Uyuni Salt flats Tayka Tour 4×4 on Salar de Uyuni (Salt Flat) for 3 days and 2 nights. This amazing tour takes us to one of the highlights of Bolivia and entire South America: Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt-desert in the world. Surrounded by impressive volcanos, 40.000 Years ago, lake Minchin was located here. When it dried, it left behind a layer of salt that can be up to 20 meters deep. The amazing salar and impressive surrounding landscapes make this site unforgettable. The reflecting and disorienting effects allow for interesting photographing. During this tour we will sleep in a Salt-Hotel, visit indigenous villages and wonderful colored lakes, geysers, flamingo’s and much more.
Today we will have an unforgettable trip through 12.000 km² of fantastic landscapes of salt. Prepare your photo camera! The blinding white mantle of Salar de Uyuni resembles an immense glacier. In winter (dry season, from May to October), when the surface hardens, geometric figures appeared formed by the particles of salt amassed in polygons. In summer (rainy season, from November to February) the saline desert becomes a gigantic mirror that melts into the purest sky in America. We will enter the salt flat through Colchani, where the salt factories are placed. We will visit one of them, where we will receive an explanation about the economy of the salt that governs the town’s life based on a cooperative organization. Next we will have the privilege of visiting Incahuasi Island that has an ascension path to its peak that turns into an extraordinary 360 degree viewpoint. This island surprises by the quantity of giant cactus (Echinopsis atacamensis) that populate the Island. We will have a box lunch on the island and later we’ll go towards the dominant and magic figure of the Tunupa Volcano to whose foothills is located the village of Coquesa, from where the ascent will begin in our 4×4 to reach an appreciable height from where the views of the Monumental Salt are impressive. Beginning of a brief walk to see the¨chullpares¨ – rock graves, which are old burials sites of ancient mummies. A neighboring village of Coquesa is Tahua, where we arrive to our hotel for the night. Accommodation in the Hotel Tayka de Sal, with private bathroom, hot water and heating
Today we will dedicate us to the part of the Salt Flat ignored by tourism, also called ¨Salar Sensual¨. We will head our 4X4 car towards Ch’jini, a place little visited by the tourism despite of its nonpareil beauty. Here, we will ascend to the “cathedral”, rock formation at the shore of the salt lake of approximately 40 m high where a ¨pucara¨ or ruins are located as a presume remain of an old Tiwanacota civilization. The challenge of ascending to the very crest of the “cathedral” is simple but with the guaranteed means of security, it is an opportunity to distill adrenaline in order to reach one of the most exceptional viewpoints in the world. Next we will visit the cave of Ch’jini, result of a sub aquatic geologic formation. The beauty and fragility of these geologic formations have forced the community to organize the visit in small groups. Continuing our travel, we will have the privilege of crossing from north to south the most beautiful part of the white desert, the ¨Salar Sensual¨, far from the usual route of the tourists. Going towards the Fish Island we will have a brief walk and will continue through the bay of the ¨Islas Campanas¨ (Bell Islands) dominated by the image of the Volcano Caltama configuring a nonpareil landscape and environment. We will abandon the Salt flat leaving through ¨Charagua¨, and it will take us one more hour to arrive to the Burnt Village of San Pedro de Quemes, where we will walk through its narrow alleys and constructions that have inspired the Tayka de Piedra Hotel. Lunch at the Hotel. In the afternoon the dominant figure of the Volcano Ollagüe that remains active, will lead us towards the bouquet of colorful mountain lakes: The lagoons Cañapa, Hedionda, Chiarkota, Honda and Ramaditas, in which you will enjoy to photograph great quantity of flamingos. On the shore of one of them, we will have a country lunch. We will enter in desert surfaces of sand and stone of enormous extension, without routes, almost without direction. These fantastic deserts owns the whole palette of terracottas, red, oranges, ochers, brasses, browns and beige fighting in every curve of the road for the traveler’s attention. In front of this palette of colors was lifted the Hotel Tayka del Desierto, with private bathrooms, hot water and heating
We will leave early at dawn towards our first contact with the Andean Flora and Fauna at Eduardo Avaroa Reserve when visiting the ¨arbol de piedra¨ (Stone Tree). Next we will have a visit to the ¨Laguna Colorada¨ (Red Lagoon) to observe its great population of flamingos. We will continue toward the Geisers of Sol de Mañana in order to get surprised by their most active moments. This will be the highest point on the route, near 5000 m.a.s.l. The desert and Salt Flat of Chalviri is scenery of great landscape value that combines the white of the borax, the ocher of the desert, and the blue of the water. In one of its corners we will be able to take a bath in the hot springs of Polques. When leaving we will pass in front the scenery of the desert ¨Las Damas del Desierto¨, masterpieces of rocks carved by wind and the wheater. And once again, now as an excess, we will see the ¨Laguna Verde¨ (the Green Lagoon) at the feet of the Licancabur Volcano, other pearl of the Reserve.
The border crossing will be at Hrs 13:00, for the private transfer to San Pedro de Atacama
Important information This tour starts from Uyuni, the price thus does not include transportation towards Uyuni. Of course we are able to arrange this transportation and it is possible to go by public transportation. We advise to bring a warm sleeping bag, comforting in addition to the blankets provided in the hotel. Nights can be surprisingly cold in Uyuni.
Next to the driver and guide, a maximum of 5 persons fit one jeep.
- Overnight stay in the best hotels in the region, as described in program in Tayka hotels or salt hotels of similar category. Comfortable Tayka hotels like the salt (entirely made of pure salt), stone (made of rocks) and desert (located in a beautiful desert only 40 minutes away from the Red Lagoon) hotels. These hotels have heating and warm water, although not 24 hours a day. At night the gas heating is switched off.
- Transport 4X4 equiped with radio communication or a satellite telephone.
- Spanish speaking driver.
- Also included: natural herbs and medication against altitude sickness and high pressure, oxygen and extinguisher.
Tour does not include:
- entrance fees
- alcoholic drinks, personal snacks and tips.
- Bus tickets to Sucre, Potosi or La Paz
- Hotel reservations in Uyuni
- Bilingual guides
- Private transport in a 4WD from Uyuni to either Potosí, Sucre or La Paz
Do not forget to bring the following items:
The route to the Uyuni salt flats is cold, windy and with high solar radiation. During the day it is generally sunny and the weather is pleasant but at night it can get very cold. Our recommendations on what to bring with you are:
- Warm clothes.
- Wool socks.
- Hat covering your ears and to protect you from the sun.
- Swimming suit.
- Lips moisturizer.
- Sun block 30+.
- Sun glasses.
- Raincoat (From December to March)
- Extra drinking water
Note: Don’t forget to bring a copy of your passport.