Bolivia Travel Site

Private Tour Uyuni Salt Flat and Lagoons - Calama,
3 Days, 2 Nights

  • Rates & Booking
  • How to get there
  • Itinerary

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Location and map

In order to take the tour, you will have to travel to Potosi department in southwest BoliviaUyuni Town is located in Potosi department and it is the gate of the famous Uyuni Salt Flat .

The 3 day itinerary allows Travelers to visit not only the majesticUyuni Salt Flat but also the other important natural attractions located in the area such us: Deserts, Lagoons, Volcanoes, Geysers, Hot springs and Caverns.

The 10,582 square kilometers of white desert are visible from space and house unseen fauna and flora gems. The tour will cover approximately 600 miles by road and reach a height of almost 16,000 feet.

The tour will start in Uyuni and will end in Calama, Chile

How to get to Uyuni ?

purpleleaf How to get from La Paz to Uyuni?

purpleleaf How to get from Oruro to Uyuni?

purpleleaf How to get from Sucre to Uyuni?

purpleleaf How to get from Potosí to Uyuni?

purpleleaf How to get from Villazón to Uyuni?

purpleleaf How to get from Cochabamba to Uyuni?

purpleleaf How to get from Santa Cruz to Uyuni?

purpleleaf How to get from Chile to Uyuni?

purpleleaf How to get from Cuzco to Uyuni?

purpleleaf How to get from Argentina to Uyuni?

purpleleaf Travel tips

purpleleaf How to get from La Paz to Uyuni?

You can travel from La Paz to Uyuni by bus, by plane or by train.

La Paz to Uyuni by Bus

There are only overnight buses from La Paz to Uyuni. The travel time by bus from La Paz to Uyuni takes approximately 12 to 15 hours. We recommend you to travel using the following Bus companies:

1. Todo Turismo with daily departures at 21:00 hrs. (highly recommended). The company counts with semi bed seats buses and provides dinner and breakfast on board. The Bus features bathroom, heating and Wi Fi Internet.

2. Panasur Bus with daily departures at 19:00 hrs. The company counts with bed and semi bed seat buses. The bus features bathroom and heating.

3. Predilecto Bus with daily departures at 19:00 hrs. The company travels via the Potosí route. The trip is longer but the road is fully paved. The arrival time in Uyuni is 8:30 a.m. approx. The Predilecto Bus counts with semi bed seats, bathroom and heating. Dinner and breakfast on board are included.

4. Trans Omar. The Company features semi bed seat buses. The bus departs at 19:00 hrs.

5. Trans Illimani with daily departures. The company features bed buses with bathroom and heating. The highway from La Paz to Oruro is paved until Challapata town. From there the road is a dirt road, which means that during the rainy season the transit is difficult.

The Predilecto Bus Company and the Illimani bus company travel to Uyuni via the Potosí route, which means that the bus travels during the whole trip on a paved road. The trip to Uyuni is longer but ideal during the rainy season.

La Paz to Uyuni by train

The train to Uyuni departs only from Oruro city. If you want to take the train to Uyuni you will need to travel by bus from La Paz to Oruro. The travel time is about 4 hours on paved road.

Once in Oruro, you can take the train to Uyuni. The train company does not sell tickets online. It is possible to purchase the train tickets at the La Paz train station office.

Please schedule one full day in your itinerary for this trip.

La Paz to Uyuni by plane

Currently only Amaszonas airline offers La Paz - Uyuni - La Paz flights.

There are 4 to 6 daily departure flights from La Paz to Uyuni. The travel time is 45 minutes, the flight is directly from La Paz to Uyuni. The airline uses jets for this service. Each jet transports 41 passengers per trip.

We recommend you to take the early morning flights to Uyuni. This way you will be able to start your Uyuni Salt Flat tour the day of your arrival in Uyuni.

