4 Days & 3 Nights Tour Salar De Uyuni Tour
It is difficult to escape the offers of tours in Atacama and Salar de Uyuni. Except you rent your own car and drive by yourself. But this option is more complicated than to book a tour.
Carlos and I met Jasja in Valparaiso and she suggested us to combine Atacama and Salar de Uyuni.
As you know me I booked on the same day the Salar de Uyuni Tour.
I bounded excitedly towards Carlos as soon as I booked the tour for us.
This is the itinerary which was written on the website:
“ Day 1: At 7:30 am we will leave San Pedro de Atacama by minibus to the border of Bolivia, through the immigration of Chile and Bolivia. Once at the border, we will change the vehicle to a 4×4 for 6 people. On this first day, we will visit places of the Bolivian altiplano such as White Lagoon and Green Lagoon, located at the foot of the Licancabur Volcano. We will visit the Salvador Dalí Desert, the Polques Hot Springs (time for bath) and the Sol de Mañana Geysers, intermittent sources of water that flow at a temperature of 90 ° C. We will end the day at Red Lagoon, nesting center of more than 30,000 flamingos. The accommodation will be in the Refugio Huayllajara.
Day 2: At 8:00 am we will go to the Siloli Desert, where we will observe the Stone Tree, a rock of volcanic origin with the form of a tree. Later, we will visit the Chiarcota, Honda, Hedionda and Cañapa Lagoons, continuing through the Salt Flat of Chiguana and San Juan del Rosario village. The accommodation will be in the Hostal de Sal San Juan de Rosario.
Day 3: At 8:00 am we will go to see the sunrise at the Salt Flat of Uyuni. We will visit the Incahuasi Island, a limestone formation located in the center of the salar. Later, we will visit Ojos del Salar, Museum of Salt, the Train Cemetery and Colchani village, arriving at 2:00 pm to Uyuni town, where we will rest 2 hours (free time). Later, we will go to Villa Mar village, arriving at 6:00 pm. The accommodation will be in the Hostal Villa Mar.
Day 4: At 4:30 am we will leave Villa Mar village to the border of Bolivia, in a 4 hours trip. Once at the border, we will change the vehicle to a minibus, to return to San Pedro de Atacama at 12:30 pm.”
I do recommend this tour but unfortunately our guide was so lazy, that he didn’t do more than driving us around. He was not really a guide but more like a driver.
I will share with you many pictures I took during the 4 days.
Friendship & Memories
Wherever you go in your life, for me the most important thing are the people I’ve met.
In the group there was Luis, his best friend Kevin (she is a girl), Silvana and Silvia.
Every time I am sad I reminiscence all the memories I made with other people like with this group.
Luis was sarcastic and sometimes fought with Kevin, while Kevin was teasing him. But they have a deep and fond friendship, they could rely on each other in good and bad times. Silvana and Silvia are the perfect definition of friendship. I would describe it as very harmonic and intimate.
And last but not least, there was our crazy little friendship. Carlos and I just knew each other at this time for 4 months but it felt like 4 years.
I knew he has a humongous heart and is a great partner in crime (even though he is always the one who is scared of many things jajaja).
Now imagine how we traveled all together on a 4 days road trip.
Those memories are the ones I am very proud of and one of the reasons why I kept traveling since 3 years. My true legacy is the friendships I made around the world. I know I mentioned it often.
But this point cannot be stressed enough. I do love my life because of those experiences and journeys I decided for myself.
Salar de Uyuni
The highlight of our road trip was Salar de Uyuni. And the award for the best sunrise I had in South America goes to Salar de Uyuni. Okay, I also admit I just watched during the last 9 months a fistful time of sunrises. I am not an early bird. But this sunrise was breathtaking. Even though I think that the pictures are not justifying the real beauty of it.
So why is Salar de Uyuni so interesting? To make it short: Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat. At an elevation of approximately 3600 meters you may get altitude sickness. This salt flat is a result of transformations between some prehistoric lakes. Salar de Uyuni contains at least half of the world’s known lithium reserves. It’s a terrific location to take pictures. Therefore, it is one of the most visited destinations in whole South America. There are some names like Atacama, Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, Amazonas, Machu Picchu and Salar de Uyuni you can’t avoid once you will travel South America.
I found it to be less touristy than the beaches in Bali or Thailand. And more appealing than many European cities I’ve been traveling to in the past few years.
Finally I would love to introduce you in a short summary Bolivia’s history.
I had the feeling in Potosi; people are more reserved and not outgoing towards foreigners.
But on the other hand, that’s what makes Bolivia quite charming. I can’t 100% understand when other travelers complained about their reservation towards them, but every country has a different culture. And the culture in Bolivia with all their traditional clothes and lifestyle makes me feel like traveling authentically. Anyway, now you can read the brief Bolivian history.
Actually Bolivia was once part of the Inca Empire. But in the 16th century the Spanish conquest began and the indigenous people lived under Spanish rules for nearly 300 years. During this time most natives served as labor for the Spaniards. In 1825 Bolivia finally gained independence. And the country was named after the great liberator Simon Bolivar (he has the same birthday like me! That’s pretty fantastic).
Bolivia was neither a strong nor wealthy country. Bolivia lost big territory and its access to the ocean to Chile after the War of the Pacific. Later in the 20th century they ceded some territories to Brazil and after the Chaco War also to Paraguay.
Like many other Latin American countries Bolivia had revolutions and turmoil during the 1900s. Many attempts of democracy came to grief and military coups and changes in leadership made it difficult for stabilization. Since 2006 Evo Morales is the new president of Bolivia. He is the country’s first indigenous president.
Next Stop: Antarctica Again
After this tour I am proud to have wonderful new friends in my life.
But the tour was costly; we spent 260 US-Dollars each person for 4 days (everything included).
After Bolivia I went back to Punta Arenas and hitchhiked down to Ushuaia in 12 hours. I reckon as a solo female traveler it is easier to hitchhike. It is based on my own experiences. When I hitchhiked back to Ushuaia, I never waited more than 10 minutes for the rides. Usually the first or second car stopped for me.
The next article I will display loads of pictures of my second trip to Antarctica in February 2018.
Have you ever been to Bolivia or Salar de Uyuni? I would love to read your experiences. Also in the next years I planned to travel back to Bolivia, tell me places I should definitely visit in Bolivia. Thank you for reading this article!