- Price for Uyuni Salt Flat (4 days): US$ 239 per person.
How to book
- Select the departure date from the calendar.
- Select the number of people.
- Click on "Add to cart".
- Pay online an advance deposit of the total price of the program.
- The pending balance must be paid in cash (American dollar) in San Pedro de Atacama before 2:00 pm on the day vefore the tour.
- You can reschedule or cancel the tour (with a full refund) up until 24 hours before it starts.
- Hotel pickup in San Pedro de Atacama.
- Drop off at bus station or downtown San Pedro de Atacama.
- Shared transport (minibus in Chile and 4x4 for six people in Bolivia).
- Spanish-speaking driver.
- All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
- Basic accommodations:
- 1st night at a hostel Villamar in a shared double, triple or quadruple room, subject to availability, with a shared bathroom (showers with cold water. You may pay an additional Bs. 10 if you would like hot have hot water).
- 2nd night at a Colcha K hostel in a shared double, triple, or quadruple room, subject to availability, with private bathroom (showers with hot water).
- 3rd night at a hostel in Villamar in a shared double, triple or quadruple room, subject to availability, with a shared bathroom (showers with cold water. You may pay an additional Bs. 10 if you would like hot have hot water).
- Drop off at the hotel.
- Round trip shuttle between the Calama airport and San Pedro de Atacama.
- Border tax (Bs. 17 per person).
- Entrance fees (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).
- Rain boots (needed the event of rain; rental for Bs. 20 per person).
- Health insurance.
- Sleeping bag.
- Private room and bathroom for the first and third night of accommodation (the second night has already included this service):
- 1 person: US$ 65.
- Group of 2 or more people: US$ 50 per person.
- English-speaking driver*: US$ 240 per reservation.
*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).
- Sleeping bag (see FAQs).
- Passport or ID card. If you are a foreign resident in Chile, you should bring both to present them at customs.
- Between Bs. 350 and Bs. 500 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.
- Non-resident in Chile Australian passengers must be visiting the country with a multiple tourist visa (it allows readmissions).
Start: Day 1 at 7:00 am at your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.
End: Day 4 at 1:00 pm in the 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: We will pick you up at your hotel and travel in a minibus from San Pedro de Atacama to the border of Bolivia, passing by the border-control stations of Chile and Bolivia. Once we reach the border, we will switch to a 4x4 vehicle for 6 people. On this first day, we will visit places in the Bolivian Altiplano such as the Blanca Lagoon and Verde Lagoon located near the Licancabur Volcano. Next, we will visit the Salvador Dalí Desert, the Polques Hot Springs to take a nice dip, and the Sol de Mañana Geysers, intermittent sources of water that flow at a temperature of 90 °C (194 °F). We will end the day at the Colorada Lagoon, a major nesting site for more than 30,000 flamingos. We will stay overnight at the refugio in Villamar.
Day 2: After breakfast, we will take the route to Tomas Lakha, where you will be able to see the cave paintings from before the Incas. After that, we will visit Italia Perdida, place where the volcanic rock is shaped with what happens to be an abandoned city. Then, we will go to Vinto Lagoon and Catal Lagoon, where you will be able to walk and see the typical fauna of the Bolivian Altiplano. Later, we will visit the Anaconda Canyon and also the Sora Canyon, before going to the Chiguana Salt Flat ang getting to Colcha K where you will stay the second night.
Day 3: We will begin our last day of the tour very early in the morning with a view of the sunrise in the Uyuni Salt Flat. After this we will go to the Incahuasi Island, a limestone formation located in the middle of the salt flat where we will be able to explore and get another perspective of the Salt Flat. We will then continue on to the Salt Museum and the town of Colchani, which are outside of the salt flat. From here we will go to Uyuni, passing by the train cemetery, where we will make a short stop to take pictures. In Uyuni, we will say goodbye to our driver/guide who accompanied us during the previous three days, and then we will have some free time to eat lunch and tour part of the city. Then, we will meet up with the driver who will take us on the return trip, with a stop-over in Villamar to eat dinner and sleep.
Day 4: We will get up very early to continue our return trip and get to the border between Chile and Bolivia. Once here, and after the corresponding procedures, we will switch vehicles to a minibus to go back to San Pedro de Atacama.
*The pickup service included does not operate to nor from accommodations located outside the urban area of San Pedro de Atacama, accommodations located in ayllus near San Pedro de Atacama (Quitor, Yaye, Checar, Sequitor, Solor, and Coyo), nor accomodations in the town of Toconao.
From January to April, a weather phenomenon occurs that is known as the 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 we would stay in a hostel in Uyuni.
- We would not visit the Incahuasi Island where we find the largest concentration of water during the rainy season.
Changes due to force majeure
This is a referential itinerary. 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 accommodation 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
Is it possible to rent a sleeping bag?
Yes, it is possible, according to availability. You can rent it directly in San Pedro de Atacama a day before starting the tour, paying CLP$ 5.000. Once you end the tour, you have to return the sleeping bag directly at the office.
What days of the year can I make this excursion?
The tour has confirmed departures all days of the week, the whole year.
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).
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.
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 in a group of 6 people each.
Is it possible to do the tour staying in hotels instead of refugios and hostels?
If you want to do the tour with superior accommodation please check our tour Private Uyuni Salt Flat Tour (4 days).
How far in advance should I book the activity?
Due to high demand of the activity, we recommend to book at least a week in advance.
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 there any restriction for the places reached by the pickup service?
The pickup service is nor carried out from/to accommodations located outside the urban area of San Pedro de Atacama, accommodations located at ayllus close to San Pedro de Atacama (Quitor, Yaye, Checar, Sequitor, Solor and Coyo) nor accommodations in the town of Toconao.
It is necessary to have tourist visa to enter Bolivia?
Depending on the nationality of the passenger. Passengers from Chile and the rest of South America, and passengers from Western Europe do not need tourist visa, while passenger that come from United States, Central America, Asia, and Africa do need tourist visa that costs U$ 160. This visa is obtained directly in the border, where along with the payment of the visa in cash, you need to present your passport and other documents. In case you are a foreign person resident in Chile, besides your passport, you need your ID card with you so you can prove your residence with the police authorities in customs.
Do I need to be vaccinated against yellow fever for the tour?
The vaccine against the yellow fever is demanded for all passengers who don't come back to San Pedro de Atacama and that hace to pay tourism visa in the border (passengers that present a travel document from a country of the group II).
How many bags or suitcases can I bring?
Each passenger may carry at most one bag or suitcase of 18 kilos and one sleeping bag, which will go above the 4x4.
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.
Is it necessary to bring sleeping bag?
It is not essential, because the accommodations have blankets. Anyways, consider the information about the weather according to your trip’s date, and if you believe that you will feel cold, we recommend you bringing your own sleeping bag with a temperature rating of 32 ºF.
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.
How is the infrastructure in every refugio?
The Huayllajara refugio has shared rooms for 6 people maximum, with shared bathroom without showers (Bs. 20 for ho shower, payment in cash). Colcha Khas double, triple and quadruple rooms (according to availability), with shared bathroom (hot shower). Villamar refugio has double, triple or quadruple shared room (according to availability), with shared bathroom, cold shower (Bs. 10 for hot shower, payment in cash). Non has internet included.