For the way back to La Paz there are also 4 to 6 daily flights available. We recommend you to take the last flight going back to Uyuni. The flight departs at 20:30 hrs. You can take this flight as soon as you end your tour in Uyuni. The Uyuni tours usually end by 18:00 hrs.

Because this is a domestic flight you need to be at the airport at least one hour before the departure time of your flight. The Uyuni Airport is new and it is located 10 minutes away from Uyuni town.

purpleleaf How to get from Oruro to Uyuni?

Oruro to Uyuni by train.

There are two train companies traveling from Oruro to Uyuni. For your reference the trains also travel from Oruro to Tupiza and Villazón.

Train companies Oruro - Uyuni

  1. Expreso del Sur with departures on Tuesdays and Fridays at 15:30

  2. Wara Wara del Sur with departures on Wednesdays and Sundays at 19:00

Oruro to Uyuni by bus.

We recommend you to travel from Oruro to Uyuni on board of the Trans Azul bus company. The bus features semi bed seats and has daily departures from Oruro to Uyuni at 21:00 hrs. Please take into consideration that the bus arrives in Uyuni at 4:00 a.m.

purpleleaf How to get from Sucre to Uyuni?

The travel time between Sucre and Uyuni is about 7.5 hrs. The buses leaving Sucre generally make a stop in Potosí city and later continue the trip to Uyuni. Generally the trip by bus during the day takes longer because of the waiting time in Potosí.

You can also travel from Sucre to Uyuni using a private transfer and avoid wasting your time making a stop in Potosí city.

You can travel from Sucre to Uyuni at night in a direct bus. The bus departs from Uyuni at 21:00 hrs and arrives in Sucre at 5:00 a.m. The bus features semi bed and bed seats. You can choose to travel on board of the Emperador Bus company or the Diana bus company.

purpleleaf How to get from Potosí to Uyuni?

You can travel from Potosí to Uyuni by bus or private transfer. The travel time between this two cities is about 4 hours on a well maintained paved road. Unfortunately there are no flights from Potosí to Uyuni.

The recommended bus companies are:

  1. Diana Tours with daily departures two times a day at 11:00 and at 18:30 p.m.

  2. Emperador Bus Company with daily departures twice a day at 12:00 p.m. and at 19:00 p.m.

purpleleaf How to get from Villazón to Uyuni?

Villazón to Uyuni by train

The Expreso del Sur train departs from Villazón on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 15:30 and arrives in Uyuni at 23:35

The Wara Wara train departs from Villazón on Mondays and Thursdays at 15:30 and arrives in Uyuni at 1:00 a.m.

Both train make a short stop in Tupiza.

Villazón to Uyuni by bus

The buses travel from Villazón to Uyuni via Tupiza. There are daily departure buses from Villazón to Tupiza at 4:00 and 14:00 hrs. The travel time between Villazón and Tupiza is about 3 hours.

Once in Tupiza you can take a bus to Uyuni. There are daily departure buses from Tupiza to Uyuni at 10:00 a.m. The travel time between Tupiza and Uyuni is 6 hours.

purpleleaf How to get from Cochabamba to Uyuni ?

The Trans Omar bus company is the only company that provides this service. The bus travels from Cochabamba to Uyuni every Saturday. The bus departs at 20:00 hrs. The travel time is about 12 hours.

The bus departs from Uyuni to Cochabamba every Friday at 21:00 hrs and arrives in Cochabamba by 06:30 a.m.

The bus features semi bed seats, bathroom and heating.

You can also travel from Cochabamba to Uyuni by train, taking the train in Oruro. You will need to take a bus from Cochabamba to Oruro (travel time 4.5 hrs) and take the train from Oruro to Uyuni. Please read the information on how to get from Oruro to Uyuni detailed in this article.

Unfortunately there is no direct flight from Cochabamba to Uyuni. If you want to travel by plane to Uyuni, you will need to take a flight from Cochabamba to La Paz and from there to Uyuni.

purpleleaf How to get from Santa Cruz to Uyuni?

