More than 20,000 wild vicuña are thought to roam the sparsely inhabited 2100 sq km of the off-the-beaten-path Reserva Nacional Las Vicuñas, directly south of Lauca and surrounded by sky-hugging volcanoes. At the base of smoking Volcán Guallatire, 60km from Parinacota via a roundabout route, the village of Guallatire features a 17th-century church and a couple of no-frills lodging options. Bring a warm sleeping bag.
Lonely Planet's must-see attractions
Visiting nearby Monumento Natural Salar de Surire is a surefire way to see huge herds of roaming vicuña, pockets of cuddly viscacha, as well the…