Cusco to Calama and Vice Versa | Discover South America

Cusco to Calama and Vice Versa

Cusco (Peru) - Calama (Chile)

  • Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia
Cusco to Calama Tour Map
15 days / 14 nights from £2,279 per person Based on two people sharing double or twin rooms in standard accommodation. Flights are available separately.
Suggested Itinerary in Peru, Bolivia, Chile

Embark upon this epic overland journey through Peru, Bolivia and Chile, taking in many and varied highlights of South America.  From ancient ruins in the Peruvian cloud forest, to deep blue waters, to the out of this world landscapes of giant salt flats and lunar craters in the driest desert in the world, this tour is an overland classic.

Day

City

Activity

Overnight

Meals *

Day 1  

Cusco

Arrive Cusco & transfer to your hotel

Cusco

-

Day 2

Cusco

Half Day Group Cusco City Tour

Cusco

B

Day 3

Cusco

Sacred Valley Tour and train to Aguas Calientes

Aguas Calientes

B, L

Day 4

Cusco

Machu Picchu Tour and return to Cusco

Cusco

B

Day 5  

Cusco

Free day in Cusco

Cusco

B

Day 6

Cusco - Puno

Tour bus from Cusco to Puno

Puno

B, L

Day 7

Puno - Sun Island

Tour from Puno to Sun Island

Catamaran

B, L, D

Day 8

Sun Island - La Paz

Sun Island to La Paz

La Paz

B

Day 9

La Paz

Half day Group City tour La Paz

La Paz

B

Day 10

Uyuni

Transfer to La Paz Airport.  (Flight not included). Arrive Uyuni & full day tour of Salt Flats

Colchani (Uyuni)

B, L, D

Day 11

Uyuni

Ollague and Ojo de Perdiz

Villamar

B, L, D

Day 12

Uyuni - San Pedro

Siloli Desert, Red & Green Lagoons & to San Pedro

San Pedro

B

Day 13

San Pedro

San Pedro & Moon Valley Sunset Group Tours

San Pedro

B

Day 14

San Pedro

El Tatio Geysers and Machuca

San Pedro

B

Day 15

San Pedro - Calama

San Pedro de Atacama to La Calama & departure

-

B

* B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner


Upgrades and Extensions
  • Add Extra nights in Cusco before your tour begins.
Combinations

Combine this tour with our Discover the City of Lima tour upon arrival in Peru, and with our Discover Santiago de Chile tour after flying from La Calama to Santiago.

Day 1: Arrive Cusco & transfer to your hotel

Upon arrival in Cusco you will have a private transfer to your chosen hotel.  The rest of the day is free to start exploring the city or relax and acclimatise to the altitude.  Spend the night at our Standard hotel in Cusco.

Day 2: Half Day Group Cusco City Tour

After breakfast at your hotel, you will join a group with an English speaking local guide for a Cusco City Tour, including the Main Plaza, the Cathedral and the Koricancha temple in the centre of town.  Your tour also takes in the archaeological sites of Kenko, Tambomachay, Puka Pukara and the fortress of Sacsayhuaman located on the hills overlooking Cusco.  You will be back in the City Centre in time for lunch, where there are plenty of restaurants to choose from.  The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy Cusco.  Spend the night at our Standard hotel in Cusco.

Day 3: Sacred Valley Tour and train to Aguas Calientes

After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel for the full day group tour of the Sacred Valley of the Incas.  Our first stop is the picturesque town of Pisac and its colourful handicraft market.   At midday we will stop for a buffet lunch at a traditional restaurant.  In the afternoon we continue to the town and Inca Fortress of Ollantaytambo, a huge administrative, agricultural, civil, military and religious complex from the time of the Inca Empire.  In the evening, at around 7pm you will take the train to Aguas Calientes where our local agent will be waiting to take you to your hotel.  Spend the night at our Standard hotel in Aguas Calientes.

Day 4: Machu Picchu Tour and return to Cusco

After an early breakfast, you will take a bus up to the Citadel of Machu Picchu which takes around 30 minutes.

