Baquedano # 411 Arica - Putre
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Day 1. Putre – National Reserve of the Vicuñas – Salt Lake Surire – National Park Vulcano Isluga – Andean Villages – Colchane
The tour starts from the beautiful town of Putre, capital of the province of Parinacota in the XV region of Arica and Parinacota. From this village we leave 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'll discover majestic sceneries and the towns of Ancuta and Guallatire located at 83 km 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 m 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 (3 of 6 species that exist) that may live here according to the extraordinary ecosystem. Around noon, after enjoying this wonderful ambience, we will have a delicious picnic at the thermal baths of Polloquere. Here you may enjoy a relaxing bath.
We will continue the tour to the Nationl Park Vulcano Isluga, located more than 4.000m 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 we 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 we will get to our destination Colchane, village at the border to Bolivia at an altitude of 3.750m that represents the Aymara-culture.
Day 2. Colchane – Cariquima – Gigante de Atacama – Salitrera de Humberstone - Iquique
Breakfast at 08:00 am, then leaving Colchane in the morning. 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 3.700m. We 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 we are going to visit Chusmiza, a paradise at 3.200m 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, for example people say that the geoglyph represents a god of an ancient culture that habited the area around 1.000 and 1.400 a.C.
We will stop 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 we will have lunch.
Continuing our trip we will arrive at the most impressive nitrate mine of Chile. Humberstone was declared World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO. This ghost town was converted into an attraction visited by national and international tourists. Rust and ruins symbolize the beauty, remoteness and silence of this ex-nitrate-mine. While walking the duty streets under the sun and exploring the abandoned houses you will find various marks and signatures left by the numerous visitors that have come to discover this fantastic town in the pampa of Tamarugal.
Walking through the town you can find a swimming pool, a tennis field, one single shop and the administration office. With this extraordinary experience in between the loneliness and the silence of this place, we will finish the last day of our tour though the north of Chile reaching the city of Iquique or Arica, according requirement. Here our tour ends.
Unforgettable adventure that you shouldn’t miss. Enjoy the diversity of the landscapes and the typical flora and fauna of the Highlands. The visit of several National Monuments converts this tour to a fabulous experience that includes everything from Andean culture to a visit of the historical Humberstone, a Chilean nitrate mine that was declared World Cultural Heritage by the Unesco.Here the tour ends.