Alto Andino Nature Tours, Putre  Chile

FAQ  &  travel tips for Arica and Putre 


How to call Putre by telephone from Arica and other places?

If we take a tour from Putre do we have to go back down to Arica to get a bus to La Paz?

What's a Ramsar Site and why is it important that the Natural Monument Salar de Surire be protected?

Can we rent a car in Putre? Not from an authorized rental car dealer.

What is the exertion level in your nature tours?

When in the best time to come to northern Chile?

Must one travel through Santiago to get to northern Chile?   No!

Should I be concerned about the high altitude?

If the altitude doesn't agree with me, do I lose my tour payment?

What happens if there is a road closure, excessive dust, or bridge outage and we can't continue on the route previously decided upon?

Is there a place to change money in Putre?  (YES)  Can I use my bank card?   (NO)

Getting to Arica without going through Santiago   Try American Airlines from Los Angeles or Miami to Lima/Tacna, take taxi the short distance from Tacna to Arica.  Many travelers are concentrating on northern Chile, southern Peru and altiplano Bolivia, so if you have no interest in seeing Santiago and its smog, then try coming to Arica from the north.

How strenuous are your nature tours? For the wildflower and birding mostly we drive from place to place and take slow walks.  Dealing with the altitude is the main stress factor. 

Catch an international buses to Bolivia from the "Cruce de Putre", 4 km above town. 

How to call Putre by telephone from Arica and other places?  The country (Chile) area code is 56 or 056.  If you are already in Chile the cell number would be 989 072 91   The best way to contact us is by email, see reservations page.   


part of fresco, National Monument Parinacota Church, Lauca National Park 

If the altitude doesn't agree with me, do I lose my tour payment?   Much of Lauca Park lies at 4,500 masl, Putre is at 3,500 masl.  Please check with your physician to see if you can vacation at such high elevations.  If the client needs to descend from the higher elevations because of headache or other manifestation of high altitude sickness we will re-route the tour to interesting places at lower elevations.  There will be no refund of tour fee.      Do yourself a favor:  Try to spend at least 1-2 nights at the level of Putre before ascending to the altiplano If you are pregnant, or have diabetes, high blood pressure, epilepsy, migraine headaches, asthma, sickle cell anemia, emphysema, or other circulatory or respiratory diseases, please obtain the advice of your doctor before planning an altiplano trip.  We offer tours throughout northern Chile, and some itineraries don't include high elevations.  Please inquire.
What happens if there is a road closure, excessive road dust, or a bridge outage and we can't continue on the route previously decided upon?  If there is no way to continue on the route previously decided upon, we will re route the tour through interesting alternative places.  There will be no refund of tour payment if a road is unexpectedly closed or if the weather is bad.  

Where to change money In Arica  try Yanulaque Casa de Cambio at Colon and 21 de Mayo.  Honest and usually the best prices.    In Putre there is a branch of the Banco Estado to change US dollars/Euros to pesos.  There is now an ATM machine in Putre, but it doesn't accept any international VISA cards as far as we can tell.   They say that it accepts Master Card; better not to believe it.  Please don't expect the ATM in Putre to work with your bank card, many travelers are very disappointed that they must return to Arica to use their bank cards.  It is nearly impossible to change bolivianos or soles in Putre. Alto Andino Nature Tours does not accept Travelers' Checks, nor credit cards           

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