The Salt Plains and Volcanoes of Bolivia
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in La Paz. A transfer from the airport to the group hotel is provided. KE Land Only package services begin with overnight at the group hotel.
Day 2: We drive (3 hours) to Copacabana (3180m) on the shores of Lake Titicaca where we board a motor boat to continue our journey for a further hour to the Isla del Sol. After a late lunch we visit a pre-Inca temple and walk to our overnight accommodation at an ecolodge. After checking in we walk to the nearby village of Yumani and then climb the highest point of the island to watch the sunset.
Day 3: Today we will walk the spine of the Isla del Sol (approx 2 to 3 hours). We stop for lunch in the village of Challapampa before catching the boat back to Copacabana. We have some time to look round the market and the famous church here before driving back to La Paz. Overnight in the group hotel.
Day 4: This morning we return to the airport to catch the short flight southwards to the city of Sucre (2700m). On arrival, we will visit the Recolta viewpoint, the main square and the Azur Museum, before boarding the tour vehicle for the 3-hour drive through picturesque farmland to Potosi where we overnight in a hostal.
Day 5: After breakfast, we make the short drive into the Cordillera Kari Kari which lies just west of the city. Here, we have a 6-hour hike up to 4500 metres, through pretty valleys with views of Cerro Potosi, the famous 'silver ore' mountain. We also visit a hot spring before returning to Potosi for some sightseeing, including a visit to the Indian market. We spend a second night in Potosi.
Day 6: We have a short transfer to a working mine where we can walk through several passages and learn about the mining past and present. We return to Potosi and after some free time for lunch we set off again on a 4-hour drive to Uyuni (3750m) perched on the edge of the immense salt flat of the Salar de Uyuni. Overnight in a hotel.
Day 7: We continue in our 4WD vehicles for around 1 hour across the trackless Salar de Ulyuni to Coquesa (3690m) where we visit a lagoon which is home to pink flamingos. Heading onwards, we drive to around 4000 metres and then hike for 3 hours to a high camp (4470m) on the slopes of the volcano, Tunupa.
Day 8: An early morning start for the ascent to the crater rim which will take around 3 hours. There is the option to scramble up to a viewpoint at 5350 metres, before descending into the crater itself where we encounter a variety of endemic flora. After the trek, we drive just half an hour to Tahua, where we overnight in a hotel. 8 hours walking.
Day 9: Exploring the salt flats, we visit Incawasi 'Island', where huge cacti grow from the fertile volcanic soil. We visit the giant crater of Ulo, the tiny village of Challa Kollu surrounded by dunes and the salt desert of Coipasa. Our final destination today is Sabaya, where we stay overnight in a simple 'hostal'. 4 hours driving and 3 to 4 hours walking.
Day 10: Heading north, we start to leave the salt plains behind. On our 4-hour drive we see sand dunes and many llamas and alpacas, as well as lots of abandoned, pre-Hispanic graves. We also stop at a lagoon with many species of birds, including flamingoes. Arriving at the village of Sajama, we check in at our hostal accommodation.
Day 11: Today, there is the option to climb the stunning peak of Acotango (6052m) and we start out with an early drive to up to 5150 metres. We follow a path on scree to reach the high snowline and reach the summit after around 6 hours. Great views of nearby peaks including Parinacota. We return to spend a second night in Sajama.
Day 12: We make the short drive to the Kasiri Valley and hike for 2 hours to the Kasiri Lagoon. Today, we also visit the Kasiri geysers, bathe in the hot springs at Junchusuma, visit a forest of quenua trees and the lagoon of Wanakota. We overnight at an ecolodge at Tomarapi, beneath Sajama.
Day 13: The return journey to La Paz involves approximately 5 hours driving. Along the way we make stops to see the lava flows at Ciudad de Piedra, several pre-Inca ruins and the church of Curawara de Carangas. Arriving in La Paz, we check in at the group hotel.
Day 14: KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. An airport transfer is provided.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.