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- High season price per person: CLP$ 150,000.
- Low season price per person: CLP$ 140,000.
*The high season corresponds to tours that begin on July 1st to 31st, and from September 14th, to April 30th. Low season, meanwhile, is for tours that begin on May 1st to June 30th, and from August 1st to September 15th.
How to book
- Select the departure date from the calendar.
- Select the number of peple.
- Click on "Add to cart".
- Pay online an advance deposit of CLP$ 30.000 per person.
- The pending balance must be paid in cash (Chilean pesos) 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 48 hours before it starts.
Hotel pickup in San Pedro de Atacama.
Shared transport (minibus in Chile and 4x4 for six people in Bolivia).
All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).
- 1st night at the Refugio Huayllajara in a shared room with maximum of six people, with a shared bathroom (no showers).
- 2nd night at Hotal de Sal San Juan de Rosario in a shared double, triple, or quadruple room, subject to availability, with a shared bathroom (showers with hot water).
- 3rd night at a refuge 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 aditional Bs. 10 if you would like ot have hot water).
- 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.
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 durign 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.
- At least Bs. 250 for mandatory expenses on the tour (tax, entrance fees, bathrooms, and water).
- Minimum age of 7 required.
- Not recommended for people suffering from high blood pressure, heart failure, asthma, or other similar ailments, for whom visiting places above 4,000 meters (13,123 ft.) of altitude may present a health risk (the tour is done mostly above 4,000 m of altitude, even reaching up to 4,850 meters (15,912 ft.) of altitude on one of the days of the tour).
- Passengers over the age of 65 must present a medical certificate authorizing them to travel to an altitude above 4,000 meters.
- Not allowed for pregnant women.
Start: Day 1 at 6:30 am at your hotel in San Pedro de Atacama.
End: Day 4 at 1:00 pm in downtown San Pedro de Atacama.
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 Huayllajara.
Day 2: In the morning we will go to the Siloli Desert. Here, we will observe the “Stone Tree,” a volcanic rock that, as you can imagine, is in the shape of a tree. Next, we will visit the Chiarcota, Honda, Hedionda, and Cañapa Lagoons, followed by the Chiguana Salt Flat and the town of San Juan del Rosario. We will stay overnight at the Hostal de Sal San Juan del Rosario.
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 end time of this activity could be modified due to weather conditions or lengthy customs procedures, which is why we recommend purchasing your ticket to leave San Pedro de Atacama as lates as possible on the day we get back from Uyuni, or on the day after we return.
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 places visited on Day 2 are replaced by the following: Italia Perdida, Vinto Lagoon, Anaconda Canyon and Rocas Valley.
- The second night we would stay in a hostel in Uyuni instead of at a hostel in San Juan del Rosario.
- We would not visit the 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
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, unforseen 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 aformentioned situations once the tour has already begun.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far in advance should I book the tour?
Due to high demand of the tour, we recommend to book at least a week in advance.
How is the infrastructure in every refugio?
All shelters have a similar level of infrastructure. They have shared mixed gender rooms, with 6 beds and have no heating. Bathrooms are shared and the first night there is no shower, the second has warm shower, and the third night has cold shower (warm shower by paying Bs. 10 per person). None of the shelters has internet.
What days of the year can I make this excursion?
The tour has confirmed departures all days of the week, the whole year.
What kind of vehicles are used in this tour?
The tour is made on a minibus in Chile and on a 4x4 (Toyota Land Cruiser) in Bolivia in a group of 6 people each.
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.
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.
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.
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 much money should I bring to the tour?
We recommend to bring at least Bs. 250 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?
The most of the tour is made above 4,000 meters high, so it is quite likely to suffer "puna", especially the first day of the tour. We invite you to read our tips to avoid it in our article El mal de altura: Causas, Síntomas y Consejos.
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 ask for it writing at email@example.com at the moment you make the online booking.
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).
Is it possible to do the tour in private service?
Yes. To request rates, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, indicating departure date and number of people.
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 plase check our tour Superior Uyuni Salt Flat Tour (4 days).
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 guide in another language?
Yes, but only in English. The English-speaking guide service has an additional cost of US$ 189 per group that must be paid after the booking, after asking for availability at email@example.com. It is important to mention that the service is available just for the 3 first days of the tour, because the last day the return is with a Spanish-speaking driver.
More doubts? Send us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org and we are going to solve them as soon as possible.