21 days Combination Trip Bolivia & Chile

  • Stay in an Eco Lodge in N.P. Amboró
  • 3-days Old Trade Route including the Che Guevara tour from Samaipata to Sucre
  • Colonial cities of Sucre and Potosí
  • 3-days jeep tour Salar de Uyuni and N.P. Avaroa
  • San Pedro de Atacama
  • City tour and ecological wine tour in Santiago de Chile

This adventurous trip starts in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia and ends in Santiago de Chile. From Santa Cruz you visit N.P. Amboró. In Samaipata you start the Old Trade Road to Sucre, a little-travelled route through untouched nature. The Che Guevara tour is part of this. The colonial capital Sucre is known as the white city and is famous for its beautiful weaving art. On Sundays, a colourful traditional market is held in Tarabuco, well worth a visit. Via Potosí, also a colonial city, you travel to Uyuni and you reach the plateau of the Andes. In Uyuni you start a fantastic tour onto the salt flats of Uyuni, along volcanoes and coloured lakes and through N.P. Avaroa, ending in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. From Calama you fly to Santiago de Chile.
You will meet the friendly and open population en route and all of this together makes it a very special journey.

This trip takes you over high altitude. In order to prevent altitude sickness as much as possible, the trip has been composed in such a way that you travel to higher altitudes step by step. This allows your body to acclimatise. We advise you to read information about altitude sickness.

Compose your own Bolivia and Chile trip.

This is a sample trip, you can adjust it in consultation.

Route: Santa Cruz de la Sierra - Samaipata - La Higuera - Villa Serrano - Sucre - Tarabuco - Potosí - Uyuni - San Pedro de Atacama - Santiago de Chile

Day 1: Arrival in Santa Cruz de la Sierra and transfer to your hotel (450 m)
At the airport your taxi is waiting for you to take you to your hotel in Santa Cruz (a ½ hour to 45 minutes drive). The rest of the day you can have a rest or visit the city centre on your own.


Day 2: Santa Cruz de la Sierra - N.P. Amboró, El Refugio Los Volcanes (900 m)
You travel in 2 hours to the subtropical part of N.P. Amboró where the Eco Lodge El Refugio Los Volcanes is located. The lodge is surrounded by red sandstone mountains and dense subtropical forest. You can make beautiful walks here accompanied by a local Spanish-speaking companion and enjoy the beautiful nature.

Day 3: N.P. Amboró, El Refugio Los Volcanes (900 m)
When you wake up in the Eco Lodge you are surrounded by the sounds of nature. You have the complete day to walk in the area of El Refugio. There are several walks from which you can choose, ranging from 2 to 5 hours. You can also enjoy the beautiful surroundings from a hammock. A small river called Elvira meanders through the reserve. You can take a refreshing bath at one of the waterfalls.

Day 4: N.P. Amboró, El Refugio Los Volcanes - Samaipata (1,650 m)

After breakfast you will travel in 1½ hour to the rustic village of Samaipata, which lies at an altitude of 1,650 meters in the foothills of the Andes Mountains. Samaipata means resting place in the height. It is located in a beautiful green area. When the Incas lived here, El Fuerte was their strategic point between the highlands and the lowlands where they traded. In the afternoon you can visit the (pre)-Inca ruins of El Fuerte, which in 1998 were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The heart of El Fuerte is the largest carved rock in the world measuring 220 m by 60 m that primarily was used in rituals.

Day 5: Samaipata, cloud forest or condors spotting (1,650 m)
Today you can choose from 2 full day tours: the Condor Hike or the cloud forest of N.P. Amboró.
In order to see the king of the Andean airspace, you have to leave at 6.30 hrs. After a 2-hour drive you arrive at the starting point of the hike. You will hike up through open mountain terrain for about 2 hours. The condors come to rest on the cliffs and to drink from a pool that is unreachable for other animals and humans.
You have a good chance of seeing the condors circling above you at close range. You will spend quite some time here before you descend and return to Samaipata.
If you choose the tour to the cloud forest of N.P. Amboró, you will leave at 9.00 am. In 45 minutes you reach Amboró park by car. You can take a walk of 4-5 hours in this mysterious forest with hanging mosses, bromeliads and ancient giant fern trees  of up to 12 m high. If it is sunny, the sun's rays are filtered through the giant ferns' enormous leaves and you feel like in a fairy-tale forest.

