Baquedano # 411 Arica - Putre
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The tour begins at your hotel. We will leave the city for the prodigious Lluta Valley, natural exit of the highlands to the ocean. The river that flows through this valley, the river Lluta, is the only one in the region that leads to the ocean and originates in the high cordillera. Here you can get to know various geoglyphs that represent animals, humans and abstract forms.
We will stop in the very first settlement of the valley, Poconchile. This town 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. Our way leads us to a canyon named after its vegetation, the candelabra cactuses that are typical for the desert. This type of cactus only is to find at a height of 1.700 meters over sea level. The branches are usually to find on the upper part of the plant, therefor 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 150m of depth.
We will stop at the Tambo Sapahuira to have lunch, are you will get the possibility to try the typical food of the Chilean highlands. Our excursion through the north then continues to the village of Socoroma, outstanding for its architecture and its beautiful green terraces. Afterwards we will stop at the viewing point of Putre. Continuing the trip and appreciating the beauty of the altiplano, we will reach the sector of the caves where we are going to realize a small hike. Here at a height of 4.300m over sea level you will get to observe numerous vizcachas.
Our 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, we will stop at the viewing point lagoon Cotacotani. This lagoon consists of different lakes and vulcano 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.
We 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 on eof the highest lakes in the world. It’s 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 we 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 our excursion we 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, for example they are recommended in case of rheumatism.
After enjoying all these different landscapes and regaining our strength with a warm thermal bath, we will return to Arica, the city of the eternal spring, known for its ancient architecture and the enjoyable weather that attracts thousands of tourists every year.
This fabulous lake is located is located in between the most impressive natural attractions of Chile, more precisely the North of Chile. Its lovely landscapes full of vicuñas, vizcachas and birds are only a small part of the incomparable beauty of this place. Don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy this natural paradise and visit the treasure of the National Park Lauca, the Lake Chungara.