Located in the southwest part of Bolivia at 3,600 meters above sea level, the area encompasses 9,000 square kilometers. The area is surrounded by desert and extinct volcanoes where wild llamas and vicunas are abundant. Here we find vast salt flats, multi-coloured lagoons with rare flamingos, boiling mud pools, caves, fossils, volcanoes, glaciers, islands, crimson lakes and hot springs. During our desert experience, we will stay in Salt Hotels constructed of salt!
Why book with Tours of Exploration?
- We specialize in customized, personalized tours that can suit your interests and your skill-levels - whether you are an experienced backpacker, or prefer a more comfortable pace. We can even cater to your language of choice!
- We choose to work with local, Indigenous partners, not only to guarantee an immersive, culturally and naturally authentic experience; but also to economically support the area's local population.
- Book with confidence as deposits are risk-free and refundable.
2022 Departure Dates & Costs
Backpackers Adventure (3 day)
Departures from Uyuni daily, with Spanish speaking guide
Price per person $ 400 USD
Based on group of 4 - 6 persons
Supplement will apply for group of les than 4 persons
Comfort Class (7 days)
Departures from Uyuni each Tuesday & Sunday, with English speaking guide
Price per person based on group size of 2 $ 1,675 USD
Based on group of 3-4 persons $ 1,440 USD
Single room supplement: $ 325 USD
Dry season: May to November
Wet season: December - March (Northern Salar is flooded and route is modified during this time).
Backpackers Adventure (3 days) Itinerary
DAY 1 UYUNI - SAN JUAN (B,L,D)
We will depart Uyuni and will travel in comfortable 4X4 vehicles as we enter the salt flats through Colchani, where we will see how the salt is processed manually. Continue to Ojos de Sal where many travellers are overwhelmed by the grandeur and remote beauty when they first see the white salt flats. Overnight San Juan (shared dorms & bathroom).
DAY 2 SAN JUAN - LAGUNA COLORADO (B,L,D)
An unforgettable trip through a portion of the 12.000 km of fantastic landscapes of salt. The blinding white geology of Uyuni's salt flats resembles an immense glacier. In winter (dry season, from May to October), when the surface hardens, otherworldly geometric figures are formed by the salt particles. We will see still active Ollague Volcanoe, Lagunas Canapa where species of Flamingos can be observed in addition to other birds and where the minerals make for multicoloured hues surrounding the lakes. Overnight in a basic hostel in Huayllajara with shared bedrooms and washrooms (no running water is available).
DAY 3 LAGUNA COLORADO - UYUNI (B,L)
Continue our exploration of the enormous desert surfaces of sand and stone, leaving behind any sense of defined routes and set directions, you are surrounded by red, orange, ochre, bronze, brown and beige. We will visit the Sol. de Manana Geysers and enjoy a soak in the Termas de Polques (hot springs). See the Coloured volacnoe chain and two more of the spectacular Lagunes of the Uyuni desert. Arrive back in Uyuni as dusk approaches.
Comfort Class (7 days) Itinerary
DAY 1 LA PAZ - ORURO + TRAIN TO UYUNI
Transfer included from your hotel to the bus station for the bus to Oruro. From there we board the train to Uyuni. Enjoy the landscape of the high alti-plano. On arrival transfer to the Hotel Tambo Aymara.
DAY 2 UYUNI'S SALT FLATS/TAHUA (B,L,D)
We will depart Uyuni and will travel in comfortable 4X4 vehicles as we enter the salt flats through Colchani, where we will see how the salt is processed manually. This is our last stop before arriving to the skirt of Tunupa Volcano, where the Hotel is built for us. Many travellers are overwhelmed by the grandeur and remote beauty when they first see the white salt flats. Arrive Tahua. Here, we will spend the night at the comfortable Salt Hotel constructed of salt! The Salt Hotel of Tayka's Hotel Network with private bathrooms, hot water and heating.
DAY 3 TAHUA/SAN PEDRO DE QUEMEZ (B,L,D)
Caves, fossils and Islands are the attractions of today during an unforgettable trip through 12.000 km of fantastic landscapes of salt. The blinding white geology of Uyuni's salt flats resembles an immense glacier. In winter (dry season, from May to October), when the surface hardens, otherworldly geometric figures are formed by the salt particles. We will continue our trip toward Chillguilla, where we will visit the pucara (Pre-Columbian ruins) We will visit a cave of the fossil whale, and the Mummies of Coquesa. We will also observe stromatolites (mineral silts that are testimony to the activity of the first unicellular inhabitants of the planet). We will have an outdoor lunch break at the Fish Island, located in the middle of the salt flats. Heading south through the salt flats, we will encounter Bell Islands enroute to San Pedro de Quemez. Overnight at the new Stone Hotel with private bathrooms, hot water and heating.
4 SAN PEDRO DE QUEMEZ/OJO DE PERDIZ (B,L,D)
Crimson Lakes, Flamingos, and multi-coloured deserts make for an unforgettable day. After an early start we visit the Burnt Town and further south we will see Refuge Town, both towns are built with stones which have inspired the Hotel's design. On the way back, we will pass near Ollage Volcano we can take photos of this still active volcano. Visit several lagoons: Honda, Caapa, Hedionda and Chiarkhota, in which we will see three species of flamingos, and well as other birds. The minerals make for multicoloured hues surrounding the lakes.
We will enter the enormous desert surfaces of sand and stone, leaving behind any sense of defined routes and set directions, you are surrounded by red, orange, ochre, bronze, brown and beige. A sunset drive will allow us to see the untameable vicunas, relatives of the Llama, whose wool is treasured over the world. We will visit the Protected Area of Eduardo Avaroa Reserve, a protected area for rare Andean Flora and Fauna. Overnight in the new Desert Hotel with private bathrooms, hot water and heating. After freshening up at the hotel, we will take the car for a drive in the desert, the sunset lights will allow us to see the untamable vicunas with their splendid figures; these auquenids travel in small groups. We will have the first contact with the Protected Area of Andean Flora and Fauna Eduardo Avaroa (R.E.A.).
DAY 5 OJO DE PERDIZ/UYUNI + TRAIN TO ORURO (B,L)
After a very early start we will visit more of the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve including the famous Crimson Lake. This is the main center of nesting for the three species of red and pink flamingos. On our way to Chalviri, we will also see the famous Geysers of the Morning Sun. The Chalviri's Desert and salt flat is another area of extraordinary beauty, which combines the white of the snow and the borax, the ochre of the desert and the blue of the water. In one of its corners, we can take a bath in the thermal waters and enjoy a field breakfast.
After leaving, another great extension of land will open in front of us: The Ladies of the Desert with rocks that have resisted the wind for millennia. And almost as an excess for the senses, when leaving this desert valley, we will find the Green Lagoon, at the base of the Licancabur Volcano. In the distance, in the Soniquera region, Stone City is often recognizable. Whimsical and sometimes artistic shapes have been sculpted by the wind through time. In the final stage of our journey, we will visit the local towns of Alota, and Culpina K. Arrival in Uyuni in time for the overnight train to Oruro.
DAY 6 ORURO - LA PAZ (B,L,D)
Arrival in Oruro and continue to La Paz by bus. On arrival arrival transfer to the Hotel Plaza for overnight.
DAY 7 LA PAZ DEPARTURE (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight out or extend your stay in Bolivia or Peru.
Please contact us for additional information, toll free 1 (800) 690-7887