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Travel planning for north of Chile, Bolivia and Peru

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Travel planning for north of Chile, Bolivia and Peru

1. Posted by idayvuelta (Budding Member 3 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!


Alright, I've just spent a whole day doing some research and I know that 1 million people have asked about similar things, but still. Things change and I would really appreciate any comments and thoughts that you might have regarding my trip.

1. General comments? What would you change, include and exclude?

--> I thought about including La Serena and Iquique in Chile but decided to not since I want to get to a cheaper country as soon as possible. Do you have any comments that might make me change my mind?

--> Should I skip San Pedro de Atacama if I am doing de Uyuni tour? Isn't the landscape similar? What can I do in San Pedro de Atacama that I can't do in Uyuni? I have seen the Salars in Salta and I don't want to see the same things too many times... without sounding arrogant, I hope you understand.

2. Comments on the practical stuff such as bus security - will the roads be full of water in Bolivia or there won't be any problem? I know you can never know for sure but still....

3. Recommendations regarding bus companies, tour operators, activities, amazing hostels.... ?

4. My return ticket is booked from Miami. Thus, I need to find a CHEAP find to get from Lima to Miami... alternatively from Quito or Bogota to Miami. Any ideas?

Thanks a million in advance... any ideas and comments are most welcome!



Feb 2: Bus Valpo-San Pedro de Atacama

Feb 3: Arrival in San Pedro de Atacama, stay until Feb 8th

Feb 8: Bus to Uyuni (OR TO TUPIZA?) - not sure what would be better... I'm not interested in the cities, just arranging a tour. I am aware of the face that it is possible to go on a Salar de Uyuni tour from San Pedro de Atacama but I am travelling on a tight budget and
guessing that arranging everything in Bolivia would be cheaper?
Feb 9: Uyuni

Feb 10-15th: Uyuni tour

Feb 16: Uyuni-Sucre

Feb 17,18,19,20,21,22,24 Sucre (Spanish courses)

Feb 24: Sucre-La Paz Bus

Feb 25, 26, 27, 28: La Paz

Feb 28: La Paz-Copacobana

Feb 29-1 Mar: Copacobana, Isla del Sol

Mar 1 : Bus to Arequipa

Mar 2,3,4,5 Arequipa (and Colca Canyon)

Mar 6: Bus Arequipa-Cuzco

Mar 7,8,9,10: Cuzco

Mar 11,12,13,14 Machu Picchu (I plan on doing an alternative trek.... any thoughts or recommendations?)

Mar 15: Resting in Cuzco

Mar 16: Bus Cuzco-Ica (Huacachina)

Mar 17, 18, 19, 20 Ica

Mar 21: Ica-Lima

Mar 22-23-24: Lima

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5107 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

I don't have any knowledge about the Bolivian part of this trip, but the Peruvian part looks pretty good. I'd personally recommend doing a longer Colca Canyon trek (three full days), and also spending two or ideally three days in Arequipa itself, as I found that a highly enjoyable city, much nicer than Lima (for which I'd say one full day would be plenty, which should balance out your days again).

Specific recommendations: I did the Colca Canyon trek with "Colca Trek" (on Jerusalem; there's apparently a lot of fake ones trying to trade on that name). I thought what they offered was really expensive, but I also thought it was mostly worth it, as their tour included a lot less of the pushy touristy activities which I wasn't interested in, and our guide was amazing (if only a mediocre cook *g*). In Arequipa I stayed at the Colonial House Inn, based on a recommendation of another travellerspoint member, and like her, I can highly recommend. It's definitely a budget place, but good location, good service, and breakfast on the rooftop was great. Also, if you want to splurge on dinner at any point, Arequipa hosts some truly top-end restaurants. Zig-zag is the one I have the fondest memories of.

[ Edit: Edited on 24-Jan-2012, at 10:17 by Sander ]

3. Posted by idayvuelta (Budding Member 3 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!

Great, thank you so much for your reply Sander. I'll definitely look into doing a longer Colca Canyon trek and thanks for the specific recommendations! This is exactly what I was asking for... I love this forum.

Post 4 was removed by a moderator
5. Posted by overkill (Budding Member 32 posts) 5y Star this if you like it!


Instead taking a Bus from San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni you could take the Uyuni Tour in San Pedro. It is the same tour. At the border you will change to the bolivian operators. And on the third day they will let you out in Uyuni.