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Laguna Colorada

High Deserts of Bolivia & Chile

Example 10 Day Tour
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Discover the mystical beauty and inspiring geology of the High Deserts of Bolivia and Chile. Travel from Bolivia's capital city, La Paz, to Sun and Moon Islands on Lake Titicaca. Explore Lake Titicaca, South America's largest and the world's highest navigable lake. Then journey through an extreme geography of deserts, mountains, canyons, and lagoons from Bolivia into Chile. Visit the largest salt desert in the world, Salar de Uyuni. Travel over the border to witness the fantastic colorful display of the Valley of the Moon at sunset. Visit the altiplanic lagoons Mescanti & Meñiques and spend a day visiting the Tatio Geysers. The opportunities to explore this region are endless.
Bolivia's stunning Laguna VerdeFlamingos in Bolivia's Salt FlatsThe extensive salt falts of Salar de UyuniA magnificent sunset over Atacama's ValleyIsland of the Sun. BoliviaWoman jumping! Salar de UyuniLaguna Colorada
  • Explore Sun and Moon Islands on Lake Titicaca
  • Tour the world's largest salt flat, Solar de Uyuni
  • Visit the altiplanic lagoons Mescanti & Meñiques
  • Discover the mystical beauty of the Uyuni and Atacama
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive La Paz

Arrive to La Paz where you are met and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy your first day free to explore the city on your own. You can also arrange for a guided day tour today!

Day 2: La Paz City | Moon Valley Tour

La Paz is set within an awe-inspiring frame of snowcapped mountains which gives this city the honor as the highest capital in the world. La Paz is a city of contrasts with ancient and modern structures protected by the "Guardian of La Paz", Mount Illimani.

This afternoon with your guide you visit the Plaza Murillo, where the cathedral and the Government Palace are located. Continue to the famous San Francisco Church founded in 1549 and a great area for traditional handicrafts and artwork. You will also visit the Mirador Killi Killi, one of La Paz’s most impressive viewpoints featuring dramatic panoramic views of the city.

The tour continues to Obrajes, Calacoto, and La Florida residential areas in the south and the well-known Moon Valley, where erosion has given place to the most exotic and curious surface forms. Later you will take the Cable Car system known as Mi Teleférico, a public transit system that will takes us to new heights. Operating at 4000 m (13,000 ft) above sea level, the world’s highest cable car ride has revolutionized the way locals travel between La Paz and neighbor city El Alto.

End your tour in the popular Witches’ Market located in the center of the city. You can explore this open-air market where the vendors offer medicinal dried herbs, seeds, llama fetuses and many others used in rituals.

Day 3: Sun Island on Lake Titicaca

Early morning transfer by private vehicle with your guide to Copacabana (approximately 3 hours). From here, board a boat and head toward Sun Island (1 hour ride). The Sun Island is worshipped as the birthplace of Manco Kápac and Mama Ocllo, the first founders of the Inca Empire. With your guide, tour the Pilkokaina Palace, the Inca’s Fountain, and the 200 stairs of Yumani. Savor a traditional athapi lunch (a picnic with local cuisine) followed by about an hour long uphill walk to the La Estancia Lodge, your home for the evening. Enjoy dinner and the sunset on Lake Titicaca.

Day 4: Copacabana | Return to La Paz

This morning return by boat to Copacabana. Visit this picturesque town situated between two mountains on the shores of Lake Titicaca. Explore the Inca sites outside of the city as well as the cathedral with its dark Virgin of Candelaria statue and museum of European and local religious art. Travelers interested in a workout can climb El Calvario and enjoy a spectacular view of Lake Titicaca and Copacabana. Return to La Paz in the afternoon.

Day 5: Fly to Uyuni | Salar de Uyuni

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Take an early flight to Uyuni, a village on the edge of the world’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni. You have a full day of touring this unique landscape. On the way out of town you can explore the Uyuni train cemetery and learn about the production of salt bricks in the village of Colchani. Visit Huasi Island, a bizarre island surrounded by salt and studded caves cacti, some standing almost 30 feet tall. 

Day 6: Laguna Colorada

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, head out in a 4-wheel drive vehicle to explore the Lakes Canapa, Hedionda, Chaircota and the infamous Laguna Colorada (Red Lagoon). The lake has a deep orange – red hue from red algae and other microorganisms that thrive in the water. Surrounding the lake are large white deposits of borax, rolling grasslands, and purple mountains. With luck you can see Puna Flamingos (also known as James’ Flamingo), a rare bird, native to the Andes and Altiplano. 

Day 7: Green Lagoon | San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Today is an early morning, to make the drive over the border into Chile. On the way you can explore the sunrise geysers, and the Valle de Dali, named after the famous surrealist artist, Salvador Dali because of its unusual landscape. Then on to Laguna Verde, just on the Chilean border with great views of Licancabur Volcano rising above. From there arrive to the border of Bolivia and Chile at Hito Cajón. Your guide helps you present your immigration papers and connect you with the bus to San Pedro de Atacama. Once you arrive in San Pedro de Atacama you are met by a local representative and taken to your lodge or hotel. Once you are settled into your room, you set off to explore. Afterwards, visit the giant sand dunes and polychromatic rock formations of the Valley of the Moon.

Day 8-9: Explore the Atacama Desert

Over the next two days explore the beautiful blue waters of the altiplanic lagoons Mescanti and Meñiques. A typical day has you departing after breakfast and returning in the mid-afternoon, leaving plenty of time to enjoy a good book, relax in the shade of the garden, or take a dip in the lodge's swimming pool. Be prepared though to rise early for the excursion to El Tatio Geysers! Here you can watch the sunrise over the world's highest geyser field. As the dawn breaks, you are treated to a stunning sight of steaming geysers set against the azure-colored antiplano backdrop. A short hike around the geothermal field brings you to the thermal pools - take care where you tread so as to avoid falling through the thin crust!

Day 10: Return Home

Depart from the lodge and return to Calama airport to fly on to your next adventure or return to Santiago to fly home. With extra time in Atacama, you can visit a stone craftsmen village, Atacama's salt flats, volcanoes, lagoons, and other wonderful and otherworldly landscapes.


Atacama Desert - Hotels

Sun Island - Hotels

La Paz - Hotels

Salar De Uyuni - Hotels

Dates & Prices

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  • 9 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 1 Dinner
  • 9 Nights Accommodations
  • 2 Days Locally Hosted Guide Service
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Entrance Fee(s) in Bolivia
  • Bilingual guide
  • Towels and mineral water
  • Entrance Fee: El Tatio Geyser
  • Private transfer (with guide)
  • View the Documents Tab in MyTrips for your Atacama Desert Packing List
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Airport Departure Tax
  • Bolivian visa
  • Internal Flight: La Paz - Uyuni
  • Internal Flight: Calama - Santiago 


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.


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