As Neil Armstrong was returning to Earth from the moon landing, saw a very shiny and large spot in south America.
This day we drive southwest towards the Eduardo Abaroa National Park. Our drive will take us through the bofedales, a green oasis located in the middle of the desert where we can observe llamas and birds. We also can get clear views of the Uturunco Volcano (6020). We will pass the Salar de Corina where we can observe the Ulexita fields (borax). Continuing our drive, later on we will arrive at the shores of the beautiful Laguna Colorada, a lagoon lying at an altitude of 4350 metres, and covers an area of 60 km2. The rich red colouration derives from algae and plankton, which thrives in its minerals. The shoreline is fringed with brilliant white deposits of sodium, magnesium, borax and gypsum. Here we find numerous flamingos, three species of which breed there: The Chilean flamingo (Phoenicopterus Chilensis), the James flamingo (Phoenicopterus James) which is the smallest of the three species, and the Andean flamingo (Phoenicopterus Andinus), the largest of the three, and which has pink plumage, yell legs and a yellow and black bill. To see these pink posers strutting through icy mineral lagoons at 5000m will make you abandon timeworn associations between flamingos, coconut palms and hot steamy tropics. From Laguna Colorada we go up to 5000 meters and the we continue to south to the place known as “Sol de Mañana” (Morning Sun) where at about 4800 metres lays a geyser basin with bubbling mud pots, hellish fumaroles, and a thick aroma of sulphur fumes. This is a site of intense volcanic activity where inside small craters we shall observe boiling lava, reminding us of the age in which the earth was formed. Then we descend to the Salar de Chalviri where we the Thermals of Polques (hot springs). Then we cross along the Dali Valley, a desert covered by strange stone formations, surrounded by a colourful volcanic area, and in our way to the base of the high steep Licancahur Volcano where we find the Laguna Verde and Laguna Blanca. We will enjoy the wonderful view of this landscape, and then we return to Laguna Colorada for overnight in a small simple hotel in rooms with private facilities and for two people. Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner.
Day 3: Laguna Colorada – Villa Candelaria
Early in the morning, we start our drive north towards the small town of Villa Candelaria (or to San Pedro de Quemez for the Hotel Tayka de Piedra). Our first stop will be at the Arbol de Piedra (Tree of Stone) located on the Siloli desert. Continuing our drive, later on will pass the Lagoons known as Ramaditas, Hona, Chiarjota, Hedionda and Cañapa. In all these lagoons, we will find flamingos and other interesting Andean birds, and with luck, perhaps we can observe the flight of the Condor. Later on we will see the active Ollague Volcan (5865m), and then we will cross the Salar de Chiguana before we arrive to Villa Candelaria for overnight in a salt small simple hotel (or we arrive to San Pedro de Quemez for the hotel Tayka de Piedra). On the way to our hotel, we shall visit to Ikala (Pueblo Refugio). In 1879, during the Pacific war, the Chilean military invaded Bolivia, entering what is now the cantons Pajancha and Kana in the municipality of San Pedro de Quemes. Arriving at the village of San Pedro the military burned all the houses making the people who survived the tragedy to move to a corner of the township, into what is now known as Ikala. After several years, and due to the lack of water in Ikala, people decided to return to the town of San Pedro to rebuild homes, and then decided to change the name of the town to San Pedro de Quemes, located on a slope of the old town. The area is beautiful and scenic and offers several opportunities for enjoying nice hikes. Then we continue to San Pedro de Quemes for overnight in the Tayka Hotel de Piedra or continue to Villa Candelaria for lodging in Villa Candelaria in a small simple hotel. Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner.
Day 4: Villa Candelaria – Salar de Uyuni - Uyuni.
In the morning, we start our drive towards the amazing Salar de Uyuni. Our first visit will be to the Galaxy cave, a dried sub aqueous cavern and formed in the previous stage to the freezing, corresponding to volcanic eruptions on waters of the Minchin Lake. From the ceiling of the cavern, it displays calcareous bodies with capricious forms of solidification of the magma in contact with water. Then we continue our drive towards Isla Pescado (Fish Island) a rocky hilly covered in trichocerus cacti and a flat, White Sea of hexagonal salt tiles. A large population of viscachas (Andean rodents) inhabits its rocky slopes, which also afford views of the flat region that are reminiscent of the Polar region, dominated by the colours blue and white. Fish Island is an oasis with a unique and isolated ecosystem. From here, we continue towards Incahuasi Island, another interesting hilly outcrop situated in the center of the Salar and with rock formations containing the remains of corals and seashells. On the island, we found species of cactus that grows up to 7m tall, at a rate of 1 centimeter per year, making them up to 700 years old. Here we make a hike up to the summit of the hill from where, we get and extraordinary view of the surreal Salar de Uyuni. After lunch, we will continue our drive towards the small village of Colchani, which lies, beside the Salar de Uyuni and home of the Cooperative Rosario – the main plant for the iodisation of salt. After visiting the artisanal salt factory, we will then make our final drive to Uyuni where we arrive late in the afternoon. Transfer to your hotel (not included). Breakfast, Picnic Lunch.
- Uyuni Salt Desert
- Fauna (flamingos, cóndor, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas)
Price per Person: US$440.-
Included: Transport, Spanish/English speaking guide, entrance fees, and small simple hotel accommodations in twin bed rooms for 2 people with private facilities, noted meals.
Participants Number: Our departures are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 14 participants.
Departure Dates: Every week (except in February & March) on Monday & Friday (departures are guaranteed with minimum 4 participants)