Day 6: Samaipata - La Higuera (2,150 m)
Today begins the 3-days Old Trade Route from Samaipata to Sucre, the first day being the Che Guevara route. In Vallegrande you will learn about the history of Che Guevara. You visit the museum, the hospital where his body was shown to the world press and to the people after his execution and the mausoleum at the place where Che had been buried for over 30 years. You also visit the spot where Tania Bunke was buried, the only female guerrilla fighter who died during the battles. In the afternoon you drive through the authentic village of Pucará to La Higuera. On the way you will enjoy beautiful views, you have the chance to see condors and you can see people at work on their land. In this region Che Guevara was overpowered and executed by Bolivian forces in 1967 because of his role in the guerrilla fight in Bolivia. You will enjoy a candle-lit dinner in the evening and spend the night in La Higuera in a romantic hostal. In the time of Che Guevara, it was the telegraphist's home. From here it was announced that Che Guevara was in the neighbourhood and a reward was offered to turn him in.

Day 7: La Higuera - Villa Serrano (2,150 m)
You will visit the small museum in the former school where Che Guevara was executed on 9 October 1967. In the morning you can take a walk to the place in the Quebrada (ravine) del Churo where Che Guevara was ambushed and captured by Bolivian forces. Alternatively, you can visit a waterfall in the afternoon. Depending on your choice, you will have lunch in La Higuera or have a picnic on the go. The chance that you will meet other tourists today is almost nil. From La Higuera you will descend to the Río Grande where you will enjoy a beautiful desolate landscape. You will cross the river and enter an area where Quechua is spoken. If you choose to visit the waterfall, you will turn off at the village of Nuevo Mundo to the end of a narrow country road. In an hour you will walk to the waterfall of 90 to 100 m high. At the end of the afternoon you reach Villa Serrano, a traditional town. In the museum in honour of Mauro Nuñez, a versatile artist who has meant a lot for the town, you can see the largest charango in the world. This musical instrument that resembles a guitar is listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

Day 8: Villa Serrano - Sucre (2,750 m)

If today is a Sunday, then you will travel directly to Tarabuco, where a colourful traditional market is held in the heart of the Yampará culture. It is wonderful to stroll through the streets and see the people negotiate. You can try your own negotiation techniques when purchasing weaving or other souvenirs. After lunch it is another 1½ hour drive to Sucre.
If it is not a Sunday your first stop will be in Tomina where you can view the old church. Once you are on the tarmac road, you will drive up Calle Calle Mountain just before Zudañez. Right under the top you can take a short walk between beautiful rock formations. From the mountain top you have magnificent views of the area where freedom fighters Manuel Padilla and Juana Azurduy battled. Further on, at the canyon of Lamboya, you have a chance to see the endemic cliff parakeet or the Hummingbird Gigante, with 22 cm the biggest hummingbird in South America. Then the road climbs to a flat area where potatoes, corn and quinoa are grown. Via Yamparáez and Tarabuco you travel to Sucre.

Day 9 and Day 10: Sucre (2,750 m)
You stay 2 full days in Sucre so you have plenty of tome to explore the city and its surroundings, but also to get used to the altitude before traveling on to the Andes plateau. Sucre is a beautiful colonial city with whitewashed buildings and parks. On one of the two days you do two half-day excursions. In the morning you will take a look at Sucre's hat factory. Maybe, after the tour you want to buy a hat for yourself. Then you go to the traditional Mercado Campesino, the biggest market in Sucre. After lunch you will go on City Tour to see the buildings at the central square, the monastery and the viewpoint La Recoleta. If the textile museum is open on this day (Monday is closing day for museums in Sucre), then you will also visit this. The remaining day you can spend as you wish. You can further explore the city or take an excursion, for example the hike from 3,665 to 2,900 m over a pre-Inca path and to the Maragua Crater. It is a nice route and the walk will help you acclimatise.

Day 11: Sucre - Potosí (4,100 m)

Today you travel by bus to Potosí in the morning, a journey of about 3 hrs. Potosí is the 2nd colonial city of Bolivia. Although for many the city has a gloomy image because of the hard life of the miners, the city has a beautiful centre. This afternoon you have the chance to visit the perhaps most beautiful museum of Bolivia, La Casa de la Moneda (the Mint).

Day 12: Potosí: Cerro Rico and City Tour or Exclusive City Tour - Uyuni (3,600 m)
Once Potosí was the biggest and richest city on the South American continent due to the presence of the silver vein in the mine of the Cerro Rico, the Rich Mountain. It was the silver from this mine that Piet Hein took from the Spaniards when he intercepted the treasure fleet, known as the Silver Fleet.
Today you can choose from 2 options: in the morning visit the mine of Cerro Rico and in the afternoon a City Tour or the Exclusive City Tour of 6 hours. On this last tour you will be served a bowl of Kalaphurka soup on the market. In this soup with vegetables and meat, a glowing volcanic stone is put to ensure that the soup continues boiling after serving.
By nightbus you travel to Uyuni, a ride of about 4 hours.

