Altiplano & Gaucho Wanderer

From Bolivia’s high Altiplano to the heart of Argentina’s grasslands, this trip takes you through some of South America’s most beautiful landscapes. Most stunning of all is the dramatic expanse of the salt plains of Salar de Uyuni and we will cross the Altiplano along remote, seldom travelled routes, criss-crossing wild plateaux studded with volcanoes and lakes full of flamingos; it is truly spectacular.

Bolivia was the economic engine of the Spanish empire and nowhere more so than the historic city of Potosi with its giant silver and tin mines and the political centre of La Paz. We descend from the Andes into Chile’s Atacama Desert, to visit the atmospheric town of San Pedro before crossing the Andes again and heading into the beautiful arid regions of Argentina and the wonderful colonial city of Salta. Argentina’s route 40 is truly spectacular cutting through remote red mountains beset with vine covered valleys.

No trip to Argentina is complete without getting under the skin of Gaucho life and we have a unique Estancia stay for two days of horse riding on an idyllic country ranch. To cap it all off we have time to explore the cosmopolitan capital, Buenos Aires.

  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure:
  • For lovers of: Active/Adrenaline, Local Culture & Cuisine, Historical Sites, Parks & Nature Reserves, Sailing, Rafting
  • Physical rating: Light
  • Supplier Tour ID: ZZB2/157997
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Starts: Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Finishes: La Paz, Bolivia
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Buenos Aires
  • Córdoba
  • Estancia
  • Tafí Del Valle
  • Cafayate
  • Quilmes Ruins
  • Salta
  • Purmamarca
  • San Pedro De Atacama
  • Bolivian Altiplano
  • Uyuni
  • Salar De Uyuni
  • Potosí
  • La Paz



Day 1: Buenos Aires

Border information: if you are joining in Buenos Aires, you will most likely enter Argentina at Buenos Aires Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also commonly known as Ezeiza Airport (IATA code: BUE/EZE).

Welcome to Buenos Aires, the wonderful capital of Argentina! There will be an important group meeting at 6:00pm at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting.

Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Buenos Aires before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Buenos Aires.

In Buenos Aires we will stay in a centrally-located hotel.


Day 2: Buenos Aires

Today we have a free day to enjoy the sights of Buenos Aires, soak up the atmosphere of its streets, and discover its amazing culture, art, and music.


Day 3: Córdoba

Today we will have a full day drive to the lively university city of C rdoba.

In C rdoba we will stay in a hostel close to the city centre.

Estimated Drive Time - 10-11 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).


Day 4-6: Estancia

Today we will have a free morning to explore C rdoba, before driving to a unique Anglo-Argentine Estancia after lunch, where we will stay for 3 nights.

Estimated Drive Time - 1-2 hours.

During our time at the Estancia, we will head out horseback riding, taste the excellent wines produced by their vineyards, be entertained by a local musician, learn some of the skills of the gauchos, and enjoy a traditional asado (Argentine BBQ). This is a magical experience in a beautiful and atmospheric location, and many people's highlight of the trip!

Please note that some of these activities are subject to weather conditions. Please also note that there is a strict weight limit of 15 stone (210lbs) or 95kg to partake in the horse riding - if you should weigh more than this, then unfortunately you will not be able to participate in the horseback riding.

At the Estancia we will camp with facilities in the grounds near the main house.


Day 7: Tafí Del Valle

Today we will drive north across the lush flat pampas and start climbing into the drier mountains, stopping near the town of Taf del Valle, near the ancient ruins of the indigenous city of Quilmes.

Tonight we will camp in a basic campsite near the town of Taf del Valle.

Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours.


Day 8: Cafayate

Today we will have an included visit to the Quilmes Ruins en route, then arrive in the serene town of Cafayate. This small, unassuming town is the centre of one of Argentina's principal wine producing regions, famous for the quality of its Torrentes and Tannat wines! We will have the opportunity to go to a few of the vineyards nearby to see how the wine is made, and of course to try them!

In Cafayate we stay at a campsite with good facilities.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.


Day 9: Salta

Today we will drive through the spectacular rock formations of the Quebrada de las Conchas, and reach our campsite in Cabra Corral, a small village south of Salta where we have the opportunity to go rafting or zip-lining!

