SALT FLATS PREMIUM TOUR3 days / 2 nights
The Uyuni Salt Flats –or Salar de Uyuni– is the highlight of any trip to Bolivia, as it represents a unique experience, impossible to equal anywhere else in the world. This legendary prehistoric lake, called Lago Minchín, went dry between 30,000 to 42,000 years ago, leaving behind the most dazzling desert-like landscape of glistening bright-white salt flats, cacti-studded islands and rock formations.
Located in the southwest of Bolivia, the Salt Flats is the largest salt desert in the world. With an altitude of 3653 meters above the sea level, denoting a cold desert climate, the area goes through two distinct seasons: the dry season (between May and October) and the rainy season (between November and April), during which the desert floods creating a natural mirror and a one-of-a-kind scenery.
However, the Salt Flats are not the only treasure this area offers its visitors. This Altiplanic region is also home to Andean lagoons inhabited by pink flamingoes, snow-capped volcanoes, ancient coral lands, mythical caves used as sacred burial grounds by pre-Inca civilizations, and active geysers reaching an altitude of 5000 meters above sea level.
At Altitude we have taken great care in building a fulfilling package that will allow you to explore and discover Bolivia’s most outstanding destination, while catering to your every need. Placing you at the frontier of endless natural beauty, this three-day tour will provide you with an unforgettable travel and life experience.
The tour will start in the town of Uyuni at approximately 10am: depending on your preferences, we can pick you up directly from the bus terminal or your accommodation in Uyuni. We will then start the day by visiting the Train Cemetery -an immense train graveyard eroded by the salt winds located in the shores of the Salt Flats- continuing towards the indigenous community of Colchani to observe the elaboration of iodized salt in its rustic form.
We then enter to the white deserts in their fullness, driving straight in the middle of the magical Salar de Uyuni. Here, we will visit the typical landscapes of extraction, the Piles of Salt; the unique “eyes of salt”; and the first salt hotel, now a museum; you will be able to enjoy and wonder around the Salt Flats, take perspective and reflection pictures. Lunch will later be served in the heart of the Salt Flats, giving you the incredible opportunity of enjoying traditional food immersed in this unique white desert. In the afternoon, we will take a short trek through the Incahuasi Island, an ancient island of volcanic rock located in the middle of the Salt Flats and home to millenary giant cacti. From here we will enjoy the incredible view of the sun setting on the immense salt desert.
In the evening, we will reach Santiago de Agencha, a Quechua community located on the shores of the Salt Flats, where we will spend the night in traditional cabins made of salt and stone.
Note: the Incahuasi Island may not be reachable during the rainy season when the Salt Flats are flooded.
After breakfast, we will visit the magical Galaxy caves, an incomparable natural jewel carved by nature over millions of years, and pre-Inca burial grounds which still guard a mystic power for local communities. Following we will visit the community of San Juan, natural viewpoint to the Ollagüe volcano (still active).
In the afternoon, we will visit the Cañapa and Hedionda lagoons, home to pink flamingo populations. We will then finally enter the National Park Eduardo Abaroa, where we will be able to visit the unique Silioli Desert and the Valley of Rocks, as well as the famous “stone tree”, an incredible giant rock formation whose shape reminds of an ancient fossilized tree.
We will finally visit the astonishing Colored Lagoon and the hot springs before reaching our accommodation for the night.
This last day starts at 6:30am, in order to enjoy the sunrise in the National Park. In the morning, we will visit the Green and White lagoons, the incredible Salvador Dali Desert and the Licancabur Volcano.
After lunch, we will start our return back to Uyuni. On the way we will pass by the traditional villages such as Villamar, Villa Alota and the mining town of San Cristobal. The tour ends in Uyuni at approximately 6.30pm.
Note: upon request, we can arrange for our passengers to be transferred to the town of San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.
Lunch Quinoa with meat and salad
Desert: season fruits
Dinner Vegetable soup, rice with chicken and potatoes
Breakfast Tea, coffee, milk, scrambled eggs, bread and juices.
Pasta with chicken and salad
Desert: season fruits
Dinner Vegeatable soup; pasta with tomato sauce
Breakfast Tea, coffee, milk, pancakes, yogurt and cereals
Lunch Rice with salad, tuna, ham and cheese.
NOTE: Water and drinks are included only during lunch and dinner; we suggest to bring extra water for the journey.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION (lunch and dinner): rice or quinoa with vegetables
First night: Tambo Coquesa Tambo Coquesa lays at the feet of Tunupa Volcano, on the shores of the Salt Flats. Dining room made of salt, with view on the Salt Flats, and relaxing area with WiFi access. Please Note: availability is subject to changes due to weather conditions; the hotel may be replaced with another one of similar category.
This activity includes the following:
- Transportation on a 4×4 jeep
- Skilled Driver
- 2-night accommodation (basic accommodation, shared rooms)
- Meals throughout the tour (3 box lunches, 2 dinners and 2 breakfasts)
This activity does NOT include the following:
- Private rooms (extra cost of $20 per night)
- Tour guide in foreign language (upon request)
- Transportation from/to La Paz (can be arranged)
- Entrance fees (Incahuasi Island: $4.50 and Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve: $22)
- Tips and Extras not mentioned in the Programme
- Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama (can be arranged)
We advise you to bring the following:
- Warm clothing
- Sunglasses and sunscreen