to the border: Carretera Internacional Arica-La Paz. Integrated
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
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.
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
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
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
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.