In the morning we pick you up at the airport (or from your hotel) of Uyuni and depart south for an overland trip towards the town of Mallku. Our first stop will be at the Train Cemetery where you can see the remains of nineteenth and early 20th century steam locomotives.
Day 2: Mallku – Laguna Colorada
This day we drive southwest towards the Eduardo Avaroa National Park. Our drive will take us through the bofedales, green oasis in the middle of the desert where we can observe llamas, alpacas and birds. We also can get clear views of the Uturunco Volcano (6,020m). We will pass the Salar de Corina where we can observe the Ulexita fields (borax). Continuing our drive later on, we will arrive to the shores of the beautiful Laguna Colorada, a lagoon lying at an altitude of 4,350 metres, and covers an area of 60 km2. The rich red colouration derives from algae and plankton, which thrives in its minerals. Shoreline fringes with brilliant white deposits of sodium, magnesium, borax and gypsum. Numerous flamingos, three species of which breed there, inhabit the lagoon: 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, which has pink plumage, yellow legs and a yellow and black bill. From Laguna Colorada we go up to 5,000 meters and then we continue to south to the place known as “Sol de Mañana” (Morning Sun) where at about 4,800 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 the 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 and cross along the Dali Valley, a desert covered by strange stone formations, on 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 amazing landscape, and then we return to Laguna Colorada for overnight in a small, simple hotel with accommodations in rooms with private facilities and for two people. B, PL, D.
Day 3: Laguna Colorada (Ojos del Desierto) – Villa Candelaria (or San Juan)
Early in the morning, we start our drive north towards the small town of Villa Candelaria. Our first stop will be at the Arbol de Piedra (Tree of Stone) located on the Siloli desert. Continuing our drive we 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 some luck, perhaps we can observe the flight of the Condor. Later on, we will see the active Ollague Volcano (5,865m), and then we will cross the Salar de Chiguana before we arrive to Villa Candelaria for overnight in a small, simple hotel with accommodations in rooms with private facilities and for two people. B, BL, D.
Day 4: Villa Candelaria (or San Juan) – 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, formed before the ice age, 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 the Isla Pescado (Fish Island) a rocky hill covered in trichocerus cacti. A large population of viscachas (Andean rodents) inhabits its rocky slopes, which also afford nice views of the flat region that are reminiscent of the Polar region, dominated by the blue and white colours. 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. The island is also populated by 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, and weather permitting, we get and extraordinary view of the surreal Salar de Uyuni. After lunch, we will continue our drive towards the small village of Colchani, whichlies beside the Salar de Uyuni and is a 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). B, L.
- Uyuni Salt Desert
- Fauna (flamingos, cóndor, llamas, alpacas, vicuñas)
Price per Person: US$ 465.-
Single Supplement: us$ 65. - pp.
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.
Departure Dates: Every week (except in February & March) on Monday & Friday (departures are guaranteed with minimum 4 participants)