Northern Argentina, Chile & Uyuni Salt Flats Adventure

Northern Argentina, Chile & Uyuni Salt Flats Adventure

HIGHLIGHTS

Buenos Aires - Northern of Argentina - Santiago de Chile - Atacama Desert - Uyuni Salt Flats

from 4920 USD
HIGHLIGHTS

Buenos Aires - Northern of Argentina - Santiago de Chile - Atacama Desert - Uyuni Salt Flats

days 17
  • Take some of our most adventurous tours like traversing Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flats in a 4×4.
  • Explore the strange figures that the wind has carved into the towering rocks of the Atacama Desert.
  • Fly to the North of Argentina and stay in Salta and Jujuy
  • Visit Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile, the most impressive capital cities in South America
  • Best time to travel: All year round
  The North has always been a magical region of Argentina. Nothing compares to the outstanding colors of Purmamarca Hill and the humble hearts of the local Northerners. During this 16-day adventure vacation to South America, you’ll discover the northern region of Argentina, as well as the best of Bolivia and Chile! These countries are must-visits for adventure-loving travelers.
Itinerary
Day 1

Welcome to Your Adventure Travel Itinerary to South America - Buenos Aires

A view of the Pink House in Buenos Aires capital.

 

  • Transfer from the airport to your hotel – Day at leisure

Upon arrival, we will drive you to the city and you’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy Buenos Aires at your own pace. Buenos Aires is a marvelous, energetic, cosmopolitan city, full of color and different styles of architecture. 

The capital of Argentina, and described as the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires proudly embraces its title, and also shows off plenty of its own culture! Argentinians are usually eager to host visitors; if you walk the streets with a map, someone will surely stop and ask if you need directions…that’s just our spirit! 

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • Our recommendations for the first day of your travel itinerary to South America

Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, che! (“che” means “guy” in Argentina). For this first day, feel free to wander the cobblestone streets lined with outdoor cafes, enjoy the mouthwatering aroma of world-famous Argentine beef sizzling on an open parrilla (barbeque), and browse the local antique and artisan markets that offer plenty of bargain shopping.

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A view of the Pink House in Buenos Aires capital.
Day 2

City Tour & Tango Show - Buenos Aires

Tango in Buenos Aires

 

  • Half-day city tour through Buenos Aires

In the morning we will pick you up from your hotel to enjoy our 4-hour Buenos Aires city tour—you will be swept away by the highlights of our beloved Buenos Aires! Over the course of a half-day, you will have the chance to visit the historical and political center of the city; Plaza de Mayo, and the Pink House (the presidential house).

Next, we’ll move on to San Telmo, with its cobblestone streets and the oldest residential neighborhood, and then to La Boca where Buenos Aires turns colorful and tango is ever-present. Come walk Caminito Street and dance with the locals. The next stop is the chic and aristocratic Recoleta, where the big palaces remind us why Buenos Aires is called the “Paris of the South”. After enjoying this tour, our guide will take you back to your hotel.

 

  • Dinner and Tango Show

In the evening we’ll pick you up from your hotel to take you to a mystical place where you’ll discover one of our most ancient traditions. Tango is more than our national dance… tango is our immigrant origins, the talent of our local artists, the sensuality of Argentine women, and our way of dealing with a broken heart; dancing our way through tragic, and yet eternal, love stories.

Tonight you will enjoy a 3-hour professional display of tango and music with a group of local artists onstage immersed in an elegant and alluring place. The manners, ambiance, clothes, and dance steps that tango lovers used to practice 100 years ago will come to life again and you will travel back in time for a night.

This spectacular tango show in Buenos Aires will be accompanied by delicious Argentine and international cuisine. Dinner is all-inclusive, beverages included so you can lose yourself in the ethereal taste of Malbec wine. At the end of the evening, around midnight, you will be driven back to your hotel, fully in love with the bohemian spirit of our incredible city.

