I'm planning a trip early next year and will be spending at least a month traveling from Santiago to Lima. I'll be traveling with my girlfriend and I would describe us as budget to mid-range travellers. This will be our first time in South America and as we have the time I'd like to travel overland and see the sites including (but not limited to!);
La Serena Space Observatory
San Pedro de Atacama and the Puritama Hot Springs
Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flats)
Cuzco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu
Altiplano (Andean Plateau)
My first question would be, is this realistically done in 4 weeks?
Secondly, I'd prefer not to take a pre organised tour, at least not for the whole trip, and put things together myself. But again, is this realistic especially given that I won't speak to the local language?
Third, will it be relatively easy to organise bus / transport if we chose to do it ourselves, or are we best trying to book it before we go?
Finally, is there anything else you'd recommend, given the time we have?