Embark on an overland adventure from La Paz to Santiago, taking in the natural wonders of the Uyuni salt flats and the Altiplano in Bolivia, Chile's spectacular Atacama Desert and Argentina's winelands. You'll also learn how to be a gaucho on a ranch - all in an unforgettable three weeks.
Welcome to Bolivia! Make your own way to our joining hotel in the historical centre of La Paz. Tonight at 6pm we have an important group meeting where you will get the chance to meet others in your group and the crew.
A note on altitude: if you are joining in La Paz, we strongly recommend arriving at least 24 hours before the trip begins to allow additional time to acclimatise. The city sits 3500m above sea level.
Overnight: La Paz
Today is at leisure in La Paz. Perhaps explore the famous witches market, take an optional excursion to visit the Tiahuanacu Inca Ruins or go mountain biking on the 'World's Most Dangerous Road'. See the Trip Notes for more information about the optional activities on offer in La Paz.
Overnight: La Paz | Breakfast
La Paz - Uyuni. Today we journey south to Uyuni, the gateway to the Salar de Uyuni, which is the world's largest salt pan. We spend the night at a hotel in Uyuni that's famous for serving pizzas at the highest altitude in the world.
On day 4 we spend a full day exploring the incredible landscape of the Salar de Uyuni by jeep and on foot. Stretching for 12,000 square kilometres, the blinding white crystals of the salt flats reflect the sky perfectly, making the horizon disappear. We visit the nearby train graveyard and cactus-filled 'Fish Island' en route, with plenty of time throughout the day to get some perspective-bending photographs.
Overnight: Uyuni (2) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1
Uyuni - Altiplano (Chile). We continue our journey across the wilds of the Altiplano. This impressive, desolate desert landscape stretches all the way to Chile and is dotted with streams and lakes that appear vividly coloured due to the mineral deposits in the water. These lakes are flanked by the impressive volcanic peaks of the high Bolivian Andes, which are awe-inspiringly beautiful and undoubtedly some of the most spectacular mountain scenery you'll ever see. We have plenty of photo stops along the way as we cross into Chile and to our camp for the evening. Tonight's camp is a remote bush camp with no facilities.
Overnight: Altiplano | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Altiplano - San Pedro de Atacama. In the morning we break camp and drive through the stunning Reserva Nacional Alto Loa to reach the desert oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama. En route we stop off for photographs and enjoy lunch as the famous El Tatio Geysers, which are the world’s highest at an elevation of 4,300 metres.
The following day is free to explore the Atacama Desert, with an included trip to the extraordinary Valley of the Moon to witness the sunset over this incredible landscape. This region is considered one of the best in the world for astronomy and, provided there isn’t a full moon, we have the chance to go stargazing tonight.
Overnight: San Pedro de Atacama (2) | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1
San Pedro de Atacama - Salta (Argentina). We depart Chile at the Paso Jamo border and cross into Argentina on day 8. It's a long drive day across the mighty Andes towards our destination for the evening - Salta. Day 9 is at leisure to explore Salta. This city has a number of interesting museums and stunning surrounding hills which are great to explore by bike or on foot. You could also take a cable car to the San Bernardo Hill viewpoint or the famous Train to the Clouds for some impressive mountain scenery.
Overnight: Salta (2) | Breakfast x 2
Salta - Cafayate. Departing Salta we drive through the incredible rock formations of the Quebrada de las Conchas en route to Cafayete on day 10. This small town is in the heart of Argentina's premier wine producing region and there will be the opportunity to visit some of the local vineyards.
Overnight: Salta | Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 1, Dinner x 2
Quilmes ancient ruins
Cafayate - Quilmes - Recreo. On day 12 we continue south through some beautiful mountains before arriving in the pampas that Argentina is famous for. We explore the ancient ruins of the indigenous city of Quilmes on the way and tonight we enjoy a wild camping experience.
