On Day 1 of this incredible tour, be picked up from La Paz airport then enjoy free time in the city to acclimatise. Have a guided city tour through La Paz on Day 2, before travelling to Uyuni by night bus. Embark on an unforgettable 3-day expedition in a 4WD Jeep to experience the Uyuni Salt Flats on Days 3-5, before returning to La Paz by night bus, then take a free day to rest in La Paz on Day 6. Take a bus to Lake Titicaca on Day 7 and visit Isla del Sol where you will overnight, on Day 8 catch a night bus to Cuzco where you will go for a Quadbike Adventure to Maras & Moray upon arrival on Day 9. Get an early start on Day 10 for your trek to the magical Inca ruins of Machu Picchu immersed in the stunning Andes Mountains with awe-inspiring views. Return to Cuzco on Day 13 and enjoy your last night in this magical city. Your trip ends on Day 14 with a Cuzco airport drop-off.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Airport Pick-up in La Paz
You will be picked-up at the airport upon arrival in La Paz and dropped-off at your accommodation. Get settled in and enjoy a free afternoon to walk around the city centre and acclimatize to the altitude in La Paz.
Day 2: La Paz City Tour - Night Bus to Uyuni
Go on a city tour in La Paz and visit the city’s most interesting sites, including the fascinating witch market and unique neighbourhoods. You will be accompanied by a local guide who will show you how to hop on a local bus, talk to locals, and eat at local markets and the best street stands. Wander into neighbourhoods rarely visited by tourists so you can see the real way of life in La Paz. Then get picked up at your accommodation to be taken to the bus station at night. Take a night bus to the town of Uyuni in the southwest corner of Bolivia.
Day 3: Uyuni Salt Flats & Desert Adventure 3D/2N (L/D)
Arrive at the Uyuni bus station and make your own way to the meeting point of the tour (within walking distance). Start off your 3D/2N tour at 11 am with a visit to Uyuni's 'train graveyard' to see the first locomotives in Bolivia. Then we will visit the small village of Colchani to visit a salt factory where they process the salt mined from Uyuni, have lunch, and enjoy some free time to explore the local museum or shop for souvenirs. Next we will continue to the great salt flats of Uyuni. Take photos as you cruise along the vast white expanse of salt, and visit a hotel made completely of salt. Next we will visit Incahuasi (Fish Island) where you will have time to take a hike to the top of the island to see giant cactus and rock formations made of petrified coral. Enjoy the stunning sunset over the salt flat before spending the night at the village of Candelaria in a salt hotel.
Note: During the rainy season, between January and April, the Fish Island tour will be replaced with a possible stargazing / During the monsoon season, between January and April, the Salt Hotel will be in Colchani Village.
Day 4: Uyuni Salt Flats & Desert Adventure 3D/2N (B/L/D)
Start off at 7:00 am for breakfast at the hotel and then head toward the villages of Julaca and San Agustin where we will take a short walk to the Sora Canyon to observe incredible views and flocks of llamas. Our next stop is at the Volcan Ollague viewpoint, where we will have lunch before heading to the beautiful Andean lagoons inhabited by 3 species of Andean flamingos. Visit the Desert of Siloli at 4550m (the highest and driest in the world) and take a photo next to the 'Rock tree', a lava rock formation. Before arriving to our final destination today, we will stop at the overlook point by the Red Lagoon to see more pink flamingos and admire this intense red-colored lake, and then at the Sol de Mañana geysers. In the evening we will enjoy the open air hot springs and take a bath in naturally 35 Cº water before spending the night in nearby Polques.
Note: During the rainy season, between January and April, the departure will be at 6:00 am.
Day 5: Uyuni Salt Flats & Desert Adventure 3D/2N - Night Bus to La Paz (B/L)
Get off to an early start around 7:30 to the Dali Pampas, where Salvador Dali found his inspiration from boulders sprinkled in the middle of the desert, and then to the Green Lagoon (toxic copper water at the foot of the Licancabur volcano at 6000m, a few kilometers from the Bolivia-Chile border). Then head back to Uyuni passing by beautiful scenery along the way and eat a picnic lunch along the roadside. Arrive by 5:00pm and make your own way to the Uyuni bus station to catch your night bus back to La Paz.
NOTE: This 3-day tour itinerary is subject to change without prior notice according to weather conditions, strikes, roadblocks, or force majeure events which are beyond our control. During the rainy season from January to April, there are some modifications made to the itinerary. We will always do our best to follow the itinerary as close as possible / During the rainy season, between January and Aoril, the departure will be at 6:00 am and the return to Uyuni around 6:00pm.
ALTITUDE: This trip takes place at a very high altitude. The salt flats are around 5,000 meters above sea level, and most guests will be able to feel the effects. We recommend acclimating yourself to above 3,000 meters before the trip and bringing along medication for headaches and tablets for altitude sickness in case you feel unwell. And remember, the real key is to drink lots of water!
ACCOMMODATION / FACILITIES ON TOUR: The reality of visiting a remote area and immersing yourself in nature is that you will be far from modern facilities and the services will sometimes be slow and quite basic. Due to the harsh terrain, vehicle breakdowns are not uncommon, but the drivers are very used to fixing them and wait times are rarely excessive. The accommodations will be very basic, with cots and shared rooms, and the electricity and running water in the National Park are not as dependable as they are back at home. Toilet facilities may have a small local cost and the shower is only available the first day. Make sure to bring snacks, some water, toilet paper, and plenty of warm clothes. That said, with some patience, preparation, and an appetite for adventure, this trip will certainly be a positive and unforgettable experience.
