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5 Day Sightseeing, Cultural, and Wildlife Tour in Chile

Hotel Terrace Lodge, Circunvalación nº 25, Putre, Arica y Parinacota, Chile

Exciting Safari Chile

Mayuru Tour specializes tours to the North of Chile, where many tourists are attracted by the beauty of the nature and its flora and fauna. The whole country wants to welcome you and invites you to enjoy and get to know the touristic places. The destinations include the famous National Park Lauca, the Lake Chungara, the National Reserve of the Vicuñas, and many more surprising places.

Overview

  • Starting point and ending point: Arica to San Pedro de Atacama
  • Languages: Spanish

Highlights

  • Wildlife viewing
  • Village and cultural tours
  • Discover majestic sceneries
  • Appreciate architecture and geoglyphs
  • Professional chauffeur guide
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Delicious meals daily

Styles


5 activity days in English
The organizer also speaks: Spanish
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Accommodation

You will be provided four nights of accommodation. On the first and second nights, you will stay in Hotel Vientos del Altiplano, and on the third night, you will stay in Hostal Inka Thaki. The fourth night will be spent in Hotel Rucaru.

Program

Day 1: Arica, Village of Socoroma, and Putre

You will leave the hotel and start the tour to the Terminal Agroprecuario Asoagro (market) of Arica, but first of all, you will be surprised with a small trip through the fascinating city of Arica, known for its enjoyable warm climate.

Get to know the undeniable beauty of its beaches and bays, reaching up to the Caves of Anzota, where men and women of the Chinchorro culture have lived for thousands of years. Finally, you can enjoy a panoramic view over the city from the impressive Morro of Arica.

You will continue the tour to the Terminal Asoagro. This typical market of Arica, located in the coastal desert, was created 19 years ago by its merchants and producers. On a walk through the alleys, you can get to know the different kinds of fruits and vegetables that grow in the fertile valleys of the region (like the black olive of Azapa) and also the products that are imported from the neighboring countries.

Afterwards, you will continue to the prodigious Azapa Valley, which is popular for its enormous archaeological development with more than 10,000 years of history. Here, you can find surprising geoglyphs like on the Cerro Sombrero (Hut Mountain) or the Geoglyphos de la Tropilla.

The following stop will be the Cerro Sagrado (Holy Mountain), a hill that also presents geoglyphs of mythological figures. The viewing point Las Llosyas is the best place to observe these beautiful geoglyphs. You will visit the Archaeological Museum of San Miguel of Azapa which contains some of the most relevant patrimonial relicts of the archaeology in Chile: the most ancient mummies in the world that belong to the Chinchorro culture and are more than 10,000 years old.

You will cross the Lluta Valley, natural exit of the highlands to the ocean. Here you will get to know the very first settlement of the valley, Poconchile. This valley is surrounded by fields of alfalfa and well known for its church, Iglesia de San Gerónimo, which was declared national monument, due to its impressive beauty preserved since the 17th century.

The way leads to a canyon named after its vegetation, the candelabra cactuses that are typical for the desert. The branches are usually to find on the upper part of the plant, therefore the name. Also, you will get to know one of the most important archaeological complexes in the area, the fort Pukara de Copaquilla, declared national monument and surrounded by an impressive canyon of about 150 meters of depth.

You will stop at the Tambo Sapahuira to have lunch, and you will get the possibility to try the typical food of the Chilean highlands. The excursion through the north then continues to the village of Socoroma, outstanding for its architecture and its beautiful green terraces. The first day of the tour finishes with the arrival in Putre. Dinner and accommodation will be provided.

Included in this day are services of a Spanish or English-speaking chauffeur guide specialist in the routes, as well as Oxigen. Lunch and dinner is included in this day. You will stay in Hotel Vientos del Altiplano or in a similar accommodation.

Day 2: Putre, National Park Lauca, and Lake Chungara

You will leave Putre in the morning. The destination is the National Park Lauca with an expanse of 137,883 hectares, a biosphere reserve that covers the foothills and the highlands in the northeast of the region of Arica and Parinacota.

To get to this wonderful world in the height, you will start with a hike through the sector of the caves. In this district, you can get to know the paradisiacal landscapes of the highlands, 4,300 meters over sea level, and you can observe the so called Vizcachas that come out at dusk and dawn.

