Altiplano & Gaucho Wanderer

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Reviews
  • Dates
  • Dragoman

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.

Highlights
  • Explore the witches market & the dizzy heights of the world's highest capital city, La Paz
  • Day trip on the surreal Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats
  • Visit the Uyuni train graveyard
  • 2 day crossing of the desolate and surreal Altiplano
  • Star gaze in the Moon Valley at San Pedro de Atacama
  • Take the cable car for a spectacular view of Salta
  • Spectacular drive down Route 40 to see Quebrada de las Conchas
  • 2 nights to visit vineyards in Cafayate
  • Walk around the ruins of Quilmes
  • 3 night stay in a traditional isolated Argentian estancia with the Gauchos
  • Ride beautiful horses in an unspoilt location across remote Cordillera
  • Practice your dance steps in the birthplace of Tango
  • Explore the bars and cafes of Buenos Aires
Transport
Overland Expedition Vehicle, Jeep
Tour Staff
Two Dragoman Crew Members, Local Guides where necessary
Destinations
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • South America
  • Argentina
Tour Types
  • Adventure
  • Overland
  • Discovery
  • History
  • Cultural
  • Bicycle
  • Active
  • Camping
  • Eco
  • GAP Year
  • Trekking
  • Walking
  • Historical
  • Horse Riding
  • Local Guide
  • Local Living
  • Overland truck
  • Sightseeing
  • White water rafting
  • wine tasting
  • Foodie
Day 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.

Location: Buenos Aires

Day 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.

Location: Buenos Aires

Day Cordoba

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

Location: Cordoba

Day Estancia

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

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.

Location: Estancia

Day Estancia

Full day at the Estancia.

Location: Estancia

Day Estancia

Full day at the Estancia.

Location: Estancia

Day Tafi Del Valle

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

Location: Tafi Del Valle

Day 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!

Location: Cafayate

Day Cafayate

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!

Location: Cafayate

Day Salta

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

Location: Salta

Day Salta

Today 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.

Location: Salta

Day 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.

Location: Purmamarca

Day 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.

Location: San Pedro de Atacama

Day San Pedro de Atacama

Today we 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).

Location: San Pedro de Atacama

Day 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.

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

Location: Altiplano

Day 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.

Location: Uyuni

Day 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!

Location: Uyuni

Day Potosi

Today we will head to the colonial mining town of Potosí, 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.

Location: Potosi

Day La Paz

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

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

Location: La Paz

Day La Paz

Today we have a free day to independently explore the fascinating city and take part in some optional activities

Location: La Paz

Day 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 your sales agent if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities on offer.

Location: La Paz


Nicolas B

Amazing trip guys, great leader and driver.




Judith E

Overall great trip, great leaders and great organization from their part!




Matthew W

The route, guides and drivers were all great!




Matthew W

Guides were generally informative and helpful.




Kendra S

Nick and Neill were fantastic through the whole trip!




GUDRUN V

The drivers were great!




Nicolas B

Both guys were absolutely fantastic, I had such a great time and the transmitted a such a relaxed vibe, even though they had to work so much to solve the many problems we found on the road. Great guys really.




Judith E

Excellent job from both crew, always had our interests in mind, very approachable, fun.




Matthew W

Neill was fantastic throughout the whole trip, especially when faced with several problems with strikes and blockages. We were even lucky enough to enter the Salt Flats when most other tourists could not.




G C

I couldn't fault these two on this leg of the trip whatsoever. They came up against some pretty challenging situations along the way (dealing with roadblocks, etc.) which they handled immensely well, going above and beyond their duties to ensure that the we got where we needed to be. Really impressive work.




Francois B

The camping equipment is solid and quite easy to assemble. The truck is very convenient and has almost everything it needs to provide a good experience. A lot of little details were taken care of.




Francois B

These guys do a good job!




Catherine O

Very good tour - one of the best companies I have used.




Catherine O

But both Julie and Rob were more than excellent. They were always friendly and helpful, and immensely kind to even the most trying of passengers. Both of them were superb and made a fab team.




Karolina K

Our leaders were excellent, I can't imagine how anybody could perform better.




Daniel H

Julie and Rob were amazing, both went well beyond the requirements to make the trip memorable.




Karolina K

One of the best trips in my life!




Isla H

The estancia was amazing, these people got me riding a horse without needing oxygen, and gave us a lot of wine and gave me memories fuzzy or not that I'll cherish and the same could be said for the whole tour. I had a blast and that was largely to do with the organisational skills of Tom and Bob. That I just had to show up and it was all done for me, which on this type of tour is what I was looking for.




Christine H

All of the guides had good English and they communicate the local traditions well.




Maria v

Local guides performances were perfect.




Madelaine O

Estanica staff were great!




Michael B

Both crew were hard working, helpful, always there for you, and very friendly.




Roger P

Great guides - especially Victor and Roberta in the Panatal. They knew all the birds and animals and were enthusiastic in sharing their knowledge.




Michael H

The whole trip was excellent, I took part in both the Lima to Cuzco leg and again from Cafayate to Buenos Aires, and there were incredible opportunities during both legs. Personal highlights would be Machu Picchu, Arequipa, and the Estancia stay in Argentina.




Michael H

My experience with Dragoman was a genuine pleasure throughout the trip.




Janine S

I loved the time at the estancia and the lunch st the winery at Cafayate




Laura M

First group travel experience after years of travelling solo and/or with friends. A Great experience where you learn alot about yourself and make new relationships easily.




Laura M

Easy company, well organised and very memorable experiences auch as Uyuni salt flats, San Pedro desert, Estancia.




Robert G

Crew were excellent hosts and we were well looked after on the trip




Malcolm M

Loved the humour, camaraderie and team effort as well as the stunning sights we saw



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Dates Price Single Availability
12-Dec-2020 for 20 Nights On Request Visit Website
05-Jan-2021 for 20 Nights On Request Visit Website
02-Jun-2021 for 20 Nights On Request Visit Website
23-Jun-2021 for 20 Nights On Request Visit Website
01-Jul-2021 for 20 Nights On Request Visit Website
11-Dec-2021 for 20 Nights On Request Visit Website
18-Jan-2022 for 20 Nights On Request Visit Website

Touring with Dragoman

Dragoman has a proud history, of nearly 40 years of pioneering overland adventures in their fleet of iconic, orange trucks. They aim to get you completely off the beaten track and really under the skin of the places that they visit, taking the road less travelled, mixing with the locals, learning about their culture, and ensuring that every part of the journey counts towards an amazing adventure.

Dragoman’s life changing overland adventures, visit over 55 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. Many trips are a convenient 14-21 days, offering a great snapshot of a region getting you off the tourist trail on a perspective-changing journey.

These short trips can also be combined to create epic journeys lasting several months be it along the fabled Silk Route, a trans-Africa expedition from Cape Town to Cairo, or travel the entire length of the Americas from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Or journey from Mongolia down through China, and South East Asia – or in India you can circle the continent. These are incredible journeys that will change your life!

Group sizes are limited to 22, creating a personal experience with the most popular tours having frequent departures so you can easily find a date to suit you. They guarantee more trip departures than comparable operators and strive to offer value with more inclusions, so you don't have to pay extra on the road.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Dragoman

20 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Visit website Enquire 40 years of pioneering overland adventures!
Group Size:0 - 22
Suitable For: 18 plus
Accommodation:Comfortable Hotel 4 nights<br />Multishare Hostel 3 nights<br />Camping 7 nights<br />Basic Hotel 5 nights<br />Wild Camp 1 night
Difficulty:2
Meals:Breakfasts x 20, Lunches x 9, Dinner x 8
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