Days
20
Price from
FR1,960CHF

Bolivia, Chile and Argentina – a trip straight through the guts of South America. Forage through La Paz’s wack market stalls, journey into the underground in Potosi and zoom across Uyuni’s salt plains and Chile’s Atacama Desert by 4WD. Then nestle back with a glass of malbec in Mendoza to finish in elegant Buenos Aires.

Unlucky in love? Out for revenge? Need a cure for hayfever? Get your coca leaves read, buy a spell or pick up a dried llama fetus (ideal for sacrificing) at the witches market in La Paz.


Start
La Paz, Bolivia
Finish
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Countries
Argentina, Bolivia, Chile
Code
GSCJ
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
10 reviews
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Get amongst the weird and wonderful in La Paz, from the strange brews of the witches’ market to the tasty treats of Mercado Lanza

  • Ever dreamt of walking on water? Now’s your chance. Kind of. The sprawling salt lakes of Bolivia serve up some seriously mind-bending photo opps

  • Wander through acres of vineyards and drink wine to your heart's delight in the famous Mendoza wine region

  • Explore the cosmopolitan city of Buenos Aires; where Latin America meets Europe.

Is this trip right for you?

  • It’s important to wear sunscreen and other sun protection, and always drink plenty of water.

  • Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit some people can suffer altitude sickness. Some people aren’t affected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. If possible, arrive a few days early to allow yourself time to acclimatise. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information about altitude sickness.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2016 - 31 December 2016

Welcome to La Paz, Bolivia. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
As La Paz is 3,600 metres above sea level, please ensure you take the necessary measurements in regards to altitude sickness (refer to ‘Is This Trip Right For You?’ and ‘Health’ sections for important information).

ALTITUDE SICKNESS:

Your trip takes you above 2800 metres/9200 feet, where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition(s) with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

On arrival in La Paz: while our local representatives and hotel staff are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience: https://www.geckosadventures.com/sites/default/files/geckos_altitude-sickness.pdf
Optional Activities
  • La Paz - Guided City Tour - USD18
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Your second day in La Paz is free to explore. The city is renowned for its markets, especially the Mercado de Hechiceria (Witches' Market), which sells potions, incantations, stones and artefacts. Ask a local about their significance - most people are happy to explain. Perhaps visit the Coca Museum, which isn’t too far from your hotel in the Rosario district. You might like to take part in one of our Urban Adventure day trips, such as the Food With Altitude or To 3,600 Metres, and Beyond tours.


Late in the afternoon, leave La Paz on an overnight bus to Sucre (approximately 12-13 hours). There are comfortable recliner seats on the bus, but it can be cold on-board so it’s important to bring warm clothing and wear base layers. There’s usually a toilet on the bus and the driver will also make a couple of stops along the way.
Accommodation
  • Overnight bus (1 night)
Included Activities
  • La Paz - Visit to the 'Witches Market'
  • La Paz - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • La Paz - Chacaltaya & Moon Valley Tour - USD16
  • La Paz - Tiawanaku tour - USD25
  • La Paz - City Tour & Moon Valley - USD18
  • La Paz - Food with Altitude - Urban Adventure - USD57
  • La Paz - To 3,600 Metres, and Beyond - Urban Adventures - USD41
  • La Paz - Coca Museum - BOB12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
On arrival into Sucre, drop off your luggage at the hotel before heading out to explore in your own time. Bolivia’s World Heritage-listed capital is a hub of progressive culture and Spanish colonial architecture. You might like to visit the Museo de la Recoleta. This 400-year-old convent provides great views over the city and is home to a fascinating collection of sculptures and paintings. If you have time, head to the Plaza 25 de Mayo to rub shoulders with Sucre's affluent residents and investigate the extravagant interior of the Senora de la Merced.
Included Activities
  • Sucre - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Sucre - Dinosaur footprints at Cal Orcko - BOB35
  • Sucre - Casa de la Libertad - BOB21
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is a free day in Sucre.
For something completely different, discover the prehistoric landscape of Cal Orko and tread in 60-million-year-old dinosaur footprints. There’s also proud food culture in Sucre, so enjoy some delicious empanadas at a restaurant or fresh juice at the Central Market.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Another free day in Sucre; ask your leader about the optional activities offered in this city.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the morning take a local bus to Potosi, which should take around 3-4 hours. This colonial mining city sits at the base of Cerro Rico, a mountain rich in silver ore. A tour and brief history of Cerro Rico could be a highlight of your trip here, but due to safety concerns we strongly advise you not to enter the mines (please see notes below). Perhaps visit the Santa Teresa Convent Museum to observe the art and treasures on display inside the convent’s original walls.


