Private Uyuni Salt Flat (4 days)
Tour to the Uyuni Salt Flat, starting and ending in San Pedro de Atacama with transportation, accommodations in hostels and meals.
- 1 person: US$ 1.579 per person.
- Group of 2 people: US$ 815 per person.
- Group of 3 people: US$ 575 per person.
- Group of 4 people: US$ 465 per person.
- Group of 5 people: US$ 415 per person.
- Group of 6 people: US$ 375 per person.*
*Even though the 4x4 vehicle has space for six passengers plus the driver/guide, the last seat of the vehicle is more cramped that the other seats. Therefore, if you would like for all travelers to be able to sit comfortably, we suggest doing the tour in two groups of three each (two separate bookings).
How to book
- Select the departure date from the calendar.
- Select the number of people.
- Click on "Add to cart".
- Pay the full price of the tour online.
- Pickup at your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.
- Shared transportation from Atacama to the Bolivian border.
- Private transportation in Bolivia.
- Spanish-speaking driver.
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
- Accommodations in hostels:
- Three nights of accommodation in hostel with double private room, private bathroom, hot shower and heating in common areas:
- 1st night in a hostel in Villamar.
- 2nd night in a salt hostel in San Juan del Rosario.
- 3rd night in a hostel in Villamar.
- Round trip shuttle between Calama airport and San Pedro de Atacama.
- Border tax (Bs. 17 per person).
- Towels, heating in the rooms and internet access.
- Entrance fees to parks (Bs. 186 per person):
- Entrance fee to the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve (Bs. 150 per person).
- Entrance fee to the Polques Hot Springs (Bs. 6 per person).
- Entrance fee to Incahuasi Island (Bs. 30 per person).
- Access to bathrooms along the way (approximately Bs. 6 each time).
- Travel insurance with health-care coverage.
- English-speaking driver:
- 1 person: US$ 150.
- Group of 2 people: US$ 75 per person.
- Group of 3 people: US$ 50 per person.
- Group of 4 people: US$ 38 per person.
- Group of 5 people: US$ 30 per person.
- Group of 6 people: US$ 25 per person.
*Service available only the first 3 days of the tour. The fourth day is with a Spanish-speaking driver.
What to bring
- Comfortable and warm clothing.
- Comfortable shoes (ideally for hiking).
- Swimsuit and towel (for Polques Hot Springs).
- Toilet paper.
- Water (1 liter per person for the first day. You can buy it on the road during the rest of the tour).
- Passport or ID card. If you are a foreign resident in Chile, you should bring both to present them at customs.
- Bs. 350 for expenses not included on the tour (entrance fees, taxes, bathroom, water and souvenirs, among others).
- Due to most of this tour is made above 13,000 feet of altitude and in a narrow vehicle, the following people cannot take it:
- Children until the age of 6
- Adults over the age of 65
- People that weigh more than 100 kg
- Pregnant women
- People with high blood pressure, heart failure, asthma or similar.
- Venezuelan passengers who are residents in Chile will be able to make the tour only if they have permanent residence in the country.
- It is mandatory to enter to Bolivia, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to present 2 copies of a vaccination certificate with at least 2 shots, 15 days from the second dose applied.
*If you have doubts about the proceedings to the enter to the country due to the pandemic, you can check the requirements in this website.
- If you cancel with a 15-day notice before the beginning of the tour, we will make a full refund of what you paid for the booking.
- If you cancel with less than a 15-day notice before the beginning of the tour, we will not make any refund of what you paid for the booking.
Start: Day 1 at 7:00 am at your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.
End: Day 4 at 1:00 pm in bus station or downtown San Pedro de Atacama (this end time could be modified due to weather conditions or force majeure reasons, which is why we recommend you leaving San Pedro de Atacama the day after the end date of the tour).
Day 1: The pickup will be at your hotel and then we will head off to the border crossing between Chile and Bolivia in our shared transportation. Here we will go through customs and border procedures and then begin the tour in our private transportation that includes a visit to the Verde and Blanca Lagoons and the Polques Hot Springs. Then, we will continue on to the Sol de Mañana Geysers and the Colorada Lagoon before getting to our hostel in Villamar.
Day 2: We will leave in the morning to discover a place called Italia Perdida. Here we will be able to see a number of volcanic rock formations in the middle of the Altiplano. We will also explore the Vinto Lagoon and Rocas Valley. In addition, we will make a stop to see the Anaconda Canyon at a lookout point from where you can see a river in the shape of this Amazonian reptile. After this, we will go to our hotel to have dinner and get some sleep.
Day 3: We will start the day very early in the morning to enter the Uyuni Salt Flat and get set up in a superb spot to see the sunrise. After giving a warm greeting to the sun, we will cross the endless white stretch of the salt flat until reaching Incahuasi Island. We will be able to explore the trails and climb up to the highest part of the island where we will have a 360° view of the salt flat. Then we will visit the Salt Museum and the Dakar Monument, and we will leave the salt flat to visit the town of Colchani. In addition we will pass by the Train Cemetery to go over the place and take pictures. We will pass through Uyuni before continuing on our trip to Villamar, where we will spend the night.
