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Overland Trip to the Atacama Desert Highland’s National Parks from Iquique

Expeditions

Overland Trip to the Atacama Desert Highland’s National Parks from Iquique * 5 DAYS * From US$830

5 days exploring the jewels of the Atacama highlands, visiting 5 Natural protected areas, hot springs, meeting flora and fauna.

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

4 to 5 people US$830 p/p | 3 people US$930 p/p | 2 people US$1,220 p/p.

Group Size

2 to 5 people.

Tour Length

5 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

Starting from the coastal city of Iquique, famous for its world class surf and paragliding, we’ll drive up to the desert. Our first stop is the ghost mining town of Humberstone (UNESCO World heritage site) to learn a bit about the history of northern Chile, the nitrate boom and the English influence at these places.

Your journey continues driving across the desert and visiting the “Atacama Giant”; the largest human-shaped geoglyph in the world. We’ll stop along the way to get great views and learn a bit at each place and at the same time get adapted to the altitude.

Following the stunning views of the Huayna Potosi climb and its rock boulders, you’ll reach the Aymara (local Andean Ethnic group) village of Ancuaque. We’ll spend the night here at a very simple but clean rural hostel.

Food: Box lunch and dinner.

Accommodation: Ancuaque hostel (double room with private bathroom).

DAY 2

There are hot springs near town and you are welcomed to visit and take a relaxing bath before breakfast. Later, we’ll drive into the Isluga volcano National Park and visit its bofedales, lake and old Andean villages with churches dating from the 1,600’s. The dirt road of today we’ll take us across the “Alpajere” where Llamas and Alpacas feed and silence is all around.

In the afternoon we’ll reach the Surire Salt flat National reserve just in time to get great photos and set our camp at the base of Cerro Colorado, near Polloquere natural hot springs.

You are welcomed to go on a short walk and explore, meanwhile we’ll prepare dinner at the camp.

Note: We provide one tent for two people, mats and sleeping bags. There is no infrastructure on the site (no toilets or showers). If you rather prefer to spend the night indoors you have to let us know before starting the trip and we’ll keep on driving towards the village of Parinacota (2 hours more of driving)

Food: Breakfast, box lunch, and dinner.

Accommodation: Camp.

DAY 3

The cold salt flat morning gets a bit warmer after the sunrise and this is the perfect moment for you to capture good photos. Our journey continues following the dirt road to visit the little village of “Guallatire” that get its name from the huge (6,000m+) volcano just in front of it.

We’ll cross Las Vicuñas” National Reserve watching wild Vicuñas and tall volcanoes. Later we’ll reach the mountain town of Putre, with beautiful sights of the creek, mountains and terrace fields.

You’ll spend the night here.

Food: Breakfast, Lunch. Dinner is not included this day (there are few restaurants in town).

Accommodation: Chakana lodge or Kukuli hostel at Putre depending on availability (Double rooms).

DAY 4

This is the day to meet the famous Lauca National Park; we’ll depart from Putre going up to get closer to the international border; The Andes. Gorgeous sights are waiting at Cotacotani and Chungará lakes, where “taguas” (Andean coots) and many other birds feed and nest, all this under the watch of the “Pallachatas”, -the local name of the two tall volcanoes that dominate the views; the Parinacota and Pomerape, both of them over 6,000m tall!

Later on, you are going to visit the Parinacota village, a ceremonial place with few inhabitants and we are going to drive inside the off the beaten paths of this Park to get high on Suri Plaza (depending on weather and dirt road conditions) to witness the beautiful hill with a mineral color rainbow.

On the way back to Putre, you have the chance to take another thermal bath at the Jurasi hot springs (upon request).

You’ll spend the night at Putre.

Food: Breakfast, Picnic lunch. Dinner not included.

Accommodation: Chakana lodge or Kukuli hostel at Putre depending on availability (Double rooms).

DAY 5

Leaving the town of Putre and its sights we’ll get son into a more desertic landscape and our first stop here is going to be the small Inca ruins of “Pukara de Copaquilla”, an interesting place to learn a bit more about the human history of this lands.

The Lluta valley is ahead and its green-desert contrasts are impressive. This is the moment to have a nice farewell lunch at a small local restaurant on a side of the road.

From Lluta valley you’ll cross to Azapa valley, where the San Miguel de Azapa museum is. The museum owns a collection of the Chinchorro mummies which have been dated (believe it or not) as the oldest mummies in the world!.

Our journey ends at your selected accommodation in Arica or at the airport in time for your flight.

Food: Breakfast, Lunch. Dinner not included.

Accommodation: Not included this day.

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.

Gallery

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