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • What you need to know about tango culture in Buenos Aires

Tango is, all in all, a cultural experience that’s deeply rooted in Argentine hearts. Where do regular people go to dance tango? There are an immense number of dance halls or milongas in Buenos Aires. Some of our favorites are La Viruta -beginner-friendly- and Salon Canning -with more advanced clientele- in the Palermo neighborhood. Tango has evolved a big deal in the past years, and now there are also LGBT milongas that encourage a most inclusive practice.

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Tango in Buenos Aires
Day 3

Adventure Trip to South America - Salta

Salta - Cultural trip

 

  • Transfer from your hotel to Buenos Aires airport

Get prepared to fly to the beautiful North of Argentina. Your first stop will be the famous city of Salta!  We’ll pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the domestic airport to take a 2-hour flight.

 

  • Transfer to the airport to your hotel in – Day at leisure

Upon arrival, we’ll meet at the airport and we’ll drive you to your hotel. Take the rest of the afternoon to explore the city. Bear in mind that this is a stress-free hub: la siesta (mid-day nap) is kind of a religious ritual for locals, which means that between 1 pm and 5 pm, shops are usually closed.

Salta is the selected jumping-off point for travelers seeking to explore the North of Argentina. From here, you can visit the most outstanding natural wonders of the area: the Humahuaca Gorge, and the Seven Colors Hill located in Jujuy, a bordering province that is also famous worldwide.

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • What to do on your first day touring Salta?

Salta has it all: the geographical diversity (red, green, and brown-tinted mountains) and the vast history—it is in these time-honored lands that men fought for the freedom of Argentina. Make the most of your time in the city and:

  • Admire the colonial architecture, the lively cafés in the main plaza (great people-watching spot), and try the traditional “tamales”.
  • Visit the vibrant and authentic peñas, which are places where locals grab a table to watch their favorite folkloric singers, and after a glass of wine (or two) everyone joins in for dancing. “¿Bailamos?” (Shall we dance?): it’s all you need to say to start the party!
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Salta - Cultural trip
Day 4

Calchaquí Valley - Salta

Salta - North of Argentina

 

  • 2-day trip through the Calchaquí Valleys

We’ll pick you up from your hotel in Salta and leave behind the Lerma Valley to visit Laures and Escoipe, the first two gorges of this 12-hour excursion. The landscapes will still remain green, but colors will definitely begin to change when we approach the Cuesta del Obispo, the windiest and most spectacular road in this area. We’ll climb up to 11,000 feet high—get prepared to see the world from above!

This is the connective road to get to the high valleys, where the Calchaqui Valley wine region sits. We’ll see enormous cacti while passing through Los Cardones National Park on our way to Cachi, a famous village where Spanish and native traditions combine to form the most beautiful architecture.

In the afternoon, continue with your exploration of the valleys and reach the towns of Molinos and Angastaco, just before visiting Las Flechas Gorge, a special rocky formation that creates a labyrinth of sharp, high peaks. After going down its mysterious passages, we’ll get to Cafayate where we’ll spend the night.

Cafayate is one of the most popular destinations of the Calchaqui Valley wine region. Cafayate wine is renowned in Argentina, especially because of the star product of the region: the Torrontes wine.

 

  • Visit wineries in Cafayate

Enjoy the end of the day in this picturesque town while sipping on a drink at sunset in the main square, or maybe a Malbec ice cream from a traditional gelato shop. Since there are many surrounding wineries, we thought that a visit to one or two of them could be interesting for you… so we’ve already scheduled it! According to weather and timetables, you will be able to partake in this memorable tour either on your arrival day or the day after.  

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Salta - North of Argentina
Day 5

Calchaquí Valley Tour - Salta

Salta - Cafayate - North of Argentina

 

  • Calchaquí Valley Excursion – Night in Salta

On the second day of this Calchaqui Valley adventure, you’ll leave Cafayate and be directly immersed into the forbidding universe of Las Conchas Gorge, where erosion has carved mysterious red shapes into the rocks. Get prepared to visit this Natural Reserve for about 5 hours, and enjoy the views of its colorful hills while you go down its red-tinted promontories and discover the most prominent rocky highlights: the Frog, the Obelisk, and the Castles.

