Splendors of South America: Uyuni, Atacama, and Easter Island

Splendors of South America: Uyuni, Atacama, and Easter Island

About this trip

Join the Climb for Cancer Foundation to witness the spectacular natural beauty of Bolivia and Chile. The Climb for Cancer Foundation exists to improve the mental, physical and social well-being of cancer patients, survivors and their caregivers through funding of enrichment programs in arts, nature, sports and medicine.
Co-founded by Ron and Dianne Farb in 2003, our small Foundation has made a tangible impact on the lives of many people fighting the disease. The Foundation has funded or created several psycho-social programs which provide support to the patient and the family, funded research grants, and given kids an opportunity to attend cancer camps. The Foundation likes to think that its gifts fill in the cracks left by organizations that make much larger gifts.

Highlights

  • Set sail aboard a traditional reed boat on Lake Titicaca, where the Inca Empire was born.
  • Explore the pre-Inca ancient city of Tinawaku.
  • Take in extraordinary landscapes like colorful lagoons, sandstone formations, and sprawling salt flats.
  • Marvel at the incredible geysers and take a dip in the hot springs pools at El Tatio.
  • Discover clues to the ceremonial heritage behind the mysterious ruins of Easter Island.
  • Visit the coastal cities of Viña del Mar and Valparaíso, and sample Chilean wine.
PLEASE NOTE:  A $500 per person minimum donation to the Climb for Cancer Foundation is required (to be paid separately).

Meet your leader

Ron Farb

Educated at the College of William & Mary, and a former military aviator, Ron Farb has traveled to every continent and more than 50 countries. Ron has climbed the highest mountain on five of the seven continents, including Everest, Aconcagua (twice), Denali, Elbrus, and Kilimanjaro (seven times). By doing so, he has raised more than $2 million to fund medical research for cancer with Climb for Cancer, a foundation he and his wife, Dianne, started in 2002.

La Paz

Nov 27, 2022

Fly from Miami to Lima, Peru. Arrive Lima at 10:25PM, stay at the airport as the flight to La Paz departs at 12:25AM.

Overnight at Casa Grande Hotel

La Paz

Nov 28, 2022

Early morning arrival into La Paz, transfer to the hotel. This morning is at leisure to adjust to high altitude. In the afternoon, there will be a program briefing and participant introductions. Then, we will venture into La Paz, visiting the famous Witch Doctor's Market, San Francisco Colonial Church, and the typical handicrafts of the Sagarnaga Street. Continue to Plaza Murillo to see the Cathedral, the Government Palace, and the National Congress buildings, and then stop at Calle Jaén, the famous colonial street known for its museums. You'll also visit the residential areas of Obrajes, Calacoto and La Florida. End with an exploration of unique Moon Valley, where you'll visit a ceramic workshop with a demonstration of the art of pottery. Possible hospital visit this afternoon before dinner at a local restaurant.

Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Casa Grande Hotel

La Paz

Nov 29, 2022

Early this morning, head to Copacabana for a brief visit, then board the catamaran cruise ship to sail to Sun Island, birthplace of the Inca Empire. On this legendary island, you'll visit the Inca's Garden, Stairs and Fountain, followed by the Inti Wata Cultural Complex, which includes the Ekako Underground Museum, the Traditional Medicine and the Titicaca Reed Shipbuilders Display Centers, the Pachamama agricultural Inca Terraces, a handicraft center, and the Intica Lounge. You'll also embark on a unique sailing experience aboard a large Titicaca traditional reed vessel, for a panoramic visit to the Pilkokaina Inca Palace. Return to the catamaran to enjoy a buffet lunch on board and then transfer back to La Paz.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Casa Grande Hotel

Uyuni

Nov 30, 2022

This morning go downtown, where we will make use of La Paz's innovative cable car transit system connecting the capital city to neighboring El Alto. On the way, see the snow-capped Andean Royal Range rising above the city, and stop for a panoramic view and photo stop. On arrival in El Alto, transfer by bus 40 miles to the city of Tiwanaku, the center of the Tiwanaku civilization, which spanned from approximately 300 to 1150 (although settlers were living in the area as early as 1580 BCE). Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tiwanaku was once a sprawling city and significant cultural influence on neighboring civilizations, including the Inca civilization which followed it. We will visit the Kalasasaya (Sun) temple, semi-subterranean Earth Temple, Akapana Pyramid, and the legendary Sun Gate, as well as the local museum to observe Pre-Inca ceramic objects and tools. This evening transfer to the airport for your flight to Uyuni. Dinner at the hotel after arrival.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Jardines de Uyuni Hotel

Uyuni

Dec 1, 2022

After breakfast travel via 4x4 to Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flats in the world. Visit the train cemetery before reaching the nearby village of Colchani, where you can observe the process of extracting salt by hand, as well as local salt handicrafts. Then cross the salt flats themselves, stopping to marvel at the 'Ojos de Sal," which give a glimpse of subterranean rivers flowing below, as well as other stunning features along the expanse. Enjoy lunch in a restaurant or on a picnic, then continue to Incahuasi Island. Located in the heart of the salt flat, it is the biggest of a group of islands that represent an isolated ecosystem. The island is populated with giant cacti species that measure up to 12 meters high (26.25 feet), providing an impressive vista - and excellent opportunities for photography.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Palacio de Sal Hotel

