Tour to Lauca National Park
You will depart early this morning to enjoy the magnificent landscapes of Lauca National Park, located 130 miles east of Arica. Before taking the international road to Bolivia, you will stop to see Geoglyphs on route.
Continuing, you will stop at Poconchile – an old town dating from the pre-Inca times, here you will have the opportunity to see the St. Jerome Church, built in the 17th century and remodelled in 1879.
Spectacular Chilean scenery and wildlife
Continue your journey through the Atacama Desert viewing spectacular landscapes. As you adjust to the altitude a photo stop will be made at Pukara de Copaquilla, a 12th century pre-Inca fortress located at the top of a 150 metre deep canyon and the Copaquilla valley. Here you will also have the chance to admire the amazing geological landscape of the Andean Sierra.
The journey continues, passing Putre before arriving at the park. Once inside the park you will be able to observe the llaretas (unique vegetation of the altiplano) vicunas, llamas and alpacas. Reaching the viewpoint where you will be able to see Chungara Lake and, clouds permitting, a chain of magnificent volcanoes; Payachatas, Parinacota, Sajama, Pomerape and Guallatire with their snow capped peaks, a breathtaking sight to behold. We drive back out of the park passing the typical marshland called the Bofedales (running water) and the Cotacotani lagoons.
We head back to Arica...
Having seen some of South America's most stunning landscapes, you will return to Arica in the late afternoon. On the way back, you will enjoy a brief stop in Putre for Light lunch, where fruits and tea and/or coffee will be served. Putre is the capital of Parinocota province and is a beautiful town which lies at the foothills of the Tahapaca volcano.
The architecture here is influenced by the Spanish as during the colonial period many of them lived here. View carved columns, archways and window frames all made of stone from the quarries of the volcanoes. Putre was also an important resting place and base for the caravans bringing silver from Potosi to Arica.