This trip starts in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile & ends in Uyuni City, Bolivia
Hop into 4WD jeeps and travel to see the landscape's coloured lakes and geysers
Meals & shared accommodation included
From the world’s driest desert in Chile to the renowned salt flats in Bolivia, enjoy an amazing journey with a mix of culture and adventure! Experience landscapes so strangely beautiful you’ll feel like you’re on another planet. Pass stunning mountain scenery, dotted with pink flamingos and colourful lakes, and take the most stunning photos to remember your trip. The Uyuni Salt Flat is the largest in the world – don’t miss this unique opportunity to see it for yourself!
All year round
San Pedro de Atacama hotel and hostel pick-up
WORLD WHITE TRAVEL
Minimum age: 7 years old – Must have parents permission
Due to the change of season, the pickup time will be as follows:
From May to September: 6:30 am - 7 am
Day 1: San Pedro de Atacama - Bolivian High Plateau - Salvador Dali Desert - Laguna Colorada
Departure is at 7:00am in a mini bus, travelling from San Pedro de Atacama to Bolivia's frontier, stopping by the immigration offices of Chile and Bolivia. Once we arrive at the Bolivian border, we will continue the journey in a 4WD Jeep.
This first day, you will visit the Bolivian high plateau, stopping at the spectacular White and Green Lakes, both found at the bottom of the Licancabur Volcano. Then we continue the trip, visiting the Salvador Dali Desert, a breath-taking, barren valley resembling a Dali painting. You’ll also see the hot springs in Polques (where you can take a 20-minute bath), the morning sun geysers - which are water sources that erupt at a temperature of 90 degrees, and crevices, from where magma also comes out.
You’ll end this first day at the Laguna Colorada, a nesting centre of more than 30,000 flamingos of 3 different species. This centre sits at an altitude of 4,500 meters above sea level, and from this high plateau it is possible to observe the area’s flora and fauna, including flamingos, vicuñas, and other animals.
The first night will be spent in Huayllajara Hostel, a mountain shelter. It is important that you bring a sleeping bag.
Accommodation: Huayllajara Hostel (dorm of 6 beds, shared bathroom, basic services, no shower, no heating, beds have sheets, pillows and 3 blankets per bed).
Day 2: Laguna Colorada - Siloli Desert - High Plateau Lakes - San Juan Village - Puerto Chuvica
The second day’s departure is after breakfast. You’ll visit the Siloli Desert, where you can observe “The Tree of Stone”, a big rock of volcanic origin. After, you’ll see high plateau lakes, such as Honda, Chirarcota, Hedionda and Cañapa. Following this, you’ll visit the little Chiguana Salt Flat at San Juan Village, before arriving at the Salt Hotel - your accommodation for the second night.
Accommodation: Salt Hostel in the small village of Puerto Chuvica (quadruple rooms, hot shower).
Day 3: Puerto Chuvica - Uyuni Salt Flats - Incahuasi Island - Eyes of the Salt Flat - Colchani Village - Uyuni City
Wake up for the final day of your expedition! You’ll be leaving at 8:00 am. Today, you’ll visit the Uyuni Salar Flat (12,000km2), and Incahuasi Island, a formation of calcareous rocks found in the centre of the Salt Flat. You’ll then visit the Eyes of the Salt Flat, which are outlets for the rivers which flow below the Salar, as well as pass many salt formations. Today, you’ll see the old salt hotel Playa Blanca, the hauntingly beautiful Train Cemetery, the salt mines, and Colchani Village, a tiny place situated on the edge of the Tunupa Salt Flat.
Estimated arrival time back to Uyuni city is 1pm or 3pm.
Important: During the rainy season (from January to April), it is not possible to access Incahuasi Island, or cross the Salt Flats. We will spend the first night in a hostel (not salt made) in Uyuni. We extend the visit to the Valley of the Rocks, Turquiri Lagoon, Black Lagoon, Bodefal Alota and some villages like Villa Mar and San Cristobal.
Note: Minimum of 2 passengers for this tour. Tour is given in Spanish.
The operator has an age restriction policy for this tour. nor people with physical conditions/disabilities/pregnant women.