The highlight of the day will be the Amphitheater and the famous Devil’s Throat. The amphitheater is a natural semicircular formation (65 feet high) and is home to intimate concerts performed by local artists. Get inside and check out the amazing acoustics by singing your favorite tune! Nearby, the Devil’s Throat awaits at the end of Las Conchas Gorge. Going down this particular rocky formation, you’ll feel as though you’re right in the belly of a giant!

At the end of the day, we’ll take you back to Salta. Enjoy the evening by eating an empanada salteña, a special variation of this classic Argentine dish.

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Salta - Cafayate - North of Argentina
Day 6

Visit Humahuaca Gorge - Salta & Jujuy

Jujuy - Purmamarca

 

  • Full-day visit to Humahuaca Gorge  – Night in Jujuy

We’ll pick you up early in the morning and take you on a 12-hour adventure to Humahuaca Gorge, a famous UNESCO Heritage Site, another natural highlight of your adventure travel itinerary to South America. Humahuaca Gorge is home to a bunch of amazing natural monuments like the Hill of Seven Colors, the Pucará de Tilcara (a ramshackle, yet well-restored native fortress), and the Paleta del Pintor (Painter’s Palette) in Maimará village, another impressive multi-colored mountain range.

On your way to Humahuaca, you’ll see some peculiar paintings of the colonial period (called Pinturas Cuzqueñas) at the little Uquía Church, and finally, pass by the famous Tropic of Capricorn milestone.  Wander among their traditional houses and streets, and get a feel for the old-world languor that still survives in this setting. 

At the end of the day, we’ll drive you to your hotel in the traditional village of Purmamarca.

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Jujuy - Purmamarca
Day 7

Day at Leisure in Purmamarca - Jujuy

Jujuy and Salta - Cultural trip

 

  • Day at leisure – Optional trek to Los Colorados

Purmamarca, located at the base of Jujuy’s famed Hill of Seven Colors, is one of the most peaceful places to visit in the North of Argentina. It’s really easy to get around on foot, and the downtown is quite quaint.

For your free day in Purmamarca, we recommend that you take the 2-mile trek called Los Colorados, which will allow you to explore the Hill of Seven Colors up close and personal. This is an easy trek that you can start just a few minutes outside of town.

You’ll discover… imposing red-striped hills, a wind tunnel (hold on to your hat, the wind is really intense!) and other-worldly rocky structures that have been carved out by the wind. Take your time on this adventure; this is a stress-free spot.

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Jujuy and Salta - Cultural trip
Day 8

Travel Adventure to South America. Travel to Chile - San Pedro de Atacama

Atacama Desert - Moon Valley

 

  • Bus to San Pedro de Atacama (Chile)

Early in the morning, you will make your way to the bus station and take the bus to San Pedro de Atacama.

During this 12-hour journey, you will cross the Andes through the “Paso de Jama”, one of the highest-altitude international passes in the world. What will you see during the trip? The natural solitude of the Altiplano and the winding road dropping behind the mountains.

You’ll finally reach San Pedro de Atacama, a small city of little adobe houses, unpaved streets, and cozy restaurants, which is the base to begin exploring one of Chile’s most spectacular environments. Transportation will be waiting to drive to your hotel and start an adventurous journey that involves multicolored moon-type landscapes, incredible geysers, and massive volcanoes! 

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • What to do in San Pedro de Atacama?

San Pedro de Atacama is also one of the best places to stargaze worldwide. You’ll see the clearest skies of your life. Make sure you don’t waste the opportunity… get out there and chase some starlight!

