NORTHERN ANDES Self Driving Tour
NORTHERN ANDES 8 days, 7 nights
San Pedro de Atacama ↠ Tilcara ↠ La Quiaca ↠ Salar de Uyuni
↠ San Juan ↠ Laguna Colorada ↠ San Pedro de Atacama
Forget the stress of everyday life, take a little break to spend a few days in fabulous landscapes !
8 days of total change of scenery on the heights of the Altiplano, at the crossroads of 3 countries : Chile, Argentina, Bolivia.
Varied landscapes, sometimes lunar, sometimes multicolored, always wild and of incredible beauty. Constantly, we have a bright blue sky, the sun which warms us during the day and the restful silence of the Altiplano.
We ride at the foot of majestic volcanoes covered with eternal snow peaking at more than 5000 meters above sea level, along colorful lagoons where flamingos pose for us, while llamas and guanacos observe us in the distance !
We truly believe that we are on another planet, where nature, wild and extraordinarily beautiful, reigns supreme...
* The Salar de Uyuni, the largest, the most beautiful, the flattest, the most transparent, superlatives are missing to describe the "sky mirror"...
* The Chilean Altiplano, exceptional setting of volcanoes and lagoons
* The Quebrada de Humahuaca, living heart of the Andean civilization, with its typical villages, its imperturbable natives, its ruins and its mountain with 7 colors, ...
* The ascents and descents in laces between the valleys and the Altiplano, with very changing landscapes and temperatures
* Walk and dine in San Pedro de Atacama
* Stop in typical towns and villages to soak up their sweet atmosphere, discover local habits and customs, meet locals, ... return to civilization !
* Sleep in Salt Hotels, including a luxurious one in the middle of Salar de Uyuni
* Sleep in a Hotel Refuge at 4400 meters above sea level in Laguna Colorada
* Attend the sunrise spectacle on the Geysers of Sol de la Mañana at an altitude of 4850 meters
* Take a bath in Thermal waters at 30ºC at 3300 meters above sea level
Calama A - San Pedro de Atacama B (101 km)
San Pedro de Atacama - Tilcara C (436 km)
Tilcara - Iruya D - La Quiaca E (296 km)
La Quiaca - Uyuni F (330 km)
Uyuni - San Juan G (300 km)
San Juan - Laguna Colorada H (260 km)
Laguna Colorada - S.P. Atacama B (260 km)
San Pedro de Atacama - Calama A (101 km)
GUIDE AND ASSISTANCE VEHICLE : Yes or No ?
* The guide is permanently at the disposition of the group.
* The guide speaks several languages, including necessarily English and the language of the country, this can be useful if you do not master it enough.
* The guide knows the route and opens the convoy with the assistance vehicle, stopping at the best points of view. You are then free to follow him or go solo, to meet the group later in the day or in the evening at the hotel.
* The assistance vehicle carries the first aid kit, any excess baggage, a container of fuel, engine oil,...
* If necessary, the guide activates external services (insurance, mechanical repair, rescue,...).
* The guide takes care of check-in and check-out in hotels, restaurant orders, border crossing procedures, access to national parks, tourist sites and any other means of transport (local taxis, boat, plane),...
* Last but not least... the guide tells you about the country, the regions crossed, or even the places visited (when there is no local professional guide).
Note : For any convoy of 6 or more vehicles (excluding assistance vehicle opening the convoy), another assistance vehicle is included, which closes the convoy.
But... If you prefer adventure alone or in a small closed group and you speak the language of the country, you can do without a guide and assistance vehicle. You will have maps and GPS in the car, the same advanced logistics (vehicle rental, hotels, local guides, other means of transport,...), and a 24-hour hotline to resolve any unforeseen event.
Comfortable single, double, twin or triple suites or apartments with breakfast included and personalized customer service
Charming Hotels, Spas and Resorts in quiet and lovely areas, preferably surrounded by nature
History & Culture
We all fall in love with the indigenous culture and traditions of this region !
The Atacameños, people of the desert
The Atacama Desert seems an unlikely place for early human habitation. However, the fact is that human settlements in Atacama date back over 6,000 years, and evidence of human activity dates back over 10,000 years.
An indigenous woman in a traditional village of the Atacama Desert
Local crafts are an important activity, which benefits from the development of tourism, but it has always existed. Historically, with their weaving looms, Andean women have been manufacturing multicolored wool-based clothing to withstand low temperatures, which they then sell on stalls or on markets.
The local craft stalls at Tilcara municipal market are worth a visit. Tilcara is one of the oldest permanently inhabited places in Argentina. The city's rich indigenous culture and the spectacular mountains that surround it make this small town a very attractive destination in Argentina.
Crossing medium-sized cities, rarely interesting from a historical, architectural and above all aesthetic point of view, on the other hand allows you to taste the excitement of city life, in total contrast with the absolute calm that reigns on the Altiplano. They honk their horns, they jostle... We follow with interest the comings and goings of the natives.
For example, La Quiaca, border town between Argentina and Bolivia, is a dry, windy, often freezing place, where native travelers come from distant villages to trade on the downtown open-air market, often dressed in vibrant traditional clothing.
The Salar de Uyuni is more than just a blindingly white expanse.
The extraterrestrial landscapes and surrounding surreal deserts have become a legitimate highlight of the tourist route in South America. However, visiting these remote regions can be a challenge, especially for the altitude which causes nausea and extreme isolation.
The Salar is a real paradise for photographers, offering the possibility of taking fun perspective photos…
While enjoying fantastic landscapes, we can also feast on delicious local gastronomy !