23 days: Combination Trip Bolivia & Peru

  • Visit to Samaipata in the foothills of the Andes
  • 2-days Jeep tour through the interior of Bolivia via Totora and the Inca site Incallajta to Sucre
  • Colonial cities Totora, Sucre and Potosí
  • 3-days Jeep excursion through the Salar de Uyuni and N.P. Avaroa
  • Downhill biking on the World's Most Dangerous Road
  • Sailing on Lake Titicaca and visiting Isla del Sol
  • Special cities La Paz and Copacabana
  • City tour in Cusco
  • The Sacred Valley with a visit to the lovely town of Ollantaytambo
  • Peru's highlight Machu Picchu

During this customized tour you will see many beautiful and special places in both Bolivia and Peru. In Bolivia the unspoilt nature with its endless plateaus and the diverse population groups such as mestizos, Quechua and Aymara that you meet on the way make this a beautiful journey.

From Santa Cruz you will first visit the lovely village of Samaipata in the foothills of the Andes where you can undertake a tour. You will travel through rolling mountains via the colonial town of Totora and the Inca site Incallajta to the white capital Sucre, which is famous for its beautiful weaving. After a visit to Potosí -the highest city in the world- you travel to Uyuni. During a 3-days Jeep tour you get to see the Salar de Uyuni and in N.P. Avaroa mountains, geysers, volcanoes, coloured lakes, flamingos, llamas and vicuñas.

You visit the fascinating government city of La Paz. From Copacabana you take a boat trip on Lake Titicaca to the mystic island Isla del Sol with its Inca ruins while enjoying beautiful views.
Via Puno you travel into Peru, to see the highlights in this country. You will explore Cusco and travel through the Sacred Valley where you will spend the night in Ollantaytambo. By train you will go to Aguas Calientes to visit the lost Inca town Machu Picchu. Then you return to Cusco for your flight to Lima and back home.

During this trip you will travel at high altitude. To prevent as much as possible that you suffer from altitude sickness, the trip is composed in such a way that you travel step by step to higher area. This allows your body to get used to the altitude. We advise you to read information about altitude sickness.

Compose your own combination trip Bolivia / Peru.
This is an example trip; it can be customized in consultation.

Route: Santa Cruz - Samaipata - Totora - Sucre - Potosí - Uyuni - Salar de Uyuni and N.P. Avaroa - Uyuni - La Paz - downhill biking to Yolosa - Copacabana - Puno (Peru) - Cusco - Ollantaytambo - Aguas Calientes - Machu Picchu - Cusco - Lima

Day 1: Arrival Sa. Cruz
You will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel in the city centre. Upon arrival, your room will be available. This day you can recover from your trip and get an impression of the city with its pleasant Plaza. In the Manzana I you can see a temporary exhibition.

Day 2: Sa. Cruz - Samaipata (1,650 m)
You will be picked up at your hotel for your private transfer (approx. 2½ hours) to Samaipata. The first half of the route goes through the flat lowlands, then you will go into the mountains. The lovely village of Samaipata is beautifully located in the green foothills of the Andes.
In the afternoon, you have time at leisure. If you wish, you can visit the archaeological pre-Inca site of El Fuerte and the El Fuerte Museum.

Day 3: Samaipata (1,650 m) 
Today you can relax or make a nice trip in the surroundings.
You can go to Laguna Volcán where you can enjoy fantastic views of the red sandstone mountains and green surroundings. You can walk along the shore of the lake with water birds and past a bamboo and a palm tree forest.
Samaipata is known for the unique giant fern tree forest of N.P. Amboró, which is just around the corner; you can also go for a walk here.
And if you want to spot the Andean condor, you can opt for an excursion with a tough walk to the spot where this enormous bird likes to hang out. You have to get up early for this.

Day 4: 2-days Jeep tour to Sucre, via colonial Totora (2,805 m) 
You will set off to see first the valley of Mairana where the population mainly works in agriculture and chicken breeding.
Near Mataral you will pass a desert with huge cacti and via small villages you will arrive in Comarapa. There you will visit Laguna Verde, the green lake. After lunch or a picnic, you reach the area called Siberia. This name was given because there is always mist in this richly vegetated area. Water is constantly dripping from moss-covered bushes and plants. When you get a view of the area, it often seems like you are looking at snow-capped mountains, but it is thick white clouds that gently glide over the mountain tops, a breathtaking sight.
Then the landscape changes to rolling mountain slopes with arable crops.
In the afternoon, you arrive in Totora. It is nice to take a walk through this picturesque town, which is the third colonial town of Bolivia (after Sucre and Potosí).
The cobblestone pavement and the small bridges are reminiscent of Anton Pieck pictures.
On the outskirts of Totora you can climb a large stone that is said to promote fertility.
If time permits, you will visit the chichería (beer brewery) where you can see how chicha, corn beer, is made. Finally, in the local weaving mill you can see how beautiful and multicoloured blankets are made on a handloom.
In the evening, Totora is beautifully lit by atmospheric street lanterns. You spend the night in a basic hostel.

