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Becoming a shepherd of llamas at the Chilean Andes

Tours

Becoming a shepherd of llamas at the Chilean Andes * 4 DAYS * From USD$390

Learn from real Andean inhabitants how is done! 100% authentic local experience at Atacama Desert high plateau.

This tour received the NATIONAL AWARD 2015 from the National Tourism Bureau (SERNATUR)!

If you are traveling alone or more passengers are required, please contact us to design a non-binding custom proposal for you or you can join a tour with a programmed fix departure.

Price

6 people USD$390 p/p | 3 to 5 people USD$440 p/p | 2 people USD$567 p/p.

Group Size

2 to 6 people.

Tour Length

4 Days.

Date

Any date upon reservation.

Meeting Time

09:00 am.

Pick Up from Accomodation

Yes.

Included

Transportation on a private 4×4 vehicle, filtered water all the way, food and accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary and specialized bilingual guide.

Not Included

Travel insurance, accommodation at Iquique (available on request), everything not mentioned in the itinerary.

Route (Referential Map)

Itinerary

DAY 1

Departing from Iquique, you’ll drive across the desert to meet the Atacama Giant; the largest human-shaped geoglyph on the planet. From here we start gaining altitude as well as seeing changes in the landscape around us… we’ll get plenty of stops to witness Desert creeks, ancient geoglyphs, and cacti. Once at the village of Chusmiza (3,400masl), you’ll go on a beautiful hike down the creek (1hr), watching some desert terrace crops, interesting foothills flora and ruins while listening to the local stories.  

You’ll spend the night at the local cabins and if it suits you, you can also enjoy a bath at the local small and rustic hot spring (42ºC). This altitude is perfect to adapt to the lack of oxygen; everything, from the pace, stops, food and beverages have been designed to help you avoiding the unpleasant effects of altitude sickness and enjoy your trip.

Food: Box lunch + dinner included.

Accommodation: Chusmiza cabins (Double or shared rooms, private or shared bathroom and hot shower).

DAY 2

This morning we start our driving through the Chilean Altiplano to reach the town of Cariquima to meet this important Aymara town. Heading south from here you’ll reach a stunning landscape with the “Nevado de Cariquima” dominating the views. We’ll stop our driving here to hike around a beautiful lagoon where birds feed and nest while llamas feed all around, great place for our next picnic lunch too! Just a bit ahead of the road our local host for the next days: Mr. Eugenio Challapa (72) and his family are waiting for us. They speak Spanish and Aymara (and sometimes a mix of both) and they are very friendly and warm people eager to share and show their landscapes and way of life to visitors. Tonight, we’ll have a warm authentic Aymara dinner with them and spend the night at an adobe house.

Food: Breakfast + Picnic lunch + Aymara dinner included.

Accommodation: Challapa’s family adobe cabin (Quadruple room, shared bathroom among visitors).

DAY 3

After the cold night of the mountains, we are ready to start early and receive the warm rays of the morning sun. Let’s get a good breakfast and get to work! You and Eugenio should release the llamas and take them to feed, a great experience to have and a wonderful trail to hike with them towards the bofedal (the green pasture where llamas feed). On the way, let’s meet the small “Puma Canyon” where you might be able to found some fresh Puma footprints as they walk around at night.

Interesting ruins of the ancestors of our host are everywhere and say a lot of the way of life from these isolated parts of the planet. Soon, you’ll help to start the fire and prepare our lunch, consisting mainly in local products produced by the Challapa’s; potatoes, quinoa, charqui, Llama and/or Alpaca meat and fresh bread. This is a very peaceful place to have a rest and share interesting talks. We’ll continue our hike surrounding the bofedal to meet more ruins filled with history and legends. Later, we’ll join the herd to take them back to town.

Food: Breakfast + On site traditional lunch + Aymara dinner included.

Accommodation: Challapa’s family adobe cabin (Quadruple room, shared bathroom among visitors).

DAY 4

This morning, our local Aymara host will lead us to old caves and a little canyon where old ruins where witness of this great culture from its beginnings. Spectacular views, streams and small cascades of water give an excellent setting to get all our questions answered. Back to town, the family has everything ready for our last traditional lunch. From here, we’ll say goodbye to our new friends and head back to Iquique.

Food: Breakfast + Traditional lunch.

Accommodation: End of services.

Conditions

Open

Cancellation Policy

If you decide to cancel your tour reservation, for any reason, the following are our terms:

Time frame / You receive:

  • 7 or more days before trip departure / 100% refund of what you have paid.
  • 6 to 3 days before trip departure / 50% of your payment.
  • 2 days before trip departure / 35% of your payment.
  • 1 day before trip departure / 15% of your payment.

The reasons to cancel a booked tour will be due to bad weather conditions, closed roads, government prohibitions or security reasons of any kind. If this is the case you will get a refund of 80% of what we received (please, remember that intermediates, banks, credit cards and transfers might apply commissions to what you’ve originally paid) and will be happy to offer you another options.

Refunds are done exclusively to Chilean bank accounts or to your PayPal/Payoneer account if you’ve paid using one of those methods.

Transfer Policy

If you would like to change to a different tour or departure date after signing up, we will be happy to transfer you on a space available basis up until 7 days prior to your tour. Please provide your transfer request in writing – email is sufficient. Please note, a US$20 transfer fee will be deducted from your previous payments for each transfer, and if you later choose to cancel your tour, the cancellation deadlines will apply to the date of the originally scheduled tour.

Tour Confirmation

Místico Outdoors will confirm your trip 7 days in advance and will be done via email.

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