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Northern Chile Highlights (8 days / 7 nts)

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Places Visited:
v/   Arica
v/   Putre
v/   Iquique
v/   Atacama
Price from $1,207
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A self-drive around the marvels of northern Chile: the northern altiplano, Lauca National Park and down to the Atacama desert
Day 1:Arrive in Arica - Codpa Valley (135 km / 84 mi)
Day 2:Codpa Valley - Putre (3.500 m/11.483 ft above sea level) (160 km/100 mi)
Day 3:Putre - Lauca National Park - Arica (200 km / 125 mi)
Day 4:Arica - Iquique (300 km / 186 mi)
Day 5:Iquique - San Pedro de Atacama (550 km / 342 mi)
Day 6:Salar de Atacama and Moon Valley (100 km / 62 mi)
Day 7:El Tatio and Puritama (4.321 m/14.177 ft above sea level)(94 km / 58 mi)
Day 8:San Pedro – Fly out from Calama (100 km/62 mi to Calama)


Hotels used in this tour
(hotels can be changed on request for most tours)
Codpa Valley Lodge
Codpa Valley Lodge
Codpa Valley
Codpa s/n Pueblo, Camarones
16 rooms
click to see Trip Advisor report Hotel website
Terrace Lodge
Terrace Lodge
Arica
Circunvalacion no. 25
5 rooms
click to see Trip Advisor report Hotel website
Diego de Almagro Arica
Diego de Almagro Arica
Arica
Ingeniero Raul Pey Casado 3105
166 rooms
click to see Trip Advisor report Hotel website
Radisson Hotel Iquique
Radisson Hotel Iquique
Iquique
Arturo Prat 3939
78 rooms
click to see Trip Advisor report Hotel website
Casa de Don Tomas
Casa de Don Tomas
San Pedro de Atacama
Tocopilla s/n
30 rooms
click to see Trip Advisor report Hotel website
Day 1:  Arrive in Arica - Codpa Valley (135 km / 84 mi)
Pick up your car at the airport or the downtown rental office. el Morro, a steep hill to the south of Arica centre is a great place to visit on your way out of the city. You will see part of the Azapa Valley, a fertile valley where olives, tomatoes, and tropical fruits are grown. it is famous for its archaeological sites that date back to the 10th century AD and for the archaeological and anthropological museum "san Miguel de Azapa". From Azapa drive back to the Panamerican highway and turn south in direction of iquique. After approx. 65 km turn left on route A 35 entering the Codpa Valley. A pristine and still untouched highland valley. Overnight in the Codpa Valley lodge.
Day 2:  Codpa Valley - Putre (3.500 m/11.483 ft above sea level) (160 km/100 mi)
The scenic route that waits for you today will take you to great heights visiting the petroglyphs of ofargía and passing through the villages of timar, tignamar, saxamar, Belen and Chaquipiña. Zapahuira was a strategically important trading post for the inca empire and situated at route 11 that connects Arica with Putre. The highland village of Putre is located at an altitude of 3500 m / 11,483 ft above sea level and you will be amazed at the sights of snow-capped volcano peaks when you enter the valley under the same name. Prehispanic Putre is the capital of the Parinacota Province. Overnight in Putre.

(Included meals: breakfast).
Day 3:  Putre - Lauca National Park - Arica (200 km / 125 mi)
On this day you will discover the captivating beauty of the lauca National Park with its impressive variety of exotic flora and wildlife such as vicuñas, alpacas, Andean flamingos, as well as other species. in the park you will be able to visit lake Chungará, the highest lake in the world, and the village of Parinacota with its beautiful church. in the afternoon, you will enjoy the views on the llutha valley while you descend slowly to sea level. Overnight in Arica.

(Included meals: breakfast)
Day 4:  Arica - Iquique (300 km / 186 mi)
After breakfast you will head southwards and experience the dry desert "Pampa" at 1.000 – 1.200 m /3,280 – 3,940 ft above sea level. Various deep canyons intersect this high and dry plain. You will then enter the region around Iquique where the 19th century saltpetre boom left its marks. Overnight in Iquique.

(Included meals: breakfast)
Day 5:  Iquique - San Pedro de Atacama (550 km / 342 mi)
For most of this long ride, you will be heading south through the Pampa del Tamarugal before you turn east to the famous Atacama Desert. During the whole trip roads will be paved. Overnight in San Pedro de Atacama.

(Included meals: breakfast)
Day 6:  Salar de Atacama and Moon Valley (100 km / 62 mi)
San Pedro de Atacama once was the center of the Atacama civilization; the museum Padre le Paige in the centre of town has a collection of over 380,000 exhibits, including mummies discovered in this area. We recommend visiting the Salar de Atacama, the largest of the Chilean salt lakes in the morning or early afternoon (100 km/62 mi from San Pedro). Then drive to the Moon Valley. When the sun sets on this rocky landscape, its colors will be just impressive. Overnight in San Pedro.

(Included meals: breakfast)
Day 7:  El Tatio and Puritama (4.321 m/14.177 ft above sea level)(94 km / 58 mi)
After an early start (about 04.00 a.m.) you will be able to visit the El Tatio Geysers, a geothermal field flanked by soaring Andean peaks at an altitude of 4,321 m/14,177 ft above sea level. At dawn, powerful spurts of steam shoot out of various blowholes. After your visit to the geysers, you will drive back to San Pedro; on your way you can visit the Hot Springs of Puritama to relax and warm up in the beautiful thermal baths. Overnight in San Pedro.

(Included meals: breakfast)
Day 8:  San Pedro – Fly out from Calama (100 km/62 mi to Calama)
After breakfast, you will return your car in Calama airport or city office.

(Included meals: breakfast)
 
Some comments by past clients
 
Roberto G (from Italy)
Laura, Well, the trip itself was really great, everything went smoothly, no problems with the hotels. The organisation did work perfectly. Finally thank you for your cooperation, I know you spent a lot of time for me. Chile was really a great place and we enjoyed very much the logistic you selected. Thank you again. Sincerely, Roberto
 

Itinerary:

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Trip type:
  Private service
Departures:
   Daily