Transportation: Shared transportation (4×4 for 6 people)
Group size: 2-30 max
Difficulty: 3 – Moderate walking, hilly terrain
Departure Place: Bus station or downtown San Pedro de Atacama
Destiny: Blanca Lagoon – Siloli Desert – Salt Museum – San Pedro Atacama
Altitude: 3675m – 3712m
Availability: Year Round
4-day group tour to the Uyuni Salt Flat, beginning and ending in San Pedro de Atacama. It includes transportation, basic accommodations, and meals.
Today, with more than 12,000 inhabitants, its main attraction is the famous Salar de Uyuni, increasing the offer of quality tourist services day after day, making the visit of each one an unforgettable experience both for the arid place and for the beauty that this tourist attraction has.
Beginning: Day 1 at 06:30 am at your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama. End: Day 4 at 1:00 pm in the bus station or downtown San Pedro de Atacama.
Price per person in 2019:
High season, from January 1 to March 31: US$ 155.
Low season, from April 1 to December 31: US$ 145.
4 days group tour to the Uyuni Salt Flat and Colored Lagoons, beginning and ending in Uyuni. It includes basic accommodation and meals.
*The high season corresponds to tours that begin between January 1st and March 31st. Low season, meanwhile, is for tours that begin between April 1st and December 29th.
Minimum age required of 7 years old.
Not recommended for people suffering hypertension, heart failure, asthma or similar, for whom visiting places above 4000 meters of altitude may present a risk for their health (the tour is made mostly above 4,000 meters of altitude, even reaching 4,850 meters of altitude one of the days of the tour).
Passengers with more than 65 years of age must present a medical certificate that authorizes them to travel to an altitude above 4,000 m.
Not allowed for pregnant women.
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Beginning: Day 1 at 06:30 am at your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.
End: Day 4 at 1:00 pm in the bus station or downtown San Pedro de Atacama.
Day 1 ■Start in San Pedro de Atacama – Hot Springs – Colorada Lagoon
We will pick you up at your hotel and travel in a minibus from San Pedro de Atacama to the border of Bolivia, passing by the border-control stations of Chile and Bolivia.
Once we reach the border, we will switch to a 4×4 vehicle for 6 people. On this first day, we will visit places in the Bolivian Altiplano such as the Blanca Lagoon and Verde Lagoon located near the Licancabur Volcano.
Next, we will visit the Salvador Dalí Desert, the Polques Hot Springs to take a nice dip, and the Sol de Mañana Geysers, intermittent sources of water that flow at a temperature of 90 °C (194 °F). We will end the day at the Colorada Lagoon, a major nesting site for more than 30,000 flamingos. We will stay overnight at the Refugio Huayllajara.
Day 2 ■Siloli Desert & Stone Tree – Cañapa Lagoons
In the morning we will go to the Siloli Desert. Here, we will observe the “Stone Tree,” a volcanic rock that, as you can imagine, is in the shape of a tree.
Next, we will visit the Chiarcota, Honda, Hedionda, and Cañapa Lagoons, followed by the Chiguana Salt Flat and the town of San Juan del Rosario.
We will stay overnight at the Hostal de Sal San Juan del Rosario.
Day 3 ■Incahuasi Island – Salt Museum – Train Graveyard
We will begin our last day of the tour very early in the morning with a view of the sunrise in the Uyuni Salt Flat.
After this we will go to the Incahuasi Island, a limestone formation located in the middle of the salt flat where we will be able to explore and get another perspective of the Salt Flat.
We will then continue on to the Salt Museum and the town of Colchani, which are outside of the salt flat. From here we will go to Uyuni, passing by the train graveyard, where we will make a short stop to take pictures.
In Uyuni, we will say goodbye to our driver/guide who accompanied us during the previous three days, and then we will have some free time to eat lunch and tour part of the city.
Then, we will meet up with the driver who will take us on the return trip, with a stop-over in Villamar to eat dinner and sleep.
Day 4 ■Border Between Chile & Bolivia – San Pedro Atacama
We will get up very early to continue our return trip and get to the border between Chile and Bolivia. Once here, and after the corresponding procedures, we will switch vehicles to a minibus to go back to San Pedro de Atacama.
*The end time of this activity could be modified due to weather conditions or lengthy customs procedures, which is why we recommend purchasing your ticket to leave San Pedro de Atacama as lates as possible on the day we get back from Uyuni, or on the day after we return.
*The itinerary is subject to changes during September, changing the places visited and/or the accommodation places included, always maintaining the level and conditions of these.