Day 5: To Sucre (2,750 m)
If yesterday there was not enough time to visit the chichería and the weaving mill, we will do so today.
Then you will set off to visit the beautiful archaeological Inca site of Incallajta.
Incallajta was of great importance in the Inca era and is today still a site of outstanding beauty.
Afterwards you will head in the direction of Sucre. The road between Totora and Aiquile is paved with cobblestones. On the way, you can enjoy beautiful landscapes and you will most likely see farmers working their land.

After passing Aiquile you come to Puente Arce; once across the bridge you are in the department of Chuquisaca. The road is asphalted until you reach Sucre. You will arrive there at the end of the afternoon.

Day 6: Sucre (2,750 m)
Today you have time at leisure in the pleasant white capital with its beautiful colonial buildings and green areas.
You can explore the city with a guide during a half day City Tour on foot. Another fun half day excursion is to the Hat Factory and the Mercado Campesino (farmer's market).
If this day is Sunday, you can make an excursion to the famous traditional Sunday market of Tarabuco.
If you prefer to be active you can go for a hike on an Inca trail in the Cordillera de los Frailes and visit the Maragua Crater.

Day 7: Sucre - Potosí (4,100 m) 
In the morning you still have free time in Sucre to explore the city further. At 11.30 hrs. you will be picked up at your hotel and brought to the bus station. By bus you will travel in about 3 hours along a winding road that rises considerably to Potosí, the highest city in the world.
In Potosí you will be met and brought to your hotel.

If you wish you can also travel by private transfer from Sucre to Potosí.
You might have to catch your breath because of the altitude so it is good to take it easy and drink (coca)tea. 

Day 8: Potosí (4,100 m)
You have a day at leisure in Potosí. Although for many Potosí has the image of a dreary city because of the mines and its past, the city has a beautiful centre. It is the 2nd colonial city of Bolivia. You can visit La Casa de la Moneda (the Mint), the probably most beautiful museum of Bolivia, or go to the Santa Teresa Monastery.
You can also choose to visit the mines on a tour in the morning and/or go on a half day City tour to see the beautiful colonial buildings of Potosí with a guide.
Before entering the mines, you can buy gifts such as coca leaves, alcohol or dynamite for the miners at a special market. The miners need these gifts because they earn very little. You will be provided with protective clothing. In the mines you can see the miners at work.
Attention: On Sundays the miners do not work!

Day 9: Potosí - Uyuni (3,600 m) 
In the morning, you will have a few more hours to see the city. At 11.30 hrs. you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the bus station for your bus ride of approx. 3½ hours across the vast plateau to Uyuni. The landscape contains surprising elements such as tall cacti and quinoa.
In Uyuni you will be picked up at the bus station and brought to your hotel.

Day 10: Uyuni - San Juan, Aguaquiza, P. Chuvica or V. Candelaria (3,600 m)
You will be picked up at your hotel at 10.30 hrs. to start a beautiful 3-day adventure over the Andes plateau.
This day the focus is on the salt flats of Uyuni. With a surface of 10,582 km² it is the second largest salt plain in the world. First you visit the Train Cemetery, where the skeletons of discarded steam locomotives and wagons contrast surrealistically with the azure blue sky.
You will learn about salt mining in the village of Colchani and walk across the cactus island of Incahuasi. From the top of the island, you have a 360° panoramic view over the immense salt flats. You continue the drive to your final destination for today, San Juan, Aguaquiza, Puerto Chuvica or Villa Candelaria.

Options regarding the Salar de Uyuni tour:

  • Group tour with English speaking guide or with Spanish speaking driver
  • Private tour with English speaking guide or with Spanish speaking driver
  • Group tour or private tour with: overnight stays in shared basic bunks with shared toilet or in basic private rooms with private bathroom
  • Private tour with overnight stays in 3* hotels, this option is only available in a private tour with Spanish speaking driver or with English speaking guide.

