Duration: 11 days/10 nights
Departure Dates: Any day you would like!
Pricing: Please contact us for a custom quote.
Suggested Extensions: Machu Picchu, Buenos Aires or Iguazu Falls
Travel with Ayni across South America´s Andean highlands, filled with contrasting traditions & culture, stunning high-altitude landscapes, and expansive natural areas that exemplify solitude. Our Bolivia and Argentina tour begins in the colonial town of Salta, located in northern Argentina´s scenic wine country. Enjoy several days exploring in the area, and sampling regional wines at local wineries and enjoying the area´s distinct cultural traditions.
From there, we progress toward the Bolivian border, crossing windswept, colorful terrain. Along the way, you´ll visiting tiny traditional towns and incredible geologic formations.
The Bolivian leg of our Bolivia and Argentina tour features the famous Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt flats), the largest in the world. You´ll enjoy several day in the area, which includes the expansive, pure-white salar, colorful lagoons filled with flamingos, hot springs, geysers, and a haunting train cemetery.
We conclude our Bolivia and Argentina tour in La Paz, to explore the fascinating historic center, the popular neighborhoods of El Alto, and enjoy views of the surrounding snowcapped peaks from the city´s impressive cable car system.
From there, you´ll have the option to add a visit to Machu Picchu, or continue to your next destination. It is also possible to add extensions to Buenos Aires or Iguazu Falls at the beginning of this itinerary.
Our Bolivia and Argentina tour begins with your international arrival in Lima (Peru), Santiago (Chile) or Buenos Aires (Argentina). From there, Ayni will handle all the details! Continue to your direct flight to Salta, Argentina. Look for the Ayni sign with your last name and the smile. We will escort you to your hotel, and assist with check in.
The Calchaqui Valley is a true gem located in northwest Argentina. After breakfast, depart Salta iand drive through the Lerma Valley toward the beautiful Quebrada Laureles and Escoipe. The landscape slowly changes its shape and color while ascending the majestic Cuesta del Obispo. From there, we enter the National Park Los Cardones, a region of multicolored landscapes and fresh, pure mountain air. Enjoy the tranquility and closeness to nature in this remote spot! We‘ll visit Cachi, a traditonal town where Indian and colonial architecture merge. In the afternoon, following the legendary Route 40, visit the lovely villages of Molinos, Angastaco, Seclanta and the Ascibi caves, before you reach the small town of Cafayate, the heart of the wine production of the province. Overnight in Cafayate.
After a later breakfast, we depart on a tour of a local winery and tasting of the region‘s fabulous regional wines. Torrontés Riojano is the famous local wine, due to a special microclimate in the Calfate Valley. On the way back to Salta, visit the red mountains of the Quebrada de las Conchas, where erosion has created bizarre rock formations. You have several options for photo stops along the way, and for a walk to the Fantasy Castle, the amphitheater, the Quebrada de los Espiritus, and other stunning spots along the way. Overnight in Salta.
Today we follow the train route of the famous “Tren a las Nubes” – the train through the clouds. As we depart Salta, the vegetation becomes sparse as we approach the highland region of Puna. Stop in Santa Rosa de Tastil to visit the ruins of a pre-Inca city. Next, we continue to San Antonio de los Cobres, a small mining village, rich in tradition and history. Behind the village awaits a desert plateau – where you encounter the unreal sureale landscape of salt pans. Again, you are on foot to feel close to the nature and enjoy rich contrast photos. In the afternoon you will arrive to the Cuesta de Lipan before you reach the seven-colored rocks in Pumamarca, a very exceptional natural monument. Overnight Purmamarca.
Small towns, relics of ancient cultures, beautiful rock formations, and the feeling that, at this location, time seems to play no role. These exquisite impressions awaits you in this trip through the Quebrada de Humahuaca. We begin the day with a visit to Tilcara, the “pucara” (fortress), and the connected Archaeological Museum. From there, we continue to Uquía to visit a facinating colonial church. The church is filled with gorgeous antique paintings from the Cuscso School. Finally, we reach the tranquil village of Humahuaca, where you can stroll through the streets and alleys and enjoy the traditional colonial architecture and lovely people before returning to Tilcara. Overnight in Tilcara.
After breakfast, depart for the next exciting leg of your Bolivia and Argentina tour. Relax and enjoy the beautiful Andean landscape until the Bolivian border crossing at La Quiaca. Your Bolivian guide will be waiting at the station to accompany you through immigration and customs. From there, continue with your guide and driver through barren highlands and fertile valley regions, to the temperate valleys around the small town of Tupiza. Overnight in Tupiza.
Today we’ll explore the natural areas surrounding Tupiza. Picturesque places – a combination of magnificent, multi-colored rock formations, river valleys, canyons and mountain ranges-fill the day. First is the imposing rock massif El Angosto and Entre Ríos. Next, continue to Quebrada Seca to observe landscapes of colorful and unusual rock formations, such as the Canyon del Duende. After a stop for lunch, continue to the Quebrada de Palmira for views of Devil’s Door “La Puerta del Diablo”, Valle de los Machos and the impressive Quebrada de Palala, where an upright rock wall resembles an enormous cathedral. In the late afternoon, return to Tupiza to board the Andes Express train “Expreso del Sur” to Uyuni. Overnight in Uyuni.
Today we will have an unforgettable trip through fantastic landscapes of salt; prepare your camera! The blinding white of Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats) resembles an immense glacier. In winter, when the surface hardens, geometric figures are formed by the crystalized salt. In summer, the saline desert becomes a gigantic mirror that melts into the pure blue sky. We
enter flats through Colchani, where we will visit an artisanal salt factory for a talk about the salt that dominates the town’s life & economy. Next, enjoy the privilege of visiting Incahuasi Island, filled with giants cacti and featuring extraordinary 360 degree views of the flats. We’ll break for a box lunch, then head for Tunupa Volcano. We ascend the volcano by 4×4 for impressive views of the flats and ¨chullpares¨ – rock graves, which are old burials sites of ancient mummies. Overnight Accommodation at Hotel Tayka de Sal.
Today is dedicated us to the area of the flats ignored by tourism, known as the ¨Salar Sensual¨. Our first stop is Ch’jini, a place little visited by the tourism despite of its incredible beauty. Here, we ascend to the “Cathedral”, a rock formation with ruins that are thought to be from the Tiwanaco civilization. The ascent to the crest of the “Cathedral” is easy and safe, with the reward of one of the most exceptional viewpoints in the world. Next, we visit the Ch’jini caves, the product of subaquatic geologic formation. Continuing on toward the dominant figure of the active Volcano Ollagüe, will head toward a bouquet of colorful mountain lakes: The lagoons of Cañapa, Hedionda, Chiarkota, Honda and Ramaditas, most or all with a number of flamingoes. photograph great quantity of flamingos.
Depart at dawn for Eduardo Avaroa Reserve. The first stop is ¨Laguna Colorada¨ (Red Lagoon), to observe its large flamingo population. From there continue to the geysers of Sol de Mañana and the ¨Laguna Verde¨ (the Green Lagoon) at the feet of the Licancabur Volcano, another pearl of the Reserve. In one of its corners we will be able to take a bath in the hot springs of Polques before beginning the return trip to Uyuni for a short flight to La Paz. Overnight La Paz.
Day 11: International flight home or Peru Extension
At the appropriate time, return transfer to the La Paz airport for your international flight home, or continue to Cusco for our optional Machu Picchu Extension.
Morning flight home, or on to your next destination!