Duration: 15 Days – 14 Nights
The Uyuni Salt Flats & Machu Picchu Tour starts in Peru and you will have the pleasure of exploring the historic districts of Lima and the Saint Francis Monastery. Walk the cobblestones of the serene Santa Catalina Convent in Arequipa known as the city within a city. Be amazed watching the Andean Condors soar wild and free over the amazing backdrop of the Colca Canyon and enjoy the uniqueness of life on the tranquil islands of Lake Titicaca. From Peru, you will head to Bolivia to the captivating city of La Paz. You can make purchases in the witches’ market and hear all about the history of the coca leaf. Our Uyuni Salt Flats & Machu Picchu Tour will take you through spectacular national parks and the natural wonders of the Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve, stone trees and geothermal fields. From the captivating salt flats of Uyuni to the hilltop fortress of Machu Picchu you will have the opportunity to visit many important archaeological sites in and around Cusco and the Sacred Valley. The Uyuni Salt Flats and Machu Picchu Tour showcases the best of both Peru and Bolivia in this unforgettable trip.
DAY 1. The cosmopolitan capital of Peru: Lima
The tour starts as soon as you arrive at Jorge Chavez Airport in Lima. You will be met in person by a Perú InsideOut travel agent and taken to your hotel. You will spend an enjoyable first night in the Peru’s vibrant neighborhood of Miraflores.
DAY 2. Historic district of Lima – Arequipa
Following breakfast, you will be greeted by your tour guide at approximately 9.00 AM. You will then embark on a thought-provoking tour of Lima which includes the historic center (UNESCO heritage), the main square and Government Palace. Visit the prestigious suburb of Miraflores and the baroque-style building of Saint Francis Convent and its catacombs. Rumor has it that over 75,000 bodies are buried under the convent. After your tour of Lima, you will transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Arequipa, otherwise known as the White City. You will be taken to your hotel where you can relish in the hospitality of this beautiful city.
DAY 3. Colonial city and UNESCO site of Arequipa
After breakfast, explore the elegant downtown area of Arequipa, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000. You can appreciate the sights and sounds of Plaza de Armas, visit the church of Compañia de Jesus and browse the colorful fresh fruit and vegetable market of San Camilo. You can see native alpacas and observe the history and importance of the wool trade at Mundo Alpaca. You also have the opportunity to wander the streets of the stunning Santa Catalina Convent, which is essentially a small city built behind walls. The convent has been inhabited by the nuns of the Dominican of the Second Order for hundreds of years. Even today it still operates as a functioning convent, and you can’t help but feel inspired by the fascinating setting. Enjoy your last night in Arequipa.
DAY 4. Andean heritage at Colca Valley
Get ready for an unbelievable day ahead. After breakfast, you will begin the journey to Colca Canyon passing many alpacas, vicunas and llamas grazing in the fields. You will stop in Chivay for a typical Andean buffet lunch and take photos at various vantage points along the way, From the Andean View point you will be able to get a marvelous view of the volcanoes surrounding the area. Spend a peaceful night in the quiet Peruvian village of Chivay.
DAY 5. The best of Colca Canyon
Today you will visit the Andean villages of Maca and Yanque after a delicious and hearty breakfast. You will have the opportunity to stop at the infamous condor lookout to see the Colca Canyon and the majestic Andean Condors flying around in their natural habitat. You will pause for a bit in Chivay for a buffet lunch before catching a bus to Puno. Admire the scenery as you drive to Puno to settle into your accommodation.
DAY 6. Lake Titicaca – Uros Islands – Taquile Textile Heritage
After breakfast, you will take the boat to Uros Islands and see how the locals live on their man-made floating reed islands. You will then sail to the neighboring island of Taquile on the calm waters of the lake to see the UNESCO protected art of traditional textile weaving. You can even buy some unique hand-woven souvenirs to remind you of your visit. Following a delicious lunch on the scenic island, you will return to Puno and transfer to your hotel where you will stay the night.
DAY 7. Welcome to Bolivia
Today is an exciting day, as after breakfast you will depart for the bus station to board your bus to La Paz in Bolivia. Although it is known as the highest administrative capital in the world at an altitude of 3,640 meters, it is actually slightly lower than Puno which sits at 3,827 meters above sea level. Even so, it is always wise to take it easy at such altitudes. You will transfer to your hotel where you can relax and acclimatize to life in Bolivia. There is also the possibility to upgrade today’s tour with a trip to the pre-Columbian archaeological site of Tiwanaku (optional).
DAY 8. The amazing salt flats of Uyuni
This morning you will board another flight which will take you to the unforgettable town of Uyuni. Here you will get to visit the magical salt flats and take some very creative photos to remind you of your visit. You will also have the chance to stop by the train cemetery to see the rusted and decaying trains which have been left to remind passersby of how important the mining and railway industries were to this area. You will visit the salt making facilities in Colchani where they produce table salt before heading to Incahuasi Island. Incahuasi is basically a large hilly outcrop situated directly on the salt flats. The site sits on an ancient volcano which was once covered by a prehistoric lake and is now covered in giant cacti. After an amazing day of sightseeing and learning, you will be taken back to your hotel.
