- Chile Bolivia and Peru
This unique 15 day tour is truly an Andean adventure. Travelling from the Chilean city of Santiago, through breath-taking Bolivia, it concludes with the magnificent Machu Picchu in Peru - one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Santiago, via Sao Paulo.
On arrival, you will be met by your local guide and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy today at leisure.
Following breakfast your guide will take you on a half-day city tour of Santiago, visiting the main attractions of this charming capital city. Beginning at the Government Palace, you will then continue to the main square 'Plaza de Armas', known as the heart and soul of Santiago and the centrepiece of the city's grid pattern layout. Next stroll around Santa Lucia Hill, a beautifully landscaped park where back in 1833 Charles Darwin once proclaimed that the view from here is 'certainly most striking'. Finish your tour with visits to the exclusive residential neighbourhoods of Vitacura and Las Condes, then return to your hotel for some time to rest and relax.
This morning you will be transferred to Santiago airport for your flight to Calama, a city in northern Chile's Atacama Desert. Considered to be the archaeological capital of Chile as well as the centre of Atacama culture, San Pedro's people once roamed this vast expanse of desert which is thought to be the driest place on planet Earth.
An early start takes you to the Tatio Geysers, situated on the highest geothermal field, some 4,300 metres above sea level in the Andean mountain range. Ringed by volcanoes, over 80 gurgling geysers shoot steam fumaroles reaching 50 metres in height of multiple vibrant colours; a dazzling spectacle to behold. Admire the varied fauna, such as the vicuna, the smallest of the six species of camelid which has adapted itself to survive in the extreme and inhospitable climate of the Andes. In the evening your group will travel to Valle de la Luna to watch the sunset from this exquisite viewing point.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
After breakfast you will begin your journey to the Bolivian Salt Flats via 4x4 jeeps to experience a full-day tour of this incredible landscape. The first stop will be at the Emerald Green Lagoon in the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve whose colour is caused by the moving sediments containing copper minerals. Then continue to the hot springs of Polques where you will have the chance to bathe before carrying on to the geysers of Sol de Manana to marvel at the pools of boiling mud emitting pressurised steam.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Leaving your hotel after breakfast, your tour will continue to a chain of beautiful lagoons home to three different kinds of flamingo whose pink feet and feathers are a result of the active red algae which reacts with the sun's radiation. Lunch will be served outdoors on the shores of the lagoon before continuing your journey across the salt flats on to your unique accommodation for the night - a hotel built entirely of salt blocks!
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
This morning journey to Isla Incahuasi, one of the main destinations within Uyuni Salt Flats. It was once a real island before the prehistoric lakes dried up, leaving a hilly outpost covered in hundreds of tall cacti growing haphazardly out of the ragged surface. Reach the top of the island and find your camera to take a panoramic shot of the 360-degree views over this spectacular sight. From here you will continue to see pyramids of salt piled on the land by salt miners who harvest the area for its lucrative minerals.
Depart the salt flats today after breakfast and transfer to Uyuni airport for your flight to La Paz, located 3,600 metres above sea level and known as 'the city that touches the sky'. Discover this dizzying city on a half-day tour, visiting the main square, Plaza Murillo, the historic centre of La Paz and home to the Cathedral and Presidential Palace. Next continue to the 16th century San Francisco church whose mestizo baroque facade features carvings of masks, dragons and tropical birds. Take the stone tunnel stairway to the roof for views across the city's skyline, then visit the charming colonial street of Calle Jaen. Finally, the tour arrives at Valle de la Luna - a dramatic change of scenery where erosion has produced stony forms resembling the moon.
Today you will be transferred to Desaguadero to cross the border between Bolivia and Peru and arrive at Lake Titicaca, thought to be the birthplace of the sun and known to be the highest navigable lake in the world. Travelling by motorboat, visit the floating Uros Islands, constructed entirely by the buoyant reeds that grow plentifully in the lake below. Meet the Uros women in their brightly coloured petticoat skirts who will be happy to sell you their charming handicrafts. Continue to Puno where you will spend the night.
Breakfast & Lunch
This morning you will travel from Puno to Cusco and be able to appreciate the surrounding valleys' wonderful landscapes en route. The journey includes a stop at La Raya pass, 4,300 metres above sea level, from where you will be able to take in some amazing vistas of the Andean snow-capped mountains. You will also stop at the Raqchi ruins, known as the Temple of the God Wiracocha, and Andahuaylillas village where there is a beautiful church from the 17th century. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before arriving in Cusco and transferring to your hotel.
Today's morning tour of Cusco will introduce you to this amazing colonial city built on the foundation of Inca Palaces. Visit the Temple of the Sun where you can appreciate the incredible masonry of the Incas, the Plaza de Armas and the Cathedral with its carved woodworks, altars and paintings. Later you will drive to the Inca fortress of Sacsayhuaman whose peculiar huge granite stone slabs of up to six metres in length fit perfectly on top of one another. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore the rest of Cusco.