Because of the distance between Santa Cruz and Uyuni we don't recommend travelling by land.

You can take a plane from Santa Cruz to La Paz and from there take a flight to Uyuni. Unfortunately there are not direct flights from Santa Cruz to Uyuni.

You can also travel by plane from Santa Cruz to Sucre and from Sucre you can take a bus or a private transfer to Uyuni.

We don't recommend you to travel by train from Santa Cruz to Uyuni because the travel time will be too long. You will need to take a bus or plane from Santa Cruz to Cochabamba and from there take a bus to Oruro where you can take the train to Uyuni.

For your reference the travel time from Santa Cruz to Cochabamba is about 12 hours. You will need to add another 4.5 hours to travel from Cochabamba to Oruro and other 6.5 hours to travel by train from Oruro to Uyuni.

purpleleaf How to get from Chile to Uyuni?

You can travel from Chile to Uyuni via Calama. There are buses traveling from Calama to Uyuni on specific days. The bus travels to Uyuni through the Ollague border. The road is paved in some parts and mostly unpaved on the Bolivian side.

If you are in San Pedro de Atacama wanting to get to Uyuni, we recommend you to take a tour in San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni, the most common tours are the 3 days/2 nights. There are no buses going to Uyuni from San Pedro de Atacama.

purpleleaf How to get from Cuzco to Uyuni?

You can take a flight from Cuzco to Uyuni. The flight travels via La Paz. The Amaszonas Airline offers daily departures from Cuzco to Uyuni.

You can also take a bus from Cuzco to La Paz and once in La Paz travel to Uyuni by bus, train or plane. We detailed how to get from La Paz to Uyuni in this article.

purpleleaf How to get from Argentina to Uyuni?

We recommend you to travel to San Salvador de Jujuy and from there take a bus to La Quiaca. Cross the border to Villazón and from there take a train or bus to Uyuni.

If you travel from Argentina to La Paz city, you can also take a direct flight from La Paz to Uyuni.

purpleleaf Travel tips

  • Sucre and Potosí city are beautiful colonial towns worth to visit. We recommend you to travel from La Paz or Santa Cruz to Sucre by plane. Visit Sucre and later take a taxi, a bus or a private transfer to Potosí. The travel time between Sucre and Potosí is 3.5 hours. After a visit to Casa de la Moneda, San Felipe de Neri Museum or The Cayara Hacienda in Potosí, you can take a bus to Uyuni. The travel time between Potosí and Uyuni is 4 hours.

  • There are no flights from Sucre to Uyuni and from Potosí to Uyuni.

  • If you decide to travel by bus in Bolivia we recommend you never accept any beverage, meal or candy from strangers.

  • We recommend you to travel with a small blanket in the buses as sometimes the heating in the buses is not working properly.

  • If you arrive early in the morning in Uyuni, don't worry about your safety. Uyuni is a pretty small and safe town.

Private transfer routes in Bolivia

Private Tour Uyuni Salt Flat and Lagoons - Calama, Uyuni
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Tour Itinerary:

Day 1

  • The tour starts by picking you up from your Hotel in Uyuni Town, Uyuni Bus Station or Uyuni Airport. If you arrive early in the morning by bus or by plane, we can pick you up from the Uyuni Airport or the Bus company office that will transport you to Uyuni. We will then take you to our office in Uyuni where you can leave your luggage and have some free time before starting your tour.

  • The Private tour begins at 10:30 a.m. The first stop of the tour is the Train Cemetery, located about 3kms. from the town of Uyuni. These trains were purchased during the administration of President Aniceto Arce, a great visionary of the mining industry. Unfortunately the exportation of minerals from Bolivia to Europe failed due to the resistance of the natives who did not want their lands invaded.

  • After a brief visit to the abandoned locomotives, we will take you to the village of Colchani, at the entrance of the Uyuni Salt Flat. Here you can buy some handicrafts made from salt and observe the manual processing of the salt extracted from the salt flat.

