San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) to salar de Uyuni

REFERENCE PROGRAM

This program is designed for travelers wishing to visit the salar de Uyuni and lagoons, starting in San Pedro de Atacama and finishing in Uyuni.

Salar Tour 3D/2N San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) to Uyuni (Bolivia) visiting the Uyuni salt flats and lagoons.

Day 1 COLORED LAGOONS AND DESERTS (San Pedro de Atacama – Ojo de Perdiz) Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve (L, D)

We will pick you up from your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile and we will take you to the Bolivian border, Hito Cajones. Right after crossing the border, once we arrive in Bolivia we can enjoy a marvelous scenery dominated by the Licancabur volcano and at its feet one of the jewels of the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve (REA): the Green Lagoon which is the first point of our trip by 4X4. This place is like no other in the world.

Once we leave the Green Lagoon behind we enter a large landscape: the Valley of the Ladies desert. We will continue to the hot springs of Polques where we will have a bath before continuing to the Geysers of Sol de Mañana where we can observe the volcanic activity.

Afterwards we will arrive to the Red Lagoon which is another precious jewel of the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve. This lagoon is the most important place in the area for three kinds of flamingos. The red color of the lagoon is produced by active algae which react with the sun radiation and wind. The pink color of the feet and feathers of the flamingos is also produced by the same algae, which is their basic food.

These fabulous deserts own a great variety of colors as red, orange, ocre, brass, browns and beige. We will visit the Stone Three and on the way we will meet the wild vicuña with its fine and high figure.

We will continue our way towards Ojo de Perdiz where we will spend the night at the Tayka Desert Hotel (4500).

Day 2 LAGOONS, THE BIG SALAR (Ojo de Perdiz – Tahua) (B, L, D)

Today we will drive along the lagoons Ramadita, Honda, Chiarkota, Hedionda and Cañapa . In these lagoons there is a large number of three kind of flamingos (Andino, James and Chilean). The flamingoes share the volcanoes, their eternal snow and the green sides (paja brava, yareta and thola) with other species of birds as Andean seagulls and wild ducks.

The colors of the sand and the rocks are a product of the the millennial winds together with the presence of borax and sulfur. We will have lunch on the shore of one of the lagoons.
After lunch, we will visit Isla Pescado (Fish Island), where we will have a little ascension to the top to experience another close and intimate contact with the white desert.
At the end of the day we will head up North to get to the feet of the Thunupa Volcano.

We will spend the night at the Tayka Salt Hotel (3700 m).

Day 3 CHANTANI AND MORE OF THE BIG SALAR (TAHUA – UYUNI) (L, D)

Today we will continue our trip to Chantani where we will visit the pitchers museum. We will enjoy the impressive landscape.

After visiting the museum we will continue to Incahuasi Island which is located at the center of the Salar de Uyui. This place is one of the biggest tourist attractions of the region. From the top of the island we will be able to enjoy 360 degrees overview of the Salt flats. We will visit the Salt mounds near the village of Colchani. Half an hour later we will arrive to Uyuni.

IMPORTANT! Due to the weather and road conditions the routes and hotel reservations can sometimes be changed without notice, reason why the itinerary is only for reference, and is not to be taken as an exact itinerary of what this tour implies. Rain, snow, ice and strong winds for example can cause that some parts of the route are temporarily impassable and may oblige us to make changes in the itinerary. But notice that if we have to make changes it is for your own safety. The surroundings of salar de Uyuni are one of most isolated areas in the world.

Rainy season: the rainy season is roughly from January to April (subject to change). During this period parts of the Salar may be covered with water. It’s still possible to do the trip, to visit the Salar and the beautiful lagoons, the highlights of the trip for most people. However with water on the Salar you cannot cross it for hours like in the dry season and you generally cannot get to Isla Incahuasi / Fish Island. Also the Tayka Salt Hotel in Tahua (valid for the 4 day trip that starts and ends in San Pedro) can often not be reached during the rainy season therefore we will use another salt hotel like “Palacio de Sal” or “Luna Salada” instead. Other places that cannot be visited during the rainy season are Cueva de las Galaxias, Momias de Coquesa and Chantani, but notice that those places are considered to be minor attractions in the area. Some photographers specifically want to visit the Salar during the rainy season as when the Salar is covered with a little bit of water it becomes one big mirror which makes for beautiful pictures. With too much water however the mirror-effect is gone. Needless to say we cannot predict whether or not it will rain before or during your trip, it’s up to Mother Nature.