This description is of a tour with overnight stays in basic accommodation.
Due to road and/or weather conditions, routes can always be changed. The tour description can therefore not be considered as an exact programme.

Day 11: San Juan, Aguaquiza, P. Chuvica or V. Candelaria - Huallajara (4,200 m) 
Today you will drive through the Salar de Chiguana to a vantage point from where the semi-active Ollagüe Volcano is clearly visible. The journey continues through the Silolí Desert and you will see the lagoons of Cañapa, Hedionda and Chiarkota. The next stop is at the Árbol de Piedra (Stone Tree), a rock formation of more than eight meters high. After a visit to Laguna Colorada the day will end in Huallajara, close to this lagoon you will spend the night.

Day 12: Huallajara - Uyuni - La Paz (3,600 m) 
Departure will be very early. You are going to visit the geyser Sol de Mañana. The vapours of the geyser are best seen at dawn.

Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to warm up in the natural thermal baths of the hot springs (Polques). You will drive through the Salvador Dalí Desert and reach Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) with the nearby Licancabur Volcano and then Laguna Blanca (White Lagoon).
On the way back to Uyuni you will pass Villa Mar, Valle de las Rocas (Valley of the Rocks) and San Cristóbal.
Once back in Uyuni you will be brought to the office of the bus company that takes care of your bus trip to La Paz by tourist night bus. After dropping off your luggage you will have time to have dinner (not included) before the bus leaves. You will also get a light meal on board of the bus and a small breakfast the next morning. You can also choose to fly from Uyuni to La Paz.

Day 13: La Paz (3,600 m)
Around 6.30 hrs. you will arrive in La Paz by night bus. You will be met and taken to your hotel.
Today you have time at leisure to explore this fascinating government city full of contrasts: rich, poor, modern, traditional, old, new, high, low, all mixed together. You can visit some of the small museums on Calle Jaén, take the cable car to El Alto, check out the articles on offer at the Witches' Market or visit the Coca Museum.

Options for an excursion in La Paz with English speaking guide:

  • Half-day excursion City tour with a visit to Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley)
  • 5-hour city tour with a cable car ride
  • Half day excursion to Chacaltaya, the highest ski slope in the world 

Day 14: La Paz - downhill biking to Yolosa * - La Paz (3,600 m)
Today you will make a downhill bike tour from La Paz to Yolosa. A (mini)bus will take you to the highest point, La Cumbre at 4.700 m.
Here you get on your good quality mountain bike (full suspension, hydraulic brakes) and cycle on the most dangerous road in the world to Yolosa, just before Coroico. The distance is 64 km and you descend 3,500 vertical meters; a fantastic experience, from the dry Altiplano you descend, through different vegetation zones, to the humid and tropical Yungas. In Yolosa you can take a hot shower and relax and you will receive a lunch. At an additional cost you can get a guided tour at the animal shelter.
Afterwards you will travel back to La Paz, where you will spend the night.
* If you don't want to go mountain biking you can do one of the excursions mentioned on day 13.

Day 15: To Copacabana (3,800 m) 
Early in the morning you take the bus to Copacabana. You arrive there after about 4½ hours. In the afternoon you will have the opportunity to explore this lovely town at the shore of Lake Titicaca. You can stroll along the Plaza and see the Cathedral, go to the harbour or if you have enough energy you can walk up the Calvario Mountain, along the 14 Stations of the Cross.

Day 16: To Isla del Sol and back to Copacabana (3,800 m) 
Today you will sail on Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. You will be brought to the harbour where you will board the boat which will take you in 1½ hours to the town of Yumani on the south side of Isla del Sol.
In Yumani you will visit Pilkokaina Palace, from where you have a spectacular view of the Illampu mountain massif.
Then you will make a walk of about 45 minutes to the famous Inca ruins, such as the Fountain of Eternal Youth and the Inca steps.
The guide will choose a nice spot where you can eat your pack lunch.

Then you board the boat again and sail to Isla de la Luna in 45 minutes to an hour.
On this island you will visit the Inca ruins of El Palacio de las Vírgenes (virgins) del Sol or Inaj Uyo. The guide will explain about a possible theory of the construction.
Afterwards you will return to Copacabana, where the tour ends around 17.00-17.30 hrs.

