Traversing Salt Flats & Deserts

Latin America > Bolivia

Bolivia is located in central South America. As a landlocked country, it borders Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, and Peru.

 

It spans nearly 1.1 million square kilometers, and is the world’s 28th largest country.

Many travelers visiting Bolivia make it a point to visit the famous salt flats, known as the Salar de Uyuni. The population of Bolivia, as of 2018, is 11,215,674 with a density of 10 P/Km2. It is also known to have the largest number (over three dozen types) of native groups in South America.

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Day 1: LA PAZ

Upon arrival into La Paz Airport you are personally met and transferred to your hotel. After freshening up your guide will brief you on your wonderful journey ahead of you. Following the short briefing you have the option for an evening walk in old La Paz. We recommend Gustu restaurant, a unique gourmet dining experience. We transfer to the southern part of the city riding in the new telegerico (cable car) which affords fantastic views of the city.

Overnight Casa Grande Hotel (Dinner)

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Day 2: LA PAZ / UYUNI SALT FLATS

This morning we set out on a two hour walking tour of the city. La Paz and its surroundings can transport you to a mysterious past where any corner of any street is a hidden treasure from pre-Hispanic times. Observe the traditions, customs, colours, dress and mix of the colonial, indigenous and modern on the city streets. Visit the old downtown area including the Indian Market and Witch Doctor’s Market. At midday, we transfer to the airport and will have great views framed by the majestic Illimani mountain. We have a short flight from La Paz to Uyuni. Upon arrival you are met by your private vehicle to begin your explorations of the incredible Uyuni Salt Lake and Isla Pescado. Uyuni is the largest salt flat on Earth, located on the Bolivian Andean Altiplano and covering 12,000 square kms. The Bolivian Andes offers unparalleled scenery. A unique experience surrounded by the surreal pentagons of crystalline salt, the never-ending sky, coloured lagoons, cacti, and flamingoes. In the evening, we visit Isla Pescado (Fish Island) also called ‘Incahuasi’ at sunset. An oasis with formations of algae and fossils. It is covered by thousands of giant columnar cacti, which can be more than a hundred years old, growing to heaight of over 12 meters. The landscape against the background of the salt pans extending to the horizon makes it an ideal place for photographs. We make our way to our hotel made of salt, and arrive in time to freshen up before dinner.

Overnight Tayka Hotel de Sal (Salt Hotel) (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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Day 3: UYUNI SALT FLATS

We walk from our hotel following indigenous paths in use from pre Hispanic times. The sides of the Tunupa Volcano are latticed with stone walls, to separate plots belonging to different members of the community. During May, Quinoa is harvested. You stroll through the village, pass the quaint colonial style church. You may encounter local herders with their flocks of llama. With some luck you may catch a glimpse of the wild vicuña – a smaller cousin to the llama and bobbing around you may also observe the rabbit-like vizcachas, the Andean fox or a condor gliding in the distance. We take a lunch in trail today and are rewarded with stunning views at the top. You return to the hotel by early afternoon in time to relax and freshen up before dinner.

Overnight Tayka Hotel de Sal (Salt Hotel) (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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Day 4: UYUNI SALT FLATS / BOLIVIAN DESERT

Heading south the road leaves the salt surface and enters a landscape designed by volcanoes and wind. The Siloli and Dali deserts characteristic stone formations were created by lava, volcanic ashes and other forms of volcanic expressions. The extreme temperature variations and wind have created unusual natural stone sculptures. Andean fauna such as flamingoes, vicuñas, will be seen while driving in sight of the Ollague Volcano. En route we visit Canapa, Honda, Hedionda, and Ramadita Lakes (known as lagunas menores). We arrive in time to freshen up before dinner at our desert hotel.

Overnight Tayka Hotel del Desierto (Desert Hotel) (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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Day 5: BOLIVIAN DESERT / ATACAMA

Our journey continues to Laguna Colorada, which covers an area of 60 square kms at an altitude of 4,278 meters. Its red waters are inhabited by 3 species of flamingo: tokoko with red plumage, chururu with whitish plumage, and jututu with pink plumage. The scenery is exceptionally beautiful and it is considered to be the most important flamingo watching site in the region. Also, vicuñas, llamas and vizcachas can be seen. Continue to the Sol de Manana Geysers, with fumaroles and volcanic craters. The crater’s boiling lava makes the fumaroles spout superheated steam reaching 80 to 100 meters in height. This geothermal field is located at an altitude of 4,900 meters. Your last stop is the Green Lagoon (Laguna Verde) with an impressive view of Licancabur Volcano at an altitude of 5,865 meters behind the emerald lagoon. You take a short hike on this beautiful volcano. From here we transfer to the border of Chile at Hito Cajon and enter into the area of San Pedro de Atacama. You arrive in time to freshen up before dinner at your accommodation.