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Atacama Desert - Moon Valley
Day 9

Explore the Moon Valley - San Pedro de Atacama

Atacama Desert - landscape

 

  • Half-day Moon Valley tour

Today, we’ll pick you up from your hotel to depart on a 4-hour adventure in the Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley); an out-of-this-world place. Driving straight into the desert, we’ll start noticing mysterious forms of salt and clay as we get closer to the “Three Marias”. These statues are the female guardians of this cosmic desert, so don’t forget to bow and make a wish to them before you continue. The Atacama Desert is one of the world’s driest and most hostile zones.

After this first encounter, take a winding, hidden path to the Salt Caves, and discover the peculiar salt gemstones that have formed over centuries from the lack of humidity and the altitude of this zone. The highlight of your adventure will appear at sunset when all the colors of this incredible landscape change their palette.

The forbidding Licancabur Volcano will turn pink while the valley awaits the rise of its lunar mother. After the excursion, you will be dropped off in downtown Atacama, and from there you can make your way back to your hotel on your own.

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Atacama Desert - landscape
Day 10

San Pedro de Atacama

Atacama Desert - Geysers del Tatio

 

  • Half-day Tatio Geysers and Machuca 

This morning, you’ll visit another highlight of the Atacama region: Geysers del Tatio. First, you will travel to where the crevices of the Earth exhale their millenary breath. At about 4 a.m., we’ll pick you up to take you 60 miles away from San Pedro de Atacama into the Andes for an 8-hour trip to see the geothermal field of Geysers del Tatio (the highest in the world).

Here, you’ll see 40 geysers and 70 hot springs fighting against the super low temperatures of the first morning hours (their waters can reach up to 185 °F). Take the most impressive photos, swim in the Tatio Spring’s rich mineral waters, and enjoy a complete breakfast with this magnificent backdrop.

On your way back, visit the quaint village of Machuca (at 13,000 f.a.s.l), with barely 20 adobe houses and a traditional church that locals visit daily to ask the Virgin to give them water. This is the perfect opportunity to get closer to the mountain culture of the region, and to try one of the best sopaipillas in Chile (a fried tortilla)! 

At the end of the experience, we’ll drive you back to San Pedro de Atacama for lunchtime.

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Atacama Desert - Geysers del Tatio
Day 11

Travel Adventure to South America - Uyuni Salt Flats

Bolivia - Uyuni Salt Flats

 

  • 3-day tour to Bolivia – Uyuni Salt Flats 

Few people are prepared to live a true adventure in South America. During this 3-day trip to Uyuni Salt Flats, you will live more than one, guaranteed! The journey to Uyuni is different than anything you might have experienced before. Why? There are a few reasons; shimmering salt flats stretching as far as the eye can see, pink flamingos living in the highest lake on Earth, colossal volcanos, and multi-colored waters — see what we mean?

In the early morning, we’ll pick you up from your hotel to start a 10-hour trip in which you’ll cross borders and have your first glimpses of some jaw-dropping Bolivian landscapes. We’ll pass through Chile and Bolivia immigration offices and, once on the Bolivian side and at 14,435 feet above sea level, you will change transportation to a 4WD jeep with a maximum capacity of 6 people.

On the first day, you’ll visit the National Park Eduardo Avaroa and see the Bolivian high plain,  Laguna Verde, and Laguna Blanca (Green and White Lagoons), all lying at the base of the enormous Licancabur Volcano. The next stop will be the aptly named ‘Dali Desert’ (or Valley), a part of the larger Siloli Desert. If you thought nature was already surrealistic in Bolivia, get prepared for all of your expectations to be blown away. 

Locals named this valley after some of Salvador Dali’s masterpieces which picture similar landscapes: unexpectedly-shaped rocky formations isolated on a 15,600-foot sandy plain. What you must look out for in the Dali Desert is the Árbol de Piedra (Tree Stone), a volcanic rock formation that is an impressionable example of nature’s artwork.

You’ll be amazed by the thermal water pools (or “foreigners soup” as locals jokingly call it), and the Sol de Mañana geysers, which are intermittent explosions of underground water coming up at 194º F.

