Uyuni Salt Flats, Airstream Campers & Bolivia Highlights

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Run by: Rainbow Tours

Reference number: ITN-BOL002

From: £5430.00

This tour is perfect for those who want to explore Bolvia's most iconic sights. Start in La Paz, situated at a lofty 3600 metres above sea level. This is a city that's buildings cling to the sides of the steep canyon and tumble spectacularly downwards. On clear days you will be able to spot the imposing Mt Illimani which stands guard over the city. The tour also takes in Bolivia's second, and some say most beautiful city, Sucre. The whitewashed buildings, colonial architecture, museums and churches have been protected by UNESCO since 1991.

From here visit Potasi to take in its ornate architecture, grand churches and friendly inhabitants. There is also time to learn about the miners who work here and how the silver ore is extracted to the Earths surface. A short land transfer away lies Salar de Uyuni, a real highlight on this trip. This is the world's largest salt flat, situated at a dizzying 3653m and spanning an enormous 12,000sq km, and is truly one of the world's most awe-inspiring spectacles. While in this region you will stay in the Luna Salada hotel, which is constructed entirely of salt. On the flats themselves, you explore the landscape with a vintage-style Airstream camper, a unique way to experience the Salar de Uyuni. These shiny new 'campers' cater for up to two guests, are fully equipped and include a personal chauffeur/guide. 

Finally, spend time at Lake Titicaca, another record as the highest navigatable lake in the world. Visit the Andean Roots Eco Village and learn about the 'Mystic World of the Kallawaynas' who are natural healers of Bolivia. There is also time for a hydrofoil visit Moon Island, the Sun Virgins Temple 'Inak Uyu' and to Isla del Sol which is one of the lakes largest islands, and has over 180 ruins. 

Itinerary

Day 1 Depart the UK for your overnight flight to La Paz

Day 2 Morning arrival to La Paz, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel downtown. The journey from the airport, though the town of El Alto, allows you a fantastic vista of the city. The deep bowl of the altiplano with Mount Illimani as the backdrop provides a magical setting. Over the years, more and more buildings have appeared on the slopes of the bowl - a chaotic but beautiful sight. La Casona Boutique hotel is one of the few colonial options in the city yet it has a great location close to the San Francisco church and the main highlights such as the Witches Market.

Day 3 Half day city tour visiting the modern and colonial areas. Visit the Witches Market where you can buy many indigenous gifts and Calle Jean, the colourful, colonial street. Continue onto the 'zona sur' area of the city which is the more affluent area at 3200m altitude and the mystical Valley of the Moon. This clay formation is said to resemble the face of the moon and is a truly special vista.

Day 4 Transfer to the airport for the short flight to Sucre in the south of the country. La Ciudad Blanca (the white city) is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the country and also has a milder climate due to its lower altitude. The charming Hostal de su Merced is a converted mansion located in the heart of the city with great views from the rooftop terrace.

Day 5 Half day city tour of Sucre starting at the Textile Museum at the Caseron de la Capellania (House of the Chaplain) which displays a range of ethnic textiles from the region. Visit La Recoleta Museum with its exhibition of colonial an republican paintings, sculptures, gold and silver ware, collections of coins and archealogical items. End the excursion with a visit to San Felipe Nery Church. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 6 Overland transfer to Potosi (approx 3 hours) and overnight at the Hotel Coloso located in the centre of the city close to the cathedrals and museums. Afternoon city tour with a visit to the royal Mint Museum one of the most popular attractions. It is an important example of civil architecture built from carved stone, rough stone, bricks, wood and iron.

Day 7 Morning visit to the mines in Potosi to see how the miners work and how the ore is carried to the surface. Afternoon land transfer to Uyuni with the chance to settle into your Deluxe Airstream Campervan. As the sun sets over this vast white wilderness enjoy a snack washed down with a cold Pacena.

Day 8 Spend two nights explorating the Salar de Uyuni by Airstream Campervan. The experience starts first thing in the morning with breakfast made by your own personal chef. After a visit to the salt museum venture onto the largest salt flat on earth...approx 12,000 square km. The Bolivian Altiplano offers stunning scenery which is truly unique and offer a chance to see the curvature of the earth! Pentagons of crystalline salt, pure blue skies silhouetted with striking cacti and flamingos. Travel to 'Isla Pescado' in the centre of the salt flat which, as its name implies, is shaped like a fish. The whole area provides fantastic opportunities for photography. Today lunch is at a local restaurant and dinner is cooked by your personal chef.

Day 9

Day 10 After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to La Paz. Here you will be met and transferred to Huatajata on the shore of Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Visit the Andean Roots Eco Village which consists of the Altiplano Museum, handicrafts village, the Mud Igloos and the mortuary towers of Urus Chipayas. Learn about the Limachi family who buillt the RA II and Tigris for epic expeditions over the Atlantic Ocean. After lunch at the hotel learn about the 'Mystic World of the Kallawaynas' who are natural healers of Bolivia. Their Kallawaya, Tata Benjo, will bless visitors and answer questions by reading your coca leaves. After dinner visit the Native Observatory Alajpacha to learn about Aymara beliefs of the stars.

Day 11 Board the hydrofoil to visit Moon Island and the Sun Virgins Temple 'Inak Uyu'. Continue to Isla del Sol which is one of the lakes largest islands, and has over 180 ruins most of which date back to the Inca period circa 15th century AD. You will visit Pilcocaina. the Sun Temple and take a soft llama trek to Posada del inca Eco Lodge for lunch. This afternoon is at your leisure and you are free to explore the surroundings and meet the local people. Dinner and overnight at Posada del Inca Eco Lodge

Day 12 Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, this morning is at your leisure. Visit the Inca Grand Stairs and the Sacred Fountain, taste the water which is believed to give you eternal youth and happiness. Lunch will be at Uma Kollu archaeological restaurant. Take the hydrofoil to Moon Island where you will visit the Sun Virgins Temple before continuing on to Huatajata to visit the Andean Roots Eco Village, The Altiplano Museum and the Mud Igloos. From Moon Island you return to La Paz by road. Overnight at La Casona, as before

Day 13 Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK

This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website

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