DAY 1/ 06:30 - 07:00
Hotel and hostel pick-up
DAY 1/ 07:00
Depart from San Pedro to the Chilean and Bolivian border
DAY 1/ 11:30
Cross the border, stop at the White and Green Lagoons
DAY 1/ 12:00
Visit the Dali desert and the Chalviry hot springs
DAY 1/ 13:00
DAY 1/ 14:00
Visit the Colorada Lagoon, spend the night in a mountain shelter
DAY 2/ 08:00 - 13:00
Breakfast, visit the Siloli desert, and the 4 Coloured Lagoons
DAY 2/ 13:00
DAY 2/ 14:00
Visit the Laguna Añapa and the Chiguana Salt Flat, spend the night in Puerto Chuvica
DAY 3/ 08:00 - 13:00
Go to the Uyuni Salt Flat, visit Fish island, the old salt hotel Playa Blanca, the Train Cemetery, and the salt mines
DAY 3/ 13:00 or 15:00
Arrival in Uyuni city
- Transportation in a jeep with rooftop luggage rack (max 6 pax per jeep)
- All meals throughout the tour: first day (lunch and dinner), second day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and third day (breakfast and lunch)
- Two nights’ accommodation
- Driver-guide (Spanish speaking)
- Sleeping bag (only on the first day as temperatures are between -5° to -10°)
- Entrance fee 30 Bs for Fish Island
- Entrance fee 150 Bs for the National Park
- Public toilets along the route
- Visa. Many nationalities require a visa to enter Bolivia, please see here: https://www.boliviahop.com/visa-requirements/
- Sunglasses, sunscreen, torch, batteries, toilet paper
- Sleeping bag
- Warm clothes for the night, light layers for the morning
- Towel, bathing suit, and flip flops
- Some snacks
- Extra water
- Money for the park entrance fees and toilets on the way
This itinerary is subject to change without notice, due to seasonal changes and inclement weather conditions in Uyuni.
The operator has an age restriction policy for this tour. They will not accept children under 6 years old or adults over 64 years old, nor people with physical conditions/disabilities/pregnant women.
Cancellation or changes of this tour:
CHANGES: It is FREE to change the tour date before 5:00 pm (Santiago time) 2 days before the tour begins.
NO SHOWS & CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel 2 days prior to the tour before 5:00 pm (Santiago de Chile time) or earlier, a 25% 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.
I cannot find my accommodation listed in the operator pick up locations as I make my booking. What can I select?
This operator only offers pick-ups from the hotel and hostel accommodation listed, this covers over 90% of the accommodation providers in the area. They do not provide pick-ups or drop-offs at private residences, Airbnbs, bus terminals etc. Select an alternative close by and be ready there for pick-up at the time on your booking confirmation
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.
How does the wet season affect the tours?
Salt flat (Salar de Uyuni) tours leave year-round, including during the wet season(from January to April). 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.
Can I hire a sleeping bag for the tour?
Yes, the operator provides one only the first day of the tour and you must inform the operator before the tour starts. The following nights, you need to pay an extra (5 000 pesos chilenos) at the beginning of the tour. The operator only receives pesos chilenos.
Are there additional costs?
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.
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).
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. If you’re worried about getting sick, you can ask your doctor for more specific and stronger altitude sickness medication in advance. We recommend leaving the tour to the Salar de Uyuni for the end of your trip, once you have done activities above 3,000 in Atacama such as Altiplanic Lagoons, Salar de Tara, Geysers del Tatio or climbing a volcano.
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.
Do you sell any Uyuni Salt Flats tour over the Christmas / New Year period?
We do not sell any Uyuni Salt Flats tours on December 24th, December 25th, December 31st and January 1st, 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.
Can I pay to upgrade my accommodation on the Salt Flats tours?
No, you can't. Unfortunately, we do not offer the option to upgrade accommodation, because this would involve separating groups to different areas, and it is considered as a private tour by the tour operators.
Can I have a private room if I travel alone or as a couple during the tour ?
No, you cant. Unfortunately, we do not offer the option for private accommodation on this tour.
How long does it take to get to San Pedro de Atacama from El Loa Airport in Calama?
The distance is 100 km. It takes approximately 1 hour and a half minutes from the airport to San Pedro de Atacama city.
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