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Explora Atacama Travesia to Uyuni Tour

Explora also operate a travesía program between explora Atacama and Uyuni, in Bolivia on a 10 night/11 day trip on set dates. Follow routes rarely travelled as you go deep into the Bolivian altiplano and explore its distinctive natural scenery. As you travel the valleys between mountains, you will journey to lakes, wetlands, geothermal plains and important historical and cultural sites. A diverse range of wildlife species inhabit this area, one of the most inhospitable on earth.

colorada lagunaOn Day 5, following 4 nights at explora Atacama, depart early in the morning. You will cross into Bolivia through the Hito Cajón pass in the extreme south eastern corner of that country, first passing by the volcanic mountain range where Licancabur volcano is located. You will trek through the geothermal plains of Sol de Mañana at 4,700 meters (15,400 feet) above sea level and later discover a series of salt flats, wetlands and lagoons. Especially interesting is the Colorada lagoon, an excellent location for viewing flamingos (phoenicopterus chilensis). You will eat lunch while taking in views of this spectacular environment and later we will continue the travesía. At noon, you will reach the Cañapa inn, our first shelter, at 4,300 meters (14,100 feet) above sea level.

The morning of Day 6 will be spent trekking around the area, and later on you will continue your journey towards the Bolivian altiplano at altitudes that range between 3,600 and 4,300 meters (11,800 and 14,100 feet) above sea level. Pass by former mining camps and take a 2-hour trek around a lagoon, home to a number of native animal species. In mid-afternoon you will arrive at Chituca, your second shelter, located at 3,750 meters (12,300 feet) above sea level.

uyuni salt flatOn Day 7, trek around the area, taking in the old cultivated terraces and the cactus forests that surround our shelter. Continuing our journey, we will visit some geological formations. In no time you will find yourself at the Salar de Uyuni, which, with a surface area of over 10,000 kilometers² (3,861 miles²) and located at 3,665 meters (12,025 feet) above sea level, is the largest and highest altitude salt flat in the world. Surrounded by complete and absolute solitude and silence, we will continue on our Salt Flats travel by trekking along its surface, later climbing the salt flat's highest "island", where you will enjoy views of the seemingly never-ending landscape. Continuing on your journey you will arrive at Tahua, a small town on the shores of the salt flat, where your third shelter is located.

tunupa volcanoOn Day 8 you will begin your trek early and, in 3 to 4 hours, reach the foot of the Tunupa volcano, at an altitude of 5,432 meters (17,820 feet). At this point you can choose to visit any of the many interesting sites in the surrounding area, or climb the volcano and enjoy the views from the peak, which would take a little more time. In the late afternoon, you will visit the small towns bordering the salt flat: Tahua, Coquesa and Jirira. You will return to the shelter in Tahua to eat dinner and spend the night.

On Day 9, set out early heading towards the Chilean border. On your way you will pass through the town of Llica, where you will stop to try some “salteñas”, a traditional Bolivian empanada (turnover). At lunchtime, you will picnic at the Irpa ranch on the shores of the Salar de Coipasa, 3,600 meters (11,800 feet) above sea level. Continue towards Pisiga on the Bolivian border and eventually reach Colchane, on the Chilean side. From there, follow the banks of the Isluga river, reaching a wetland which is home to many species of wildlife. In the late afternoon, you will reach the Isluga National Park in Aravilla, where your fourth shelter is located at 4,020 meters (13,190 feet) above sea level.

In the morning of Day 10, you will start out on a trek in the wetlands area. Stop at a hill close to the small town of Mauque to see the stone ceremonial ruins and eat a picnic lunch. After lunch, you will begin the descent down to the altiplano, from an altitude of 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) back to sea level at Iquique, a Chilean port on the Pacific Ocean. You might like to go swimming at the beach in Iquique. In the evening, eat dinner in the city and spend the night in a hotel.

In the morning of Day 11, you will be taken to Iquique airport for the flight back to Santiago.

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2013 Rates

rate in Canadian Dollars rate in Canadian Dollars rate in US Dollars rate in US Dollars
Category Single Double Single Double
4nts explora Atacama (Tulor room) + 5nts explora camp + 1nt Iquique 10,780 7,685 10,170 7,250
4nts explora Atacama (Yali room) + 5nts explora camp + 1nt Iquique 11,056 7,961 10,430 7,510
4nts explora Atacama (Catur Suite) + 5nts explora camp + 1nt Iquique 12,731 9,381 12,010 8,850

* Prices are subject to change until time of booking. Please inquire about 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 night stays at explora Atacama.


The lodge has 50 rooms, each with a small living area and hydromassage bath.

(16) Tulor Rooms - measuring approx. 355 sq. ft. (33 sq. m.), these rooms have a view to Cordillera de la Sal.

(34) Yali Rooms - measuring approx. 355 sq. ft. (33 sq. m.), these rooms have a view of the countryside.

(4) Catur Suites - measuring approx. 538 sq. ft. (50 sq. m.), these rooms have balconies and views of the countryside.

What’s Included During this Travesia:

Transfers Calama Airport - Explora. • Accommodations • Full board. 3 Meals per day and open bar • Daily explorations with bilingual guides and equipment; boats, horses and vehicles (max group size: 8 travelers per guide) • Entrance fees to National Reserves.

What’s Not Included During this Travesia:

Gratuities • Airfare to Calama / from Iquique • International Airfare

* Rates are per person, in US$ and CA$ * The Canadian dollar rates shown above have been calculated at an exchange rate of 1.06 and are subject to change until time of payment.

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