Travel from La Paz to the spectacular Salar de Uyuni

Experience the surreal beauty and overwhelmingly vast expanse of Salar de Uyuni on this journey to one of South America’s most striking natural landscapes. This is a place where things are put in perspective; where the enormity of the scene highlights the fragility of everything else, where harsh is beautiful, time is obscured and reality seems more like a dream.


Start
La Paz, Bolivia
Finish
La Paz, Bolivia
Destination
Bolivia
Style
Original
Theme
Short Breaks
Code
GGAU
Physical rating
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt lake. Cross the perspective-bending white expanse in a 4WD with a local guide, making several fascinating stops along the way

  • Uyuni was once a distribution centre for trains carrying minerals to the Pacific. Walk among rusty, abandoned trains in the old Train Cemetery

  • As you explore the rocky island of Isla Wasi, rising from the salt pans and covered with flowering cacti, you might feel like you've stepped inside a surrealist painting

Is this trip right for you?

  • This Short Break Adventure is a ‘join in’ departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader – instead you will have two separate local representatives (one in La Paz and one in Uyuni) – and you will be joined by Intrepid and non-intrepid travellers

  • This trip will run with a minimum of one person. You are likely to be on your on in La Paz and joined by other travellers in Uyuni.

  • The Uyuni salt flats day tour is operated on shared basis, which means that you will share the 4x4 vehicle with up to 5 other travellers.

  • While this is a 3 day trip, the main highlight of this trip are the salt flats visited on day 2. The rest of the time is spent travelling to and from. For a more in-depth experience, consider our Bolivian Salt Flats & The Andean Desert (GGAD) or the Bolivian Highlights (GGSV)

  • Reality check. The south of Bolivia is just about the most challenging region to operate trips in South America. It’s remote, isolated and the travel industry and infrastructure are still in its infancy. Sometimes things don't go to plan. For example, an attraction may be closed for the day with no notice or reason. If the possibility of something going wrong or last-minute changes are not an option for you, this may not be the right trip for you.

  • You'll be spending a lot of time in a 4WD crossing some bumpy surfaces. This is the best way to see the sights in and around Uyuni and is all part of the adventure.

  • If something doesn’t look right during your trip, please contact us at once on the number provided under “Emergency contact information” and we will try to address the issue on the spot.

  • This trip travels to some remote places, as well as locations at high altitude (La Paz is the highest city in the world!). As such, some people can suffer from altitude sickness. If you are, drinking plenty of water and not pushing yourself too hard can help. Please inform your local representative if symptoms don't improve within 24 hours. If possible, arrive into La Paz a few days early to allow yourself time to acclimatise. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip information (ETI) for more important information about altitude sickness.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2018.
View the 2019 itinerary
Kamisaki! Welcome to Bolivia. Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned until an important welcome meeting at 6 pm in the hotel with our local representative.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so ensure you bring these details to provide to your leader. If you're going to be late, please inform hotel reception. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning you will be transferred to La Paz airport in time for your unescorted flight to Uyuni. The exact flight time will be advised at your evening meeting on Day 1.
At Uyuni airport you will be met by your Uyuni local guide who will accompany you for the duration of the Salt Flats tour.
The remote town of Uyuni sits on the edge of the high altiplano, which extends towards the border with Argentina and Chile. Your first stop will be at the Train Cemetery. Uyuni was once a distribution hub for trains carrying minerals on their way to Pacific Ocean ports. In the 1940s the mining industry collapsed and many trains were abandoned.
Next, visit the small town of Colchani, where you'll see how the locals farm and process salt from the Salar.
Finally it’s time for highlight of this trip: the Uyuni's salt flats. The flats are a 12,000-square-kilometre expanse of perfectly flat salt. Spend a full day exploring the lake by 4WD. Make sure you snap some classic perspective-bending photographs with your group. Discover the cacti and coral-like structures on the rocky island of Isla Inca Wasi.
Weather depending, you will be at the flats well into the evening to watch the sun set over the Salar, before heading back to your hotel in Uyuni Town.
This day tour of Uyuni is operated in pool basis (shared with other travellers) and accompanied by a private English-speaking local guide for you and any other Intrepid traveller taking part of this day tour.
The other non-Intrepid travellers you will share the vehicle with have contracted this one-day tour or the salt flats from Uyuni and their service includes a Spanish-speaking guide only. This “guiding” service is provided to them by the driver of the vehicle.
While in the vehicle, your private guide may share information which will be (inevitably) to the benefit of all passengers on board the vehicle (Intrepid and non-Intrepid)
During activities outside the vehicle, your private guide will provide information to you and any other Intrepid traveller separately to the rest of the group. We have asked other travellers (who may also speak English) to avoid tagging along you and your private guide and to allow your private guide to deliver the service you and your fellow Intrepid travellers have paid for.
The vehicles used during this activity are normally Toyota Land Cruisers and they can take up to six passengers plus the driver.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • La Paz - Hotel to airport private transfer
  • La Paz - Flight from La Paz to Uyuni (pre-boarding included to reduce chances of being bumped off the flight)
  • Uyuni - Airport to hotel transfer
  • Uyuni - Full-day 4x4 tour of Salar de Uyuni including a visit to Isla Inca Wasi
  • Uyuni - English-speaking guide during Salar Uyuni visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
WET SEASON ITINERARY ALTERNATION
From December to March during the wet season the salt flats are likely to flood. The water covering the slat lakes creates a mirror effect and visually this is one of the most impressive times of the year to visit this area. However, depending on the water level, it may not be possible to drive all the way through to Isla Inca Wasi or to wait for the sunset in the area. If that’s the case, the visit to the salt flats will be limited to a morning visit and a lunch stop before returning to Uyuni town.
This morning you'll take an included flight back to La Paz airport, where sadly your adventure comes to an end. If you are booking a departure flight from La Paz for this day please ensure it's no earlier than 2pm. Alternatively please check with us within 30 days from departure and we can advise you what time your flight from Uyuni is due to arrive in La Paz.
If you need additional accommodation in La Paz and/or a transfer into the city, we'd be happy to help. Just have a chat with your booking agent.