Rise early in the morning to take a train to Aguas Calientes then continue by road to reach one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the awe-inspiring ruins of Machu Picchu. Only re-discovered in 1911 by the explorer Hiram Bingham, this 500-year-old citadel is considered to be one of the most extraordinary examples of landscaped architecture in the world. Located on the saddle of a mountain, overlooking the deep canyon of the Urubamba River and in an area of lush tropical forest, it served as a place of worship, a site for stargazing and a private hacienda for the family of the Inca Pachacutec.
Following breakfast your guide will transfer you from your hotel to the airport in Cusco for your flight to Lima. Known as the 'City of the Kings', today's tour combines the culture of historic downtown Lima with the modern district of Miraflores. You will first visit the main square to see the Cathedral, Government Palace and City Hall. Next see one of the best-preserved monasteries in Lima, the beautiful Santo Domingo Convent and then on to Miraflores, a bustling shopping area with stupendous views of the Pacific Ocean. Retire to your hotel for the final night of your journey across Latin America.
Transfer to Lima airport for your return flight to the UK via Sao Paulo, Brazil.
J Henderson17 May 19
We can not praise your tour reps enough, they were fantastic. A special thanks to Paula who joined us in San Pedro De Atacama, she was so knowledgeable and had great passion. Thanks to the tour guide in Bolivia and also the four drivers of the 4x4 jeeps. We had a truly remarkable time at the salt flats in Yuni. The tour guide Maguie who joined us at Calama airport until we left Cusco for Lima was exceptional. She was so passion-able about every detail, she went over and above what was expected and Nothing was a problem, she would do anything to help anyone. She is an inspiration and a credit to Mercury Holidays, we wish her well for the future. A truly memorable holiday.
Paul Kristiansen26 Feb 19
Palacio de la Sal at Uyuni was outstanding. Every hotel fitted the location perfectly. The day at Uyuni was utterly spectacular. To have lunch laid out for us under the gazebo with 360 degree reflecting lake views was totally unexpected and quite magical. The drivers gave all their time to ensure we had the perfect photos even setting up props for perspective and shooting a Youtube quality video for us all.
B Hammond13 Nov 18
Magaly was our best guide. I am well travelled but Magsie was the most incredible rep I have ever met. She showed love, care and support towards me and the rest of the tour group.
Ian Trimble12 Dec 17
All the hotels were in excellent locations and generally good quality, though we found the hotel in Cusco to be quite 'spartan'. This is an observation, not a complaint.
Robert May15 Jul 17
Hotels good for rating
John Davis13 Jun 16
Having travelled worldwide, Malka is one of the best guides i have experienced. the scenery and places visited were awesome, however Malka made this tour, she was the icing on the cake! The Bolivian Salt Flats were amazing as well as the Atacama Desert.
Howard Robinson07 Jun 16
I am well-travelled worldwide and Malka has been the best guide I have experienced. She is top class. All excursions excellent, hotel in La Paz could have been better.
British passport holders do not need to obtain a visa prior to travel, you will be granted a tourist visa on arrival into Chile, Bolivia and Peru that will cover you for the duration of your stay on the tour. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you to check your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up to date guidelines regarding passport validity.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24-hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £49pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
International flights are operated by TAM airlines operating via Sao Paulo. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage plus 1 item of hand luggage not exceeding 56cm x 40cm x 20cm in size and 1 personal item such as a handbag or laptop. Internal flights are with LAN airlines or Amaszonas airlines. Each passenger is entitled to 20kg of hold luggage plus one item of hand luggage not exceeding 5kg. It is compulsory to recheck luggage in Sao Paulo when connecting with a domestic flight. Please be aware of the difference between the weight restrictions of international and internal flights. Weight restrictions will be finalised on E-ticket receipt. Check-in for international flights should be at least three hours before departure. Flight times/numbers are for guidance only and are subject to change. On arrival in Chile, you will be met by a representative from our local agent, Pure Chile, holding a sign displaying: 'Mercury Holidays'. The Mercury Holidays/Protours Chile representative will show you to your transfer vehicle.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 15. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be with a local guide in each of the main destinations on the trip. In addition to the local guides, a national guide will meet you in Calama and remain with the group until Cusco. In Santiago and Lima, you will be accompanied by a local guide only.
Each of the three countries visited on this tour have their own currency: <br /><br /><table class="basic" cellspacing="0"><thead><tr><th><b>Country</b></th><th><b>Currency</b></th></tr></thead><tbody><tr><td>Chile</td><td>Chilean Peso (Ch$)</td></tr><tr><td>Bolivia</td><td>Boliviano (Bs)</td></tr><tr><td>Peru</td><td>Neuvo Sol (S/)</td></tr></tbody></table><br />US Dollars are widely accepted in large hotels and restaurants but local currency will be needed for payment in smaller establishments. Therefore, it is recommended that you either take a mixture of currencies or take US dollars and change this into the local currency as and when you need to. Cash machines are available in the major cities to withdraw money in the local currency of the country.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £400 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!