  • Continuing the journey we will show you the "ojos del salar" (eyes of the salt flat), small openings where the water flowing beneath the salt is revealed. This water has some healing properties due to its high mineral content. We will extract some salt crystals formed inside these eyes.

  • On our way to the Incahuasi Island we will make a short stop at the former Salt Hotel Playa Blanca, now converted into a cafe. This Hotel has been closed by the authorities due to the environmental impact it had inside the salt flat. Here you will have some free time to take spectacular photos of the salt flat. Close to the former Salt Hotel is a small mound with many flags from all over the world. These flags have been left by travelers passing by the Majestic Uyuni Salt Flat.

  • Lunch. The lunch includes a main course, dessert and drinks (sodas, water). Vegetarian menu is available at no extra charge.

  • After lunch we will visit the Incahuasi Island, home to hundreds of giant cacti gracing the landscape. The island is in the middle of the salt flat, visiting it means little physical effort. From the peak of the Incahuasi Island there are outstanding views of the Uyuni Salt Flat and the Tunupa Volcano.

  • There will be some extra time here for resting and taking even more pictures.

  • At the end of the journey we will transport you to your Hotel.

  • Accommodation of choice. We can offer you accommodation at a basic hotel in Atullcha with double and triple rooms with private bathroom, hot water showers located outside the room and no heating or we can provide you accommodation at one of the iconic Salt Hotels: Hotel Luna Salada, Hotel Palacio de Sal, Hotel Cristal Samaña, Hotel de Sal Tayka. The selected accommodation will depend on your budget and preferences.

  • Dinner will be served in the hotel in Atullcha if it is the one you choose. If you decide to stay in one of the Salt Hotels, you can order dinner in the restaurant of the selected hotel.

  • Day 2

  • The second day of the Private tour will start after breakfast.

  • The expedition will take you to Chiguana Salt Flat, a deserted spot with smaller salt concentration. From here, you will take a scenic drive through a countryside that features stunning deserts and breathtaking lagoons.

  • You make a short trek to the Ollague Volcano viewpoint with marvelous panoramic views of the Ollague Volcano and other high mountains. (This tourist spot cannot be visited during the rainy season.)

  • Lunch. The lunch includes a main course, dessert and drinks (sodas, water). Vegetarian menu is available at no extra charge.

  • After lunch we will take you to visit the minor Lagoons Cañapa, Hedionda and Honda. All of them feature pink flamingo populations that share the space with other Andean birds.

  • Traveling south we will find the Siloli desert located at 4550 m.a.s.l. (highest and driest in the world) where the Stone tree / Arbol de Piedra is located. This rock is unique because it resembles a tree.

  • Before ending this day we will pass through the viscachas canyon where you will have a wonderful time watching these cute animals. The viscachas that live in this canyon love the tourists and are always in good mood for pictures.

  • We can offer you basic lodging in the Huayllajara shelter where we will provide you a room with shared bathroom and no hot water showers/heating or you can stay overnight at the Hotel del Desierto Tayka. The Hotel features double, triple and quadruple rooms with private bathroom, hot water and heating. The electricity power, heating and hot water are available until 21:00 hrs. At this point of the tour you are in an isolated spot and the Hotel provides electricity with its own generators and hot water with solar heaters.

  • Dinner will be served in the Huayllajara shelter if it is the one you choose. If you decide to stay at Hotel del Desierto Tayka, you can order dinner in the Hotel restaurant.

  • Day 3

  • The tour will start at 05:00 a.m. after breakfast.

  • We will transport you to visit the Colorada Lagoon. This stunning Lagoon contains borax islands, whose white color contrasts with the reddish color of its waters, which is caused by red sediments and pigmentation of some algae. James's pink flamingos abound in the area. Also it is possible to find Andean and Chilean flamingos, but in a smaller quantity.

