Baquedano # 411 Arica - Putre
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Day 1. Arica – Socoroma – Putre
We leave the hotel and start our tour to the Terminal Agroprecuario Asoagro (Market) of Arica, but first of all we surprise you 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.
We continue our 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, we 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. We are going to 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.
We 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. Our way leads us 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, 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. The first day of the tour finishes with the arrival in Putre. Dinner and accommodation.
Day 2. Putre – Salt Lake Surire – Putre
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, an example of high Andean culture, we make our way to 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 Vicuña, you'll discover majestic sceneries and the towns of Ancuta, consisting of just 5 houses 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 journey 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 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. Finally, when we have gained new strength with a thermal bath, we will return back to Putre, the place that opened us the door to this incredible world in the height.
Day 3. Putre – National Park Lauca – Lake Chungara – Bolivia – National Park Sajama
Our third day again starts in Putre, and our destination is the National Park Lauca with an expanse of 137.883 hectare, 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, we start with a hike through the sector of the caves. In this district you can get to know the paradisiacal landscapes of the highlands, 4.300m 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’s said that there are men living in this area that are over 9000 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.
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.
We will then enter the border control Chungara to get to Bolivia. In our private vehicle we continue the tour to the National Park Sajama, located at the foot of the volcano Sajama (6.542m over sea level). In the afternoon we will realize an excursion to the geysers which are permanently active. Also, we are going to take a bath in the thermal springs at the foot of the volcano. Night in Sajama.
Day 4. National Park Sajama – La Paz
In the morning we will realize a city tour through La Paz. You will get to know the Plaza de Armas (market square), the Government Palace, the Legislative Palace, the Cathedral de Nuestra Señora of La Paz, the viewing point Killi Killi, the Witch Market, the indigenous market, the church of San Francisco and Moon Valley. Afternoon free.
Day 5. La Paz – Tiwanaku – Copacabana
After breakfast we start the fifth day of our tour with the visit of the archaeological site of Tiwanaku, considered the ceremonial center of the Aymara-culture. We will continue to Huatajata, a village located at the shore of the Small Lake Titicaca, where you can enjoy great panorama views over the lake. Here we will have lunch, and if you want you can try some of the typical dished of the region. Afterwards we will make our way to the town of Copacabana, located at the Big Lake Titicaca where the tutelary god of the Bolivians is stationed. Depending on the time you will get the opportunity to climb the hill Calvario to observe the sunset over the Lake Titicaca from above. Accommodation in the hotel.
Day 6. Island of the Sun
In the morning we will start our tour to the Isla del Sol (Island of the Sun), where we are going to realize a small hike to get to know different archaeological sites like La Chincana, La Roca Sagrada (Holy Rock) and the temple of Pilkokaina. Also you can enjoy the fascinating views over the lake and the cordillera Real. The night we will spend in the small commune of Yumani.
Day 7. Island of the Sun – Copacabana – La Paz
After breakfast we have some free time before the boat takes us back to Copacabana. Before leaving the island, we will get to know the Spring of the 3 Waters, and old ceremonial place of the Inca. We will arrive in Copacabana around noon, and in the afternoon we take the route to La Paz where we will arrive around 17:30.
Enjoy incomparable places and pure nature surrounded by impressive mountains. Get to know spectacular places with an abundant flora and fauna that will make you appreciate the natural richness of Chile and Bolivia.