Trips to the Salar de Uyuni are an unforgettable experience but unfortunately the general standard of facilities and services are not very high in this remote area. We would like to make it clear that things are not as reliable, comfortable and professional as we would like on these tours so for this reason we do not promise more than what you will receive for your money. The accommodations and food will be basic. Due to the harshness of the terrain vehicle breakdowns are common.

Still interested? Good, you should be because if you can put up with a bit of hardship you should have a great time. Take some extra snacks, plenty of warm clothes and a sleeping bag (included for this tour – ask for one before departing) and the accommodations won’t feel so bad. The drivers are used to breakdowns and are pretty adept at fixing their vehicles, they are always willing to help each other out and you are usually not stuck for long – so a bit of patience is often all you need. We believe if you are informed truthfully about the possible negative aspects of the tours you can prepare yourself better and will have a more positive experience.

The following is a typical tour but sometimes some things are omitted from a tour, sometimes additional things are included (such as train cemetery visits at the start or end of the trip) so this shouldn’t be seen as a rigid itinerary, although the most popular main sites are always included conditions permitting. If there is something you really want included your group should stress this to your driver at the start of the tour so he can plan accordingly.

This is our 3 day salt flats “sunset” tour option including English-speaking guide . First night in double or triple room accommodation. We offer a fresh and safe service to tourists.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION In our Offices in La Paz
DEPARTURE TIME Please arrive by 08:00 AM for a prompt departure at 08:30 AM.
RETURN TIME Approximately 18:30 PM.
WEAR Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking boots, hat, jacket and sunscreen.
INCLUDED
Transportation in 4×4 vehicle
English-speaking guide and driver
Sleeping bag and hot water bottles
Meals during the tour (take extra snacks as food can be quite plain)
1 night accommodation in a salt hotel (double/triple/quadruple rooms, most of them with private bathroom, some with shared – depends on availability)
1 night accommodation in basic hostel (shared dorm with shared bathroom)
NOT INCLUDED
Transport to Uyuni
Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama at the end of the tour
Entrance fees – 30 Bs + 150 Bs + 20 Bs + 6 Bs = 206 Bs total for the 3 days minimum (some itineraries visit some small attractions with small entrance fees)
Water – you recommend you purchase 2 liters per person, per day to take with you
Breakfast on first day, dinner on last day
Sunglasses and sun cream
Additional snacks and beverages
Torch – recommended

Important Information

This tour starts in Uyuni and DOES NOT include the cost of transport for getting there. We can arrange flights, buses and trains for getting to Uyuni – see them all in our Transport section.

Low season / high season – This price is the low season price and some years around July / August prices can rise for “high season”. We only know when this will happen and by how much when it actually happens and usually it is with just a couple of days notice. This is because it is the decision of the drivers union in Uyuni and not our or the operators. The price rise is usually around 20$ more but we cannot know for sure until the time. For bookings around this time you should book with the low season price and we always try to get the operators to honour advanced bookings at low season price. If they do not we will need to ask for the price difference or, if you don’t wish to pay, you can cancel also.

Private tours – In order to do this tour as a private tour you would have to pay for 6 people regardless of how many of you there are (this way you are paying for the 6 seats of the car and will have a car just for you). In addition to this, when booking please also write down in the Further Details section that you want a private tour.

Pickups and dropoffs – Pickups from the accommodations are not included. If staying overnight in Uyuni, then it will be easy for you to walk to the operator’s office in the morning – Uyuni is small and you will have to walk only a few blocks. If arriving by plane, it will be also easy to find a taxi from the airport to the office (15-20 minutes drive). If you arrive by bus, and provide detailed information about the bus you will be on, we will then inform the tour operator about it and someone should meet you at the terminal upon arrival – should you not see anyone (this can happen if the bus gets there much earlier than expected for example and the guide might be not there yet), you can simply make your way to the office, which is going to be at walking distance of a couple of blocks anyway. We will provide detailed information about the office location (and contact details) when we confirm your booking. You will be dropped off back at the office at the end of the tour.