Normally both the north and south of Isla del Sol are visited during this tour. As the north of the island is currently not accessible due to disagreement between the two population groups, we only go to the south of Isla del Sol. Instead of going to the north of the island, we sail to and visit Isla de la Luna.
If in the future it becomes possible to visit the north of Isla del Sol again, the tour will be as before and we will visit both the north and the south of Isla del Sol. In that case this tour will not go to Isla de la Luna.
Above is the description of the tour as it is currently being conducted.

Day 17: To Puno, Peru (3,850 m)
You will have time at leisure in Copacabana in the morning. 
Around 13.00 hrs. you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the place where the bus to Puno leaves. At the border you will fulfil migration formalities (keep your passport ready!) and you might want to exchange the bolivianos you have left for Peruvian soles.
Arrival in Puno is around 16.00 hrs. Peruvian time. You will be met and taken to your hotel.

Day 18: To Cusco (3,400 m)
In the morning you will be transferred to Juliaca for a ride on the tourist bus to Cusco. The arrival is around 17.00 hrs. On the way several attractions will be visited. First the museum in Pucará, a town famous for the statues of bulls you will see on many rooftops along the way. After Pucará it goes up to La Raya, the pass between Cusco and Puno, at 4,335 m altitude.
Around noon you will receive a buffet lunch. In continuation you will visit the temple of Wiracocha in the village of Raqchi, an impressive building where the annual sun festival is celebrated on June 16. The aqueducts and canals that the Incas left here are still in use.
In Andahuaylillas time seems to have stood still. The houses around the stone square, surrounded by large trees and the small streets make a picturesque ensemble. In the church from 1580, which is sometimes called the Sistine Chapel of South America, you will see splendid murals.
In Cusco you will be picked up from the bus station and brought to your hotel.

Day 19: Cusco (3,400 m) 
This morning you will go on a City Tour on foot. A good introduction to the city and a relaxing walk, only downhill. You start at Qenqo, above Cusco, where you take a taxi from your hotel. From here you walk to Sacsayhuamán: impressive ruins and a great view over the city. After an introduction by your guide, you'll go exploring the San Blas district (coffee + consumption included) and the famous Temple of the Sun. 
After lunch (not included) you can visit the cathedral of Cusco, the Museo del Inca or go shopping for a souvenir or an alpaca sweater.

Day 20: The Sacred Valley - Ollantaytambo (2,850 m)
During this tour you will first visit a farm with all the Andean camelids which you can feed and take pictures of. The vicuñas and guanacos are a bit further away, they don't like people close to them.
Afterwards you will continue to the highlights of the Sacred Valley; the colourful market and the impressive ruins of Pisac.
On the way you will find a place to have lunch. After lunch you will visit the village of Ollantaytambo and its special ruins. You will also spend the night in this beautiful town.

Day 21: To Aguas Calientes (2,100 m)
To enjoy as much as possible in Ollantaytambo, you will take the afternoon train to the village below Machu Picchu where there is less to do, Aguas Calientes. During this special 1½ hrs. train ride you will see nature become more lush as you get lower and closer to Aguas Calientes. Leave your belongings at the hotel in Ollantaytambo: you can only take 6 kg of luggage per person on the train.
You can easily walk to the train station in Ollantaytambo. On arrival in Aguas Calientes you will be picked up by hotel staff. You can walk through the village and have dinner in one of the many restaurants. You will probably sleep in time to go to the entrance of Machu Picchu early: the gates open at 6.00 a.m. Overnight stay in Aguas Calientes.

Day 22: Machu Picchu (2,430 m) and back to Cusco
In consultation with your guide you will take an early shuttle bus from Aguas Calientes to Machu Picchu, at an altitude of 2,430 m spectacularly situated above the Urubamba River. Around 1430 A.D. the Incas built it for the emperor Pachacuti, strategically well-hidden between the apus, the mountain gods.
You will get a tour of Machu Picchu of 2 to 2½ hours, after which you will have some time at leisure at this special place.

Only prior to the tour it is possible to visit the Sun Gate (nice climb of about 1 to 1½ hours with beautiful views) or the less visited Inca Bridge on your own. There is an additional charge for the guide when visiting the Sun Gate.

In the afternoon you will take the train back to the Sacred Valley from where you will travel to Cusco by private taxi.

Day 23: to Lima - end of the trip 
Your wonderful Bolivia / Peru trip has come to an end.
Today you will be transferred to the airport in Cusco for your flight to Lima. Here you will have enough time to check in for your international flight home.