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Flowers of the Altiplano – CANCELLED

***This three week trip to explore the landscape and wildflowers of the Altiplano has unfortunately had to be cancelled due to coronavirus.***
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We hope to visit this area once the threat of the virus has passed. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates.

This tour starts in Northern Chile. The day after arrival, we travel by bus to Putre – a small town 3,500m above sea level. We’ll botanize at even higher points on the tour. (It’s important participants prepare themselves due to the risk of altitute sickness.)


Day 1: Arrive in Arica, Chile

Transfer from the airport to our hotel in Arica. Briefing before dinner.

Day 2: Putre

Drive up to 3,500 metres to Putre, a small town near the entrance of Parque Nacional Lauca. Botanize along the way.

Expect to see: Exodeconus flavus, Fabiana densa, Stellaria chilensis, Mostacillastrum gracile, Cumulopuntia sphaerica and cacti.

Day 3: Lago Chungará

Lake Chungara is known for its plant diversity. Drive up to 4,500 metres from Putre to the NP entrance gate and botanize in the area.

Day 4: Camino a Visviri

Early departure, several stops for views from the road. Drive up to 4,500 metres. Lots of cushions to be seen and there may be some nototriches.

Expect to see: Lachemilla diplophylla, Azorella compacta, Senecio nutans, Lucilia conoidea, Mniodes sp., Cumulopuntia boliviana subp. ignescens, Parastrephia lucida, Senecio candollei, Oxychloe andina, Gentiana sedifolia and more.

Day 5: Salar de Surire – RN Las Vicuñas

Early departure in the direction of Salar de Surire.

Botanize at RN Las vicuñas and enjoy nice views of Salar de Surire.

Expect to see: Nototriche meyenii, Pycnophyllum molle, Nototriche philippi, Nototriche argentea, Azorella diapensioides, Cumulopuntia boliviana subsp. ignescens, Nototriche rugosa.

Day 6: Sajama NP (Bolivia) – La Paz

Early departure to Tambo Quemado, border Chile-Bolivia.

Visit Sajama NP. Botanize on the slopes of Sajama volcano. Drive to La Paz in the afternoon.

Day 7: La Paz – Tiwanaku

Early departure to Tiwanaku Archaeological Site, South Titicaca Lake. Visit Museum and archaeological complex. After lunch we’ll head back to La Paz to enjoy a free afternoon in the city centre.

Options to visit (not in the program): Cathedral, Witches Market, Iglesia de la Compañía.

Day 8: La Paz – Paso La Cumbre

La Cumbre is a pass on the road that takes La Paz inhabitants to Coroico, the Bolivian jungle.

During the morning we botanize along the way and at the top where we can find many samples of Nototriche obcuneata, Perezia multiflora, Lupinus sp., Baccharis caespitose, Werneria pectinate, among other plants.

Day 9: La Paz – Paso Milluni – Nevado Huayna Potosí

Huayna Potosí is the closest high mountain to La Paz. Surrounded by high mountains, it is roughly 25km due north of the city, which makes this mountain the most popular climbin Bolivia.

We botanize at Milluni Pass and at the slope of the glacier. An area with possible Nototriche obcuneata.

Expect to see: Lupinus microphyllus, Senecio candollei, Senecio rufescens, Valeriana globularis, Aschersoniodoxa sp., Arenaria boliviana, Senecio culcitioides, Xenophyllum dactylophyllum and more.

Day 10 – La Paz – Uyuni

Very early flight to Uyuni.

After arrival, we’ll take a tour into the Salt Lake, the biggest in the world, one of the highlights of the trip. Drive to Isla Inca Huasi to visit the cacti island.

Visit the Salt Hotel.

Day 11: Uyuni – Laguna Colorada

Long drive (about six hours) through the Altiplano in direction of Laguna Colorada.

Visit Cerro Cañapa, Laguna Colorada, Geiser.

Spectacular views but also plants like Azorella compacta, possible Nototriche and birds such as pink flamingos.

Day 12: Laguna Colorada – Uyuni

Drive back to Uyuni and spend the afternoon in the village. It’s possible to visit the train station and cemetery.

Day 13: La Paz – Titicaca (Bolivia)

Early flight to La Paz. Drive to our accommodation at Titicaca Lake and spend the afternoon.

Day 14: Titicaca (Bolivia) – Puno (Peru)

Short visit to the Bolivian Copacabana.

Border crossing at Kasani (Bolivia – Perú)

Enjoy the views of Lake Titicaca on the Peruvian side.

After arrival in Puno in the afternoon, tour to Chullpas de Sillustani.

Day 15: Puno – Abra Oquepuno – Macusani

Long drive to Macusani. Botanize at Abra Oquepuno.

Expect to see: Puya Raimondii, Punotia lagopus, Austrocylindropuntia floccosa, Paranephelus uniflorus, Stellaria weddellii, Urtica flabellata, Oxalis nubigena, Tetraglochin cristatum, Werneria apiculata and more.

Day 16: Macusani – Abra Aricoma

Drive to Abra Aricoma, road to Crucero. Make several stops around the lake.

On the way back we can also stop for more plant hunting.

Expect to see: Arenaria sp., Brayopsis sp., Nototriche flabellata, Calandrinia acaulis, Senecio canoi, Senecio candollei, Senecio sp., Perezia coerulescens and more.

Day 17: Macusani – Puno

Drive back to Puno. Botanize in the pass Oquepuno.

Day 18: Ticsani Plateau – Coalaque (Moquegua Region)

Early departure to Coalaque. First stop at Abra Chojaquirani.

Later, we stop for plant hunting at the Ticsani Plateau.

Expect to see: Different kinds of Nototriche, including N. ticsanica (possible with red flowers), N. azorella, N. turritella, N. foetida, N. obcuneata, N. anthemidifolia, N. pusilla.

Day 19: Coalaque – Puno

Today we drive back to Puno. We can do several stops to explore the unexplored areas the day before.

Expect to see: More Nototriche, including N. ticsanica, N. azorella, N. turritella,  N. anthemidifolia, N. rugosa, N. pedatiloba and N. pellicea. Also Perezia pinnatifida, Chersodoma diclina, Arenaria conferta, Senecio rufescens, Senecio anastasioi sp. nov., Senecio laucanus and more.

Day 20: Puno – Lima

Early drive to Juliaca airport. Midday flight from Puno (Juliaca Airport) to Lima.

Free afternoon in Lima before final dinner together.

Day 21: Lima – Back home

Morning visit to Museum Larco Herrera, a privately owned museum of pre-Columbian art, that is housed in an 18th-century vice-royal building with beautiful gardens and a nice restaurant. It is well known for its gallery of pre-Columbian erotic pottery!


Contact the AGS Centre to secure your place.

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