What makes this hike special is the mystical ambience that surrounds the region. It is said that there are men living in this area that are over 9,000 years old, and sometimes they are still seen, walking the ways of the highlands. They are said to be the very first visitors who appreciated the beauty of the landscapes.

The journey continues to the viewing point of Chucuyo, which is located in the center of the National Park Lauca that contains a unique ecosystem and an extraordinary flora and fauna. Also, you will stop at the viewing point lagoon Cotacotani. This lagoon consists of different lakes and volcano islands that are evidence of the high volcanic activity of this zone.

The viewing point is placed in the middle of the wetlands and is perfect to observe the great variety of plants and animals, such as the parinas, ducks, vicuñas, vizcachas, and taguas. You will be moving on to one of the most beautiful attractions of the National Park Lauca, the lake Chungara, which is located over 4,500 meters over sea level and is one of the highest lakes in the world.

Its magical beauty and the marvelous reflection of the volcano Parinacota amaze thousands of tourists every year. On the other side of the lake, you can see the famous volcanoes Payachata (twins), about which many legends are told due to their mystical appearance. For example, people say that they house an old treasure of the Inca, and others say that they are a couple in love.

Furthermore, you will visit the village of Parinacota, which was declared national monument. Here, you can discover the ancient architecture of the highlands. The old houses are all made of adobe and have a great historical value, for they contain relicts of the time of colonialism and are symbols of the Aymara-culture.

At the end of the excursion, you will enjoy a bath in the thermal springs of Jurasi, located in the middle of a small canyon. They are well known for its medicinal purposes, and for example, they are recommended in case of rheumatism. After enjoying all these different landscapes and regaining your strength with a warm thermal bath, you will return to Putre, where the second day of the tour ends.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included in this day. Included in this day are services of a Spanish or English-speaking chauffeur guide specialist in the routes, as well as Oxigen. You will stay in Hotel Vientos del Altiplano or in a similar accommodation.

Day 3: Putre, National Reserve of the Vicuñas, National Park Vulcano Isluga, and Colchane

The third day of the tour again starts in Putre, leaving for the National Reserve of the Vicuñas which as its name implies, was created to preserve the vicuña. The flora and fauna of this place are very attractive as they offer a great variety species, besides being surrounded by beautiful scenery of the Chilean Altiplano.

Furthermore, in the National Reserve of the Vicuñas, you will discover majestic sceneries and the towns of Ancuta and Guallatire located at 83 kilometers of Putre at the foot of the volcano Guallatiri. Here, you can enjoy the beautiful view of its peak white of snow.

The trip continues, reaching the most captivating destination of this tour, the salt lake Surire. It is located at 4,200 meters above sea level. Surire was declared national monument and is characterized by its enormous majesty. The presence of salt deposits of intense white color contrast with the pure blue of the water of the lagoons, without doubt a delight to your eyes.

The salt lake of Surire also preserves the existence of valuable species such as the ostrich (ñandu), flamingo, vicuña, alpaca and the llama, among others. The preciousness of this natural attraction is increased by the presence of different species of flamingos (three of six species that exist) that may live here according to the extraordinary ecosystem.

Around noon, after enjoying this wonderful ambience, you will have a delicious picnic at the thermal baths of Polloquere. Here, you may enjoy a relaxing bath. You will continue the tour to the National Park Vulcano Isluga, located more than 4,000 meters over sea level, crossing the paths of the highlands, the desert, and the pampa.

The diversity of ecology is impressive and allows you to appreciate different landscapes within the park, such as the lagoon Arabilla, surrounded by small bofedales (wetlands) and forests of Queñua (typical tree of the highlands). Furthermore, you will be visiting the altiplanic communes of Enquelga and Isluga that are located in the middle of a bofedal where llamas and alpacas feed themselves.

Also, the churches made out of adobe are very beautiful to see. Finally, you will get to the destination Colchane, village at the border to Bolivia at an altitude of 3,750 meters that represents the Aymara culture. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included in this day.

Included in this day are services of a Spanish or English-speaking chauffeur guide specialist in the routes, as well as Oxigen. You will stay in Hostal Inka Thaki or in a similar accommodation.