  • We will continue our trip taking you to Sol de Maniana, a volcanic zone where you can see geysers. This endless supply of water is spitted out of the ground at a temperature of 90 C, through fumaroles and cracks through which sometimes even volcanic lava erupts. It is recommended for everyone's personal safety to observe this from a distance, mostly because of the sensitivity and lack of stability of the ground.

  • Continuing with our trip you will spend some time in the Polques hot springs where you can take a relaxing bath in a small pool of natural thermal water.

  • Lunch. The lunch includes a main course, dessert and drinks (sodas, water). Vegetarian menu is available at no extra charge. The lunch this day will be simpler than the other days. At this point of the tour we are far away from everything so your driver will prepare lunch for you.

  • The next stop in our trip is the Salvador Dali desert, the Laguna Verde / Green Lagoon located at the feet of the Licancabur Volcano (5,868 m.a.s.l.). The intensity of the green color of this Lagoon depends on the wind in the area. If there is no wind, then you will enjoy a clear reflection of the Licancahur Volcano in the Lagoon. The Licancabur Volcano is the landmark that indicates the border line between Chile and Bolivia.

  • We will transport you to Hito Cajones (Bolivian/Chilean border) where you will pass through migration and will change your 4x4 Bolivian vehicle for a similar Chilean vehicle that will transport you from Hito Cajones to Calama. The travel time between Hito Cajones and Calama is about 5.5 hours.

     

    Hito Cajones at the Bolivian - Chilean border

  • Once in Calama we will drop you directly at your Hotel.

  • The tour includes:

    • Pick up from your Hotel in Uyuni town, Uyuni Bus Station or Uyuni Airport - Joya Andina

    • Private Transportation: 4x4 Bolivian vehicle from Uyuni to Hito Cajones

    • Private Transportation: 4x4 Chilean vehicle from Hito Cajones to Calama.

    • Meals: Day 1: Lunch. Day 2: Breakfast and Lunch. Day 3: Breakfast and Lunch. Beverages during lunch included.

    • Accommodation:

      • First Night at Palacio de Sal Hotel or Hotel de Sal Tayka or Cristal Samana Hotel or Luna Salada Hotel: Guestrooms feature private bathroom, Hot water, heating and Wi Fi Internet.

      • Second night at Hotel del Desierto Tayka, guestrooms feature private bathroom, hot water and heating.

        • You can also choose to say in basic lodge described in the tour itinerary. If you choose this option the dinner will be served in the shelters and it will be included in the rate.

    • Experienced Spanish speaking driver.

    Services not included in the rate:

    • Entrance tickets to:

      • Incahuasi Island 30 Bs.- = 4 usd person

      • Eduardo Avaroa Reserve 150 Bs.- = 22 usd per person. Carry Bolivianos currency to purchase the Entrance tickets. Paying with US Dollars or other currencies is not permitted.

    • English speaking tour guide

    • Dinner at the selected Hotels

    • Tips

    Additional Information:

    This is a private tour, meaning that you won't share the vehicle with other travelers.

    Our customers can choose depending on their budget the type of accommodation to be included during the tour. We recommend you to choose to stay at the suggested Hotels, especially during the winter. The temperatures in the area go down dramatically at night and heating will be appreciated.

    Meals are served with a variety of vegetables and fruits. There is a special menu for vegetarians.

    Please dress appropriately: comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses and hats are recommended. Sunblock is a must. Do not forget your swimming suit to enjoy the thermal waters.

    During winter carry gloves, scarf and warm clothes. (May, June, July and August).

    The company rents sleeping bags during the route at extra charge.

    This tour does not include traveler insurance. If you want to purchase it, please contact us.

    The service doesn't include tips or extra beverages.

    If an English speaking guide will be included in the service he/she will use an extra seat in the vehicle.

