Perla de Bolivia is a highly rated Uyuni tour operator known for their safety standards
Discover and learn all about Bolivia's oldest train graveyard located on the salt flats
Professional guide through the whole tour, backed by an experienced support team
Experience the natural wonder that is the Uyuni Salt Flats, and see the largest salt flat on Earth. Marvel at the giant cacti, strange rock formations, and the extraordinary landscapes. Observe first-hand the production of salt, and the salt mines. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to explore another part of the world!
All year round
Perla De Bolivia Office, Sucre between Av Cabrera & Av Colon, Uyuni
Uyuni City Centre
PERLA DE BOLIVIA
Minimum age: 4 years old – Must have parents permission
Maximum age: 70 years old - Medical proof of optimum health status
Start your tour off at 10:30 am with a drive out to the salt flats. The first stop we make is the haunting "Train Graveyard’, which is found on the outskirts of Uyuni. Get to see the first locomotives of Bolivia, and learn about their history, connecting several major cities. Now, corroded over time from the strong salt winds that run through this desert area, this makes for a great photo setting. The second stop on our trip will be the small settlement of Colchani (salt miners’ workshops next to the salt flats), where you can see handicrafts made of salt, and textile art made of llama and alpaca. These make excellent souvenirs to bring back home. Take photos as you cruise along the vast white expanse of salt, wade through los Ojos de Agua Salada (‘salt water eyes’), and visit a hotel made completely out of salt (currently a museum).
After a morning of exploration, we will wind down for lunch. This will be served on “Isla Incahuasi” (Fish Island), where you’ll also have time to take a hike to the top of the island to see giant cacti, and rock formations made of petrified coral. Take time to organize your group for fun perspective- and proportion-distorted photos, set on the blinding white surface of the salt flats. By playing around with the perspective, you can be sure to take some funny, memorable shots! To end the day, we will head to an open, spacious area for the unique experience of seeing a beautiful sunset, spreading its dazzling colours all over the salt flats.
Important: Due to the rainy season (from January to March), 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.
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 if on the third day of your tour it does not snow. We also may sleep in a different location due to road 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: Tour given in English.
10:00 - 10:15
Meeting point at Perla de Bolivia Office
Depart Uyuni, visit the Train Graveyard
11:30 - 12:30
Stop in Colchani Village, salt crafts and textile art
12:30 - 13:00
Stop in Salt Flats, Ojos de Agua Salada (small lagoon) and Salt Flats museum
14:30 - 15:30
Visit Incahuasi, and see the giant cactus and rock formations
Arrive back to Uyuni (see the sunset before you leave)
- Transportation in 4WD with a rooftop luggage rack
- Local driver & English speaking guide
- Cook and cooking equipment
- Meals: 1 lunch / snacks
- Entrance fees: Isla Incahuasi (30 Bs*)
- Toilets on the way (20 Bs)
- Tips for the guide, driver and cook (please keep in mind that tipping is common in Latin America, and would be greatly appreciated)
- Airport pickup
- Personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
*Please note that these costs are subject to change without prior notice
- Sun hat / woolly hat
- Trekking shoes
- Warm socks
- Hand sanitizer
- Bottled water
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% administration fee.
NO SHOWS & CANCELLATIONS: If you cancel two 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 tour?
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.
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.
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), flip-flops (for shared restroom facilities), 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. 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 it can easily reach -15 °C or lower at night. During the day, temperatures can go up to 5 or 10°C, and even increase a little more. The temperatures from January to May increase even more during the day, reaching a more comfortable level of 19°C. However, the humidity from rains can decrease the temperature.
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?
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 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 rent rain boots?
Yes, of course, you need to inform the guide at the beginning of your tour. The size of rain boots is subject availability.
How long does it take to get to the Perla de Bolivia office from Uyuni Airport?
It takes approximately 15 - 20 minutes from the Airport to the Perla de Bolivia office. You can take a taxi and it can cost between 10 Bs to 20 Bs approx.
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