We did the 3 day/2 night tour starting and ending in Arica with Mayuru Tours. Our guides were excellent. We had a driver and also English speaking guide, Louisa, who was very nice and knowledgeable about the area. I believe she has left the agency though at this point because she has gone back home to study. Tour price was very reasonable.
The first day we drove from Arica to putre stopping at a few places along the way. Day 2 was Salar de Surire and the vicuna reserve - definitely do not miss this -it is worth spending the extra day. This lake is really impressive with abundant vicunas and flamingos. There is a great place here to see the viscachas - they will come right up to you. Definitely take advantage of the hotsprings. The drive to and from the lake, although long, was equally impressive passing an active volcano and many wetlands with llamas and sheep. The third day was Lauca National Park, and saw the lagoons and the stunning lake Chungara.
We were told that when we were there in May is a really good time to go because it is past the rainy season but was not really cold yet (although the nights did get pretty chilly when we were there).
In Putre, we stayed at Chakana lodge - this place had cute private cabins. Did have some issues though because the blankets and heater was not very warm and we were having problems with the hot water. But seems to be one of the better places to stay in the area. but definitely dress warmly!
This is a really great trip to get off the beaten path- definitely recommend!
If you own or manage Mayuru - Day Tours, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.