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Atacama, Salt Flats & Gauchos Northbound - 21 Days

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days 21 US$ 1,585 US$ 1,474
SavingUS$ 111
highlights
  • Santiago - Chile's cosmopolitan capital. Free time to explore the city on your own
  • Mendoza - Argentina's wine capital at the foot of the Andes mountains. Opt to visit some of the many vineyards in the region or go white water rafting in the Mendoza River
  • Estancia stay - spend three nights at a unique cattle ranch in Argentina, learn all about being a gaucho and go horseriding
  • Cafayate - visit the impressive rock formations of 'El Amphiteatro' and 'La Garganta del Diablo'
The Atacama, Salt Flats & Gauchos Northbound - 21 Days tour starts in Santiago and ends in La Paz. The Atacama, Salt Flats & Gauchos Northbound - 21 Days is an Explorer tour that takes 21 days taking you from Santiago to La Paz and through other destinations in South America.

From Santiago in Chile spend an amazing 3 weeks on an overland adventure heading north to La Paz in Bolivia. Explore Argentinean vineyards and stay at a gaucho ranch, marvel at the spectacular scenery of the Atacama Desert and discover the dazzling Uyuni Salt Flats.
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Welcome to Chile! Make your own way to our centrally located joining hostel. Tonight at 6pm we have an important group meeting where you will get the chance to meet others in your group and the crew. Day 2 is free to explore this fascinating city and partake in the optional activities available.
Meals
  • Breakfast
OverNight
  • Santiago (2)
Santiago - Mendoza (Argentina). Heading into Argentina on day 3 we pass Aconcagua (highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere) and across the Cristo Redentor pass up in the high Andes as we head to Mendoza, Argentina's wine capital. Day 4 is free for us to explore the region at leisure. Our accommodation in Mendoza is a centrally located hostel.
Meals
  • Breakfast
OverNight
  • Mendoza (2)
Mendoza - Cordoba. This morning we have an early start and after breakfast continue our drive to the lively university city of Cordoba, located at the heart of the Argentinian sierras. This evening is free to explore and soak up Cordoba's vibrant atmosphere or enjoy its excellent nightlife.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Cordoba - Estancia. We drive to a unique Anglo-Argentine Estancia, or cattle ranch on day 6, where we stay for the next three nights at a camp near the main house. This Estancia is a working ranch farming prized Argentinian Aberdeen Angus cattle and has been in the same family for four generations. Here we experience the traditional hospitality of the ranching community and enjoy an Argentine BBQ called an asado on one of our nights here. We also enjoy an evening of traditional music, a wine tasting of local produce and the chance to learn how to lasso. What's more, there are daily horseback riding excursions into the surrounding hills that'll make you feel like a true gaucho in no time.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
OverNight
  • Estancia (3)
Estancia - Tafi del Valle. Today we will drive north across the lush flat pampas and start climbing into the drier mountains and onto Tafi del Valle, nestled in the valleys of the Sierra del Aconquija. We'll set up camp in a basic campsite for the night.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tafi del Valle - Cafayate. Today we will have an included visit to the ancient ruins of the indigenous city of Quilmes en route, then arrive in the serene town of Cafayate. This small unassuming town is the centre of one of Argentina's principal wine producing regions, famous for the quality of its Torrentes and Tannat wines! We will have the opportunity to go to a few of the vineyards nearby to see how the wine is made, and of course to try them! In Cafayate we stay at a campsite with good facilities.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
OverNight
  • Cafayate (2)
Cafayate - Salta. Departing Cafayate we drive through the incredible rock formations of the Quebrada de las Conchas en route to Salta on day 12. Day 13 is at leisure to explore Salta. Salta has a number of interesting museums and stunning surrounding hills which are great to explore by bike or on foot. You could always take a cable car to the San Bernardo Hill viewpoint or the famous Train to the Clouds for some impressive mountain scenery.
Meals
  • Breakfast
OverNight
  • Salta (2)
Salta - San Pedro de Atacama (Chile). It is a long drive day across the mighty Andes as we depart Argentina at the Paso Jamo border and cross into Chile on day 14 towards our destination for the evening - San Pedro de Atacama.
Meals
  • Breakfast
OverNight
  • San Pedro de Atacama (2)
San Pedro de Atacama - Altiplano. In the morning we depart our hostel and continue our journey to the desert oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama. We make our first stop for plenty of photographs and enjoy lunch at the famous El Tatio Geysers, which are the world’s highest at an elevation of 4,300 metres. Our afternoon finds us driving through the stunning Reserva Nacional Alto Loa before reaching our destination for the evening. Tonight's camp is a remote bush camp with no facilities.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
OverNight
  • Bush camp close to the Bolivian border
Altiplano - Uyuni. Today we drive south to Uyuni, the gateway to the incredible salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni. We spend the night in a friendly hotel, famous for serving the highest pizzas in the world!
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Today we spend a full day exploring the incredible landscape of the Salar de Uyuni by jeep and on foot. Stretching for 12,000 square kilometres, the blinding white crystals of the salt flats reflect the sky perfectly, making the horizon disappear. We visit the nearby train graveyard and the cactus-filled 'Fish Island' en route, with plenty of time throughout the day to get some perspective-bending photographs.
Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Uyuni - La Paz. Today we will leave Cochabamba and drive north to La Paz, Bolivia’s seat of government and the highest administrative capital in the world. Day 20 is at leisure in La Paz. Why not explore the famous witches market, take an optional excursion to visit the Tiahuanacu Inca Ruins or go mountain biking on the 'World's Most Dangerous Road'. See Trip Notes for more information on optional activities on offer in La Paz.
Meals
  • Breakfast
OverNight
  • La Paz (2)
Our incredible journey comes to an end in La Paz this morning. If you would like to extend your stay in Santiago we can arrange post tour accommodation upon request.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
Accommodation
  • 7 nights multishare hostels, 7 nights camping (including 2 nights wild camping) and 6 nights simple hotels
  • Spend 3 nights at a traditional estancia (ranch) with gauchos
Meals
  • 20 breakfasts, 8 lunches & 7 dinners.
Transport
  • Transportation in an overland expedition vehicle and 4x4
Guide
  • Services of two crew and local guides along the way
Others
  • Day trip on the surreal Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats including the Uyuni train graveyard
  • Visit the incredible Moon Valley and the El tatio geysers in the mountains above the Atacama desert
  • Visit the impressive rock formations of 'El Amphiteatro' and 'La Garganta del Diablo'.
  • Visit the ancient ruins of the indigenous city of Quilmes en route.
what’s excluded
  • Items of a personal nature, additional meals and drinks
  • International flights and visas
  • Tipping – an entirely personal gesture
  • Sleeping bag and roll mat - please bring your own for camping
  • Local payment - $830pp, paid in USD
Tour details
Duration 21 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 20 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Santiago, Chile/ La Paz, Bolivia
Availability
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Payment

A deposit of 400 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 59 days before departure. For any departures within 14 September 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Atacama, Salt Flats & Gauchos Northbound - 21 Days tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Atacama, Salt Flats & Gauchos Northbound - 21 Days tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Atacama, Salt Flats & Gauchos Northbound - 21 Days tour. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 59 days of departure.
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