Notes: We strongly recommend against doing a Potosi Mine Tour, which actually enters the mine. Should you decide to go against our advice, you will do so at your own risk. Please note that our leaders are not able to organise this activity for you due to safety concerns.
Optional Activities
  • Potosi - Convento y Museo de Santa Teresa - BOB30
  • Potosi - Casa de la Moneda - BOB48
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, leave Potosi behind and travel to the city of Uyuni (approximately 5-7 hours). This remote town sits on the edge of the high Altiplano, a wilderness area extending for hundreds of kilometres towards the border with Argentina and Chile. The area is notorious for being extremely cold, so it’s important to pack warm clothing and base layers. Tonight, stay at a hotel in Uyuni Town. The hotel is fairly basic, but it’s clean, comfortable and has hot water. As you’ll be heading out into the desert and salt flats over the next few days, make the most of the structured bathroom facilities tonight.
Included Activities
  • Uyuni - Orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart Uyuni this morning and venture out on a three-day 4WD excursion. Be prepared for a busy few days ahead. The first stop will be at a rusty Train Cemetery, before you continue on to Salar de Uyuni - the world’s largest salt flats. While this may be a typical stop for many travellers, it’s also often a highlight. Make the most of your time on the salt flats taking lots of photos and explore Inka Wasi Isla, which is a rocky island covered in cacti and coral-like structures.


Notes: Please be aware that from December to March, there’s a risk of the salt lake being flooded. If this is the case, the itinerary will be adapted to accommodate this.
Included Activities
  • Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
  • Salt flats - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today will be spent driving through the spectacular landscape of the Andean (Atacama) Desert, which is sprinkled with volcanoes and lakes. During this drive you’ll reach an altitude of approximately 4,900 metres above sea level, so it’s important to revisit the notes on altitude sickness (please see the ‘Is This Trip Right For You?’ and ‘Health’ sections of the trip notes). Stop by the red lake of Laguna Colorada, where you’ll be able to spot wildlife such llamas, flamingos, viscachas and foxes feasting in the nutrient-rich waters.


