From Chile to the border: Carretera Internacional Arica-La Paz. Integrated road Chile-Bolivia


The international route 11-ch, Arica-Tambo Quemado, starts on route 5 Norte (Carretera Panamericana), 10Km. north of Arica.


KM.10:Valle de Lluta is an experimental agricultural zone, the railroad line (cargo only) runs parallel to the road. "Geoglifos" can be appreciated on hills at kilometers 13 to 15.


KM.38: Poconchile lays 480 mt above sea level. It's a small town of pre inca age origin with a church from the XVII century. You can obtain the keys for the church at the restaurant in front. There is a Carabineros control point.


KM.52: Cuesta El Aguila, An area of tight curves and steep climb. Vehcles sometimes loose power so use lower gears. Between km 75 to 85 you can see big cactus candelabro. At km 73 you have climbed to 2,700 mt above sea level.


KM.100 Pukara de Copaquilla (Pukará=fort, 950-1350 d.c.) Spectacular Pucara (ancient inca fortress) hanging at border of a big caynon. Restaurant and camping site The owner is Alexis, a very nice place to have a "mate de coca" and adjust to the altitude while appreciating the good attention from Alexis and his family. (Good homemade tortillas, sopaipillas, bread).


KM.121: Tambo de Zapahira (Tambo= inca place for rest), national monument, small lodge from the inca era


KM.111: Zapahira, crossroad to the beautiful village of Belén and several other small altiplano towns


KM.116: Detour to Socoroma, chappel and urban origin date from 1560. There is a spectacular sight from the cultivated terraces.


KM.140: A section of winding road ending with a view of the town of Putre capital of Provincia de Parinacota It is an ideal place to acclimatize to the altitude. The town has: a hosteria (not good service), boarding houses, restaurants, banking, and other services.


KM.145: Termas de Jurasi are on a branch road 11 Km. before Parque Nacional Lauca. Additional tourist information can be obtained at the Sernatur office in Arica.


KM.156: Las Cuevas (4.310 metros above sea level). There is a CONAF Park ranger's office and refuge. This puna zone is very high, avoid moving quickly and using a lot of effort.


KM.166: Bofedal de Parinacota, A view of the Payachatas (twin peaks Pomerape and Parinacota), two frontier vulcanoes both over 6000 meters high.


KM.170: Brigde over Lauca river.


KM.181: There is a branch road to Parinacota, Caquena, Nasahueto y Visviri. All these altiplano towns are over 4.400 meters above sea level so be careful as altitude sickness can result from sudden movements.


KM:190:Lagunas Cotacotani, CONAF refuge and camping site, Lago Chungará is 4.517 meters above sea level, Complejo fronterizo Chungará it is the border immigration facility to Bolivia.


BOLIVIA


KM.191: Tambo Quemado, frontier town with inca ruins, last point on the bolivian side of the border with Chile.


KM.209: Estancia Lagunas, church of Virgen de los Remedios de Lagunas, stated by UNESCO as of historic cultural value and under absolute protection.
Parque Nacional de Sajama, one of the most attractive places of the route a reservoir of flora and fauna. Mountaineeering , tramping, mountain sports, and several tourist circuits.


KM. 223: Sajama, the urban origin is prehispanic and the church of the Virgen de la Natividad de Sajama is very venerated in andean culture.


KM. 241: Tomarapi, of andean architecture in adobe earth blocks and cane with an interesting church.


KM.261: Ojsani, interesting samples of Andean adobe architecture and a remarkable church


KM.301: Curahuara de Carangas, This church dating from the sixteenth century is regarded as the "sixtinna chapel" of Bolivia, due to the abundance of colonial frescos on the walls.


KM.343: Puerto Japonés, textile handcrafts made from alpaca and vicuña wool.


KM.357: Viluyo de Umala, has nice silver handcrafted jewelry and an interesting church


KM. 402: Patacamaya, is a junction for several altiplano routes and has a agricultural "feria" (street market), located near the Astronomic Observatory of Pacatamaya.


KM. 406: Viscachani, thermal waters


KM.422: Ayo, It hyas a unique church which is a monument from the 16th century , with "portada retablo" (entry gate dating from the 17th century and artworks by Leonardo Flores.


KM 446: Calamarca his old church from the 16th century with a most interesting Andean art collection.


KM.503: The city of La Paz (population 1,118,870) is the administrative capital of Bolivia.It Is located at the head of a canyon (hoyada) along a great path surrounded by hills covered with urban development. La Paz one of the highest cities in the world at 3,600 mt above sea level is usually a cold place where you can experience all kind of weathers (eternal snow, puna, subtropical yungas and valley). "El Alto" the highest part of the city where the airport is located at about 4000 mt high. At the airport you can see several old DC3 and C47 which are still widely in use in Bolivia.


Note:The journey from Zapahuira to Lago Chungará is the slowest part due the steep gradient and numerous bends. From Tambo Quemado to La Paz is far easier.


Traveling by bus

The cheapest and most advisable alternative is trip by bus.The cost for the trip is about USD 16 in the best buses (Pullman) but cheaper options are available. Chile Bus is one of the best companies and the trip takes approximately 8 hours. The bolivian buses are cheaper but not as comfortable, "Litoral" is the best know bolivian transport company. From the bus you can appreciate all the altiplano landscape.
Traveling by tour operator
Another interesting choice is to contract the tour by vehicle with a local tour operator.The full service provides tour guides, 4x4 vehicles, route information, food and beverage, all that is needed for a unforgettable trip. It is more expensive but worthwhile.

Requirements to enter Bolivia

-Passport with visa (You can ask, if a visa is required, at the Bolivian Consulate in Arica. Not required for Chilean Citizens.
-International driver license (for drivers)
-Photocopy of original driver's license (both sides)
-2 photos with name inscribed
-Padrón (ownership certificate), insurance policy and warrant of fitness certificate of the vehicle
-In the case where the driver is not the owner of the vehicle, he must posses a legal authorization document.

 

(Adapted from leaflet of Sernatur-Chile and Secretaría Nacional de Turismo de Bolivia)