Tonight we will camp at the rafting base in Cabra Corral.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.


Day 10-11: Salta

Today we will have a short drive to the beautiful town of Salta, with a free afternoon to explore upon arrival.

Estimated Drive Time - 2-3 hours.

On the following day, we will have a free day to explore the town of Salta, visit its many museums, or explore the beautiful surrounding hills on foot or by mountain bike. We will also have the chance to take the cable car to the viewpoint on San Bernardo Hill overlooking the town, or take the famous 'Train to the Clouds' through some of the incredible mountain scenery nearby.

In Salta we will stay in a local hotel or guesthouse.


Day 12: Purmamarca

Today we will have some more free time in Salta before heading up to the small village of Purmamarca, at the base of the aptly-named 'Hill of the Seven Colours'

In Purmamarca we will camp at a local campsite.

Estimated Drive Time - 3-4 hours.


Day 13-14: San Pedro De Atacama

Border information: Exit Argentina and enter Chile at Paso Jama.

Today we will have a long drive day to cross the mighty Andes, cross the border into Chile, and then descend all the way into the Atacama desert.

Estimated Drive Time - 11-12 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to explore the incredible highlights of the Atacama desert surrounding San Pedro. In the evening we will take an included trip out to the extraordinary Moon Valley, where we will hopefully see an incredible sunset. At night we will also have the chance to go stargazing, in one of the world's premier regions for astronomy (please note that this is only possible when there is not a full moon).

In San Pedro de Atacama we will stay in a centrally located hostel.


Day 15: Bolivian Altiplano

We will depart San Pedro de Atacama early today to drive to the world's highest Geyser field, at 4300m above sea level, the El Tatio Geysers are an impressive sight first thing in the morning. After time to explore, we will continue our journey into the Reserva Nacional Alto Loa, we will have plenty of opportunities for photographs along the way on this scenic drive.

Tonight we will bush camp in a beautiful, remote spot close to the Bolivian Border.

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

Please note: The weather in this region can be unpredictable and has been known to close the road to the border. On these occasions we will take an alternate route across the Altiplano, crossing into either Chile or Argentina at a different border point. Your Tour Leaders will keep you informed of any changes that may be necessary


Day 16: Uyuni

Border information: Exit Chile and enter Bolivia at Ollague

After breakfast we will break camp and cross the border into Bolivia. We will take our time to enjoy the views on the way to the town of Uyuni, the gateway to the incredible salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni.

In Uyuni we will stay in a friendly hotel, famous for serving the highest pizzas in the world!

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.


Day 17: Salar De Uyuni

Today we will venture out onto the salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni, spending a full day exploring this phenomenal location by jeep and on foot. En route we will explore the nearby train graveyard and the cactus-filled 'Fish Island', and take all the time we need to get plenty of perspective-bending photographs!


Day 18: Potosí

Today we will head to the colonial mining town of Potos , the highest town in the world, and once famous for the area's abundance of silver!

This afternoon there will be a chance to visit the infamous silver mines of Cerro Rico near to the town.

In Potos we will stay in a friendly local hotel.

Estimated Drive time - 4hrs


Day 19-20: La Paz

Today we will drive north to La Paz, Bolivia s seat of government and the highest administrative capital in the world!

Estimated Drive Time - 7-8 hours.

On the following day we will have a free day to independently explore the fascinating city and take part in some optional activities.

In La Paz we will stay in a good hotel in the historical centre.


Day 21: La Paz

Border information: if you are finishing in La Paz, you will most likely exit Bolivia at La Paz El Alto International Airport (IATA code: LPB).

Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in La Paz. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.

    • Spend 3 unique days at an Anglo-Argentinian estancia to experience the Gaucho way of life
    • Visit the Quilmes ruins
    • Explore the dramatic landscape of the Moon Valley
    • Take the epic journey across the Altiplano - an incredible high-altitude adventure through a surreal desert landscape, taking in bizarre rock formations and stunning lakes
    • Take jeeps out onto the dazzling Uyuni Salt Flats
    Tour Staff
    • 2 Dragoman crew, Local guides where necessary
    • 30% Camping - 70% Hotels
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