Altiplano Wildlife

itinerary

Day 1: Arica

Arrive in Arica (flights not included). Meet the guide for lunch and a trip briefing. Then enjoy a walk around the city and along the beautiful sandy beaches. Overnight at a local hotel in Arica. (L)

Day 2: Arica/Putre

You begin your day with a visit to the fertile Azapa valley and a local museum. Later, drive to Putre (90 miles, 11,500 feet) to see amazing prehistoric drawings. Enjoy some wonderful Andean flora and have your first encounter with the Altiplano wildlife. Head back to Putre for dinner and your overnight stay. Spend the next 3 nights at a local hotel in Putre. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Lauca National Park

Today you travel to Lake Chungará (14,500 feet), a lake which is crowned by the 20,000-foot-high volcanoes, Parinacota and Pomerape. The lake teems with wildlife, including tagua-tagua, vizcachas, vicunas, black and white geese, and flamingos. All of these animals dwell in the lake's shallows, so you are sure to have some wonderful wildlife viewing. Enjoy a box lunch in the midst of beautiful Lauca National Park. Later this afternoon, visit the town of Parinacota for a stroll around the lakes before you return to Putre for your overnight stay. (B,L,D)

Day 4: Surire National Park

Today you head south to the Surire Salt Flat. Along the way you pass below the great Guallatiri volcano. Arrive at Surire National Park, a sanctuary for Andean birds. The park hosts three of the five species of flamingos along with ducks, suris, or lesser rea, and Andean avocets. Vicunas, foxes, and vizcachas are also commonly seen throughout the park. After a day of wildlife viewing, you return to Putre for your overnight stay. (B,L,D)

Day 5: Putre/Arica

Today you leave Putre for your drive to Arica. Arrive at the airport in time for your outbound flight. Note: Your trip can continue to La Paz, Bolivia either by bus from Putre (6 hours) or by plane from Arica (1 1/2 hours). (B)