Visit some of the most breathtaking natural scenery in the world as you take in panoramic views of the Salt Flats of Uyuni, high altitude lagoons, salt museum, and hot springs in this 3 day, 2 night tour from Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama.
In going from Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama, you will be entering Chile on this tour and required to comply with their visa requirements. You should check with your local Chilean consulate for what paperwork or fees are required. For many countries, you automatically receive a 90 visa upon entry, but Chile does charge a reciprocity fee for visitors from some countries, and some visitors will require a visa in order to enter Chile as a tourist.
(Note that you can use the dropdown menus at the upper right side of the page to see the different prices)
Spanish-speaking driver, shared dorm room, shared transportation: $200 USD per person
English-speaking guide, shared dorm room, shared transportation: $305 USD per person
Spanish-speaking driver, private accommodation, shared transportation: $270 USD per person
English-speaking guide, private accommodation, shared transportation: $375 USD per person
Private transportation, private accommodation, customizable itinerary English-speaking guide included in price: $1,400 USD total (not per person)
Day 1: Uyuni Salt Flats
The trip begins with pickup at your hostel in Uyuni around 10:30 am and the first stop is the Cementerio de Trenes (Train Cemetery), which houses old abandoned trains that used to service the salt mines. After this, you will visit the village of Colchani, where you will see where locals extract and process salt. You will also learn about how the salt flats were formed through a process that takes thousands of years. The Uyuni Salt flat is the world’s largest at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 square miles) and is 3,656 meters (11,995 feet) above sea level. It was formed from transformations between prehistoric lakes and it extraordinarily flat and expansive. Here you will also see the Ojos de Sal (“salt eyes”), where water from an underground river bubbles through the salt, forming bizarre, eye-like circles in the ground. From there, you will go to a hotel that is made entirely of salt blocks and has now been converted into a mini-museum. Lunch will be served on Isla Incahuasi – an “island” in the middle of the salt flats covered in giant cacti! You will arrive in San Villa Candelaria in the late afternoon and get a chance to see the sun set over the salt flats – a once in a lifetime visual experience. Tonight you will stay in a hostel made entirely of salt!
Places you’ll visit on Day 1:
Tonight’s lodging is in Villa Candelaria Salt Hostel.
Note that breakfast is not included on Day 1, but lunch and dinner are both included.
Day 2: Villa Candelaria Salt Hostel – Laguna Colorado
After an early breakfast, the group will head to Paso de León, from where you can see the partially active Ollague Volcano. You will stop at several lagoons during the day, including Cañapa, Hedionda, Chiarcota, Honda, and Ramaditas. At the lagoons, you will have the chance to see 3 species of flamingo: James, Andean, and Chilean. Some days, there are literally hundreds of flamingos around and in the lagoon! Lunch will be served around midday. Next up is the Siloli Desert, where wind erosion has formed strange rock formations, including the famous Arbol de Piedra (Stone Tree). You will arrive at Laguna Colorada just before sunset and spend the night inside the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna Reserve. Here, there are more flamingos, as well as other fauna, such as llamas, alpacas, suris (Andean Rea), and vicuñas.
Places you’ll visit on Day 2:
Tonight’s lodging is in either Huayllajara hostel or in Laguna Polques hostel (depending on availability).
Day 3: Laguna Colorado – San Pedro de Atacama
Today is an early start, so that you can see Laguna Colorado – which is a nesting ground at times for over 30,000 flamencos – and the Geysers of the Morning Sun – incredible natural spouts of steam that sprout from the ground at over 90°C (194°F), at an altitude of 4,900 meters (just over 16,000 feet!). From there, you will go to the Polques hot springs, where you can enjoy the hot water before continuing the trip! After this you visit the Dalí Desert, named after Salvador Dalí as it features rocks which are reminiscent of the style he uses in many of his paintings. From here you continue to White Lagoon (Laguna Blanca) and Green Lagoon (Laguna Verde), both located at the foot of the impressive Licancabur Volcano. Around 10:30am, you will begin heading to the Chilean border by way of the Hito Valley. You will arrive in San Pedro around 13:00 (1:00 pm) – your driver will drop you off at your hotel.
Places you’ll visit on Day 3:
(Note that the tour generally follows the black lines, the blue route that goes through Ollague is only for when the Hito Cajon border is closed. This tour does not include drop-off in Calama.)
Under ‘What’s Included’ above, we say “basic lodging” and we mean it. These are hostels and small hotels that are in basically the middle of nowhere in the northern desert in Bolivia, in towns that are very poor and lack the infrastructure that most travelers will be accustomed to. Please read the descriptions of what each night’s lodging includes, and if you would like a more comfortable/luxurious option, please email us at email@example.com and we will see if the operator can arrange something for you!
You can change money into Chilean Pesos in San Pedro de Atacama or in Uyuni on the trip. It is highly recommended that you change all the money you will need to use either in Uyuni or before you leave your country of departure. If you need to change cash upon arrival in San Pedro, go to the street Toconao, south of Caracoles and you will find numerous casas de cambio which all have competitive exchange rates.
For your trip, here is a breakdown of expenses:
The private tour price above is total, not per person, and works for up to 6 people, or up to 5 people if you would like an English-speaking guide during the tour. Private tours have customizable itineraries, private lodging throughout the tour, and you and your group will have the vehicle to yourselves. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions about private tours!
Since you will be in two different countries, it is important to note that safety standards will be different. In this case, you will be traveling into Chile, which is considered to be a safer country than Bolivia. In fact, it is considered to be the safest country in Latin America. However, this does not mean you should let your guard down entirely once you cross the border. For more information regarding safety in Bolivia and Chile, please refer to our safety directory.
After you book your experience, you will receive a confirmation email from us confirming that your payment went through. You will then be connected directly to the tour operator, in case you have any further questions. We are also happy to answer any questions about the tour, or travel in general in your country of destination.