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Getting to and away from Parque Nacional Lauca

Getting to Parque Nacional Lauca is easy. The paved Ruta CH-11, connecting Arica with La Paz, Bolivia, passes through the heart of the park (53 km / 32 mi). Tours take in the major attractions and are cheaper from Putre than from Arica or Iquique. If driving it yourself, be sure to have a full tank of gas. It is best to fill up in Arica, as the shop in Putre runs out.


You can also reach the park with public transportation from Arica:

To Putre: Gutiérrez (from Panadería Seria, Tucapel and Esteban Ríos; Monday, Wednesday, Friday 7 a.m., $6, 3 hours), Trans Paloma (Germán Riesgo 2071, Tel.: 058-22-2710; daily 7 a.m., $6, 3 hours).

To Chungará / Tambo Quemado:

Buses leave from Arica’s international bus terminal (Avenida Diego Portales s/n) and travel along Ruta CH-11, the major route for getting to La Paz, Bolivia. The highway is well-paved and much used by trucks. The road passes through PN Lauca to the border post at the end of Lago Chungará. Most companies leave from Arica 8-10:30 a.m. and midnight-2 a.m. ($12-18, 8 hours).

To Parinacota / Visvirí: The road to the Visvirí border goes by way of Parinacota. The highway is transitable all year. -- Trans Paloma (Tuesday, Friday 11 a.m., return next day 9 a.m., $11 / $14).

By Lorraine Caputo

Upon re-declaring her independence at age 29, Lorraine Caputo packed her trusty Rocinante (so her knapsack's called) and began...

23 Jun 2009

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