Uyuni Salt Flats tour

Uyuni Salt Flats tour 3 days 2 nights

The Uyuni salt flats tour is a safe and comfortable 3 day tour to the Salar de Uyuni and lagoons in Bolivia. We use the best hotels in the area (Tayka hotels or similar category salt hotels such as Luna Salada hotel or Palacio de Sal hotel) and very comfortable private transport. The cars we use are fully equipped Toyota Land Cruisers, Nissan Patrols or Lexus with first aid kit and an oxygen cylinder on board.

Uyuni salt flats

The beautiful Uyuni salt flats are the world’s largest salt flat. It is located in the Department of Potosi in Southwest Bolivia at 3.650 meters above sea level.

Some 40.000 years ago, the area was part of Lake Minchin, a giant prehistoric lake. When the lake dried up, it left behind two modern lakes, Poopó and Uru Uru, and two major salt deserts: Salar de Coipasa and the larger Salar de Uyuni.  The Uyuni Salt Flats are roughly 25 times the size of Bonneville Salt Flats in the United States!

La Isla del Pescado (Fish Island), which is located on the salt flat, is full of giant cactuses and named this way as the ´island´ has the shape of a fish. It is the only sign of life for miles.

Laguna Verde, Laguna Colorada and the hot springs (located in the National Reserve Eduardo Avaroa) can also be visited during this tour. Laguna Verde is a beautiful green colored lake close to the Chilean border at the foot of the Licancabur volcano. Its color is caused by sediments, containing copper minerals. Laguna Colorada is a red colored lake, also because of the presence of minerals. The lagoons together with the flamingos create a very unique scene of spectacular beauty!

Salar de Uyuni is estimated to contain 10 billion tons of salt of which less than 25.000 tons is extracted annually.

REFERENCE PROGRAM

This reference program for the 3 days 2 nights Uyuni salt flats tour is based on a private tour with “Tayka” hotels. These hotels are considered to be the better hotels in the Uyuni region, but are by no means luxury. One of them is the Tayka salt hotel (we also use the salt hotels: Luna Salada and Palacio de Sal), another Tayka hotel is made out of stones (Tayka de Piedra) and there is the Tayka Desert Hotel located at approx 40 minutes drive from the Laguna Colorada.

Uyuni salt flats Tour 3 days /2 nights from and to Uyuni

Day 1 (L, D)
We will pick you up from the hotel around 10.00 AM. During the 3 days / 2 nights trip you will have an unforgettable trip across 12 000 km2 of beautiful salt landscape. Do you have your camera ready? The amazing white coat of the Uyuni Salt Flats or Salar de Uyuni looks like a huge glacier.

First you will enter the Salt Flats from ´Colchani´, where you will stop to visit the salt factory. Then you will stop for a while at the salt mounts and visit the Salt Museum.

You will enjoy the impressive landscape from the top of the Incahuasi island located in the middle of the salt flats. From this point you can enjoy an amazing 360 º view of the Salar.

Today you will also visit the Dakar salt monument (representing the annual Dakar Rally Race which is now held in South America) and Plaza de Banderas or Flag Square (a salt platform near the Dakar Monument with flags planted by visitors from all over the world.

Overnight stay in the Tayka Salt Hotel (3.696 meters above sea level) or similar salt hotel, with a private bathroom, hot water and heating (please note that hot water and heating is not available 24 hrs a day).

Optional tonight: Uyuni stargazing tour.

Day 2 (B, L, D)
Today we will cross the Uyuni salt flats from north to south and we will visit the Fish (Pescado) Island (isla).

Afterwards we will visit the Necropolis in San Juan del Rosario.

In the afternoon, we will continue towards the lagoons of Cañapa, Hedionda, Chiarkota, Honda and Ramaditas, where we will be able to spot the three different species of flamingos and other  birds such as Andean seagulls and wild ducks. These birds live close to the lagoons, surrounded by volcanoes with their eternal snowtops mixed with landscapes full of green and other magic colors due the the presence of borax and sulphur.

After we pass by the last lagoon, we will enter a huge desert area with no roads. These fantastic deserts gather many different colors from brown, red, orange, brass and beige which are successively shown at every curve of the trip. We will spend the night in the Tayka Desert Hotel (4.523 meters above sea level), with private bathroom, hot water and heating (please note that hot water and heating is not available 24 hrs a day).

