Uyuni Salt Flat and Thunupa Volcano Private Tour
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The tour includes:
- Pick up from your Hotel in Uyuni, Uyuni Bus Station or Uyuni Airport.
- Private Transportation: 4x4 vehicle only for people requesting the tour.
- Lunch. Beverages during lunch.
- Entrance tickets to Incahuasi Island and Thunupa Volcano first view point.
- Experienced Spanish speaking driver.
- We can conclude the tour in Uyuni, Uyuni Airport or Bus Station.
The rate does not include:
- English speaking tour guide
- Additional drinks and snacks
Location of the tour
How to get to Uyuni ?
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:
Trans Titicaca Bolivia Bus with daily departures at 22:00, highly recommended.
Titicaca Bolivia Bus operates the route between La Paz and Uyuni with MarcoPOLO G7 Buses. The bus features:
- 3 line bed seats – full reclinable sofa bed seat
- WiFi Internet
- 220 V Charging points of board
- Reading light available for each seat
- Heating and Air Conditioning
- 1 pillow and 1 blanket
- 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.
- 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.
- Trans Omar. The Company features semi bed seat buses. The bus departs at 19:00 hrs.
- 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.
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.
You need to schedule one full day in your itinerary for this trip.
La Paz to Uyuni by plane
Currently only Amaszonas and BoA airlines offer La Paz - Uyuni - La Paz flights.
There are 4 to 6 daily departure flights from La Paz to Uyuni. The travel time is 45-60 minutes, the flight is directly from La Paz to Uyuni. Amaszonas 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 by car from Uyuni town.
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
Expreso del Sur with departures on Tuesdays and Fridays at 15:30
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.
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.
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:
Diana Tours with daily departures two times a day at 11:00 and at 18:30 p.m.
Emperador Bus Company with daily departures twice a day at 12:00 p.m. and at 19:00 p.m.
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.
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.
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 no 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.
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 via the Ollague border crossing. 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 from 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.
How to get from Cuzco to Uyuni?
You can take a flight from Cuzco to Uyuni via La Paz.
You can also take a bus from Cuzco to La Paz and once in La Paz travel to Uyuni by bus, train or plane.
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.
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 small and safe town.
From March to December
Discover the most interesting places in the Uyuni Salt Flat area. During the tour you will not only visit the Majestic Uyuni Salt flat, but also stopover Tunupa Volcano and climb up Incahuasi Island. Get the most of your day with this rich tour itinerary.
Departure: Date of your convenience
- Explore the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world!
- Find out the myths and mysteries of Thunupa Volcano.
- Enjoy unique Salt Flat views from the Thunupa Volcano first view point.
- Watch giant cacti and corals while trekking on Incahuasi Island!
- Enjoy a beautiful sunset in the Uyuni Salt Flat Tour Itinerary
Train Cemetery - Colchani Village - Salar de Uyuni - Ojos del Salar - Dakar Rally Salt Statue - Former Salt Hotel Playa Blanca - Coquesa Village - Thunupa Volcano, first view point - Incahuasi Island - Sunset inside the Salar de Uyuni
You will start your journey taking curious pictures at the Train cemetery located outside Uyuni town. This place shelters dozens of old locomotives and wagons from 1890. These abandoned wagons used to transport extracted minerals from Potosí to the Pacific ocean.
Your next stop will be Colchani Village where you will find many stores selling salt souvenirs and handicrafts. In this place we will show you how locals dry and pack the salt extracted from the Uyuni Salt Flat.
Now it's time to get inside the world's largest salt flat, the "Salar de Uyuni" (10,582 square kilometers). This outstanding place will make you feel out of this world.
During the dry season (from April to November), the surface of the Salar de Uyuni has near geometric shapes formed by the salt particles agglomerated in polygons. In the rainy season (December to March) the Salar is covered with water and resembles a giant mirror.
In some parts of the salt flat you can observe the Eyes of the Salt Flat which are small streams of water that flow from the interior of the earth under the salt.
You will travel to the Thunupa Volcano. On the way you will stop at the Dakar Rally salt sculpture for some pictures. You will also have some time at Playa Blanca former salt hotel, this hotel was closed due to the environmental impact that it was having on the salt flat.
Next to the former Salt Hotel you will find a small mound with several flags from around the world. Travelers visiting the Salar de Uyuni have left these symbolic flags. We invite you to carry a flag of your country and leave it at this significant point.
You will reach the north side of the Uyuni Salt Flat where Coquesa village is located. Twenty-five families make up the original population of Coqueza, but only 12 of them are permanent residents. Coqueza community is located between the impressive Uyuni Salt Flats and the legendary Thunupa Volcano, whose highest peak reaches 5430 meters above sea level.
At the entrance of Coquesa village you will see a Salty Lagoon, home of a few pink flamencos. Livestock is abundant in the surroundings of the bofedal where a great amount of llamas is found.
You will have lunch enjoying the beautiful landscape. We will offer you as a side dish the delicious quinoa real produced in Uyuni. Quinoa was an important crop for the Inca Empire. They referred to it as the "mother of all grains" and believed it to be sacred.
After lunch you will ascend by car up the slopes of the Thunupa Volcano. On the way you will see an abandoned stone town - (Ghost Town) whose uninhabited stone houses tell about an ancient tragedy that forced the inhabitants to flee.
You will then reach the first view point of the Thunupa Volcano. You will walk through quinoa fields to reach the Chantani Mummies' cave. You will see how men, women and children were mummified and placed in sacred spots called Huacas (Mummy graves). The first view point of the Thunupa volcano features an exceptional glimpse of the Salar de Uyuni.
The expedition will continue traveling to Incahuasi Island, home of millenary giant cacti (Echinopsis atacamensis), up to 6 meters high. The Incahuasi Island is a genuine spectacle of life inside the salt desert.
You will climb Incahuasi Island and reach a viewpoint, from where you will have a 360 degree view of the Salar de Uyuni and a privileged view of the Thunupa Volcano.
Your trip would not be complete without witnessing a wonderful sunset inside the Salar de Uyuni.
The tour will conclude in Uyuni town.