Day 4: This day is dedicated solely to the return trip from Uyuni, which is why we will leave very early from the hotel to get on the road to the border. Here we will go through the corresponding procedures and then continue in shared transportation to San Pedro de Atacama, where we will end the tour.
From January to April, a weather phenomenon occurs that is known as Altiplano winter, which is the rainy season in the central Andes. Due to this, the described itinerary may be modified as follows:
- The second night would not be in a hostel in San Juan del Rosario, but in a hostel in Uyuni.
- We would not visit Incahuasi Island because it is located in the middle of the salt flat where we find the largest concentration of water during the rainy season.
Changes due to force majeure
These are referential itineraries. The route to get to the salt flat, the places visited, the indicated order and the end time will always be subject to change according to weather conditions, road conditions, unforeseen events and accommodations availability. The itinerary is confirmed in the briefing given by the supplier the day before the start of the activity. However, the itinerary still could be modified due to the occurrence of the aforementioned situations once the tour has already begun.
Frequently Asked Questions
What days of the year can I make this excursion?
The tour has confirmed departures all days of the week, the whole year.
How far in advance should I book the activity?
Because of the hotel high demand in the area, we recommend you booking at least one or two months in advance.
It is necessary to have tourist visa to enter Bolivia?
It depends on the passenger’s nationality. Passengers from Chile and the rest of South America, and passengers from Western Europe do not need tourist visa, while the passengers from United States, Central America, Asia and Africa do need tourist visa, which price is US$ 100 or US$ 160 according to the country (you can check the price per country here). The visa is obtained directly in the border, where along with the payment of the visa in cash (bolivianos or US dollars in good condition), the passengers will have to present their passport and two wallet-size photographs. In case you are a foreign person resident in Chile, besides your passport, you should take your ID card, so you can prove your residence to the police authorities in customs.
Do I need to be vaccinated against yellow fever for the tour?
The vaccine against yellow fever is not required for the tour to the Uyuni Salt Flat. It is only required if you subsequently plan to visit the Bolivian jungle.
Do I need to be vaccinated against Covid-19?
To be able to enter the parks you it is mandatory a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR exam made 69 hours tops before your trip.
What kind of vehicles are used in this activity?
The activity is made on a minibus in Chile and on a 4x4 (Toyota Land Cruiser) in Bolivia, with capacity of maximum 6 people each.
How is the infrastructure in every hostel?
Hostels have private double room, with private bathroom, hot shower and heating in common areas.
What type of sockets have the accommodations?
The accommodations have sockets type C, compatible with the types E and F. Anyway, our recommendation is that you carry an adapter to avoid any inconvenience.
How many bags or suitcases can I bring?
Each passenger may carry at most one bag or suitcase of 18 kilos which will go above the 4x4.
How is the weather along the tour?
In summer (December to March), the temperature ranges from about 4 °C as a minimum, to 23 °C maximum. In winter (June to September) the temperature ranges from about -20 °C as a minimum, to 16 °C maximum.
How much money should I bring to the tour?
We recommend to bring at least Bs. 500 per person for expenses not included in the tour, as entrances to parks, border tax, access to toilets and water.
Where can I exchange money to bolivianos?
In Toconao Street, in San Pedro de Atacama (intersection with Caracoles Street), you will be able to find some exchange offices where you can obtain bolivianos to take for the tour.
How likely is suffer "puna" or altitude sickness during the tour?
Most of the tour is made above 13,123 ft. of altitude so it is quite likely to suffer from altitude sickness specially the first day of the tour. To avoid or reduce the general feeling of discomfort, we recommend acclimate to the altitude one or two days above 8,202 ft., drink lots of water before and during the tour, eat light meals (avoid meat) the previous days, and do not drink alcohol the night before the beginning of the tour.
What is it about the meals?
The meals are varied, and includes tea, coffee, bread, cookies and fruit for breakfast, and meat, pasta, rice, soup and vegetables for lunch and dinner. In case you need a vegetarian menu, you must mark your preference during the booking process.
What about the tour in case it rains?
In case of rain, the order of the places visited, the possibility to see the sunrise and the accommodation places are subject to change, because some of the roads might be closed. Added to the previous information, water in the Uyuni Salt Flat is an important obstacle and the Incahuasi Island (located in the center of the salt flat) remains closed. This means the Incahuasi Island cannot be visited and we enter to the salt flat only for a certain distance, so the passengers are safe.
When is it possible to see the mirror effect on the Uyuni Salt Flat?
The mirror effect occurs when there is water on the salt flat. This happens only in rainy periods (January and February) and after them (March).
Why all the restrictions to make the tour?
The tour is made in the Altiplano area, at an altitude above 9,842.5 ft. Just with this, our body is submitted to an abnormal stress, which can cause discomfort and risk in people with the conditions mentioned in the restriction’s section. Moreover, the tour does not have health insurance and there are not health centers to treat this kind of situations in a proper manner on the route.
Is it possible to do the tour with a driver in another language?
Yes, but only in English. The English-speaking driver service has an additional cost of US$ 150 per group. You can select it as an optional service during the booking process.