Arriving at the top of the mountain, you can enjoy the sunrise over the citadel.  Then your guide will start the tour which takes around 2 hours.  You will be in a group with other English speaking tourists.  Your tour will take in the major sectors of the city, the Intiwatana or sun dial, the Sun temple and the Condor temple among others.  After the tour you will have a chance to explore the city for yourselves.  At around 2pm you can take the bus back down to Aguas Calientes and choose a restaurant for lunch.  In the afternoon you take the train back as far as Poroy, where our local agents will be waiting to take you to your hotel in Cusco.  Spend the night at our Standard hotel in Cusco.

Day 5: Free Day in Cusco

After breakfast, you have a whole day to enjoy the city of Cusco.  You might want to visit some of the city’s varied museums, the handicraft markets, or the central San Pedro market, as well as the San Blas neighbourhood and you will surely want to try a local restaurant or two.  Your entrance ticket from the Sacred Valley tour also includes entrance to a traditional dance and music show, on each night from 7-8pm.  Spend the night at our Standard hotel in Cusco.

Day 6: Tour bus from Cusco to Puno

Travelling on a comfortable coach you will be accompanied by a local guide on the journey from Cusco to Puno.  You will stop at places of interest along the way, including the village of Andahuaylillas, and the ruins of the pre-Inca site of Raqchi where you will have a guided tour.  Between stops sit back and enjoy the incredible view of the herds of alpaca and llamas grazing on these highland pampas against the majestic backdrop of the Andes.  Enjoy a buffet lunch at a local restaurant on the way.  You will arrive in Puno at around 5pm.  Spend the night at our Standard hotel in Puno.

Day 7: Tour from Puno to Sun Island

You will leave Puno early in the morning on a comfortable tourist bus, with an English speaking guide to help you through the border crossing from Peru into Bolivia.  It is about 3 hours overland from Puno to Copacabana, the small town on the banks of Lake Titicaca where you will board the Catamaran to Sun Island.  Enjoy a leisurely cruise across the lake and a buffet lunch served onboard.  You will have a tour of the cultural center including an underground museum and medicinal plant garden on Sun Island, and some free time in the afternoon to relax and soak up the views.  Spend the night onboard the Catamaran, moored on Sun Island.

Day 8: Sun Island to La Paz

After breakfast onboard the Catamaran you will have an optional walk on Sun Island or a trip to the archeological complex of Pilcocaina, located on the other side of the Island.  Enjoy more cruising today as you make your way to the small port where your vehicle will be waiting to take you overland to La Paz.   Spend the night at our Standard hotel in La Paz.

Day 9: Half Day Group City tour La Paz

Join a group today for a tour of the City Centre including the important Plaza Murillo and the intriguing Witches’ Market.  Here you can buy good luck charms and objects used in Andean religious ceremonies.  Next you will head a little out of the city to visit the spectacular landscape of Moon Valley before returning to the centre of La Paz in time for lunch.  Maybe try a traditional Bolivian pasty, known as a salteña. You have a free afternoon to relax and enjoy the city.   Spend the night at our Standard hotel in La Paz.

Day 10: Arrival in Uyuni and Full day Salt Flats tour

Very early in the morning you will have a transfer to La Paz airport.  (Flight not included – see below).  You will be met upon arrival in Uyuni and set off straight away for your tour of the Uyuni salt flats with a private English speaking local guide, and driver.  You will make a stop at the train cemetery and the village of Colchani on the way in, before entering the salt flats and heading towards Incahuasi Island.  The largest of a group of islands within the salt flats, Incahuasi Island is covered with cacti measuring up to 12 metres in height.  Please note that during the rainy season in the Salt Flats (December to March) it is sometimes not possible to access Incahuasi Island if the salt flats are flooded.  It is still possible to enter the salt flats, which are even more impressive when covered in a thin layer of water as they create a giant mirror, you might visit another island if any are accessible at the time.  Next you will visit Coquesa village and after lunch, ascend the Tunupa Volcano to visit the Coquesa Mummies or the Chantani Museum.  Later you will head to your Salt hotel for the night where dinner is included.  Spend the night in a hotel made entirely of salt blocks in Colchani.

Day 11: Ollague and Ojo de Perdiz

After breakfast at your salt hotel you will set off to the south with your private guide and driver.  Today you will visit the Ollague viewpoint and pass several lagoons on the way to Ojo de Perdiz.  Lunch will be served en-route and you will have dinner once you arrive at your hotel.  Spend the night in a basic lodge in Villamar.

