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La Paz to Santiago

Overlanding is the best way to see South America by far! Dragoman have been leading the way in South American overland expeditions since 1990, so take advantage of our years of experience and come with us as we include all the must-see attractions as well as heading to some unique hidden gems, well away from the usual tourist trail. From the high Altiplano to the heart of Argentina's grasslands, this holiday-length trip will takes you through some of South America's most beautiful landscapes. Beginning in Bolivia's capital La Paz, you'll enjoy an overnight homestay the local community of Livichuco in the Bolivian Andes and a visit to the famous mining town of Potosí, before heading across the high plateau to the dramatic expanse of the salt plains of Salar de Uyuni, one of South America's most incredible natural wonders. From here we will cross the unreal wilderness of the high Altiplano before descending into Chile's Atacama Desert. You'll visit the atmospheric town of San Pedro de Atacama before crossing the mighty Andes into the beautiful arid regions of Argentina and the wonderful town of Salta. We will make our way south through the wine regions and highlands of northwest Argentina before arriving at a very special highlight of this trip - our unique estancia stay for two days of horse riding on an idyllic country ranch. From here we make our way to the spectacular town of Mendoza, Argentina's wine capital nestling under the shadow of the Andes' highest mountains. We then finally crossing the Andes again to arrive in the Chilean capital of Santiago. Join Dragoman for this wonderful and unforgettable overlanding experience!

Latin America
  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites, Equestrian, Parks & Nature Reserves, Sailing, Rafting
  • Physical rating: Demanding
  • Accommodation standard:   Budget%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID/Link Tour Code: ZZS1/157994
  • Starts: La Paz, Bolivia
  • Finishes: Santiago, Chile
You will Visit
  • La Paz
  • Ojo del Inca
  • Potosí
  • Uyuni
  • Salar De Uyuni
  • Bolivian Altiplano
  • San Pedro De Atacama
  • Salta
  • Cafayate
  • Quilmes Ruins
  • Rio Ceballos
  • Mendoza
  • Santiago

Itinerary

01

Day 1-2: La Paz

Border information: if you are joining in La Paz, you will most likely enter Bolivia at La Paz El Alto International Airport (IATA code: LPB).

Welcome to La Paz, Bolivia’s seat of government and the highest administrative capital in the world! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the city or take part in optional activities.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in La Paz before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring La Paz.

A note on altitude: If you are joining in La Paz, we strongly recommend arriving at least 24 hours before the trip begins to allow additional time to acclimatise.

In La Paz we will stay in a good hotel in the historical centre.

02

Day 3-4: Potosí

Today we will head to the colonial mining town of Potosí, the highest town in the world, and once famous for the area's abundance of silver!

We will have free time to explore Potosí, and there will be a chance to visit the infamous silver mines of Cerro Rico near to the town or enjoy a city Tour.

In Potosí we will stay in a friendly local hotel.

Estimated Drive Time - 525km / 9hrs

Estimated Drive Time - 8-9 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).

03

Day 5: Uyuni

Today we will drive south to Uyuni, the gateway to the incredible salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni.

In Uyuni we will stay in a friendly hotel, famous for serving the highest pizzas in the world!

Estimated Drive Time - 4-5 hours.

04

Day 6: Salar De Uyuni

Today we will venture out onto the salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni, spending a full day exploring this phenomenal location by jeep and on foot. En route we will explore the nearby train graveyard and the cactus-filled 'Fish Island', and take all the time we need to get plenty of perspective-bending photographs!

05

Day 7: Bolivian Altiplano

Today we will head off across the wilds of the Bolivian altiplano, a surreal and desolate desert landscape that stretches all the way to the Chilean border. We will visit the spectacular coloured lakes of Laguna Colorado and Laguna Verde en route.

In the Bolivian Altiplano we will stay in a basic mountain refuge.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

06

Day 8-9: San Pedro De Atacama

Border information: Exit Bolivia at Uyuni, enter Chile at San Pedro de Atacama.

Today we set off early from our altiplano refuge, cross the remainder of the Bolivian Altiplano, and then descend all the way into the Atacama desert.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the incredible highlights of the Atacama desert surrounding San Pedro. In the evening we will take an included trip out to the extraordinary Moon Valley, where we will hopefully see an incredible sunset. At night we will also have the chance to go stargazing, in one of the world's premier regions for astronomy (please note that this is only possible when there is not a full moon).

In San Pedro de Atacama we will stay in a centrally located hostel.

