High Altiplano Lakes, Salar de Atacama & Tocanao
Northern Chile, Chile
A spectacular encounter with the highland landscapes of the Altiplano, this 4x4 trip takes you to over 14,000 feet to experience two beautiful and intensely blue desert lakes set amid epic Andean landscapes and within Los Flamencos National Reserve.
A spectacular encounter with the highland landscapes of the Altiplano.
Head south of San Pedro to Toconao, famous for its buildings made of liparite volcanic stone. There, you can visit its church and historic bell tower, as well as visit the booths of craftspeople who offer their goods in the square. Next to Toconao is Jere creek, a canyon with the only running fresh water in these surroundings. This spring crosses and irrigates a rich orchard of fruit trees and farmed vegetables. Then, continue on to Chaxa pond, a National Reserve located at the Atacama Salt Flat. This pond is surrounded by salt crusts and gypsum produced by the evaporation of salty ground water. Here we can observe the flamingos that inhabit the Salt Flat, as well as other native bird species.
You will then continue along a road leading towards Argentina (Paso Sico), and on to the intensely blue lakes of Miscanti and Miñique. The main features of the place are the intensely blue lakes, the epic landscapes and native birds such, as the tagua and the blanquillo. This outing includes lunch and an optional visit to the Highland Salt Flats.