Day 12: Siloli Desert, Red and Green Lagoons and Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama (Chile)

After an early breakfast you will set off for the Eduardo Avaroa National Park via the Siloli Desert where you are likely to see llamas, vicuñas and viscachas as well as the famous rock formation known as the Stone Tree.  You will pass several lagoons on the way before arriving at the Red Lagoon which is impressive due to its vivid colour caused by a certain type of algae.  This lagoon is populated by 3 species of flamingos.  After lunch you will visit the Sol de Mañana (Morning Sun) geysers and volcanic area where you can warm up in the natural hot springs.  The last lagoon you will visit is the Green Lagoon, which is a particularly bright colour in the mornings and evenings.  From here you can see the Licancabur Volcano (5,868m) on the border between Bolivia and Chile.  After passing through the border formalities from Bolivia into Chile, you will leave your private guide and vehicle in Bolivia, and meet your Chilean driver who will take you to your hotel.  The rest of the afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the comparatively warm climate of San Pedro de Atacama.  Spend the night at our Standard hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.

Day 13: San Pedro & Moon Valley Sunset Group Tours

After breakfast you will be picked up from your hotel to explore the small town of San Pedro de Atacama and learn about its history from your bilingual guide.  Your tour includes a visit to the Le Paige archaeological museum, the 16th century colonial church, and the Pukara de Quitor fortress outside the town.  You will have free time for lunch before being picked up at around 4pm for your sunset tour.  You will drive to Moon Valley for spectacular views and to watch the snow-capped peaks changing colour as the sun sets in the desert – an impressive sight!  You will return to San Pedro in time for dinner.   Spend the night at our Standard hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.

Day 14: El Tatio Geysers and Machuca

A very early start (around 4am) is needed today to reach the geothermal field known as El Tatio in time to see the geysers at their most active, around sun-rise.   You will need warm clothes as the geysers are at an altitude of 4.300 m / 14.108 ft and temperatures can get down to -20˚C in winter.  As soon as the sun hits the area, the geysers bubble and spurt steam and boiling water into the air.  You will have time to walk around the area taking pictures before we head back to San Pedro, stopping in at the small traditional village of Machuca on the way.  You will be back in town in time for lunch, and the rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy San Pedro de Atacama, or maybe have a siesta.  Spend the night at our Standard hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.

Day 15: San Pedro to Calama

After breakfast you have a transfer to Calama airport at the appropriate time for your onward flight.


Included:
  • 11 nights in standard hotels in double or twin rooms with private bathroom, including breakfast (4 nights Cusco, 1 night Aguas Calientes, 1 night Puno, 2 nights La Paz, 3 nights in San Pedro de Atacama)
  • 1 night in twin share cabin with private bathroom on board Lake Titicaca Catamaran
  • 1 night in a salt hotel in Colchani / Uyuni
  • 1 night in a basic lodge in Villamar
  • All transport and transfers mentioned in above itinerary
  • All Tours as mentioned with English speaking local Guide (in a group unless otherwise specified)
  • Meals as specified in the table on page 1
  • Entrance fees to all attractions visited as part of your tours
Not Included:
  • Unspecified meals and services
  • Optional tips for Guides and/ or Drivers
  • International and domestic flights (La Paz to Uyuni from £105 per person subject to availability)
  • Airport taxes

Click on image to enlarge
Uyuni Salt Flats, BoliviaMachu Picchu, PeruSacred Valley, PeruKallawaya Ceremony on Isla del Sol, BoliviaTatio Geysers, Atacama Desert, ChileMoon Valley, Atacama Desert, Chile
Packing List
  • A body-warmer or down jacket
  • Thermal and fleece layers
  • Trainers or walking shoes
  • T-shirts for the daytime
  • Swimming suit
  • Sun hat
  • Sun block
  • Insect repellent
  • Small backpack
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Torch
  • Camera, memory cards & battery charger
  • Cash in local currency for souvenirs, meals not included and optional tips
All our tours are fully customisable - please ask us about any changes you would like to make to this itinerary.