Overnight Awasi Atacama (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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Day 6: ATACAMA

You spend the next few days exploring Atacama Desert. There are a multitude of activities on offer and experiences will be suited to taste. Activities can be half days or full days in the car, hiking, biking, or horseback riding. There are lunar landscapes, hot springs, salt flats, lagoons, villages, canyons, volcano hikes, and cacti valleys. You will be blown away by this incredible desolate landscape of stark contrasts.

Overnight Awasi Atacama (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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Day 7: ATACAMA

You spend the next few days exploring Atacama Desert. There are a multitude of activities on offer and experiences will be suited to taste. Activities can be half days or full days in the car, hiking, biking, or horseback riding. There are lunar landscapes, hot springs, salt flats, lagoons, villages, canyons, volcano hikes, and cacti valleys. You will be blown away by this incredible desolate landscape of stark contrasts.

Overnight Awasi Atacama (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

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Day 8: DEPART

Transfer to Calama airport for departures.

(Breakfast)

Accommodations

CASA GRANDE HOTEL

is located in the heart of the South, the residential district of the city of La Paz surrounded by majestic mountains. Upon arrival you feel the commitment to quality reflected in innovative architecture, inspiring spaces with eclectic décor and cozy rooms. The hotel has restaurants, bar, wellness centre, gym, massage room, heated indoor pool & Jacuzzi. 65 luxury rooms with bathrooms with whirlpool.

 TAYKA HOTEL DE SAL (SALT HOTEL)

is located on the north shore of the Salar de Uyuni, at the foot of the Tunupa volcano at an altitude of 3,700 meters. Its location next to the salt flats and Tunupa volcano and the population of Tahua allows for short walks to see many natural and cultural attractions. The hotel is a magical landscape built entirely of salt blocks. The roofs are brave straw and traditional in the Andean style. The rooms and common areas use solar energy to maintain a pleasant climate inside the hotel. There are interior courtyards and also an outdoor terrace, where you can have breakfast overlooking Fish Island. Rooms have comfortable beds with duvets and private bathroom.

TAYKA HOTEL DEL DESIERTO (DESERT HOTEL)

is located in the heart of Desert Siloli amidst a unique setting, painted in a range of colors that nature has capriciously combined. The hotel is in the Andean landscape with flora and fauna, Lagunas de colores, the geysers of Sol de Manana and other attractions. The building is of volcanic stone and the design is specially tailored to withstand the intensity of the winds. Solar energy is used and there is a heating system. The restaurant offers majestic views of desert Siloli. The rooms maintain an internal temperate climate. All rooms have comfortable beds with duvets and private bathroom.

AWASI ATACAMA

is located inside an ancient site surrounded by a historic wall, which for years housed shepherds and herders. Its privileged location just a stone’s throw from the center of town. During the day the thatched roofs let warm sunlight filter through. The pool with comfortable deck chairs invites you to enjoy the Atacama sun. At sundown the fire is lit and a bar under the stars celebrates your stay. At night, the dim lights allow you to marvel at the superb skies. The hotel has only 8 rooms built of stone, adobe and thatched roof. Each room has ample space, comfortable lounge chairs, large bathrooms opening to private open-air patios with solarium and showers.

  • Professional guides
  • 4 x 4 vehicles w/ water & drinks
  • All relevant Park fees & rescue fees
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • All accommodation and meals as described in the itinerary
  • Transfers and plane flights as described in the itinerary
  • International flights
  • Entry visas
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Alterations to this itinerary (i.e. if different accommodations and services are provided then the price will most likely vary up or down)
  • Laundry (unless included at hotel/lodge)
  • Beverages in hotels (except those in your personal safari vehicle or unless stated)
  • Hospital bills and international evacuation in the event of an emergency

Pricing starts at:

$5,800

Pricing
FOR 2 PEOPLE

$7,300

per person

Pricing
FOR 4 PEOPLE

$5,800

per person

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