07

Day 10: Salta

Border information: Exit Chile at Paso Jama, enter Argentina at Paso Jama.

Today we will have a long drive day to cross the mighty Andes, cross the border into Argentina, and reach the beautiful town of Salta.

In Salta we will stay in a local hotel or guesthouse.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

08

Day 11: Salta

Today we will have a free day to explore the town of Salta, visit its many museums, or explore the beautiful surrounding hills on foot or by mountain bike. We will also have the chance to take the cable car to the viewpoint on San Bernardo Hill overlooking the town, or take the famous 'Train to the Clouds' through some of the incredible mountian scenery nearby.

09

Day 12: Cafayate

Today we will drive through the spectacular rock formations of the Quebrada de las Conchas, and reach 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.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-5 hours.

10

Day 13: Quilmes Ruins

Today we will drive south over some more spectacular mountains and arrive in the lush flat pampas that Argentina is famous for. We will visit the ancient ruins of the indigenous city of Quilmes en route. 

Tonight we will aim to wild camp en route.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

11

Day 14-16: Rio Ceballos

Today we drive to a unique Anglo-Argentine Estancia, where we will stay for 3 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.

During our time at the Estancia, we will head out horseback riding, taste the excellent wines produced by their vineyards, be entertained by a local musician, learn some of the skills of the gauchos, and enjoy a traditional asado (Argentine BBQ). This isa magical experience in a beautiful and atmospheric location, and many people's highlight of the trip!

Please note that some of these activities are subject to weather conditions. Please also note that there is a strict weight limit of 15 stone (210lbs) or 95kg to partake in the horse riding - if you should weigh more than this, then unfortunately you will not be able to participate in the horseback riding.

In the Estancia we will camp with facilities in the grounds near the main house.

12

Day 17-19: Mendoza

Today we will have a very early start for a full day's drive to the stunning town of Mendoza, nestled in the dry flats underneath the shadows of the largest mountains of the Andes. Mendoza is the centre of Argentine wine production, and one of the nine 'Wine Capitals of the World' - it is especially famous for its Malbec, grown at some of the highest-altitude vineyards to be found in the world.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

The following two days will be free time to explore the incredible region, head out on various adventure activities, or of course take a tasting tour of the incredible wineries in the region.

In Mendoza we we stay in a centrally located hostel in dorm accommodation.

13

Day 20: Santiago

Border information: Exit Argentina at Los Libertadores, enter Chile at Paso Cristo Redentor.

Today we will drive over the stunning Cristo Redentor pass in the high Andes, passing Aconcagua (the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere) and heading to the Chilean capital of Santiago.

In Santiago we will stay in a centrally located hostel. 

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours.

14

Day 21: Santiago

Border information: if you are finishing in Santiago, you will most likely exit Chile at Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (IATA code: SCL)

Today is a free day to explore the cosmopolitan Chilean capital.

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Santiago. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Dragoman Sales team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Take jeeps out onto the dazzling Uyuni Salt Flats
    • Take the epic journey across the southern Bolivian altiplano - an incredible high-altitude, off-road adventure through a surreal desert landscape, taking in bizarre rock formations, hot springs, and the phenomenal coloured lakes of Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde
    • Explore the dramatic landscape of the Moon Valley
    • Visit the impressive rock formations of 'El Amphiteatro' and 'La Garganta del Diablo' en route through the primeval landscape of the Quebrada de las Conchas
    • Visit the Quilmes ruins
    • Spend 3 unique days at an Anglo-Argentinian estancia to experience the gaucho way of living
    Tour Staff
    • 2 crew, local guides as necessary
    Accomodation
    • 30% Camping - 70% Hotels
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Tour Highlights:
  • Adventure Activities
  • History & Culture
  • Horse Riding
  • Nature & Wildlife
  • Overland Journey
  • Sailing & Rafting


Reviews (5)
Nicholas W Posted on: 

The guides for the Machu Picchu community trek were most excellent. Piero especially was fantastic as a guide and made the whole trip even more enjoyable with his knowledge, skill, friendliness and problem solving. The other crew on the community trek (wranglers and cooks) were also fantastic. Incredibly hard working and professional with a smile.

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Els v Posted on: 

The leaders were great!

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Loes v Posted on: 

Sinead was amazing! Always happy, always friendly, always helpull. You just have to love her! She and Oli took very good care of us.

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Jonathan P Posted on: 

All the local guides were excellent.

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Louise P Posted on: 

Bolivian altiplano guide, Braulio, was informative and friendly.

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