A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the enormous salt plains of Bolivia, the largest in the world. You’ll also visit volcanoes, hot springs, beautiful coloured lagoons, and see exotic wildlife that can only be found in the Andes highlands. If you wish, it’s possible to finish your tour at San Pedro de Atacama for an extra $11 USD!
Day 1: Uyuni - Colchani - Salt Hostel - Incahuasi Island
Departure from Uyuni will be at 10:30 am. The first place to visit will be the train cemetery, a haunting place of abandoned locomotives. Later, we’ll move on to the town of Colchani, where you’ll observe the manual process of salt, salt extraction, the thickness of the salt, some salt craft stores, and the first Salt Hotel, built with salt blocks.
The next attraction is Fish Island (Incahuasi), which is home to ancient and giant cacti. From the top, you’ll be able to see the salt in its entirety. After lunch, we’ll continue on our way to the first accommodation, where you’ll have dinner and spend the night.
Accommodation: Salt Hostel (basic beds with a shared bathroom).
Day 2: Ollague Volcano - Siloli Desert - Red Lagoon
You’ll have breakfast, before heading to the surroundings of the Ollague Volcano, one which is still active. You’ll get to see the volcano from a distance of 15 km. Besides the volcano, we’ll visit some coloured lagoons in the area, and see the exotic flamingos. Lunch will be at around midday. Later, we’ll continue the tour through the extended region of the Siloli desert, where the Red Lagoon and Stone Tree are located.
Accommodation: Basic Hostel (basic beds with a shared bathroom).
Day 3: Polques Lagoon - Green Lagoon - White Lagoon - Uyuni
You’ll wake up at 5:00 am to see the geysers, as the volcanic pressure is superior at that time of the day. We’ll also visit the Polques Lagoon hot springs, where you can bathe in the thermal waters while the cook prepares breakfast. Later, you’ll get to visit the spectacular Green Lagoon and White Lagoon.
After lunch, we will return to Uyuni.
For those that wish to finish in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, instead of coming back to Uyuni: On the third day after lunch, you will go to the border crossing, where the guides will assist you. You should arrive in San Pedro at 3:00 pm (Chile time).The drop off is at San Pedro de Atacama’s main square.
Important: During the rainy season (from January to April), it is not possible to access Incahuasi Island. However, there is the possibility of visiting the island if on the day of your tour it does not rain.
Note: Tour given in Spanish.
|ADULT + TRANSFER TO SAN PEDRO ATACAMA||140.00 (USD)|
|DAY 1: 10:00 - 10:15||Meeting point at Bolivia Tour Makers' Office|
|DAY 1: 10:30||Depart Uyuni|
|DAY 1: 11:00 - 12:00||Visit the Train Cemetery, Colchani Village and the Salt Hotel Museum|
|DAY 1: 12:00 - 13:00||Arrive to Incahuasi Island and see the giant cacti|
|DAY 1: 13:00||Lunch|
|DAY 1: 14:00||Head to the accommodation for the night|
|DAY 1: 19:00||Dinner|
|DAY 2: 7:00||Breakfast|
|DAY 2: 08:00 - 11:30||visit the surroundings of Ollague Volcano, see colourful lagoons and flamingos|
|DAY 2: 12:00||Lunch|
|DAY 2: 13:00 - 16:00||Continue to the Siloli Desert, Red Lagoon and Stone Tree|
|DAY 2: 19:00||Dinner|
|DAY 3: 06:00 - 08:00||Visit the geysers, and Polques Lagoon hot springs|
|DAY 3: 08:00||Breakfast|
|DAY 3: 09:00 - 11:00||Visit the spectacular Green Lagoon and White Lagoon|
|DAY 3: 12:00 - 13:00||Border crossing for those who continue to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile|
|DAY 3: 13:00||Lunch|
|DAY 3: 14:00||Make our way back to Uyuni|
|DAY 3: 17:00||Arrive to Uyuni|
- Round-trip transportation
- Driver/Guide (Spanish)
- Accommodation (1st night: Salt hostel and 2nd night: Basic hostel)
- Entry fees to Incahuasi Island & Eduardo Abaroa National Reserve $28 USD
- Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile $11 USD
- Sleeping bag (rent for $12 USD)
- Sleeping bag
- Bottled water
CHILDREN (UP TO 10 YRS OLD)
In order to obtain this discount, the child must be up to 10 years of age on the date they are due to take the tour.
Cancellation or changes of this tour:
CHANGES: If you change the tour date before 5:00 pm (La Paz time) 3 days before the tour begins, there is 35% administration fee.
NO SHOWS & CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel 3 days prior to the tour before 5:00 pm (La Paz time) or earlier, a 35% administration fee (+ the card fee) will apply. After this time, there is a 100% no-show or cancellation fee.
You must email firstname.lastname@example.org (include the name of the tour and the reservation number) to cancel this tour or to make any changes.
From where do the tours start - can I start from La Paz?
All of the tours of the Salar de Uyuni start in Uyuni. The tours will not include your transfer from La Paz; you will need to organise and pay for this separately. The buses to Uyuni are overnight, departing from La Paz every evening, and arriving into Uyuni the next day at about 7:00am. You are able to start a tour on the same morning, as tours start from 10:00am. We recommend the bus company Todo Turismo, as it is the most well-known among travellers.
