, guide expenses, entrance fees, private transport, transfer departure

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 15: Calama - Santiago de Chile


Domestic flight from Calama to Santiago (time to be confirmed, flight indicated in option).
Included : domestic flight, airport tax

Two Hotel   Buenos Aires

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

A new concept in hotels in its class. Functional, modern and low cost, TWO is designed for travelers who intend to visit the city of Buenos Aires without spending large sums of money on accommodation but, having the essential amenities to make your stay a memorable moment.

Hotel Antiguo Convento   Salta

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

The Old Convent Hotel is located in the Historic Corridor in street Caseros, minutes from Plaza 9 de Julio. Among the attractions of the colonial architecture that our city presents we can see the Cathedral, the Cabildo Historico, San Francisco Church and Convent of San Bernardo. There is no doubt that walking around the center of our city will be an experience you will never forget.

Option : Option

Hotel El Cortijo   Cachi

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Enjoy a warm atmosphere, an exclusive Andean stile kitchen, an ideal site to contemplate art and nature and our personalized and kind service. The traditional family Bergesi´s villa became what today is a charming hotel, adding comfort and modern installations to the original building. The restaurant Catalino “chef author, wines and conserved food” is where the cook exhibits his style, adding to the regional kitchen his gourmet touch. The hotel rooms maintain the original architecture and materials like adobe, natural stones, wood and cane with old furnishing combined with regional paintings.

Option : Superior room

Hotel Killa   Cafayate

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Killa Cafayate is a hotel de charme located in the heart of town. Developed after an old colonial house it is today a hotel with own character and a very particular style. It is a place to rest and encounter with ample guestrooms, fresh galleries and colorful gardens. Decorated with exclusive artisan designs, invites to enjoy its history and present with unique hospitality style.

Option : Suite Junior

Hotel Los Colorados   Purmamarca

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Cabañas Los Colorados is a complex of bungalows, which are located in northwestern Argentina, in Jujuy Province. The Cabañas el Colorado are located in the "Quebrada de Humahuaca" declared "World Heritage" UNESCO 2003. Located at the foot of the seven color hills (western) within the magnificent tour of the "Paseo de los Colorados." At 500 meters of Purmamarca's main square.

Hotel Mitru   Tupiza

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

The Hotel Mitru was built in 1956. It offers comfort and amiliar, warm with a personalize service.

Option : Option:Guide who accompany

Hotel Tambo Aymara   Uyuni

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Welcome to THE Ethno-Hotel of Uyuni with singles, twins and double rooms all with heating and private bathroom. The hotel has a restaurant, a charming Ethno-bar, a video library and a parking.

Hotel La Cabaña de Sal   San Juan

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

The Cabaña de Sal is a nice little hotel built with salt blocks coming from the salt flat lake. The rooms are comfortable with private bathroom and hot water. There is no heating in the rooms.

Option : Accommodation Driver

Lodging Don Roman   Laguna Colorada

Level : 1*
Included : room & breakfast

Accommodation, offering basic comfort, located in the town of Hullajara about 6 km from Laguna Colorada. It offers a beautiful view of the lake in the morning. There is no private rooms only shared.

Hotel Takha Takha SUP   San Pedro de Atacama

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

Takha Takha was built in accordance with the aesthetic and tradition of San Pedro. Its comfy rooms made of adobe, wood and stone allow a natural temperature balance during day and night. The hotel is ideally located in the middle of the town within an area of 5.000 m2, which guarantees silence and tranquility.
Note: San Pedro is located in the middle of the Atacama Desert, and the water available can be limited. Thank you for understanding this peculiar situation and acting accordingly.

  Santiago de Chile

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

The Rio Amazonas Hostel is an alternative of lodging with quality, economy and peace with a safe family ambiance. They offer quality in services with personalized attention to their guests. The hostel is located next to the very central Plaza Italia. A few steps to the most famous landmarks of Santiago: the bohemian neighborhood Bellavista, the commercial Providencia and the historic Plaza de Armas town-center.

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