EL SALAR DE UYUNI
Our different CIRCUITS
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Classic 3 day tour
During this tour you'll see all places of interest in the region among which are : the Salar de Uyuni, the fish Island, the Colchani salt mines, the Quinoa fields and Lama herds near the authentical Altiplano village of San Juan, the Chiguana saline, the smoking Ollagüe volcano, the Cañapa, Eddie Honda, Chiarkhota and Ramaditas lagoons and their Flamingos, the Siloli desert, the Vizcachas close to the stone tree, the Laguna Colorada, the Sol de mañana geyser field, the Polques thermal waters, Piedras de Dali, Laguna Verde and Licancabur volcano, Villa mar and the train cemetery of Uyuni. The reason we present the classical tour first, is that our other tours build upon this itinerary.
Salar de Uyuni - Day tour
Too many things to see, not enough time ? The Salar de Uyuni shall still be among the places you saw during your trip before you go on to La Paz, Potosi, Tupiza or San Pedro de Atacama. During the day tour you will visit the authentical Colchani village and its salt extraction site, the salt hotel, the eyes of the Salar, the Incahuasi Island and its centenary Cardon cacti, take a rest in the middle of the salt flat to enjoy the famous polygons on the salt crust and play with the optical illusions offered by the wide landscape and finally visit the train cemetery.
You get the feeling of the immensity of the Salar when you cross it with a motorized vehicle. Imagine doing it by foot. The idea is to be left on the southern part of the salt flat, in a region harbouring many islands. The vehicle will leave food and fuel for the stove on different islands, such as to only carry our camping gear and clothes. From one Island to another there are between 5 and 25km of dazzling flat salt crust. The stromatolite fossils covered Islands shelter Cardon cacti, Vizcachas, and every now and then you'll stumble on pre Inca remains. We recommend to trek for 5 days before being picked up by a vehicle again. The number of days is however up to you. To our knowledge we are the only one to offer this alternative.
Add one, two or more days to the classical tour to climb volcanoes. Among the well known belong Licancabur with its perfect conical shape and Laguna Verde at its foot, the colourful Tunupa on the shores of the salt flat, smoking Ollagüe and its still active sulphur mine and Uturuncu reaching 6000m and belonging to the few super volcanoes on earth. The region is full of other volcanoes left aside, which not even receive visitors once a year !
Hard to believe that such a dry and arid region shelters such a diverse avifauna. Besides the 3 different Flamingo species (Phoenicopterus andinus, P. chilensis, P. jamesi), we are delighted when we see the Ñandu (Rhea pennata), the Andean Avocet (Recurvirostra andina), the cordillera Tinamu (Tinamotis pentlandii), the different Finches (Sicalis punensis, S. cordillerana, S. lutea, S. olivescens), the Andean Goose (Chloephaga melanoptera), the crested Duck (Lophoneta specularoides) or some of the Gallinules (Fulica ardesiaca, F. gigantea, F. cornuta). Of course you can watch birds while touring the classical itinerary, but when you book a tour dedicated to birds our drivers will take special care to take longer rests in a large variety of habitats.
Whether one is a good photographer or not, it is pretty certain that you'll come back with excellent pictures. The diversity of landscapes and colours is baffling. The optical illusions offered by the salt flat are waiting for your creativity. When you visit the region with photography in mind our drivers now that they will have to take a lot of extra stops on the way and that the days will be longer, as you might want to start early in the morning and finish after sunset to catch the whole spectrum of light.
Rockclimbing - Bouldering
Along the classical 3 day tour you'll stumble over a dozen amazing places for bouldering. These places are ancient lava fields which directly flowed out of a crack of the upper crust of Latin American tectonic plate. 40 million years erosion through sandblasting where enough to create beautiful geological sculptures and a dream playground for rock climbers. Why not take your time, add a day or two to climb the skin off your finger tips ? To name a few incredible spots : Arbol de Piedra - Villa Alota - Piedras de Dali - Ciudad Italia - Valle de la cascada - mirador Ollague - Valle de las rocas - paso del Inca, etc... All we need is a crash pad, your climbing shoes and some chalk.