Notice that during the past year –probably due to seismic activity- the Laguna Verde has lost much of its green color and is more towards brown nowadays, especially in the morning.

Tour includes:

  • Overnight stay in comfortable Tayka hotels
  • Meals
  • Transport in a 4X4
  • Spanish speaking driver

Tours do not include:

  • Entrance fees
  • Alcoholic drinks, personal snacks and tips.

Optional:

  • Bus tickets to Sucre, Potosi or La Paz
  • Hotel reservations in Uyuni
  • (Bilingual) guides
  • Private transport to or from either Calama in Chile, or Sucre, Potosi and La Paz in Bolivia.

What we recommend to take with you:

The route to the salt lake is cold, windy and with high solar radiation. Over day is generally
sunny and the weather is pleasant. Our recommendations on what to bring with you are:

  • Warm clothes.
  • Gloves.
  • Wool socks.
  • Hat covering your ears and to protect you from the sun.
  • Boots.
  • Towel.
  • Swimming suit.
  • Lips moisturizer.
  • Sun block 30+.
  • Sun glasses.
  • Lantern.
  • Raincoat (From December to March)
  • Extra water

Note: Don’t forget to bring a copy of your passport.

Make sure to on time so we can guarantee availability.

Please read what our clients say about their trip to Uyuni Salt flats!

We also offer the following salt flats tours:

Check our pages about:

More info about this tour, check out the following travel blogs (in Portugues):

Other blogs in English:

REVIEWS

  • ´Nos han gustado mucho los dos tours. Los chóferes y guías muy bien en ambos casos. Los hoteles nos gustaron mucho y todo ha salido muy bien. El Salar y Lagunas espectacular. En general muy bien todo. Muchas gracias!'
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    Estefania Roig y Jordi Garcia Spain
  • ´Gijs, the trip to Uyuni was very good thanks. We were impressed with the overall package and would not hesitate to use your services again. Many Thanks.´
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    Simon Rodd UK
  • ´The tour was great...amazing scenery, great hotels and Cecilio and Beatrix were really good guides! Thanks again for organising it at such short notice.´
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    Shevanthi & Beth UK
  • ´Bolivia vonden we super! Het was heel afwisselend, van het koude zuidwesten naar de warme Rio Mamore. Uyuni was erg mooi. Ik hou er van om een beetje actief bezig te zijn, dus het was veel zitten en kijken. Maar dit wist ik natuurlijk van te voren en het prachtige uitzicht maakte alles goed.´
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    Diana Proost The Netherlands
  • ´Hi Gijs, The trip was really great, first class. Thanks for all.´
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    David Ensor Ireland
  • ´Nos han gustado mucho los dos tours. Los chóferes y guías muy bien en ambos casos. Los hoteles nos gustaron mucho y todo ha salido muy bien. El Salar y Lagunas espectacular. En general muy bien todo. Muchas gracias!´
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    Estefania Roig y Jordi Garcia Spain
  • ´It was absolutely fabolous! Excellent driver and guide! And transport to Chile! Loved all we saw! Thanks for organising the trip and for answering all my questions!´
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    Marianne Sundin Hestnes Norway
  • ´We had a wonderful trip for 3 days and the weather was nice apart from some snow and hail on the last day which made it kind of special. ´
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    Dr. David Lewis Canada
  • ´Hi Gijs, I just wanted to say that we had a wonderful trip. The organisation was perfect - thank you for sorting it all for us. Best regards, Mike´
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    Mike Adamson UK
  • ´Dear Gijs, I just wanted to thank you for an incredible experience in the Salar of Uyuni earlier this year. The nature and the people were unforgettable. Ottavio was a great enthusiastic guide. It could not have been better. All the best from Germany, Chris´
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    Christian Kell Germany
  • ´Dear Gijs, we would like to thank you for organising such a fantastic tour for us. We had an amazing time. Wilson was a great driver, very professional yet a lot of fun too. We had heard many stories of people having bad experiences so were a little wary about booking a tour. The food was great and the vehicle was very comfortable. If any of our friends head this way, we'll be passing on your ...'
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    Paul and John Australia
  • ´Dear Gijs, Thank you very much for following through with everything and making this part of our trip to South America go so smooothly. We have had several hassles with other bookings - people not turning up, or no name cards or wrong information etc. It is so refreshing to have everything go right. I shall have no hesitation in recommending you to any of our acquaintances. Regards, Carmen ...'
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    Carmen Well & family Australia
  • ´Gijs, de 3 daagse trip is prima bevallen. We waren heel blij met de omgekeerde volgorde. De eerste dag was best lang maar goed te doen. Onze chauffeur Freddy was helemaal goed. Vriendelijk en behulpzaam. En al kon hij bijna geen woord Engels hij deed erg z´n best on alles duidelijk te maken. Dat lukte ook vrij aardig. Wat we onderweg gezien hebben was top maar dat wis je natuurlijk al. Met ...'
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    Suzanne & Kees Jasperse The Netherlands
  • ´Wij zijn helaas weer terug vanuit Bolivia. Bij u hadden we de nachtbus met Todo Tourismo van La Paz naar Uyuni geboekt en de 3-daagse prive Salar tour met Tayka hotels.De nachtbus was goed. De medewerkers waren vriendelijk, duidelijk en behulpzaam. In Oruro werd ons de mogelijkheid geboden om gebruik te maken van het toilet in het kantoor van de maatschappij, deze was schoon en verzorgd ...'
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    Monica Vriendts & Dennis Herrewijnen The Netherlands
  • ´Hi Gijs, it is just a belated email to say thank you for sorting out the Uyuni tour. We had an amazing time, the landscape was incredible and so worth the journey. It was actually the highlight of our three weeks in South America even better than going to Machu Picchu. The tour was very well organised and the guide was excellent, even though he didn't speak a word of English and my Spanish is ...'
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    Tiani Fernando UK
  • ´Hoi Gijs, We zitten nu in La Paz en zijn net aangekomen met de nachtbus vanuit Uyuni. je bent natuurlijk benieuwd hoe we het gehad hebben en of jouw adviezen juist hebben uitgewerkt. Nou wij zijn wel wat gewend, zo zijn we al in Ecuador, Peru, Brasil, Colombia en Suriname geweest, maar dit overtrof werkelijk alles. We zijn tot de conclusie gekomen dat Bolivia een zeer matige marketing voert en ...'
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    Berto de Vos en Piet Zee The Netherlands
  • ´Hola Gijs y Maria Eugenia, Finalizamos nuestras vacaciones y queria enviarles un saludo de agradecimiento por lo bien organizado y el apoyo que tuvimos en el recorrido de San Pedro de Atacama a Uyuni. La dificultades causadas por la nieve fueron eficazmente salvadas por la buena actitud y profesionalidad del chofer. Les deseo lo mejor para ustedes y para su empresa. Muchas gracias, Anselm.´
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    Anselm Pages España
  • ´Bolivia vonden we super! Het was heel afwisselend, van het koude zuidwesten naar de warme Rio Mamore. Uyuni was erg mooi. Ik hou er van om een beetje actief bezig te zijn, dus het was veel zitten en kijken. Maar dit wist ik natuurlijk van te voren en het prachtige uitzicht maakte alles goed.Het flotel Reina de Enin op de rivier was nog veel leuker dan we dachten. We twijfelden of het niet ...'
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    Diana Proost The Netherlands
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