Accommodation – The accommodation for the first night will be in double/triple rooms in a salt hotel (salt hotel only in dry season, otherwise it will be in a regular accommodation). Room type is assigned depending on availability on the day. Most of the rooms (but not all of them) have private bathroom and showers (otherwise they will be shared). The second night will be in a basic refuge and the 6 people of your group will share the same room. There will be a shared toilet but no shower.

Luggage – Bags are normally stored on top of the car, but the space will be limited and if there are people who will finish their tour in Chile in your group, for obvious reasons they will have the priority. This means that it might be not possible for you to take all your stuff on the tour, and in this case you will have to leave part of your luggage at Quechua Connection office and will collect it when you get back from the tour. We recommend you have your luggage ready for this evenience (in order to take things our easily etc.) should this be necessary.

Group Sizes
Group size is up to 6 customers per car.

Health and Safety
These tours visit very remote areas that have very limited facilities. If you are ill or there is an accident there are no medical facilities other than Uyuni town and even these are basic. If things go wrong you are faced with the reality of travel in a remote area of a developing country.

Altitude sickness – The salts flats tours travel to altitude of around 5000 meters so the majority of people will feel some effects. we recommend that you should be acclimitized to above 3000 meters before going on these tours and that you take headache tablets, altitude sickness: “soroche” tablets and any other medications that you may require.

Day 1

Uyuni – Colchani – Incahuasi Island – Pia Pia Island – Sunset on salar – Ajencha

We will leave Uyuni in the morning around 10/10.30 am and first visit the train cemetery where you can see the old rusting trains from decades ago. After this we proceed to Colchani and witness how the salt is processed before we arrive to the salt flats themselves and see the “Ojos de Sal” where water bubbles up through the salt plains. We will see where the salt has been placed in mounds ready to be transported, the original salt hotel (no longer used for guests) and visit Inca Huasi (Fish Island) to see the giant cacti and have great views of the salt flats all around. There will be plenty of time for taking amazing photos before moving to another island, the Pia Pia island, to watch the sunset and take some stunning photos before making our way to the salt hotel in the village of Ajencha for dinner and stay the night. At the accommodation there will be a telescope that you can use to do some stargazing before going to bed.
Day 2

Ajencha – Galaxy and Devil’s Caves – Lagunas – Laguna Colorada

We awake at 7am and have breakfast before leaving to travel further south. We will first stop at a viewpoint over the still active Ollague volcano before moving towards the Galaxy and the Devil’s Caves. The first is a rock fantasy that takes the visitor to another dimension. The rock formations were created when the salt flats were still a sea and the Thunupa volcano came into contact with water about 225 million years ago.

They resemble strange bones hanging from the ceiling and walls, forming extraordinary figures. The second cave, Cueva del Diablo, contains a cemetery (or chullpar) with human remains. It is a sacred burial site surrounded by many myths. After the caves we will then continue our drive through the route of the Three Lagoons – Cañapa, Hedionda and Chiarkhota, where you will be able to spot the first flamingos. The drive is through a desert area where the scenery will include a number of extinct volcanoes and rocky landscapes. In late afternoon we will arrive into the desert of Siloli and the “tree of rock”. Our final destination for the day is “Laguna Colorada”, an amazing red colored lake home to three species of flamingos. Not far from here we will find the night accommodations.

Day 3

Laguna Colorada – Geysers – Laguna Verde – Uyuni

Today we have an early start at around 5am to visit “Sol de Mañana” geysers and see the bubbling mud pools and steam jets. We will then continue to some hot springs where you will have a chance to relax in the warm water pools and we will also breakfast here.
After our relaxing break to see “laguna Verde” where, if conditions are correct, we see the green mineral waters of this lake at the foot of Volcan Licancabur (from here we do the transfers to San Pedro de Atacama – there is an additional fee for this transfer and it is available on 3 day tour only, you arrive in San Pedro approx. midday).

We then start our return journey back to Uyuni stopping on the way in a couple of towns such as San Cristobal where we will visit the local church and admire its well-preserved colonial paintings. We will arrive in Uyuni at approximately 17.30 / 18.00 – perfectly on time if you have an overnight bus or a late flight back to La Paz.

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