Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world. At 12,000 feet above sea level, the famous land is encrusted by a dense layer of salt and is part of the Altiplano or ‘high plain,’ formed by the uplift of the Andes Mountains. In total it covers more than 4,000 square miles of ground. Though largely devoid of vegetation and wildlife, it is a major breeding ground for pink flamingos every November. In dry seasons, it has cracked, desert-like appearance, though after rainfall the flat surface becomes extremely reflective with even a small amount of water covering the ground. The result is a remarkable mirror-like effect that has caused many to name Salar de Uyuni a natural wonder of the world.
Salar de Uyuni was created over centuries of transformation from what was once prehistoric lakes, the largest being the ancient Lago Minchín. It is now the most visited site in Bolivia.
– Visit the Antique Train and Locomotives Cemetery and get some amazing pictures there.
– Observe and photograph the amazing Cacti Island in the middle of the Salt Flats.
– Laguna Colorada and its dramatic red & pink colors with the sunset.
– 3 different species of Flamingos quite close to you, great for wildlife photography.
– Desert, Volcanoes and Lagoons of the Bolivian Altiplano.
– Licancabur Volcano, Dali Desert and Laguna Verde.
– Great views of wild Llamas and Vicunas in the nature.
Salar de Uyuni
We leave Uyuni at about 1030am to visit the antique train cemetery, 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) outside the town where you can see the old trains and locomotives dating back from early 20th Century rusted and eroded by the slat winds blowing over Uyuni. Right after that, we will continue to Colchani and witness how the salt is processed before we reach to the Salt Flats themselves and see the “Ojos de Sal” where water bubbles up through the salt plains. We will see the original salt hotel (not operational for guests) and visit Inca Huasi (Fish Island) and observe the giant cacti with great views of the salt flats all around it, this is a great photos opportunity There will be plenty of time for taking amazing photo and the salt before we head toward the village of San Juan for dinner and overnight.
Eduardo Avaroa National Park- Laguna Colorada
After breakfast we will continue our way further south. We will find Sora Canyon and and Chuguana Desert with extinct volcanoes and the semiactive Ollague. We will find 3 different lagoons to spot the Andean, Chilean and James Flamingos species. In the Siloli desert we will find the spectacular Rock tree or “Arbol de Piedra” before we make it to the Eduardo Avaroa National Park in the late afternoon with amazing and dramatic views of the “Laguna Colorada”, an amazing red and pink colored lake. Dinner and overnight at above 4400 meters above the sea level at the National Park shelter.
Parque Nacional Avaroa- Licancabur Volcano-Uyuni
With an early start at 5.00 am we will visit the “Sol de Mañana” geysers and see the bubbling mud pools and steam jets. We will then continue to the hot springs where you can relax in the warm water pools (hot springs are sometimes visited the evening of the second day). We will reach the “Dali Desert” (about 4750 meters above the sea level) to find “Laguna Verde” where nature permitting we will see the green mineral waters of the lake at the foot of Licancabur Volcano. We then start our return journey back to Uyuni with fantastic views of the Llamas Valley with hundreds of them free in the nature to arrive late in the afternoon to Uyuni.
(If you want to go Chile the third day after ‘Laguna Verde” we can organize your transfer by bus that will take you to San Pedro de Atacama)
– Professional English-Speaking Tour Guide
– All meals included, except Breakfast on Day 1/ Dinner on Day3
– Rustic hotel for overnight
– Daily Excursions
– All land transfers in 4×4 vehicles
– Accommodation in Uyuni
– Gratuities to staff
– Incahuasi Island fee (about US$ 5) + Eduardo Avaroa National Park fee (about US$ 23)
– Drinks during the excursions
Starting Altitude – 3660m / 11800 ft.
Highest Altitude – 4750 / 15580 ft.
Accommodation – Rustic Hotel/ Dormitory/ Shared bathroom
Overall Difficulty – Easy to moderately difficult
Salar de Uyuni is dry most of the year, but the ‘wet’ season is considered to be from December to March. Tupiza and Uyuni are the two most common towns to depart from to visit the salt flat. It is also possible to visit from San Pedro de Atacama, across the border in Chile.
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