The journey ends at Laguna Colorada (Red Lagoon, named after the red algae that grow beneath the waters), the main nesting center for more than 30,000 flamingos of 3 different species, as well as alpacas which graze nearby. These places are located at an average height of  14,764 feet above sea level, and it is probable that you will spot native flora and fauna including flamingos, vicuñas, and other animals.

 

Say Hueque Tips

Things to take into account

  • You’ll spend the night in a basic shelter, consisting of shared rooms for 6 people each. Please note, since you will be visiting a remote and less-developed area, the accommodation is simple. It is important that you bring a sleeping bag to spend the night, especially during the months of June, July, August, and September (they can also be rented upon arrival).
  • This day you will be crossing the border between Chile and Bolivia. Please note that Bolivia requests the certificate of a yellow fever vaccine to enter the country and a visa for citizens of some countries.  Please, check if you need these requirements before traveling. You can apply for a travel visa at your home country’s Consulate
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Bolivia - Uyuni Salt Flats
Day 12

4WD Adventure to the Salt Hotel - Uyuni Salt Flats

Uyuni - Salt Flats

 

  • Visit to Siloli Desert and the Salt Hotel

Welcome to the second day of your Bolivia adventure! You will have an 8-hour excursion to visit the Siloli Desert, surrounded by the great Uyuni Salt Flats and some colorful lagoons. Keep on exploring the rock formations carved by wind erosion and hit the next circuit of colored high plain lagoons, Laguna Honda and Cañapa, with their brackish and gleaming waters.

Take a moment to admire the particular vegetation of the coastline; its teal-colored waters where the great Caquena, Tapaquillcha, and Cañapa volcanoes reflect their images. You’ll be able to see flamingos here, but remember that they are very sensitive animals, so please don’t feed them, and try to take pictures from afar.

Afterward, we will continue to Chiguana salt flat, which is crossed by a railway that is still in use, and continue to the town of San Juan, a one-street village where little more than its adobe church and graveyard can be found. Sitting nearby is your special accommodation for the night, the Salt Hotel, and this is not just a symbolic name. In this hotel, most of the facilities are made of salt; salt tables, salt chairs, and salt couches. Enjoy a hot shower and a mineral-filled, restful sleep.

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Uyuni - Salt Flats
Day 13

4WD Adventure to Uyuni - Uyuni Salt Flats

Bolivia - Uyuni Salt Flats

 

  • Uyuni Salt Flats and transfer to the village of Villa Mar

Today we’ll take on the Bolivian highlight of this adventure travel itinerary to South America: the great Uyuni Salt Flats. We’ll depart bright and early in the morning to start our 6-hour outing. First, we’ll take a general tour around the widest (6,575 miles) and highest (11,975 feet above sea level) gleaming salt flats in the world. Come to grips with this open and endless space.

Challenge your eyes: sky and earth will seem to merge on the horizon during the rainy season (November-March) when the endless brackish desert floods. But don’t worry, the salt always glistens brilliantly during the dry season too — no matter the time of year, you’re sure to see a natural spectacle that’s hard to forget.

The expedition will continue towards Isla Incahuasi, the island amid salt flats, which is the perfect place to catch a spectacular sunrise. Then, it’s time to test out your modeling skills for the famous perspective photos every traveler comes to get. It’s always a funny and creative moment for everyone, and a good souvenir to take back home.

We’ll continue on our way towards the eyes of the salt flats (two perfectly round pools) before heading to the town of Colchani, located at the limits of the Uyuni Salt Flats,  where you can buy local handcrafts. The day will finish in a mystical place; a train cemetery. Covered in piles of abandoned train bodywork, this will be the best scenery for the final pictures of this adventurous journey. From here, you will head to the tranquil Uyuni City, where you will arrive in the late afternoon and have time to explore.

Say goodbye to Bolivia! We’ll drive you back across the border and after 4 hours we’ll reach Villa Mar, a small village where you’ll spend the night.