  Day 13: Uyuni - San Juan, Aguaquiza or Puerto Chuvica (3,600 m)
Today begins a beautiful 3-days adventure on the high plateau of the Andes. This day is dedicated to the immense Salt Flats of Uyuni at 3,600 m. altitude. With an area of 10.582 km2, the Salar de Uyuni is the second largest salt flat in the world. But first you will visit the train cemetery just outside Uyuni, where the skeletons of discarded steam locomotives and wagons contrast surreal against the azure blue sky. You learn about salt production in the village of Colchani and walk over the island of Incahuasi with its huge cacti. From the top of the island you have a 360° panoramic view over the immense salt flats. You will sleep in a basic hostal made of salt, either in San Juan, Aguaquiza or Puerto Chuvica, villages on the edge of the salt flats.

Day 14: San Juan, Aguaquiza or Puerto Chuvica - Laguna Colorada (4,200 m)

The journey continues through impressive landscapes. You travel through the desert of Chigüana, passing the semi-active volcano Ollagüe, highland lakes where you can spot flamingos and see remarkably eroded rock formations. The stone tree is the best known of these rock formations. Eventually you arrive at the impressive Laguna Colorada, the red lake, where most of the times large groups of flamingos can be observed. You spend the night in a basic shared accommodation near the lake.


Day 15: Laguna Colorada - San Pedro de Atacama (2,408 m)
Today you will travel through N.P. Avaroa, you will enjoy several beautiful highlights and you will go over the highest point of this trip, at about 5,000 m. You have to get up very early, to enjoy the spectacle of steam and light of the impressive geyser Sol de Mañana (morning sun) fully. You can warm up in the natural pools of Polques. You travel through the surreal Dalí desert, along the Licancabur volcano and the white and green lagoon. After this you reach Hito Cajón, this is the border crossing between Bolivia and Chile at an altitude of 4,300 m. Here you make the connection at 9.30 am (Bolivian time) with your shared transfer in (mini) bus to San Pedro de Atacama. This takes about an hour. You will be dropped off in the centre of San Pedro de Atacama. Keep in mind the time difference between Bolivia and Chile.

Day 16: San Pedro de Atacama: Moon Valley (2,408 m)
Today you will set off to discover the Moon Valley, a very beautiful landscape of red earth and special formations in the Atacama Desert. This can be done by bike or with a bus tour.  Cycling is a special experience, but keep in mind that cycling at this height is strenuous and the sun can be intense. You climb a viewpoint from where you have a fabulous view over the vastness of the Atacama Desert.

Day 17: San Pedro de Atacama day at leisure (2,408 m)
In the surroundings of San Pedro de Atacama, several interesting excursions are possible, which allow you to enjoy the beautiful unspoiled nature. You can visit a geyser at sunrise, highland lakes in various colours, a salt lake in which you can float or look for flamingos. You can also climb volcanoes. A tour to one of the planetariums is an unforgettable experience.

Day 18: San Pedro de Atacama - Santiago de Chile (520 m)
You will be taken to the airport of Calama, the journey takes about 1½ hour. From Calama you fly to Santiago de Chile in about 2 hrs. Your transfer from the airport to your hotel in the pleasant Providencia district is arranged for you.

  Day 19: Santiago de Chile: City Tour and visit to a winery (520 m)
Accompanied by a guide you will explore Santiago de Chile better during a City Tour on foot. You climb the hill Santa Lucia for a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains, you visit a number of special churches, the presidential palace La Moneda, the central square and the central market. At lunchtime you can enjoy delicious fish and seafood that Chile has to offer while enjoying a pisco sour on the central market. In the afternoon you will visit an ecological winery in the Maipo Valley with the possibility to taste some ecological wines. In the evening you can visit the cosy Bellavista district with its many restaurants and bars. 

Day 20: Santiago de Chile day at leisure (520 m)
You can go out today to further explore Santiago de Chile or spend the day in colourful Valparaiso, built on hills, on the Pacific coast. Cajón del Maipo in the foothills of the Andes is also a good option for a trip. You can see glaciers and highland lakes here and bathe in hot springs at 3,000 m.

Day 21: Santiago de Chile - end of journey
After breakfast you have time to explore the city further. You can end your trip here, extend it, or continue traveling on your own.