Yes, it is possible, depending on availability. You can rent it directly in San Pedro de Atacama one day before starting the tour, paying CLP$5,000. Once the tour is over, you must return the sleeping bag directly to the office.
What days of the year can I do this excursion?
The tour has confirmed departures every day of the week, all year round.
How is the infrastructure in each refuge?
All shelters have a similar level of infrastructure. They have mixed dormitories, with 6 beds and they do not have heating. The bathrooms are shared and the first night there is no shower, the second has a hot shower, and the third night has a cold shower (hot shower paying Bs. 10 per person). None of the shelters have internet.
Is it possible to do the tour with a guide in another language?
Yes, but only in English. The English-speaking guide service has an additional cost of US$189 per group that must be paid after the reservation, after consulting availability at email@example.com. It is important to mention that the service is only available for the first 3 days of the tour, since on the last day the return is with a Spanish-speaking driver.
When is it possible to see the mirror effect in the Salar de Uyuni?
The mirror effect occurs when there is water in the salt flat. This happens only in periods of rain (January and February) and after them (March).
Is it possible to do the tour in private service?
And it is. To request rates write to firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating departure date and number of people.
What kind of vehicles are used on this tour?
The tour takes place by minibus in Chile and by 4×4 (Toyota Land Cruiser) in Bolivia in a group of 6 people each.
Is it possible to do the tour staying in hotels instead of shelters and hostels?
If you wish to take the tour with superior accommodation, consult our tour Salar de Uyuni Superior Tour (4 days).
How far in advance should I book the tour?
Due to the high demand for the tour, we recommend booking at least one week in advance.
Why all the restrictions to do the tour?
The tour takes place in the Altiplano area, at an altitude above 30,000 ft. With only this, our body is subjected to abnormal stress, which can cause discomfort and risk in people with the conditions mentioned in the restrictions section. In addition, the tour does not have medical insurance and there are no health centers to treat these types of situations adequately on the route.
Are there any restrictions for the places where the pick-up service arrives?
The pick-up service is not carried out from/to accommodations located outside the urban area of San Pedro de Atacama, accommodations located in ayllus close to San Pedro de Atacama (Quitor, Yaye, Checar, Sequitor, Solor and Coyo) or accommodations in the town of Toconao.
Is it necessary to have a tourist visa to enter Bolivia?
It depends on the nationality of the passenger. Passengers from Chile and the rest of South America and passengers from Western Europe do not need a tourist visa, while passengers from the United States, Central America, Asia and Africa do need a tourist visa, which costs US$100 or US $160 depending on the country (you can check the price per country here). The visa is obtained directly at the border, where along with the payment of the visa in cash (Bolivianos or US dollars in good condition), passengers must present their passport and two wallet-size photographs. If you are a foreign person residing in Chile, in addition to your passport, you must bring your identity card, so that you can prove your residence before the police authorities at customs.
Do I need to be vaccinated against yellow fever for the tour?
Yellow fever vaccination is not required for the Salar de Uyuni tour. It is only mandatory if you later plan to visit the Bolivian jungle.
How many bags or suitcases can I take?
Each passenger can carry a maximum of one bag or suitcase of 18 kilos and a sleeping bag, which will go above the 4×4.
What kind of plugs do the accommodations have?
The accommodations have type C plugs, compatible with types E and F. In any case, our recommendation is that you bring an adapter to avoid inconvenience.
Is it necessary to bring a sleeping bag?
It is not essential, since the accommodations have blankets. However, consider the weather information for the date of your trip, and if you think you are going to feel cold, we recommend bringing your own sleeping bag with a nominal temperature of 32ºF.
What is the weather like along the route?
In summer (December to March), the temperature ranges between a minimum of 4 °C and a maximum of 23 °C. In winter (June to September) the temperature ranges between -20 °C as a minimum and 16 °C as a maximum.
How much money should I bring to the tour?
We recommend bringing at least Bs. 250 per person for expenses not included in the tour, such as entrance fees to parks, border tax, access to bathrooms and water.
Where can I change money to Bolivianos?
On Toconao street, in San Pedro de Atacama (intersection with Caracoles street), you can find some exchange houses where you can get Bolivians to take on the tour.
What is the probability of suffering “puna” or altitude sickness during the tour?
Most of the route is done above 4,000 meters of altitude, so it is very possible to suffer from altitude sickness, especially on the first day of the tour. To avoid or reduce the general feeling of discomfort, we recommend acclimatizing to the altitude for one or two days above 2,500 m, drinking plenty of water before and during the tour, eating light meals (avoid meat) the days before and not drinking alcohol the previous days. the night before the start of the tour.