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Bolivia - Uyuni Salt Flats
Day 14

Back to San Pedro de Atacama

Atacama Desert - llama

 

  • Transfer from Villa Mar to San Pedro de Atacama – Day at leisure

Today, we’ll drive you back to San Pedro de Atacama, where you’ll arrive around midday and have the rest of the afternoon to relax. Enjoy the evening eating a pastel de choclo (a corn cake) at one of the classic restaurants on Caracoles Street (the main road), or maybe buy some artesanías (handcrafted souvenirs) at the market. Be bold in this secluded corner of the globe, and mingle with locals on the unpaved roads.

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Atacama Desert - llama
Day 15

Travel Adventure to South America - Fly to Santiago de Chile

Santiago de Chile - City

 

  • Transfer to Calama airport

Today we’ll drive you to Calama airport for your flight to Santiago, the bustling capital of Chile. 

 

  • Transfer from Santiago airport to your hotel – Day at leisure

Upon arrival, we’ll pick you up from the airport and take you to the city. Tour Santiago de Chile at your own pace!

Located between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this modern city offers all kinds of attractions for curious travelers. From different viewpoints in the city, you can see the natural beauty surrounding Santiago; the snow-capped mountains, and the beautiful Valle del Maipo, where the best Chilean wine is produced.

Santiago de Chile is known as the home of Pisco Sour, the beautiful Santa Lucia Hill, and the “Sanhattan” district, which is a stylish fusion between Manhattan and Santiago; heaven on earth for enthusiastic shoppers.  

 

Say Hueque Tips

  • What can you do on your first day wandering Santiago?

Enjoy your first evening in the city by visiting a museum in the Bellavista district which used to be the home of Pablo Neruda, a famous Chilean writer, and then wander the streets of Bellavista, the most bohemian and colorful district in Santiago, passing by traditional cafes, restaurants and pubs.

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Santiago de Chile - City
Day 16

The End of Your Travel Adventure to South America - Santiago de Chile

Santiago de Chile - City

 

  • Transfer from your hotel to the airport

Time to go home, but not empty-handed! At the appropriate time, we’ll take you to the airport to take your flight back home.

Is there still a place that you missed visiting? Maybe a traditional dish you couldn’t taste, or a hill you couldn’t hike? Don’t fret… because we have many more travel itineraries that are ready for your next travel adventure in South America. Read about it all!

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Santiago de Chile - City
Prices per person
Accomodation INN & B&B
From

4920 USD

Accomodation Comfort
From

5195 USD

Accomodation Superior
From

5920 USD

Accomodation Luxury
pricing
  • Prices in US Dollars.
  • Valid until April 2025 (ask for prices at Christmas and New Year).
  • Prices are per person, based on 2 people in double occupancy. Single rates are available on request.
  • Flights are not included in the price but can be arranged on request.
included
  • 2-night accommodation in Buenos Aires
  • 2-night accommodation in Salta
  • 1-night accommodation in Cafayate
  • 2-night accommodation in Purmamarca
  • 4-night accommodation in San Pedro de Atacama
  • 1-night accommodation in San Juan
  • 1-night accommodation in Villa Mar
  • 2-night accommodation in Santiago de Chile.
  • Daily breakfast 
  • Meals according to the itinerary: snacks on day 2; lunch and dinner on days 11, 12 & 13
  • Transfers and tours mentioned in the itinerary
  • Bilingual guide (English / Spanish, except in Bolivia where there is just a Spanish-speaking driver)
not included
  • International or domestic flights or buses
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Travel / Medical Insurance – Follow this link to get a free quote (only available for U.S. Travelers)
  • Bolivian Visa: Citizens of some nationalities are required to present a tourist visa to enter Bolivia. Please check the requirements on your country’s consulate website.
Flights needed for this itinerary

plane-icon Buenos Aires – Salta – Calama- Santiago (Chile)

ESTIMATED COST FOR THE FLIGHTS ON THIS TRIP: Local flights cost from $150 per person per segment. We offer special rates on flights for this tailor-made itinerary.

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Northern Argentina, Chile & Uyuni Salt Flats Adventure
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