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Putre + Parinacota + Lauca NP + Bolivia Border

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After breakfast we will depart towards the Lauca National Park (damp grass) with protected natural landscapes and archeological wealth of outstanding beauty such as Lake Chungará or the town of Parinacota, a an area of 137.883 ha. The number of Camelidae that graze in the marshes will surprise you; as well as majestic vicuñas, flames and alpacas. In small lagoons we will find taguas, gallatas, flamingos and a rich variety of Andean birds, occasionally rheas and condors are seen. Later we arrive at Parinacota, (lake of parinas) old and dusty and at an altitude of 4.392 m.a.s.l., the whiteness of its buildings contrasts softly with the highland landscape. Its origin is pre Hispanic, but the Spaniards occupied it because it is on the road to Potosí; its large corrals date from that time. Declared a typical zone it remains uninhabited for most of the year with only about 25 inhabitants. This is a town, whose Aymara population lives wherever it is shepherding its animals and only omens home for religious festivals. The houses, that form rows around the church, are of stone stuck together with mud and most of them have a roof made of rough straw. At the four corners that surround the church there are wells – sort of like altars – where the religious processions stop during the fiestas. The church is surrounded by a stone wall, covered with mud and painted white, which has three roofed doors with arches and crowned with pink volcanic stone, the thick bell-tower is apart and stands out in one corner. The church was reconstructed in 1789 and whitened with lime. Its interior walls have XVII century colored frescoes, while in the baptistery the Padre José Vial Subercaseaux Museum has some valuable colonial paintings and objects of religious art, such as a missal printed in Paris in 1699.- We continue now to the Lake Chungará (moss, on rock) at an altitude of 4.570 m.a.s.l. This unique lake occupies 2.150 ha. With waters that are completely turquoise colored and reflect the imposing snow-covered peaks of the volcanoes Parinacota, Pomerape and Sajama, all rising above 6.000m.; further south we see the Quimsachatas , with the Guallatire volcano ( the most active in the region) .Enjoying this scenery we will have a lunch-box on the banks of the lake. As a perfect complement, a large number of birds is enjoying the sun and walking along the edge of its cold waters, it is a scene of great beauty with an active animal live. At 13,00 hrs we'll be at the fronter with Bolivia where you'll take a public bus to La Paz. (bus ticket included)

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