Day 4: Colchane and Pica

Breakfast will be at 08:30 a.m, and then you will depart to Colchane. Close to the border on the flanks of the mountains, you will discover the giant cactuses that reach about 10 meters and can only be found in this area at an altitude of more than 3,700 meters. You will get to the town of Cariquima, a different model of the ancient Aymara life where the central meeting point of the indigenous cultures is located.

It is famous for many centuries for its handcrafts. Also, you are going to visit Chusmiza, a paradise at 3,200 meters over sea level surrounded by marvelous nature. Afterwards, you will get to know the biggest representation of a human being in the world, the Giant of the Atacama, located at the flanks of the Cerro Unita (Unita Mountain) some kilometers of the village Huara.

This geoglyph attracts thousands of tourists every year and is considered one of the most impressive geoglyphs in the north of Chile. Appreciate this figure that measures 86 meters, representing a pre-Inca human. There are many interpretations due to the mystic of this place, and for example, people say that the geoglyph represents a god of an ancient culture that habited the area around 1,000 and 1,400 AC.

You will have a stopover in the village of Huara, a place with excellent climatic and geographic conditions that convert it to a paradise for adventure- and eco-tourism. Here, you will have lunch. Continuing on the trip, you will arrive at the most impressive nitrate mines of Chile.

The offices of Santiago Humberstone and Santa Laura were constructed in the middle of the driest desert in the world and were declared World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO in 2005. These ghost towns have been converted to a tourist attraction visited by hundreds of people every year. Rust and ruins symbolize the beauty, remoteness, and silence of these ex-nitrate-mines.

You will finish the fourth day of the tour with the arrival around 18:00 in Pica, one of the most beautiful areas in the north of Chile. This oasis in the middle of the desert results very attractive for its unique ecosystem, containing different landscapes like the pampa, the highlands, and the desert.

Accommodation will be in the Hotel Rucaru or similar accommodation. Included in this day are breakfast and lunch, services of a Spanish or English-speaking chauffeur guide specialist in the routes, as well as Oxigen.

Day 5: Pica and San Pedro de Atacama

You will leave Pica to visit one of the most important archaeological heritages, the geoglyphs pintados. These unique relicts of undeniable beauty contain more than 400 figures in 66 panels representing humans, animals, birds, and abstract paintings. Without doubt, this representation of ancient culture will impress and fascinate you.

After appreciating this oasis full of contrasts, you will cross an impressive forest in the Atacama Desert, the National Reserve of the Pampa Tamarugal that has the privilege to be surrounded by precious salt lakes.

This reserve includes more than 24 thousand hectares of artificial plantations of Tamarugo, and if you are lucky, you can observe some reptiles that adapted to the climate and are able to survive the dryness and the heat of the desert. Later, you will pass the village of Quillagua, a small oasis located at the shore of the river Loa.

Here, you will find a church, a train station and the old customs building. According to the National Geographic, Quillagua is the most arid place in the world. Finally, after enjoying all these marvelous landscapes with a high cultural interest, you will cross the desert to get to San Pedro de Atacama, where the fifth day of the tour ends.

Included in this day are breakfast and lunch, services of a Spanish or English-speaking chauffeur guide specialist in the routes, as well as Oxigen.

Included excursions

  • Cultural tours
  • Exploration of geoglyphs
  • Museum and church tours
  • Village tours

Location

This safari will be held in various places in Chile, including Arica, Azapa Valley, Lluta River, Socoroma, Putre Parinacota Province, Lauca National Park, Chucuyo, Cotacotani Lake, Chungará Lake, Parinacota, Payachata, Las Vicuñas National Reserve, Guallatiri, Volcán Isluga National Park, Colchane, Tamarugal Province, Atacama Desert, Tocopilla Province, and San Pedro de Atacama.

Food

You will be served daily meals as specified in the itinerary.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • Visit to an archaeological museum in Azapa (5 USD per person)
  • Visit to Hot Springs Jurasi (5 USD per person)
  • Visit to Nitrate Mine Humberstone (5 USD per person)
  • Visit to painted geoglyphs (6 USD per person)

What's included

  • All wildlife viewing
  • Private tours as specified
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Services of a chauffeur guide

What's not included

  • Ticket to an archaeological museum in Azapa
  • Ticket to Hot Springs Jurasi
  • Ticket entry to Nitrate Mine Humberstone
  • Ticket entry to painted geoglyphs

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.
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