Peaks of the Andes,
Santiago de Chile to Lima
In the best tradition of the rallies organised by Via Flaminia, the Peaks of the Andes is a vacation. It is not an endurance rally as we try to limit the number of daily kilometers. We are also selecting the best and most special hotels on the route. These two goals can be conflicting but with the help of Hernan Miscione, our local rally organiser, we have come to the best of the compromises.
We will be meeting you at the Santiago de Chile airport and bring you to the Palacio Astoreca Hotel in Valparaiso for the start of the rally. We first go south through the chilean countryside before crossing the Andes into Argentina. Later on during the rally the Paso Fronterizo El Pehuenche with its 2553 m will be remembered as just a hill. But for now it is a good start to test man and machine.
In Argentina we turn north, towards Mendoza and its vast vineyards.
At arrival in Mendoza we will be welcomed by the local classic car club and we will be having a small test between the vines before we have a barbecue together.
We drive along the foot of the mighty Andes; the vine subsides in favour of large ranches and cattle breeding. Just before crossing the Andes again, we have a succession of shorter days. In the regional capital of Salta we stay in centre of town, you will have all the time to enjoy this vibrant historic town. Two days later you will have passed the highest point of the rally (4829 m in Chile).
In the small town of San Pedro de Atacama, high in the Atacama Desert, we have a rest day. In the morning we take you on a balloon trip so that you can enjoy the sun rise on the red moon-like desert rocks. A day to remember.
We stay high in the Andes and drive into Bolivia and cross the biggest dry lake in the world. No vegetation whatsoever but strangely enough home to a large Flamengo population. The next day, we take a makeshift ferry taking just a few cars to cross Lake Titicaca, the highest lake in the world.
We arrive in Peru, the former center of the Spanish empire in the Americas and the center of the Inca power. We will stay 3 nights in a marvelous resort from where we will visit Machu Picchu and the ancient Spanish capital of Cuzco, both on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
The last few days are along the coast in Peru. After all, what ia a vacation without a dive in the ocean !