Explore Lauca National Park
Take a trip into the mesmerising high plains of Lauca National Park.
On the high plains around Arica, conical volcanoes jut over ochre moors where the quiet is disturbed only by the munching of vicuñas. It’s a unique landscape that hides a number of surprising sights, like the mysterious geoglyphs etched into rocks by ancient peoples, or a crowd of pink flamingos highlighted against the vibrant turquoise of a lake.
We recommend spending several days exploring this fabulous region, with a night or two in the scenic Codpa Valley (1,850m) before ascending to the otherworldly landscapes of the altiplano to visit the intriguing settlements that can be found within its windswept reaches. From the mountain town of Putre (3,500m), with its rolling hills and Inca terraces, you can visit the whitewashed adobe village of Parinacota where the church houses vivid frescoes and the skulls of former priests.
From Parinacota the road climbs to the Lago Chungará (4,500m), whose sapphire depths reflect the snowcapped cones of volcanoes.