Uyuni

Dec 2, 2022

Today visit the north side of the salt flat to explore the cave near Tunupa Volcano where the Coquesa Mummies were found. Picnic lunch on the salt flat today.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Palacio de Sal Hotel

Atacama Chile

Dec 3, 2022

After breakfast, visit the Stone Tree, part of the Siloli Desert and a silent testimony of the erosion of the earth over time. Stop at the Red Lagoon, where you'll see amazing proof of a diverse ecosystem in a totally desolate climate - three different species of flamingos can be found here, as well as llamas, alpacas, and Andean foxes. Visit the thermal waters of Polques Hot Springs, observe the bubbling mudpools at Sol de Mañana geysers, and stop at the Eduardo Abaroa Reserve to see the Green Lagoon, unique for its active microorganisms that give the water its color. Box lunch en route. In the afternoon, cross the border into Chile, passing through Immigration and Customs, and continuing to San Pedro de Atacama. Check in at the hotel, then have dinner and meet your Chilean guide.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tierra Atacama

Atacama

Dec 4, 2022

After breakfast, embark on a half-day archaeological tour. First visit Pucara of Quitor, a walled city dating back to the 12th century under Inca rule. Next, travel to the Tulor Ruins, passing through the Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains). Tulor, estimated to be more than 3,000 years old, is the oldest excavated village in the region. Return to San Pedro for a little rest time before heading back out in the late afternoon to visit Moon Valley and Death Valley. Moon Valley is one of the most visited places in San Pedro because of its dramatic stone and sand formations impacted by years of floods and winds. The valley also has dry lakes where salt composition covers the desert with a beautiful white mantle; escarpments of green, blue, red, and yellow surprise with their diverse and surprising forms, and the sun creates tones in thousands of different forms during the day, particularly in the twilight hours. At Death Valley, see rocky natural sculptures and sand dunes as far as the eyes can see. Enjoy stargazing - world-renowned in this region - before returning to the hotel.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tierra Atacama

Atacama

Dec 5, 2022

Depart early for El Tatio, one of the highest-elevation geyser fields in the world. In the early hours it presents impressive steam fumarole activity, produced by the high temperatures of its watery craters. After breakfast, trek to the different geysers, with the opportunity to swim in the hot springs pool. Return to the hotel via Machuca, a tiny picturesque town.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Tierra Atacama

Santiago

Dec 6, 2022

The morning will be at leisure to enjoy the area on your own. Mid-morning you will depart for the airport in Calama where you will board a flight for Santiago. Upon arrival you will be taken to your nearby hotel. The remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure to relax before dinner at Azul Profundo.

Breakfast-Dinner included
Overnight at Le Reve

Easter Island

Dec 7, 2022

Explore Santiago and visit Pablo Neruda's home, La Chascona. The home is excellently restored, and full of Neruda's personal possessions, including a painting by Diego Rivera. After exploring La Chascona you will enjoy lunch and then go to the airport for your afternoon flight to Easter Island. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel located just outside of town, surrounded by trees, prairies and views to the Pacific Ocean.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Explora Rapa Nui

Easter Island

Dec 8, 2022

After breakfast visit the Ahu Tahai, Sebastian Englert's Museum, Ahu Akivi, and Puna Pau Hill. Then drive to Rano Kau volcano, the biggest on the island, whose enormous crater is now a fresh water lake with floating green fields of totora reeds. Perched above the lake on the crater wall is the ceremonial village of Orongo, where the bizarre "bird man" ritual took place. Partially restored, Orongo has 48 oval buildings built out of overlapping stone slabs. A rocky trail leads you to the Ana Kai Tangata cave; venturing inside, you see a few paintings relating to the bird man culture. In the afternoon, explore Ahu Vinapu, made up of two ruined Ahus (temple platforms), one of which has stonework remarkably similar to that found in Inca sites. Studies have supported the theory that the first inhabitants of the island came from the American continent. Continue to Rano Kao Volcano and Orongo. Observe petroglyphs of the "bird man" Tangata Manu, the god creator Make Make, and also Komari fertility symbols. From here, you can see views of three small islands, Motu Iti, Motu Nui and Moto Kao Kao, which play an important part in the "bird man" legends.

Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner included
Overnight at Explora Rapa Nui

Santiago

Dec 9, 2022

This morning will be at your leisure to enjoy the area and hotel amenities. After lunch return to the airport today for your flight back to Santiago. Upon arrival in Santiago you will be met and taken to your hotel.

Breakfast-Lunch- included
Overnight at Le Reve

Dec 10, 2022

Today you will visit the Pacific Coast cities of Vina del Mar and Valparaiso. Along the way stop at a vineyard to learn about Chilean wine. Valparaiso is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its cobblestone streets, historic buildings and funiculars along sloping hills. Vina del Mar is home to the most visited beach on Chile's central coast. It boasts beautiful parks and gardens along with miles of beaches. After spending the day exploring the coast you will return to Santiago and be taken to the airport for your flight home.

Breakfast-Lunch- included

Dec 11, 2022

Arrive Home.