Do I need to stay one night in Uyuni before and after my tour?
You will arrive into Uyuni early in the morning, so it is possible to start a tour the day you arrive. Most of the tours will start at 10:30am or 11:00am. You will return to Uyuni by 17:30pm to 18:00pm, giving you time to eat and head back on the overnight bus to La Paz, or even take a bus onto Potosi / Sucre. It is advised that you book these buses before doing your tour of the Salt Flats. By following this itinerary, it is not necessary to stay in Uyuni.
How does the wet season affect the tours?
Salt flat (Salar de Uyuni) tours leave year-round, including during the wet season. In fact, many people try to visit during the wet season, in order to see the "mirror effect" of the water sitting atop of the salt flats and reflecting the sky, which is an incredible sight. This is caused when the water table below the salt flats has risen enough to cause the water to sit on top of the salt. It is fine to visit the area when there is a certain amount of water, but when it becomes too deep (after long, sustained periods of rainfall in consecutive days) some places can become inaccessible, such as Isla Incahuasi. These must then be omitted from the tours, but we can usually continue visiting other parts of the salt flats. Also, the area to the south (with the coloured lakes, geysers, hot springs etc) is usually not affected, so tours are not cancelled completely.
What should I bring to the tour?
Bring a torch, because the lights go out when the generator runs dry. Take coins and small bills, as the bathrooms aren't free. Don’t forget sunglasses, a camera with spare batteries, extra water, sunscreen and a hat, a sleeping bag, extra snacks (especially fruit and protein), lip balm (the sun, wind, and dry air will crack them up), and your passport. Take warm clothes (layers are best) for nights, as temperatures can get very low. Bring a t-shirt for daytime use, a jumper for the evenings, a warm jacket, gloves, and woollen socks for the night-time. Also, remember comfortable walking shoes, flip-flops (for shared restroom facilities), a swimsuit, a towel, and a raincoat (for the rainy season, from December to March).
Are there additional costs?
The entrance fees for the attractions will not be covered. On a 3D/2N tour, the cost will be Bs180 in total (Bs150 for the Eduardo Avaroa National Park, and Bs30 for the Isla del Pescado). For the full day tour, the additional fees will be Bs30. Also, if you would like a hot shower on the first night, there will be an additional cost of approx. Bs15. Make sure you bring small change for bathrooms along the way.
I heard that I can finish this tour in Chile...Is that possible?
Yes, it is possible to end this tour at San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, instead of coming back to Uyuni. After lunch, you will depart to the border crossing, where the guides will help you get across the border without any issues.The drop off is at San Pedro de Atacama’s main square.
Will I have problems with altitude sickness on this tour?
Altitude sickness can catch many travellers a little bit off guard. Not everyone gets sick in high altitudes, and it is difficult to predict who is likely to be badly affected by it. For most people, it is nothing more than a headache and a dizzy sensation that diminishes over a short period of time, 1 to 2 days for most people. If you want to limit your chances of getting sick, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, do not fly directly into high altitude - proceed slowly, allowing your body time to acclimatise as you ascend gradually. However, for many that is not possible, so it’s important to drink lots of water, and to slow down! This sounds simple, but both of these things are very important. Your body is struggling because you don’t have enough oxygen, so avoiding any strenuous activity is a good idea. Chew some coca leaves - the native people of South America have been chewing coca for centuries, thanks to its ability to alleviate mild altitude sickness symptoms. Coca leaves can be bought in any supermarket, and even souvenir shops or street stalls. Take altitude sickness pills (Soroche): these are sold over the counter all over Peru and Bolivia, and are just a few dollars. If you are flying straight into altitude over 2500 metres without spending any time at an intermediate elevation, and you’re worried about getting sick, you can ask your doctor for more specific and stronger altitude sickness medication in advance. In the rare case that your symptoms are more severe than a headache and mild dizziness, you should descend in altitude and seek medical assistance.
Are there ATMs and an internet connection?
Bring money with you, as sometimes the ATMs do not work in Uyuni – it’s best to have money prior to arrival. There is no internet connection on the tour, as the places that you’ll visit are in very remote locations.
I have heard and read awful stories about the drivers being drunk, and terrible car accidents happening?
We only work with the best tour operators in Uyuni, and they monitor their drivers closely to ensure that there are none of these issues. We know there are many rogue operators in Uyuni with bad reputations, and for this reason we only offer tours with selected operators that we feel we can trust.
What kind of weather can we find in Uyuni Salt Flats?
From June to September, you will find the lowest temperatures. Generally, it is cold, dry, and windy, and can easily reach -15 °C at night. Daytime temperatures can be between 5 and 10°C, and even increase a little more. The temperatures from January to May increase until at a comfortable level, and particularly in the day it can easily reach 19°C. However, the humidity from rain can cause a drop in the temperature.
Do you sell any Uyuni Salt Flats tour over the Christmas / New Year period?
We do not sell any Uyuni Salt Flats tours from December 23rd through to January 6th because of safety concerns. Specifically, this is due to the high number of drunk driving incidents that occur on Salt Flats tours during this time. We don't sell tours with any tour operator that we work with, and we think it is best to avoid the dangers and problems that occur at this time of year.
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