Day 3 (B, L)
Early this morning we will get ready to enter the Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve. You will visit the Stone Tree and with some luck we will be able to spot vizcachas (wild desert rabbits).
We will arrive to the Geysers of Sol de Mañana during the most active moment of the day and with the first ray of lights. This is the highest point of the tour (5000 meters above the sea level). It can be very cold here. We will be able to walk among the smoky and noisy geysers, boiling mud stewpot where red and grey mud is boiling like water.

The desert and Salar of Chalviri offer a landscape which combine the white of the snow with the red brown of the desert and the blue of the water. Here you will have the opportunity to swim in the Hot Springs of Polques and right after that to enjoy an open air breakfast.

We will continue our trip to the ‘Valle de las Damas’, a new breathtaking view with rock formations with interesting shapes and colors. Afterwards we will drive to the beautiful Laguna Verde at the feet of the Licancabur volcano.

The next stop will be Laguna Colorada (red colored lagoon). This lagoon is the main nesting centre of the three different species of flamingos. The color of the water is produced by the presence of algae and plankton activated by the sunlight and the wind.

On the way back to Uyuni, we will stop at San Cristóbal, a village which has been moved from its original location to the actual one (even the church!) for the needs of one the biggest mines in the world.

Say bye bye to the llamas and vicuñas before returning to Uyuni.

IMPORTANT! Due to weather and road conditions the routes and hotel reservations can sometimes be changed without notice. This is the reason why the itinerary is only for reference, and is not to be taken as an exact itinerary of what this tour implies. Please note that this trip is +/- 1000 Kms of driving over unpaved roads at high altitude.

The rainy season is roughly from late December to March. During this period parts of the Salar may be covered with water. During this time it is not always possible to cross the salt flats by car and/or get to Isla Incahuasi/Fish Island. Also the Tayka Salt Hotel can often not be reached during the rainy season and therefor we will use another salt hotel like Luna Salada or Palacio de Sal instead. Please note that many photographers visit the Salar during this rainy season in order to capture beautiful pictures. Needless to say we cannot predict the exact weather conditions, it’s up to Mother Nature.

Please note that during this trip you will be traveling in a very remote area at high altitude and with medical assistance far away.
Everybody responds differently to altitude. However, we recommend that you give your body enough time to acclimatise to the high altitude.
(This is why we do not recommend to travel from sea level directly to Uyuni to do this trip, without spending a couple of days acclimating to a high elevation before beginning your tour.)
We recommend to take tablets against altitude sickness such as Diamox tablets or similar. Please consult your doctor for any medical related questions (regarding traveling at high altitude).

Tour includes:

  • Overnight stay in the best hotels in the area
  • Meals
  • Private transport in a comfortable 4X4
  • Spanish speaking driver-guide
  • Also included: natural herbs and medication against altitude sickness, oxygen tank and fire extinguisher

Tour does not include:

  • Entrance fees
  • Drinks in the hotels, personal snacks and tips.

Optional:

  • We can help you to get bus tickets to Sucre, Potosi or La Paz
  • Hotel reservations in Uyuni
  • Bilingual guides
  • Private transport from Uyuni to either Potosí, Sucre or La Paz

Do not forget to bring the following items:

The are of the Uyuni salt flats can be cold, windy and with high solar radiation. During the day it is generally sunny and the weather is pleasant but at night it can get cold. Our recommendations on what to bring with you:

  • Warm clothes.
  • Woolen socks.
  • Gloves.
  • Hat that covers your ears and protects you from the sun.
  • Warm boots (and / or rain boots during the rainy season)
  • Towel.
  • Swimming suit.
  • Lip moisturizer.
  • Sun block 30+.
  • Sun glasses (the sun rays on the surface of the salt desert create a dazzling, blinding light. Therefor we highly recommend to bring high protection sunglasses with you).
  • Flashlight.
  • Raincoat (From December to March).
  • Extra drinking water (we provide 2 liters of bottled water per person per day).

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

Please contact us in advance so we have time to check availability.

Read what our clients say about their trip to the Uyuni Salt Flats!

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More info about the Uyuni salt flats tour? Check the following travel blogs:

Looking for a honeymoon trip in salar de Uyuni? We can tailor it to your wishes! Contact us for more information.

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!'

    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.´

    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.´

    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.´

    Diana Proost The Netherlands
  • ´Hi Gijs, The trip was really great, first class. Thanks for all.´

    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!´

    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!´

    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. ´

    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´

    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´

    Christian Kell Germany
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