Embark on a journey of a lifetime into the Uyuni Salt Flats on Day 1. Sleep overnight in a salt hotel, take the opportunity to enjoy stargazing and then go deeper into the desert on Day 2 to see rock formations and desert landscapes with red and green-coloured lakes and native flamingos before soaking in natural hot springs in the evening. On your last day in the desert visit the Dali Pampas to see the landscapes that inspired this famous artist and see the Green Lagoon before crossing the Chilean border and ending your trip in Atacama.
Day by Day Itinerary:
Day 1: Uyuni - Train Graveyard - Colchani - Uyuni Salt Flats (Incahuasi Island) - Atulcha (L/D)
Make your own way to the meeting point of the tour. Start off at 11 am with a visit to Uyuni's 'train graveyard' to see the first locomotives in Bolivia. Then we will visit the small village of Colchani to visit a salt factory where they process the salt mined from Uyuni, have lunch, and enjoy some free time to explore the local museum or shop for souvenirs. Next we will continue to the great salt flats of Uyuni. Take photos as you cruise along the vast white expanse of salt, and visit a hotel made completely of salt. Next we will visit Incahuasi (Fish Island) where you will have time to take a hike to the top of the island to see giant cactus and rock formations made of petrified coral. Enjoy the stunning sunset over the salt flat before spending the night at the tiny village of Atulcha in a salt hotel.
Day 2: Sora Canyon - Andean Lagoons - Desert of Siloli - Red Lagoon - Sol de Mañana Geysers - Polques (B/L/D)
Start off at 7:00 am for breakfast at the hotel and then head toward the villages of Julaca and San Agustin where we will take a short walk to the Sora Canyon to observe incredible views and flocks of llamas. Our next stop is at the Volcan Ollague viewpoint, where we will have lunch before heading to the beautiful Andean lagoons inhabited by 3 species of Andean flamingos. Visit the Desert of Siloli at 4550m (the highest and driest in the world) and take a photo next to the 'Rock tree', a lava rock formation. Before arriving to our final destination today, we will stop at the overlook point by the Red Lagoon to see more pink flamingos and admire this intense red-colored lake, and then at the Sol de Mañana geysers. In the evening we will enjoy the open air hot springs and take a bath in naturally 35 Cº water before spending the night in nearby Polques.
Day 3: Dali Desert - Green Lagoon - San Pedro de Atacama (B)
Get off to an early start around 7:30 to the Dali Pampas, where Salvador Dali found his inspiration from boulders sprinkled in the middle of the desert, and then to the Green Lagoon (toxic copper water at the foot of the big Licancabur volcano at 6000m, a few kilometers from the Bolivia-Chile border). Cross the border into Chile and change vehicles. Your local driver will meet you and take you all the way to San Pedro de Atacama, passing beautiful scenery along the way. Arrive in San Pedro de Atacama around noon.
Note: This itinerary is subject to change without prior notice according to weather conditions, strikes, roadblocks, or force majeure events which are beyond our control. We will always do our best to follow the itinerary as close as possible.
IMPORTANT INFO: During the rainy season from January to April, the Salt Flats fill up with water so it is not possible to cross them in the same way as during dry season. As a consequence, the itinerary is modified during that period. The main changes are usually as follows:
Instead of stopping at the Inca Wasy (Fish Island), we stop at a place where the water reflects the sky and where it seems that the sky and the ground merge into one.
On day 1, we might sleep at another location.
ALTITUDE: This trip takes place at a very high altitude. The salt flats are around 3,500 meters above sea level and the geysers around 5.000. Most guests will be able to feel the effects. We recommend acclimating yourself to above 3,000 meters before the trip and bringing along medication for headaches and tablets for altitude sickness in case you feel unwell. And remember, the real key is to drink lots of water!
ACCOMMODATION / FACILITIES ON TOUR: The reality of visiting a remote area and immersing yourself in nature is that you will be far from modern facilities and the services will sometimes be slow and quite basic. Due to the harsh terrain, vehicle breakdowns are not uncommon, but the drivers are very used to fixing them and wait times are rarely excessive. The accommodations will be very basic, with cots and shared rooms, and the electricity and running water in the National Park are not as dependable as they are back at home. Toilet facilities may have a small local cost and showering is only available the first day. Make sure to bring snacks, some water, toilet paper, and plenty of warm clothes. That said, with some patience, preparation, and an appetite for adventure, this trip will certainly be a positive and unforgettable experience.
SUGGESTED PACKING LIST: Sun hat, sunglasses (to protect your eyes from the bright glare off the salt panes), sunblock, coat, gloves, wool hat, trekking shoes, warm socks, swimsuit and towel for hot springs at Sol de Manana Geysers, extra bottles of water (we recommend bringing a 5 Liter bottled water so you can have enough water for the whole trip), snacks, personal medication. Flashlight/torch, camera, extra batteries and memory card, charger (electricity available in most hotels), hand sanitizer, personal first aid kit. You will be sleeping up to 4,300 meters above sea level and depending on the season, temperatures can drop well below zero (reaching less than -15 degrees Celsius in the winter months of June and July) and the wind chill can be harsh, so bring plenty of warm clothes like a scarf and wool hat for the chilly evenings.
DRIVER AND GUIDE: Please note that there is one guide per group. When exploring, your guide will be with the entire group. However, if groups are split into multiple vehicles you may be in a vehicle without the guide during transport.