Hi there, I’m off to South America for two weeks, and I’m hoping to visit Lima, Machu Picchu, La Paz, and Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia before flying back from Santiago, Chile. How realistic is it for me to see all of these places, and what’s the best way to get to Santiago from Uyuni? Pedro, via email 

I’ll tackle your question in two parts here. First, how much ground to cover? You could spend two weeks just exploring Peru and will need time to acclimatise to the altitude, too. I’d advise visiting only two of these three countries, as trying to travel the distance between Lima and Santiago (more than 2000 miles) with enough time to see anything in between just isn’t feasible in a fortnight.

If you are keen to visit Machu Picchu, centre your route around this, or maybe Santiago is the must-see for you.If you opt for a Peru and Bolivia combination you will be able to get to Salar de Uyuni, Lake Titicaca, Machu Picchu and the Amazon rainforest. Alternatively, focusing on Bolivia and Chile will allow you to take in La Paz, Salar de Uyuni, the Atacama Desert and Santiago.

As for travel between Bolivia and Chile, my advice would be to opt for an organised tour, as you’ll be transported directly to major sites without the waiting times involved when you take public transport, especially as you’re packing a lot in. G Adventures and On The Go have great 15-day itineraries covering the routes I have suggested. If you want to travel independently, look at internal flights to save time. Uyuni has an airport which offers flights to La Paz.

Lonely Planet’s Laura Lindsay will give you the benefit of her infinite wisdom if you email a question to traveltips@tntmagazine.com. If your question is answered, you’ll win a Lonely Planet guide of your choice.


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