Overnight: Recreo | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Recreo - Estancia. Today we drive to a unique Anglo-Argentine estancia, or cattle ranch, where we stay for the next three nights at a camp near the main house. This estancia is a working ranch farming prized Argentinian Aberdeen Angus cattle and has been in the same family for four generations.
Here we experience the traditional hospitality of the ranching community and enjoy an Argentine BBQ called an asado on one of our nights here. We also enjoy an evening of traditional music, a wine tasting of local produce and the chance to learn how to lasso. What's more, there are daily horseback riding excursions into the surrounding hills that'll make you feel like a true gaucho in no time.
Overnight: Estancia (3) | Breakfast x 3, Lunch x 3, Dinner x 3
Estancia - Cordoba. This morning we enjoy a leisurely start and after breakfast continue our drive to the lively university city of Cordoba, located at the heart of the Argentinian sierras. This afternoon is free to explore and soak up Cordoba's vibrant atmosphere or enjoy its excellent nightlife.
Overnight: Cordoba | Breakfast
Cordoba - Mendoza. We have an early start on day 17 as we take a full day to drive to the beautiful town of Mendoza in the foothills of the Andes. Mendoza is well known as one of the 'Wine Capitals of the World' and is renowned for its delicious Malbec. The following day is free to explore this region, head out on various adventure activities or take a tasting tour of the incredible wineries.
Overnight: Mendoza (2) | Breakfast x 2
Mendoza - Santiago (Chile). Heading back into Chile on day 19 we drive across the Cristo Redentor pass in the high Andes. We pass Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Southern Hemisphere, as we head to the Chilean capital of Santiago. Day 20 is free for you to explore the city independently. Our accommodation in Santiago is a centrally located hostel.
Overnight: Santiago | Breakfast x 2
Our incredible journey comes to an end in Santiago this morning. If you would like to extend your stay in Chile we can arrange post tour accommodation upon request.
Is This Trip Right For Me?
Overlanding is not a style of travel that will suit everyone so please carefully read the Trip Notes before selecting this tour and be realistic about your ability and desire to join such a trip. If you’re the adventurous type who’d rather spend a night roughing it in a rainforest than luxuriating in a boutique hotel, then overlanding is for you. You just need the right attitude, an open mind, and a desire to participate fully in the trip.
Overland travelling can be demanding and challenging. On your trip you’ll travel in a purpose-built expedition vehicle on an off-the-beaten-track adventure along rugged roads, sometimes across vast distances. You will find the drive times noted on the Trip Notes.
On an overland journey you are more than just a passenger, these are full participation trips and everyone gets involved and pitches in! You will also be expected to erect your own tent and help with camp chores including cooking meals for the group on a rota basis. Like all great adventures, the more you put in the more you'll get out!
The type, variety and standard of accommodation can vary greatly from very basic rooms without electricity or running water to comfortable hotels with good facilities. Generally in hotels most rooms will be twin-share, but some may be triple/quad-share. Hostels are nearly always multi-share and may be mixed sex.
The campsites we use range from basic to those with excellent facilities, including swimming pools, restaurants and a bar. On some occasions we wild camp with no facilities, which means there are no toilets - just the vast expanse of the great outdoors and a shovel!
Our overland journeys are designed to offer freedom, and many of our routes have a large degree of flexibility rather than a strict hour-by-hour or even day-by-day itinerary. We intend to follow the planned route but exact night stops and inclusions cannot be guaranteed and it sometimes happens that we decide to make a change to our planned itinerary.
How Challenging Is This Trip?
This is a fairly challenging trip; you may well be travelling at high altitudes, across deserts or through cold and windy or hot and steamy areas. The terrain and roads may be rough and the facilities can be very basic or non existent. There may be some long drive days followed by wild camps, and physically and mentally it can be tough, but there will be some rest days and time to relax as well.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. Prices shown above are per person travelling.Read More
Local payment - $840pp, paid in USD
Please note that this is payable locally on day 1 of your trip in the currency specified.
Prices & Dates