Depart from La Paz for an unforgettable, 4-day expedition through the vast Uyuni salt flats. On this journey through Bolivia's southwestern desert, you'll discover the haunting Galaxia Caves, stargaze through a telescope into some of the world's darkest skies, and watch the sun set over the salt flats that form the Salar de Uyuni ... More info ›
Depart from La Paz for an unforgettable, 4-day expedition through the vast Uyuni salt flats. On this journey through Bolivia's southwestern desert, you'll discover the haunting Galaxia Caves, stargaze through a telescope into some of the world's darkest skies, and watch the sun set over the salt flats that form the Salar de Uyuni. Along this epic, adventurous journey, you'll experience life in tiny villages on the edge of the blindingly white salt flats, as well as visit multi-colored lakes with flamingos, geysers, and thermal hot springs at 13,200-16,500 ft (4,000 - 5,000m).
Day 1: Night bus from La Paz to Uyuni
Arrive in La Paz at anytime. Make your own way to the bus terminal to take a night bus at 9pm to the town of Uyuni. (Note: There will be no tour leader to accompany you on the bus.)
Day 2: Uyuni - Colchani - Uyuni Salt Flats (Incahuasi Island & Pia Pia Island) - Ajencha (L/D)
Arrive at the Uyuni bus station and make your own way to the meeting point of the tour (within walking distance). Start your tour at 10:30am with a visit to Uyuni's train graveyard, and then visit the small settlement of Colchani before continuing on to the Uyuni salt flats at 12,045 ft (3650m). Visit Los Ojos de Agua Salada and the Llama and Salt Museum (Museo de la Llama y Sal), before enjoying lunch at Isla Incahuasi and taking fun, proportion-distorted photos.
Then, head to Pia Pia island to a beautiful sunset over the salt flats. Stay the night at a salt hotel in Ajencha, where there is a telescope to do some stargazing.
Day 3: Chiguana Desert - Caves - Lagoons - Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve - Red Lagoon (B/L/D)
Start with breakfast at 7am before traveling to the Chiguana desert. Here, you're surrounded by volcanoes such as active Ollague, which is often steaming in the distance.
Next, you'll visit the Cueva del Diablo and Cueva Galaxia to see mummies, stalagmites and stalactites, before continuing along a rocky road to lagoons which are curiously inhabited by clusters of pink, Andean flamingos. Lagoons include Cañapa, where you’ll see the first pink flamingos, and Hedionda, where lunch will be served.
Chiarcota Lagoon has a wider variety of birds, as well as hardy, altiplanic fauna that amazingly survives the harsh landscape. Next you'll enter the Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve and visit the Desert of Siloli, where you'll take a photo next to the "Rock Tree" and stop at an overlook by the Red Lagoon to see flamingos in their natural habitat. Stay the night at a shared family lodging amidst the fascinating scenery.
Day 4: Sol de Mañana Geyser - Dali Desert - Green Lagoon - Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) (B)
Get an early start around 5am to visit the Sol de Mañana Geyser, which at 16,500 ft (5,000m) is as high as you'll reach on the tour. Bundled against the morning chill, you'll walk by fumaroles and steaming craters that are filled with boiling pots of mud at 300-400ºF (150-200 Cº).
Continue to steaming, high-altitude hot springs and bathe in 95Fº (35 Cº) water before enjoying a pancake breakfast. From there it's off to the Dali Desert and Green Lagoon (which is full of toxic copper water at the foot of the Licancabur volcano), before crossing the border into Chile and boarding different vehicles. Your local driver will take you down to San Pedro de Atacama, arriving there in the late morning to end the 4-day adventure.