DRIVER AND GUIDE: Please note that there is one guide per group. When exploring, your guide will be with the entire group. However, if groups are split into multiple vehicles you may be in a vehicle without the guide during transport.
Day 6: La Paz Free Day
Arrive back in La Paz around 8:00 am and make your own way to your hostel from the La Paz bus station. Enjoy a free day to relax and rest up after your trip to Uyuni.
Day 7: Copacabana & Isla del Sol (L/D)
Today you will take a bus to the lakeside town of Copacabana for a traditional Bolivian lunch and then hop a ferry to Isla del Sol (Sun Island) where you will ascend an Incan stairway to the top of the mountain. Stop to drink fresh spring water straight from the fountain of youth along the way and check in to your hospitable guest house on top of the island with panoramic views of the Lake Titicaca. Have dinner, enjoy a little star gazing and then get a good night’s rest for a big day ahead.
Day 8: Isla del Sol & Copacabana to Puno - Night Bus to Cuzco (B/L)
Wake early and prepare for a scenic 4-hour hike traversing the island with stunning views of the lake to reach the Pilkokaina Temple. Take plenty of water, snacks and sunblock with you. Take a boat ride back to the Copacabana town for lunch, and then say goodbye to Lake Titicaca as you board your bus transfer to Puno. Take a night bus to Cuzco.
Day 9: Maras & Moray 4x4 Motorbike Tour (B)
Today you will get settled in to your accommodation and then take an exciting 4x4 motorbike tour in the afternoon through the Andean countryside, passing over rolling hills, agricultural fields and tiny villages to visit Maras & Moray. Your first stop will be at the great Inca ruins of Moray, a series of impressive circular agricultural terraces. Continue along dirt roads to the Pre-Inca salt pools of Maras tucked away in a deep ravine with beautiful views of the Sacred Valley. Return back to Cuzco in the evening and have your pre-departure briefing before your trek the next day.
Days 10 - 13: Inca Trail Trek or Lares Trek to Machu Picchu 4D/3N (3B/3L/3D)
On days 10 - 13, you will have the opportunity to participate in a trekking experience through the Andes mountains to reach Machu Picchu. The trek depends on preference and trekking permit availability (the traditional Inca Trail trek is limited to 400 people per day and often sells out up to 6 months in advance).
Inca Trail Trek: A spectacularly rich experience in the Andean Mountains awaits you! Immerse yourself in the Inca culture as you hike 50 kilometers through the heart of the beautiful Andes. This 4-day trek is the only one to take you along the original stone staircases of the Inca Trail, arriving early at Machu Picchu.
Lares Trek: A great alternative to the Inca Trail Trek is the Lares Trek. This high altitude trek will please hikers interested in interacting with the local communities and seeing their way of life in the countryside. Hike through local villages and take a peek into the local Andean way of life, an experience you will never forget.
On day 13, the last day of your trek, you will explore Machu Picchu before returning to Cuzco. Get up early to appreciate this magnificent city in the early morning light as the mist dissipates. Visit this magical site on a 2-hour guided tour of Machu Picchu to see the most important sites and learn about the history of this incredible Inca citadel. Afterwards, you will have free time to explore on your own and take pictures at your leisure. If you're feeling adventurous, take an optional trek to Huayna Picchu or Machu Picchu Mountain (must be booked in advance). When you're ready to head back down to Aguas Calientes, there are buses departing every 15 minutes from the entrance or you can choose to hike down the 1.5-hour walking trail to Aguas Calientes town.
Visit the local marketplace next to the train station, where you can shop until the train whistle blows signaling your return to Ollantaytambo. From Ollantaytambo, you will take a bus back to Cuzco, arriving back around 10:30 pm. You will be dropped off at the Plaza San Francisco. Please make your own way back to the accommodation of your choice.
Brief History of Machu Picchu & Advice:
Machu Picchu was (relatively recently) "discovered" by American historian, Hiram Bingham, in 1911 while searching for the legendary "lost city of the Incas". Hiram Bingham and his local guides stumbled across the site which was then covered in thick vegetation which was later cleared revealing the magical mountain-top archaeological site and opening up the possibility for archaeologists to conduct research on the site by 1915. Whether arriving via Inca Trail or entering from Aguas Calientes don't miss the excellent photo opportunities from the following spots: Hut of the Caretaker of the Funerary Rock (a restored building with a thatched roof), Sacred Plaza with views of the Cordillera Vilcabamba in the distance and Rio Urubamba below. Take a short walk out to the Inca Drawbridge (30 minutes) and Inti Punku (45 - 60 minutes) for great views of the site.
Day 14: Cuzco Airport Drop-Off (B)
Today your once-in-a-lifetime adventure comes to an end with a Cuzco airport drop-off. We wish you a safe journey for your onward travels!
*Please note that daily departures are available for groups of 4 or more people
**Please Note: Travellers who booked their trip using one passport, then renewed or replaced it afterward, must carry their old passport or a photocopy with them on the trip.