Crossing Bolivia: from Argentina to Chile, 5-days trip

  • Visit Bolivia's number one highlight on a Jeep tour through the beautiful national park Avaroa and the world's second-largest salt flats, the Salar de Uyuni.

Compose your own Bolivia Trip
This is an example trip; it can be customized in consultation.

Route: Villazón - Tupiza - N.P. Avaroa, Salar de Uyuni, San Pedro de Atacama (Chile)

This 5-days Bolivia Trip is a connection trip between Argentina and Chile, where you will cross Bolivia's number one highlight, the Salar de Uyuni. At the border between Argentina and Bolivia you will be met and taken to the desert town of Tupiza. You may have time to explore the special town and its surroundings with huge cacti and eroded colourful rock formations on your own or during a tour or horseback ride this day. The next day you will start your beautiful 4-days Jeep tour through the second largest salt flats in the world, the Salar de Uyuni and the beautiful national park Avaroa where you will see coloured lakes, geysers and volcanoes. The trip ends in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile.

Day 1: Villazón - Tupiza (2,850 m)
You will be picked up in Villazón, on the Bolivian side of the border crossing between Argentina and Bolivia, and brought to Tupiza by taxi.
The journey takes approximately 1½ hours.
Depending on your arrival time in Tupiza, you may be able to make a nice half-day excursion in the afternoon. This can be a Jeep tour or you can go horseback riding for a few hours in the area of ​​Tupiza.
Stay overnight in Tupiza.

Day 2: Tupiza - Jirira, Coquesa or Puerto Chuvica (3,600 m) *
Today your beautiful 4-day Jeep tour starts from Tupiza through the Salar de Uyuni and N.P. Avaroa to San Pedro de Atacama.
You leave from Tupiza around half past seven to visit Palala where there are red rock formations that resemble medieval castles. Then continue to El Sillar where you can observe a change in vegetation from green valleys to an Altiplano vegetation with dry grass. Then you visit the San Vicente region, which is rich in minerals. Here is also a small museum where some objects from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid can be seen. It is not always open but if possible, you visit it.
The ride continues on the road towards the city of Uyuni. Half a kilometre outside the city you first get to see the Train Cemetery. Then you go to Colchani and you will go onto the salt flat. Here you get to see the Ojos del Salar, where gases are bubbling up from under the salt flat, and Montones de Sal (salt heaps) to see where salt is extracted and the Dakar monument and the salt museum.
Then head for the place where you will spend the night in a basic accommodation.
Today lunch and dinner are included. Overnight in Jirira, in Coquesa or in Puerto Chuvica.

* The route of the Salar de Uyuni tour depends on the type of overnight stays that you choose; in very basic accommodations in dorms or in private rooms with private bathroom, or in 3* hotels. 
The route described here is based on a tour with nights in basic accommodations.
You can also choose between a Spanish-speaking driver or an English-speaking guide.

Day 3: Jirira, Coquesa or Puerto Chuvica - San Juan (3,600 m)
Before you go back to the salt flat, you can visit the well-preserved pre-Inca mummies in Coquesa and go to the viewpoint of the Tunupa volcano where you can see the salt flat of Uyuni from a greater height.
You will also visit Isla Incahuasi today, the cactus island on the salt flat. You can take a walk on the island between the giant cacti. There is an opportunity to take photos and enjoy the beautiful landscape. The journey continues in the afternoon to San Juan where you will spend the night in a basic salt hostal.
Lunch and dinner are included today. Stay overnight in San Juan.

Day 4: San Juan - Huallajara or Cabañas (4,300 m)
You can still take some pictures of the area or perhaps of the locals of San Juan, then you go on your way through the Salar de Chigüana. You will pass the semi-active Ollagüe Volcano, which lies on the border between Chile and Bolivia.
Then you visit the five Altiplano lagoons where you can see a variety of Andean flamingos. Lunch will be held at one of these lagoons.
Afterwards you will go through the Silolí desert and you will see the Stone Tree and Laguna Colorada, the red lake, which is situated at an altitude of 4,300 m. You will also find your overnight stay nearby.
Today lunch and dinner are included. You will spend the night in a basic accommodation either in Huallajara near Laguna Colorada or in Cabañas near Laguna Verde (the green lake).

Day 5: Huallajara or Cabañas - San Pedro de Atacama (2,500 m)
If you have spent the night in Huallajara you will get up very early. Today the ride will take you through the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve. You will see the Sol de Mañana geyser at the start of the day. Next you will see the thermal baths of Polques, the Dalí Desert, Laguna Blanca, the Licancabur Volcano and Laguna Verde.
If you have spent the night in Cabañas then you have already seen these sights at the end of the third tour day and then you can take it more easy today.
You will be taken to the Hito Cajón border post where you will connect to your transfer at 9.30 am to the centre of San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. From the centre you can walk to your hotel or take a taxi there.

* If you choose a tour with 3* hotels, we recommend taking a private transfer from the border to your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama at 14.30 hrs. instead of a group transfer at 9.30 hrs.

Your fantastic Bolivia trip is over. From here you will travel on through Chile.