Tupiza - Salar de Uyuni - Uyuni, group tour or private tour
You will depart from Tupiza at 7.30 hrs. to visit the Quebrada de Palala, where you will see red rock formations that resemble medieval castles.
After this you will continue to the Sillar where you will enjoy the dramatic landscape before you continue to Nazarenito, a small gold mining community. Then you will head through the abandoned ghost town of San Antonio, a village once famous for its wealth in gold. According to local legends the devil ruled here and forced the suffering villagers to flee... After San Antonio you will pass Laguna Morejón and the area with the same name, with eroded volcanic rock formations.
You will arrive in Quetena where you will spend your first night. If you can stand the cold (-18/-20°C), we recommend to go outside for a few minutes to appreciate the immense Milky Way above you. There is no light pollution here and the sky is truly breath taking.
On the second day you will have to get up early as today is the longest day of the tour. You will pass Laguna Kolpa, where raw material is extracted for making soap. Continuing through the Salar the Chalviri you will arrive at the hot springs for a swim and to have lunch.
Your next stops will be at the Lagunas Verde and Blanca, found at the foot of the Volcano Licancabur (5,868 m), which represents the border between Chile and Bolivia. For your interest: Laguna Verde's rich green colour is caused by the high arsenic and magnesium content in the water.
You will stop in the Dalí Desert, a place with mountains of surrealistic colours, reminiscent of the works of Salvador Dalí and rock formations of petrified lava. Then you will arrive at the Sol de Mañana Geyser (5,000 m above sea level). This area is intensely volcanic and the temperature within the mud pools can reach up to 90°C. From here you will head on to Huallajara where you will spend the second night.
The first attraction on the third is Laguna Colorada, where you will see flamingos. The lake is fairly shallow with interior islands of borax and ice. Its red colour is caused by chlorine bacteria and sediments in the water.
Heading on, you will pass through the Desierto de Silolí to visit the famous Árbol de Piedra, a tree-shaped rock formation, which has been eroded over the years by sand driven against its sides by the wind to form that distinctive shape. From here you will drive past a series of lagoons to arrive at Laguna Hedionda to have lunch. Here you will see flamingos, vicuñas and possibly even an Andean fox.
After lunch you will pass by Volcano Ollagüe, which is classed as semi-active, as its crater is constantly releasing smoke and continue through the Salar de Chigüana. From here you will head to San Juan, where you will spend your last night of this expedition in a hostal made of salt.
On the last tour day you will cross the immense salt plain of Uyuni, stretching away in all directions as far as the eye can see. From here you can see Volcano Tunupa. The salt flats are made up of 11 separate layers with a thickness that ranges from 2 to 20 m. It is the biggest reserve of minerals such as lithium, magnesium, potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus and borax in the world. It has 14 small islands, the most important are Incahuasi and Isla del Pescado. Leaving the salt flat you will visit Colchani, the village where the salt is processed. Here you can buy souvenirs, both made from salt and Alpaca wool, which are the two main industries in the area.
Finally you will reach the train cemetery just outside Uyuni. Here you will see Bolivia's first fleet of trains, powered by steam and now decommissioned. The tour ends in Uyuni between 13.00 and 14.00 hrs.
The mentioned places for the stays overnight are for the tour with basic accommodations; if you choose a tour with stays overnight in 3* hotels the overnight places vary.
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