Tour: Salar de Uyuni (3 days, from Uyuni)

With its 10,582 square kilometeres and 3,656 metres above sea level, the Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world. This vast, flat land of pure white salt at 3,656 metres above sea level, stands in contrast with multi-coloured lagoons, volcanic mountains, tree-like rocks and towering islands of coral to create one of the most unique and bizarre landscapes in the world.
Some of the sights within the region include: The Train Cemetry of Uyuni; Incahuasi Island in the Salar; Ojos del Salar; and the Eduardo Avaroa Nature Reserve, with a multitude of brightly coloured lakes, geysers, volcanoes and the breeding grounds of 3 of the worlds 6 species of flamingos.

Itinerary:

First day

In the morning you start your trip in a private 4WD vehicle to the largest salt desert in the world with 10,582 km². The journey takes you along the edge of the salt lake to the village of Colchani, where the salt of the Salar is painstakingly processed into table salt. You will visit a small family business before you continue to the salt pyramids on the banks of the Salar - salt that has been piled to dry with pickaxe and shovel. Here you can finally immerse yourself in the seemingly endless "white" of the Salar. A visit to the Incahuasi “island", located in the middle of the salt lake, is one of the absolute highlights of the region. A small circular route takes you across the island, where you can marvel at the centuries-old cacti that soar up to 12 meters into the blue sky. From the viewpoint at the top of the island you have a 360° view of the Salar. The Tunupa volcano dominates the horizon on the northern edge of the Salar, the direction you are now heading for. For lunch, we offer you a luxury picnic in the middle of the gigantic salt lake, with breathtaking views over the vastness of the pure white. In the afternoon the vehicle brings you up the flanks of the Tunupa volcano to visit a cave tomb and the mummies of Coquesa. From here, the salar is literally at your feet. After visiting the museum in Chantani you will go to your small but comfortable salt hotel for the night in the village of Tahua, Overnight in Tahua (-/BL/D).

Second day

Your day begins with a visit to the “Pucara de Chiquini” ruins, before you cross the Salar from north to south. After a short ascent and visit to this interesting and beautiful viewpoint over the Salar, the extraordinary geological formations in the cave not far from the "Pucara" pose some riddles to science. They show unique geological formations, that can be traced back to the remains of the drying prehistoric lakes "Lago Minchin" (approx. 300,000 years ago) and "Lago Tauca" (approx. 40,000 years ago). Past the Islas Campanas (Bell Islands) we head south-west. At Tayka Hotel de Piedra, in San Pedro de Quemes, you are already expected for lunch and have time for a little rest. A breathtaking landscape lies ahead of you in the afternoon. Passing the active volcano Ollagüe, you reach the colorful lakes "Laguna Cañapa", "Laguna Hedionda", "Laguna Chiarkota", "Laguna Honda" and "Laguna Ramaditas". On their flat shores you can observe the three flamingo species that live in this region, looking for food at these rather inhospitable water sources framed by hard borax and sulfur crusts. You leave the valley of the lakes and immerse yourself in an extensive sand and stone desert - the “Siloli” desert, a fantastic surreal landscape that offers the whole range of terracotta and ocher tones. You race through the expanse over improvides tracks, and in the middle of this seemingly empty area you reach the Tayka Hotel del Desierto. Overnight in the Siloli desert. (B/L/D).

Third day

You start the day early and your journey takes you past the "Arbol de Piedra", a stone figure created by erosion, to the absolute highlight in the heart of the Avaroa Reserve - the "Laguna Colorada", a lake colored red by algae that hosts thousands of flamingos. Continue to the geyser field "Sol de Mañana" - a "devilish" spectacle of hissing water vapor columns and bubbling earth holes, where you have also reached the highest point of the trip at 5000 meters. But you still won't run out of highlights – the trip goes on to the Salar de Chalviri - a play of colors from snow white to desert red and azure blue. Nearby, the hot thermal springs of Polques invite you to a stop. Shortly afterwards you will see the valley "Valle de las Damas del Desierto" - also called "Salvador Dali Desert" by tourists. Rock formations formed by the wind, unique in their shape, lonely in a huge sandy desert exposed to erosion. And as soon as you think that things can no longer get any more beautiful, the pearl of this region lies in front of you: the brightly emerald-colored "Laguna Verde" at the foot of the majestic volcano "Licancabur". You have now reached the southernmost extension of your trip. Not far from Laguna Verde is the border crossing between Bolivia and Chile, so-called Hito Cajón. Your Bolivian driver says goodbye here and on the other side of the border your private transfer to San Pedro de Atacama is waiting. (B/BL /-) - END OF OUR SERVICES

OPTIONAL: Return to Uyuni. For that, you have a longer journey ahead of you. An hour before you reach Uyuni, you pass the "new" village of San Cristobal, relocated to make room for the country's largest silver mine. Before you reach Uyuni, a short detour to the train cemetery of Uyuni tells the story of the blooming mining industry at the beginning of the 20th century and its decline after the collapse in prices on the world market. (B/BL /-) - END OF OUR SERVICES

Included in the package:

- Private 4WD vehicle with Spanish-speaking driver-guide, oxygen tank and satellite emergency phone, from Uyuni to Hito Cajon or back to Uyuni
- Private transfer from Hito Cajon to San Pedro de Atacama
- 2x overnight stays in DBL room
- Entrance fees
- Meals according to program (B= breakfast; L= lunch; D= Dinner)
- Local community taxes
- Optional: Cultural guide English/German speaking (On request)

Reservation:

Please do not hesitate to contact us for price requests, reservation, general question, and individual tour inquiries, at: contact(at)landmarktravelbolivia.com

Link:

https://www.landmarktravelbolivia.com/salar-de-uyuni

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