Tour to Lauca National Park
You will depart early this morning to enjoy the magnificent landscapes of Lauca National Park, located 130 miles east of Arica. Before taking the international road to Bolivia, you will stop to see geoglyphs. You will also stop at Poconchile, an old town dating from pre-Inca times. Here you will have the opportunity to see St. Jerome Church, built in the 17th century and remodelled in 1879.
Spectacular Chilean scenery and wildlife
You'll continue your journey through the Atacama Desert viewing spectacular landscapes. As you adjust to the altitude, a photo stop will be made at Pucará de Copaquilla, a 12th century pre-Inca fortress located at the top of a 490-foot-deep canyon and the Copaquilla valley. Here you'll also have the chance to admire the amazing geological landscape of the Andean Sierra.
Once inside the park you'll be able to observe llaretas (a plant unique to this region), vicunas, llamas, and alpacas. Reaching the viewpoint where you will be able to see Chungara Lake and, clouds permitting, a chain of magnificent volcanoes—the Payachatas, Parinacota, Sajama, Pomerape, and Guallatire, with their snow-capped peaks—a breathtaking sight to behold. You'll drive back out of the park passing the typical marshland, called the 'Bofedales' (running water), and the Cotacotani lagoons.
Heading back to Arica...
Having seen some of South America's most stunning landscapes, you'll return to Arica in the late afternoon. On the way back, you'll enjoy a brief stop in Putre for light lunch, where fruit and tea and/or coffee will be served. Putre is the capital of the Parinocota province and a beautiful town that lies at the foothills of the Tahapaca volcano.
The architecture here is influenced by the Spanish colonial period. View carved columns, archways, and window frames, made of stone from the quarries of the volcanoes. Putre was also an important resting place and base for the caravans bringing silver from Potosi to Arica.
- Language: English
- Included: Fruit, tea, and coffee
- Walking information: Walking at high altitude. Good physical condition is required.
- Note: Although the maximum altitude will be reached gradually, guests with heart or other respiratory problems should take caution. Sunglasses and sunscreen with an SPF of 30 (or greater) are strongly recommended. We recommend guests have light meals before going to Lauca National Park, and not to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes.