Enjoy the world’s largest salt flat with the safest and best operator in Bolivia
Best rated tour, with an English-fluent guide assisting you the whole trip
All groups travel in new, comfortable Toyota 4x4s with experienced drivers
Take an unforgettable 3-day tour through the vast white salt flats of Uyuni, into the desert of southwest Bolivia… Visit tiny villages lost in the desert, multi-coloured lakes filled with flamingos, the Sol de Manana geyser, and thermal hot-springs. You can finish your tour at San Pedro de Atacama for an extra $10 USD!
All year round
3 days/2 nights
Perla De Bolivia Office, Sucre between Av Cabrera & Av Colon, Uyuni
Uyuni City Centre
PERLA DE BOLIVIA
Day 1: Uyuni - Colchani - Incahuasi Island - Pia Pia Island - Ajencha
Your tour will begin at 10:30 am, at Perla de Bolivia's office. The first stop will be Uyuni's 'train graveyard', to see the first locomotives in Bolivia. You’ll then visit the small settlement of Colchani (salt miners’ workshops next to the salt flats). Here, you’ll see handicrafts made of salt, and textile art made of llama and alpaca fiber. The tour will continue onto the great Salt Flats of Uyuni, which are at an altitude of 3650m. Take photos as you cruise along the vast white expanse of salt, see Los Ojos de Agua Salada (‘salt water eyes’) and then visit a hotel made completely of salt! This amazing place currently serves as a museum.
Following this jam-packed morning, after lunch you’ll carry on to “Isla Incahuasi” (Fish Island), where you will have time to take a hike to the top of the island to see giant cacti, and rock formations made of petrified coral. Make sure you and your group pose for some fun perspective- and proportion-distorted photos, taken against the backdrop of the striking white surface of the salt flats.
Then, we’ll head to Pia Pia island, to see the beautiful sunset over the salt flats. Finish off at the village of Ajencha, and enjoy the unique experience of spending the night in a hotel made almost entirely of salt, called "Santiago Jukil".
Accommodation: Salt hostel "Santiago Jukil" in Agencha - double rooms. Rainy season ( from January to April): Hotel in Culpina (No access to the Salt Hostel during these months)
Day 2: Chiguana Desert - Caves - Lagoons - Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve - Red Lagoon
Start the morning off at 7:00 am with breakfast, before going to visit the Chiguana Desert, located on the south side of the Uyuni salt flats. It is surrounded by volcanoes, such as the Ollague Volcano (5840m), one that is still active, and that can be seen from the lookout.
Next, we’ll continue along a rocky road - Pasito Tuntun - to the beautiful Andean lagoons, inhabited by 3 species of Andean flamingos. Marvel at three lagoons on the way: ‘Cañapa’ where you’ll spot the first pink flamingos, ‘Hedionda’ where lunch will be served, and ‘Chiarcota’ where you’ll see a wider variety of birds and altiplanic fauna.
We’ll then enter the Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve, and visit the Desert of Siloli, at 4550m (the highest and driest desert in the world). Make sure you take a photo next to the 'Rock tree', a lava rock formation. Before arriving to your final destination of the day, we will stop at the view point by the Red Lagoon, where you can spot more pink flamingos in their natural habitat, and admire this intense, red-coloured lake. Stay the night at a shared family lodging, "Los Lipes".
Accommodation: Thermal waters "Los Polques" basic lodge (dorm of 6 beds shared bathroom), You can see the stars in the thermal waters during the night.
Day 3: Sol de Mañana Geyser - Dali Desert - Green Lagoon - Uyuni
Get off to an early start at around 5:00 am to visit the Sol de Mañana Geyser, at 5,000m. You’ll walk alongside fumaroles, and steaming craters filled with boiling pots of mud at 150-200 Cº. Continue to the open air hot springs, and take a bath in 35ºC water, before enjoying breakfast. The next place to visit is the Dali Desert, where Salvador Dali found inspiration for his work from the scattered boulders in the middle of the desert. You’ll then see the Green Lagoon - toxic copper water at the foot of the big Licancabur volcano, which sits at 6000m, a few kilometres from the Bolivia-Chile border.
Finally, you’ll head back to Uyuni, passing beautiful scenery along the way, and eating a picnic lunch next to the roadside. You’ll go by the Valley of the Rocks, the Alota settlement, and the San Cristobal Village, where you’ll visit the church, and see the exquisite colonial paintings.
We’ll get back to Uyuni by 6:30 pm.
For those that wish to finish at San Pedro de Atacama in Chile instead of coming back to Uyuni: Guides will assist with your border crossing at 10:30 am, and you should arrive in San Pedro at 12:00 pm on the third day of the tour. 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. We also may sleep in a different location due to road access
Important: During the winter season (from June to August), it is not possible to access Eduardo Avaroa National Park (red lagoon, Dali dessert, green lagoon). However, there is the possibility of visiting black lagoon and rock valley, changes to the itinerary maybe made without prior notice depending on the weather conditions. You may also sleep in different locations depending on vehicle access.
This tour is perfectly tailored for all arrivals in Uyuni, being by bus or by plane. The operator´s office is only 5 minutes away by taxi from the bus terminal and the airport
Note: The operator provides water and soft drinks at lunch and dinner.
Day 1: 10:30
Meeting point at Perla De Bolivia's Office
Day 1: 11:00
Day 1: 11:30 - 13:00
Visit the Train Graveyard, Colchani Village, the Salt Pyramids, and the Eyes of the Salt
Day 1: 13:00
Day 1: 14:00
Visit Incahuasi Island to see the giant cacti and rock formations
Day 1: 16:00
Visit Pia Pia Island and enjoy a spectacular sunset
Day 1: 19:00
Arrive to the town of Ajencha where you will be spending the night
Day 1: 20:00
Day 2: 07:00
Day 2: 08:00 - 13:00
Visit the Galaxy Caves, Chiguana Desert and Ollague Volcano
Day 2: 13:00
Day 2: 14:00 - 17:00
See the Altiplanic Lagoon, Siloli Desert, Rock Tree and the Red Lagoon
Day 2: 18:00
Arrive to the basic accommodation where you will be spending the nght
Day 2: 19:00
Day 3: 05:00
Visit the Sol de Mañana Geyser, and Fumaroles. Continue to the open air hot springs and take a bath
Day 3: 06:00
Day 3: 07:00 - 11:00
Visit the Dali Desert, the Green Lagoon, and the White Lagoon
Day 3: 12:00
Day 3: 13:00
Return to Uyuni, with stops at small villages along the way
Day 3: 18:30
Arrive back to Uyuni
- 1 night in Hostel (double room), 1 night at a shared family lodging
- Transportation in a 4WD with a rooftop luggage rack
- Oxygen tank and satellite cell phone
- Local driver & English-speaking guide
- Cook and cooking equipment
- Meals: 2 breakfasts / 3 lunches / 2 dinners/snacks (2 lunches, if you finish in San Pedro de Atacama)
- Sleeping bag ( you must inform the operator before the tour starts)
- Entrance fees: Isla Incahuasi (30 Bs*), Reserva Eduardo Avaroa Protected Area (150 Bs*)
- Galaxy cave (20 Bs)
- Natural hot springs (7 bs)
- Toilets on the way (20 Bs)
- Tips for guide, driver and cook (please keep in mind that tipping is common in Latin America, and would be greatly appreciated)
- Airport pickup
- Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile ($10USD)
- Personal expenses
*Please note that these costs are subject to change without prior notice
- Sun hat / woolly hat
- Trekking shoes
- Warm socks
- Hand sanitizer
- Bottled water
- Torch / flashlight
Cancellation or changes to this tour:
CHANGES: Any changes to the tour date need to be done before 5:00 pm (Bolivia time) 2 days before the tour begins. After this time, there is a 100% change fee.
NO SHOWS & CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel before 5:00 pm (Bolivia time) 3 days before the tour begins, a 35% administration fee will apply. After this time, there is a 100% no-show or cancellation fee.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to cancel this tour or 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 finish this tour at San Pedro de Atacama in Chile instead of coming back to Uyuni. After your visit to the Green Lagoon, the guides will help you get across the border without any issues, and you will arrive to Chile no later than 12:00 pm. The drop off is at San Pedro de Atacama’s main square, and the cost of this transfer is $10 USD. Please note that you will have no lunch before your transfer to San Pedro de Atacama. We recommend to have a good breakfast or take extra snacks with you.
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.
Why book with FindLocalTrips.com?
Apart from our low-price guarantee, with us you can be 100% assured that your booking is made. We provide instant email confirmation, and have live spaces and availability for each tour. You are in the capable hands of our team here on the ground, with 20 local experts who speak perfect Spanish and English, always ready with a quick response to any of the questions you might have. Tour operators are experts at operating their tours, and we are the experts at reservations, organisation, and assistance with your plans for these tours.
I do not want to take all of my belongings with me to the Salt Flats. Where can I leave my big bag or suitcase?
The first day of your tour you can leave your belongings at the Perla de Bolivia's office, and pick them up on return.
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 5th 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.