The paved road that leads to this Andean altiplano town continues on to Bolivia. From Arica, follow the highway to Tacna for 145 km of amazing landscapes marked by the regions' indigenous history.
In the Lluta River Valley, you will come across ancient sites such as Vilakaure, with its geoglyphs and rock art. Further on, the road passes through towns lined with beautiful 19th century buildings.
Visit Fort Pucará de Copaquilla, a national monument situated in an area of steep hillsides from which you can enjoy a spectacular vista of the altiplano and snow-capped Andean peaks.
Just before Putre is the town of Socoroma, where Aymara traditions live on, including the ancient irrigation systems the people developed for this arid land.
Visiting Putre will transport you to another time, as some of its buildings date back to the 17th century. For example, the town's church was built in 1670 and restored in 1871.
The town celebrates Carnival each February and the Festival of the Assumption of the Virgin on August 15th. The last week of November brings the Procession of Cristo Rey and dancing to the sound of "tarkas" (a type of flute). Remember to drink lots of water or mate de coca (coca leaf tea) to prevent "puna" (altitude sickness), as the town is situated at 3,500 meters above sea level.
Putre is a good place to try local dishes such as llama meat and papa chuño (dried potatoes), which are especially delicious with goat cheese.
You can camp in Putre and then set out to explore the altiplano. Beautiful photos are guaranteed. Start at Lake Chungará for spectacular scenery at 4,517 meters above sea level, and then check out the Nevados de Payachatas, twin active volcanoes: Parinacota (6,342 m) and Pomerape (6,282 m).
|Parque Nacional Lauca||Parinacota|
|Putre||San Miguel de Azapa|
|Valle de Codpa||Salar de Surire|
|Arica - Putre - Lago Chungará|