What about the meals?
Meals are varied and include tea, coffee, bread, biscuits and fruit for breakfast, and meat, pasta, rice, soup and vegetables for lunch and dinner. If you need a vegetarian menu, you must request it by writing to email@example.com at the time of making the online reservation.
What happens to the tour in case of rain?
In case of rain, the order of the places visited, the possibility of seeing the sunrise and the places of accommodation are subject to change, since some of the roads may be closed. In addition to the above information, the water in the Salar de Uyuni is a major obstacle and Isla Incahuasi (located in the center of the salar) remains closed. This means that the Incahuasi Island cannot be visited and we only enter the salt flat for a certain distance, so that the passengers are safe.
Travel through the salt flat
passing by the Dakar Monument and the Salt Museum, until getting to the Incahuasi Island.
And we will travel to the Incahuasi Island, a limestone formation in the center of the salt flat.
San Juan del Rosario
We will visit the Cañapa, Hedionda, Honda and Chiarkota lagoons, before entering the Siloli Desert.
Sunrise in the morning
Geysers, intermittent sources of water that rise at a 90°C temperature, and where we will have the chance of taking pictures using the contrasts of the first lights and the steam.
Hotel pickup in San Pedro de Atacama.
Drop off at bus station or downtown San Pedro de Atacama.
Shared transport (minibus in Chile and 4×4 for six people in Bolivia).
Local Spanish-speaking driver.
All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
o 1st night at the Refugio Huayllajara in a shared room with maximum of six people, with a shared bathroom (no showers).
o 2nd night at Hostal de Sal San Juan de Rosario in a shared double, triple, or quadruple room, subject to availability, with a shared bathroom (showers with hot water).
o 3rd night at a refuge in Villamar in a shared double, triple or quadruple room, subject to availability, with a shared bathroom (showers with cold water. You may pay an aditional Bs. 10 if you would like ot have hot water).
Drop off at the hotel.
Round trip shuttle between the Calama airport and San Pedro de Atacama.
Border tax (Bs. 17 per person).
Access to bathrooms along the way (approximately Bs. 6 each time).
Rain boots (needed the event of rain; rental for Bs. 20 per person).
Entrance fees (Bs. 186 per person).
o Entrance fee to the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna
o National Reserve (Bs. 150 per person).
o Entrance fee to the Polques Hot Springs (Bs. 6 per person).
o Entrance fee to Incahuasi Island (Bs. 30 per person).
Comfortable and warm clothing.
Comfortable shoes (ideally trekking shoes).
Swimsuit and towel (for Polques Hot Springs)
Sunglasses – Sunscreen – Toiletries – Toilet paper
Sleeping bag (see FAQ’s). Flashlight.
Water (1 liter per person for the first day. The rest of the days you can buy on the way).
Passport or ID card. If your a foreigner resident in Chile you should take both to show them in customs.
Bs. 350 for expenses not included on the tour (entrance fees, taxes, bathroom, water and souvenirs, among others).
What to bring
Comfortable and warm clothing.
Comfortable shoes (ideally for hiking).
Swimsuit and towel (for Polques Hot Springs).
Water (1 liter per person for the first day. You can buy it on the road durign the rest of the tour).
Sleeping bag (see FAQs).
Passport or ID card. If you are a foreign resident in Chile, you should bring both to present them at customs.
Bs. 350 for expenses not included on the tour (entrance fees, taxes, bathroom, water and souvenirs, among others).
Muy agradecido de haberme encontrado con William. Me dio una mano cuando la necesitaba.
Cálida y dedicada atención.
Un amigo en La Paz.
Saludos desde Argentina.
Si gustan de hacer Huayna Potosí, Uyuni o Copabana háganlo con South Treks!
Gerardo Nicolás D
I did Illimani with my guide Felix and it was a big adventure cause we were the only people on the mountain :)
Thank you William for organizing this great trip
michael kSolo travel
Super guide et organisation!!! Le camino de la muerte en toute sécurité. Equipement fourni, explication, histoire, photos et vidéos inclus :)
Juste l’almerzo à 17h30 😕
Laura FLa Seyne-sur-Mer, Francia
Mi experiencia al ir al Glaciar Italia fue ¡espectacular!!! E inolvidable. Yo recomiendo a las personas que quieran conocer este lugar que se animen a ir por que es un lugar mágico y sorprendente. Cargado de sorpresas y emociones.
Yolanda PMexico DF.
Fueron pacientes al esperarnos y podrían mejorar al enviarnos las fotos lo mas pronto posible, demoraron casi una semana
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