Notes: Accommodation in the desert is basic. Shower facilities can be unreliable and cold, as the pipes often freeze in the winter months. Electricity is generated by solar panels, so there won’t be enough power to charge electronic devices. In the rainy season, the itinerary may need to be altered depending on the accessibility of roads.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning stop by the desert’s natural thermal baths for a soak and then head to the Bolivia/Chile border, where the Bolivian part of your trip comes to an end. Pass by geysers, salt flats and snow-capped volcanoes on your way to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. As a small oasis town, San Pedro is surrounded by extraordinary scenery. Use your free time to wander around, perhaps checking out the quaint Church of San Pedro de Atacama, the Museo Gustavo Le Paige (archaeological museum) or the town’s central plaza.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Use today to get under the skin of this burgeoning tourist destination. San Pedro’s cafe and restaurant scene has grown considerably over the last couple of years. With a mix of Chilean, French and Italian influences, you’ll be sure to find a great spot for lunch and dinner. Perhaps head out on an optional tour to the Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna) or join an astronomical tour once the stars come out.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today will be a long day of travel (approximately 12 hours), as you leave San Pedro and head for Salta, Argentina. Salta's rich history, colonial architecture, friendly locals and surrounding natural attractions make it one Argentina's main attractions. If you have time on arrival, spend some time getting to know the area in the vicinity of the hotel. The gardens, fountains and historic buildings in Plaza 9 de Julio are a great place to start.
Included Activities
  • Salta - Orientation walk
Optional Activities
  • Salta - Cerro San Bernardo Chairlift - ARS110
  • Salta - Archaeological Museum - ARS80
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
The next two days are free to explore Salta and its attractions. If you’re after something active, hike up the 1,070 steps to the summit of Cerro San Bernardo; the mountain that looms over Salta. You can take a gondola (cable car) to the top if you’d prefer. Either way, the view from the top is magnificent. There are plenty of other adventure activities available in Salta, such as rafting, bungee jumping and horse riding (all at your own expense).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day in Salta. Perhaps stroll the streets, take a paddleboat on the lake or pop into one of the many museums. In the afternoon or early evening of your last day in Salta, travel by overnight bus to Mendoza (approximately 18 hours). The bus is quite comfortable, with reclining seats and a toilet on board.
Accommodation
  • Overnight bus (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Arriving at around midday on Day 15, spend the next few days in the heart of Argentinian wine country, Mendoza. Use the first day to get your bearings: the Plaza Independencia is a good place to start. The city centre is precisely landscaped and filled with trees, squares and parks. Please note that most commercial activity in Mendoza takes a break from 1 pm until 4 pm to allow for the traditional siesta. As this is Argentina's most important grape growing region, you may like to head out on a winery tour. Making up 70% of the country's wine, malbec is the region's signature variety.
Included Activities
  • Mendoza - Orientation walk
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is a free day in Mendoza. If you’re a thrill seeker, you can zipline high above Mendoza’s lakes along a series of canopy wires. Various city and mountain tours are also available if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground. At night, the city’s attention shifts to the many restaurants, bars and pubs along the Avenida Aristides Villanueva.
Optional Activities
  • Mendoza - Winery tour - ARS105
  • Mendoza - Canopy - ARS152
  • Mendoza - City Tour - ARS63
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the afternoon, take a short flight to Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires. On arrival, perhaps explore the cobblestone streets of San Telmo and browse its antiques markets, then continue to the Plaza de Mayo to see the presidential palace of the Casa Rosada. In the evening, you might like to enjoy a tango show, a football match or a steak and glass of Malbec in one of the city’s fashionable restaurants.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is a free day in Buenos Aires. Join the tourists and walk among the tombs at the La Recoleta Cemetery, the final resting place of Eva Peron. There are also some great museums to check out in the Recoleta district. Visit the neighbourhood of La Boca, home to the colourful Caminito artists’ street and world-renowned soccer team, Boca Juniors. Perhaps take part in an Urban Adventure centred on the city’s love of food, such as the Malbec Trail of Palermo or the Gourmet Buenos Aires Food tour (contact us for more information). If you need to rest your feet, settle down at one of the many street side cafes to watch the world go by with the locals.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your last full day in Buenos Aires is free to discover more of the city.
Optional Activities
  • Buenos Aires - Gourmet Food Urban Adventure - USD77
  • Buenos Aires - Tango, Tango, Tango! Urban Adventure - USD50
  • Buenos Aires - Malbec Trail of Palermo Urban Adventure - USD100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, your adventure around Bolivia and Argentina comes to an end. There are no activities planned for the final day so you’re able to depart the accommodation at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

17 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Plane, Bus, Overnight bus, 4x4

Accommodation

Hotel (15 nights), Dormitory (2 nights), Overnight bus (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • La Paz - Visit to the 'Witches Market'
  • La Paz - Orientation walk
  • Sucre - Orientation walk
  • Uyuni - Orientation walk
  • Salt flats - Visit to 'Fish Island/Inca Wasi'
  • Salt flats - Altiplano tour including Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde
  • Salta - Orientation walk
  • Mendoza - Orientation walk

Reviews

Our Bolivia to Argentina Adventure trips score an average of 4.7 out of 5 based on 10 reviews in the last year.

Bolivia to Argentina Adventure, October 2016

Louise Young

Bolivia to Argentina Adventure, October 2016

Erica Diaz

Dates & availability

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Important notes

START TIME:
This trip starts with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm. If you are unable to find a suitable flight it is possible to book additional nights at the joining accommodation.

FINISH TIME:
There are no activities on the final day & you are free to depart anytime.

BOLIVIAN VISA FOR U.S CITIZENS
Nationals from the United States need a visa to enter Bolivia and you we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate or Embassy. Not obtaining the visa in advance is likely to cause long delays at the border.
Please see the visa information on these trip notes for more information.

ARGENTINA:
The Argentine government charges a reciprocity tax which applies to Canadian, US and Australian citizens. The fee must be paid online prior to travel and a receipt for this payment must be produced at every border crossing into Argentina.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. Please read the following document carefully:
http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/527...

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
A Single Supplement to have your own room is available on this trip however excludes nights 2 & 14 (Overnight bus) and 9 (Salt flats) & 10 (Andean Desert) where you will be in shared accommodation.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.