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Home / Packages & Daytrips / Altiplano

Altiplano

slider_altiplanoNorthern Chile and its remote altiplano region are bordered by Peru and Bolivia. This is a land of snow-covered volcanoes and high desert landscapes – a world of bizarre rock and sand formations, hissing geysers, and endless salt pans, whose crystals blanket the desert like a fresh snowfall. Remote lagoons of turquoise and green shimmer in the midst of the vast expanse, while incongruous pink flamingos wade in the shallows or glide through the deep blue sky. Inca and pre-Inca ruins; crumbling agricultural terraces constructed by the Aymara people; abandoned copper mines; and century-old ghost towns left behind by the nitrate boom: all bear silent witness to thousands of years of human habitation in this seemingly inhospitable land. Follow in the footsteps of the Aymara and Chinchorro, and marvel at their ancient route markers, carved into the hillsides to guide travellers to the coast. Or make a tour of the distinctive village churches of the north, constructed in the early years of Spanish rule and among the oldest in Chile. Wildlife lovers will marvel at the variety of animal species native to the altiplano: flamingos are joined by ducks and countless other bird species, while solitary armadillos and gregarious viscachas (a rabbit-like rodent) burrow into the soil, untroubled by the herds of wild guanaco above – not to be confused with the domesticated llama and alpaca, which are also a common sight.

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