Our three-day tour of the Uyuni Salt Flats and surrounding landscapes starts in the town of Uyuni with a visit to an ancient train “cemetery” full of 19th-century train cars rusting away. We then move on to the settlement of Colchani, where you will learn about how salt continues to be artisanally harvested and processed for export to La Paz and beyond, as well as transformed into unusual handicrafts. We then continue on to the famous Isla Incahuasi (also known as Fish Island) where you can hike across the island covered with huge cactus and home to endemic bird species and cuter-than-cute vizcachas.
We will have lunch on the island and there will be plenty of time to explore and photograph. After lunch we continue on to the south, spending the afternoon crossing the Salar, seemingly lost but actually on our way to one of several villages on the edge of the flat, where we spend the night in a simple family hostel enjoying typical, local meals and bundling up against the night’s chill. The rooms are shared, dormitory-style, among all group participants.
On Day 2, we continue on our way to and through the world renowned Eduardo Avaroa Reserve, famous for its unique, high desert lunar landscapes dotted with colored lakes, volcanoes and Andean fauna such as flamingos, vicuñas, llamas, alpacas and others. Highlights include the Stone Tree, Ollague Volcano, the Siloli Desert and the Cañapa, Honda, Hedionda and Ramadita Lakes. At the end of the day we arrive at Huayllajara, where we spend the night, braced against the cold in a family hostel. The rooms are shared, dormitory-style, among all group participants.
On our third and final day, we depart before sunrise (put on your hat and gloves!). We observe the sunrise from the Sol de Mañana Geysers at a mere 4800 m above sea level and then head to the local thermal waters for an early morning dip. After the thermal waters, we enjoy breakfast with the sunrise and move on to the Salvador Dali Desert, passing by the Laguna Blanca (White Lake) y Laguna Verde (Green Lake) and Licancabur Volcano. We have lunch in Villamar before continuing on to Uyuni, passing on the way to the smaller borax flat of Capina as well as the recently relocated (when you see it you will be impressed that it was moved!) colonial church of San Cristobal.
We then have you back in Uyuni by 5pm with plenty of time to catch the bus or train back to La Paz or other destinations.
Duration: Three days
Difficulty: 3 – high altitude, extreme temperature changes, strong insolation*
Itinerary: Day 1: Uyuni Salt Flats – Incahuasi Island; Day 2: Colored Lagoons and Deserts; Day 3: Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve – Uyuni
Highlights: Salt Flats – Colored Lagoons – Deserts – Geysers – Thermal Waters – Andean Fauna
Price: $210 pp., min. 1. (We have this tour on private as well)
Inclusions: Local driver-guide (Spanish), private transport, entrance fees, lodging, meals from lunch D1 to lunch D3
*Ask for a bilingual tour guide.
* Click here for details on program difficulty level