DAY 9. Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve – Arbol de Piedra and Colorada Lagoon
Today is another exhilarating day, you will view the natural sites as Ollagua Volcano and the Salar de Chiguana. You will be able to observe the three types of flamingos that live in the area around the three lagoons. You can also admire the isolated stone tree in Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve which shows just how spectacular Mother Nature can be. Colorada Lagoon will be a highlight of your day as you appreciate the redness of the saltwater lake in the southwest altiplano. Lunch and dinner are included in the itinerary today, and you can relax in the hotel after your busy day.
DAY 10. Geothermal Field – Laguna Blanca – Laguna Verde – Uyuni
After breakfast, you can embark on a morning walk to see the sunrise and the geothermal field known as Sol de Mañana. Eruptions from the sulphur springs can often reach great heights of up to 50 meters in the early morning sun, which is a sight in itself. Next up is the hot springs of Polques. Here, the thermal waters maintain an even 28 to 30-degree temperature regardless of the weather outdoors, and it has been known to cure the odd ailment or two. Get ready for the wondrous sight of the Dali Desert which is named after the great artist, Salvador Dali himself. You will notice that the landscape looks like it has popped directly out of one of Dali’s surrealist paintings. Next, you will be taken to Laguna Blanca and Laguna Verde to admire the setting of the two salt lakes and the flora and fauna which live nearby. You will then be escorted back to Uyuni for direct transfer to the airport. You will catch your flight back to La Paz where you will stay the night.
DAY 11. Markets and museums of La Paz
Today you will tour the cultural city of La Paz, known as the city that reaches up to the sky. You will start with the Coca Museum to learn more about the amazing coca plant and its fascinating history. Enjoy a walk through Plaza Murillo which is surrounded by imposing historical buildings on all sides including the Presidential Palace and the Cathedral. If you are curious about natural medicine and magic, then take advantage of the tour to Mercado de Brujas, the Witches’ Market. We can’t guarantee what you will find, but you will definitely be in for a treat. Relax and take in the busy setting of La Paz in the evening, your final night in Bolivia.
DAY 12. Return to Peru – UNESCO sites of Cusco
After breakfast, you will board a scheduled flight back to Peru. You will land in the ancient Inca capital of Cusco and be transferred to the hotel. After you have settled in, you will be taken on an eye-opening city tour and given the opportunity to visit Koricancha, the most important temple of the Inca Empire. The temple was subsequently demolished by the Spanish, and it is here you will learn more about the history and see where the church of Santo Domingo was built directly on the site. You will also tour the Inca ruins of Puca Pucara, Tambomachay, Kenko, Sacsayhuaman and take in the local delights of San Pedro market. You will stay the night in this impressive city after a very busy day.
DAY 13. Gems of Sacred Valley
Following breakfast, you will be driven to the quaint town of Chinchero renowned for its fabulous textiles and crafts. You will then continue to Moray to admire the distinctive and circular Inca terraces. It is believed that this was once an agricultural research center where the Incas experimented with crops. From here you will visit Maras and the beautiful landscapes of the Sacred Valley to see the salt fields. You will then be driven to Ollantaytambo, an Inca Fortress and archaeological site and later you will board the train to Aguas Calientes, the drop-off point for your tour to Machu Picchu. You will be met by a guide who will explain tomorrow’s visit to the ruins. The evening will be spent in the busy little town of Aguas Calientes surrounded by mountains in every direction.
DAY 14. Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu.
Breakfast is early today as you make your way up the mountain by bus to the magnificent citadel of Machu Picchu which was built in the 15th Century. You will be taken on a guided tour of the ruins and given ample time to take photographs of the panoramic scenery. Machu Picchu is the most well-known of the Inca sites and one of the most magnificent. It is difficult to even imagine how the Incas were able to construct such substantial dry-stone walls without the use of any mortar. After your visit, you will return to the town of Aguas Calientes by bus to board the train back to Ollantaytambo. You will then be driven back to Cusco where you will spend your last night of the tour. Here you can relax in style and sip on a Pisco Sour or two to celebrate an eventful holiday.
DAY 15. Cusco – Lima
After breakfast, you will be taken to the airport to board your flight back to Lima. Say goodbye to your new friends and tour guide as you finish up your exciting 15-day tour of Peru and Bolivia.
The Tour Includes
- Private transfers to and from the airport or bus terminal
- Transportation by road and boat as mentioned in the program
- Air tickets:
- La Paz–Uyuni
- Uyuni–La Paz
- La Paz–Cusco
- All excursions included on the program (unless optional)
- Hotel acomodation
- Lunches: Colca Canyon(2), Taquile, Urubamba, Uyuni(3)
- Dinner: Uyuni(2)
- Private service: professional English/Spanish guide
- Lima: City Tour, San Francisco Convent
- Arequipa: Santa Catalina Monastery, Alpaca World, San Camilo market
- Cusco: Kenko, Tambomachay, Puca Pucara, Sacsayhuaman, Koricancha, San Pedro Market
- Sacred Valley
- Machu Picchu
- La Paz
- Group service with professional guide in English/Spanish:
- Colca Canyon
- Lake Titicaca: Uros & Taquile Island
- Uyuni Salt Flats excursion (Driver-Guide)
- International and national airfares to and from Peru
- International departure taxes at airports
- Huayna Pichu USD $30
- Other meals
- Personal expenses, such as telephone bills, laundry expenses, beverages, etc.
- Insurance against theft and/or loss
- Other extras not specified
Price of the Tour (per person) USD$ 2790