Uyuni Salt flats to San Pedro de Atacama

Uyuni Salt flats to San Pedro de Atacama

Uyuni salt flats tour 3D/2N Uyuni – San Pedro de Atacama (Chile). This tour starts in Uyuni (Bolivia) and ends on the 3rd day in San Pedro de Atacama (Chile).

REFERENCE PROGRAM

Day 1 UNDERSTANDING SALAR DE UYUNI (L, D)
Today we will have an unforgettable trip across 12 000 km2 of fantastic salt landscape. Prepare your camera! The amazing white coat of the Uyuni salt flats (or Thunupa) looks like a huge glacier.
We will enter the Salar by Colchani, where we will stop to visit the salt factory and we will receive information about the salt based economy of this village.

After Colchani, we will enter the Uyuni salt flats and stop at the salt mounts. We will have lunch in Tahua.

In the afternoon we will get away from the hotel to Chantani where we will enjoy the impressive landscape.

We will spend the night in the Tayka Salt Hotel with private bathroom, hot water and heating (3700 m).

Day 2 ISLANDS, LAGOONS AND MULTICOLORS DESERT (B, L, D)
Today we will cross the Uyuni salt flats from North to South and we will visit the Incahuasi Island which is one of the central tourist attractions. We will follow the little path to arrive to the top of the island from where we will get the amazing 360 º view on the Uyuni salt flats.
We will continue the expedition towards San Pedro de Quemes where we will have lunch.
In the afternoon, we will go towards the lagoons chain of Cañapa, Hedionda, Chiarkota, Honda and Ramaditas, where we will see a good amount of three kinds of flamingos and other kinds of birds as Andean seagulls and wild ducks. These birds live on the lagoons surrounded by volcanoes with their eternal snow on the top and their green sides mixed with other colors created by the presence of borax and sulphur.
After the last lagoon, you will enter a huge desert area with no roads or ways. These fantastic deserts gather different colors from browns, reds, oranges, brass and beige which are successively shown at every curve of the trip. In this area stands the Tayka Desert Hotel where you will spend the night (4500 m).

Day 3 COLORED LAGOONS, VALLEY OF THE LADIES DESERT (Ojo de Perdiz – San Pedro de Atacama) Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve (REA) (B, L)

Today we will get up early to visit the “Arbol de Piedra” (Stone Tree) which is a stone with the shape of a tree. Afterwards we will get to one of the gems of the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve: the Red Colored Lagoon. This lagoon is the main nesting centre of the three kinds of flamingos. The color of the water is produced by the presence of algae and plankton activated by the sunlight and the wind.
We will reach the geysers of Sol de Mañana at the time of the day with more activity. At this point we will be at the highest altitude of the whole trip (5000 mts above sea level). The cold here is intense and we will walk among the smoky and noisy vapour hot springs and the mud boiling stewpot.

The desert and Salar of Chalviri offer beautiful and unforgettable landscapes mixing the white of the snow with the ochre of the desert, the blue of the water and the white of the borax. In Polques, we will take a swim in the hot springs and right after that we will enjoy a delicious open air breakfast.

Afterwards we will approach another amazing place: the desert “Valley of the Ladies”, which is a geologic wonderland created by the winds. The columns of stones sculpted by the wind show fantastic colors. After visiting this valley we will continue towards other gem of the reserve: the Green Lagoon, located at the feet of the Licancabur Volcano. We will arrive there by lunch time, which is the best time to see how its waters change colours from emerald green to deeper green.
From this point we will continue towards the Chilean border. After we cross it we will change vehicles and continue until your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile (approx. 2 hours ride).

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 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:

  • (Bilingual) guide
  • 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.

Please in advance so we can check availability in the hotels.

We also offer the following salt flats tours:

Check our pages about:

For 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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