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Included Activities
  • Uyuni - Hotel to airport transfer
  • Uyuni - Uyuni to La Paz flight (pre-boarding included to reduce chances of being bumped off the flight)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Note: During the wet season, the salt flats may be flooded. Some areas may be inaccessible; in this case we will modify the itinerary as necessary to include as many highlights as possible. Please see important notes for more information.

Meals

2 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

4x4, Plane

Accommodation

Hotel (2 nights)

Included activities

  • La Paz - Hotel to airport private transfer
  • La Paz - Flight from La Paz to Uyuni (pre-boarding included to reduce chances of being bumped off the flight)
  • Uyuni - Airport to hotel transfer
  • Uyuni - Full-day 4x4 tour of Salar de Uyuni including a visit to Isla Inca Wasi
  • Uyuni - English-speaking guide during Salar Uyuni visit
  • Uyuni - Hotel to airport transfer
  • Uyuni - Uyuni to La Paz flight (pre-boarding included to reduce chances of being bumped off the flight)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

SHORT BREAK ADVENTURE
This Short Break Adventure is a ‘join in’ departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Intrepid group leader – instead you will have two separate local representatives (one in La Paz and one in Uyuni) and you will be joined by Intrepid and non-intrepid travellers.
This trip will run with a minimum of one person. You are likely to be on your on in La Paz and joined by other travellers in Uyuni.

TRIP END POINT:
Important: This trip ends at the airport upon arrival from Uyuni on day 3 and it does not include a transfer into town. Should you wish to book additional accommodation or a transfer please speak with your booking agent.
If you are booking a departure flight from La Paz for this day please ensure it's no earlier than 2pm. Alternatively please check with us within 30 days from departure and we can advise you what time your flight from Uyuni is due to arrive in La Paz.

ITINERARY
This trip includes a full-day 4x4 tour of Salar de Uyuni including a visit to Isla Inca Wasi. This section of the trip is operated on a pool basis (shared with other travellers) and accompanied by a private English-speaking local guide for you and any other Intrepid traveller taking part of this day tour.
The other non-Intrepid travellers you will share the vehicle with have contracted this one-day tour of the salt flats from Uyuni and their service includes a Spanish-speaking guide only. This “guiding” service is provided to them by the driver of the vehicle.
While in the vehicle, your private guide may share information which will be (inevitably) to the benefit of all passengers on board the vehicle (Intrepid and non-Intrepid)
During activities outside the vehicle, your private guide will provide information to you and any other Intrepid traveller separately to the rest of the group. We have asked other travellers (who may also speak English) to avoid tagging along with you and your private guide and to allow your private guide to deliver the service you and your fellow Intrepid travellers have paid for.
The vehicles used during this activity are normally Toyota Land Cruisers and they can take up to six passengers plus the driver.

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase flights. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

BOLIVIAN VISA FOR U.S CITIZENS
Nationals from the United States need a visa to enter Bolivia and you we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate or Embassy. Not obtaining the visa in advance is likely to cause long delays at the border.
Please see the visa information on these Essential Trip information (ETI) for more information.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information