Calama to Uyuni
Calama is a mining city of about 150 000 residents in the Atacama desert in northern Chile. From here you can go on to San Pedro de Atacama and then the Salar de Uyuni.
About the town of Calama in Chile
Calama is a mining city of about 150 000 residents in the Atacama desert in northern Chile and the capital of El Loa Province, part of the Antofagasta Region. Located at an altitude of 2260 meters above sea levelIt is one of the driest cities in the world with average annual precipitation of just 5 mm. Chile's longest river, Loa, flows through the city and provides Calama with the necessary water.
Near Calama you can visit El Loa National Park and archaeological and anthropological museums as well as the largest open pit mind in the world: Chuquicamata. Most people, however, prefer to go on to San Pedro de Atacama and then the Salar de Uyuni.
From Calama to Bolivia
- Calama airport and transfer to San Pedro de Atacama
The airport is 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the city centre.
Airlines that fly to Calama include LATAM Chile, LATAM Perú and Sky Airline.
You can opt for Calama's El Loa Airport (IATA code: CJC) Shuttle to take inexpensive shared transportation between the airport and San Pedro de Atacama. The shuttle is available after each flight for all arrival and departure times. It takes about 1,5-2 hours to get to San Pedro de Atacama.
This service is only available one-way from Calama Airport, which is located outside the city.
Other options include transfer services with companies like TransLicancabur and Transfer Pampa. You may also consider taking a bus if you are looking for the cheapest alternative. The Cruz del Norte bus company offers reliable transportation from Calama to Uyuni via the Ollague border crossing.
From San Pedro de Atacama you can cross into Bolivia via the Hito Cajones border crossing. You may choose a shared or a private tour to reach Uyuni.
In case you would like to visit the famous bolivian salt flats, you can opt for a private tour that starts right in Calama. This would include pick up from the airport or your hotel.
From Bolivia to Calama
The fastest way is via the border crossing near Ollagüe. It is possible to get there by bus with Bolivian companies such as Centenario and 11 de Julio. From Ollagüe, you can take another bus such as Frontera del Norte or Atacama 2000 to Calama.
From Uyuni you can reach Calama passing through the Hito Cajónes border crossing and also San Pedro de Atacama, which is about 50 kilometers away from the border with Bolivia. From San Pedro de Atacama you can take a bus or taxi to Calama. Ktur operates and a bus from San Pedro de Atacama to Calama Airport (CJC) 4 times a day. Magic Tour also services this route twice daily.
It is also possible to get an Uber to the airport.
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