Putre: 149km (61 miles) E of Arica; 2,202km (1,370 miles) N of Santiago

Rte. 11 will take you to the Andean highlands, first along the verdant Lluta Valley dotted by geoglyphs on its lower hills, later crossing a stretch of desert featuring pre-Columbian ruins 100km (62 miles) from Arica, including the pukará of Copaquilla and the tambo of Zapahuira, both visible from the highway. The Aymara influence is strongest here; this stretch of arid mountains is quite different from San Pedro and other places in the Atacama. Vast, centuries-old terracing surrounds tiny villages, and you can really feel that this area formed part of Peru until relatively recently. Higher up still, marvel at the spectacular landscape and unique flora and fauna along with one of the world's highest lakes and forests.

Note: Before heading off, make sure you have enough cash, as there are no ATMs beyond Arica.