    IMPORTANT

    • We are a serious Tour provider of tours around the Uyuni area. We make sure that our clients will take a tour with responsible drivers and tour guides. Our drivers NEVER drink alcohol during the tour.

    • The Uyuni area is very remote and road conditions are bad. This may cause vehicles to be damaged. Please be patient if a wheel needs to be changed, the drivers are experienced and will get the job done quickly.

    • It is important that you get a medical health check in your country before taking this tour. The tour reaches high altitudes that might affect your blood pressure. Even though there is a first-aid kit in the car, we recommend you take with you basic medications for headaches or stomach problems.

    • Please note that the tour will take you to remote areas where emergency medical help may not be available. The nearest health center is in the town of Uyuni. There are no health services inside the Eduardo Avaroa National Park.

    • Due to weather or road conditions the itinerary might vary without notice to ensure traveler safety. Please take the previous detailed itinerary only as a reference.

    • We aim to notify customers about major changes in the itinerary during the rainy season, but sometimes the weather changes dramatically and we are not able to inform them with (lots of) anticipation.

    • During winter there may be some snow, obliging us to change the route to ensure the safety of our clients.

    We can also arrange for you:

    • This is a private tour, which means that you won't share the vehicle with other tourists.
    • In order to provide more comfort to our customers, accommodation for both nights will be arranged in guestrooms with private bathroom, hot water and heating. Hotels will be selected depending on availability.
    • Meals are served with a variety of vegetables and fruits. There is a special menu for vegetarians at NO extra charge. Breakfast and dinner will be served at the selected Hotels, lunch will be served during the tour. Generally we served the first lunch inside the Uyuni Salt Flat and the second lunch on the way to the National Park Eduardo Avaroa.

    If an English speaking guide service will be he/she will use an extra seat in the vehicle. The English speaking tour guide will travel with you just until Hito Cajones.

    • Please dress appropriately: comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses and hats are recommended. Sun block is a must. Do not forget your swimming suit to enjoy the Polques thermal water.
    • During winter carry gloves, scarf and warm clothes. (May, June, July and August).
    • The company rents sleeping bags during the route at extra charge.
    • This tour does not cover traveler insurance. If you want to purchase it please contact us.
    • The service doesn't include tips or extra beverages.

    IMPORTANT

    • We are a serious Tour provider of tours around the Uyuni area. We make sure that our clients will take a tour with responsible drivers and tour guides.
    • It is important that you get a medical health check in your country before taking this tour. The tour reaches high altitudes that might affect your blood pressure.
    • Uyuni tours are generally safe and reliable but it is important to be aware that this area is very remote. Some extra snacks, warm clothes and a sleeping bag are recommended. While breakdowns do happen, drivers are adept at fixing their vehicles and are always willing to help each other out. We believe if you are informed about the possible negative aspects of the tours you can prepare yourself better and will have a more positive experience.
    • Due to weather or road conditions the itinerary might vary without notice to ensure traveler safety. Please take the previous detailed itinerary only as a reference.
    • We aim to notify customers about major changes in the itinerary during the rainy season, but sometimes the weather changes dramatically and we are not able to inform them with (lots of) anticipation.
    • During winter there may be some snow, obliging us to change the route to ensure the safety of our clients.

    We can also help you book:

    • Direct Flight La Paz - Uyuni
    • Direct Flight Santa Cruz - Uyuni
    • Bus Tickets : La Paz - Uyuni
    • Bus + Train: La Paz - Oruro - Uyuni
    • Train Tickets: Oruro - Uyuni - Oruro: Expreso del Sur and Wara Wara del Sur
    • Bus tickets to Sucre, Potosi, Tupiza, Villazon, Avaroa.
    • Private transfers to Sucre, Potosi, Tupiza, Calama, Oruro, San Pedro de Atacama, La Paz.
    • Hotel bookings in Uyuni town, around the Uyuni Salt Flat, Villa Mar, Desert of Atacama and any other departments of Bolivia.
    • Travel Insurance