Laguna Canapa Planning a Trip to Salar de Uyuni_Salt Flat Tour is Worth it

Why It’s Worth Planning a Trip to Salar de Uyuni

So much has been written about Salar de Uyuni that all the information can feel overwhelming. Which tour do I choose? Are the cars well maintained? And do they have bad reviews about safety? There’s a lot to consider, so why not see what it’s like. Here’s our drive across southern Bolivia in photos.

 

 

Day 1

Tupiza to Quetena

Our first day is an 8-hour drive through the Bolivian altiplano. After a brief orientation we head southwest, stopping to take in Awanapampa, Cerrillos and Polulos. The air is thin at 15,000 feet but the landscape is spectacular. Our room for the night is in a communal building; basic but full of friendly travelers.

 

Llamas and vicuñas in Awanapampa.

 

 

Day 2

Quetena to Huayllajara

In the morning we enter the Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve, one of Bolivia’s 20 protected areas. It’s a slow and easy drive over dirt roads between soft sand and mountains. The day is quite the adventure filled with colorful lagoons, hot springs and geysers. Our accommodation in Huayllajara is similar to Quetana but few of us sleep at the altitude.

 

Laguna Hedionda

aguas calientes

Flamingos in Laguna Hedionda, Salar de Chalviri salt flat and Aguas Calientes hot spring.

 

 

Day 3

Huayllajara to Puerto Chuvica

The third day is a long descent towards Salar de Uyuni. Heading northwest we pass more red desert, mountains and lagoons. Our last night is in a simple salt hotel just outside Uyuni.

 

Árbol de Piedra (Stone Tree) in the Siloli Desert.

 

Laguna Honda and flamingos in Laguna Cañapa.

 

 

Day 4

Uyuni

It’s the big day and we’re up early to get to Incahuasi Island before dawn. After sunrise it’s a quick meal and then onto the salt flats. We take too many photos, buy a few souvenirs Colchani before the tour ends in the town of Uyuni.

 

Sunrise over Salar de Uyuni from Incahuasi Island.

 

Salar de Uyuni, flags at the Salt Hotel and Uyuni salt for sale.

 

Bolivia Where to Eat Gustu Restaurant

On the streets of Colchani, Bolivia. [Photo N. Pallesen]

 

About our 4-day tour

To get the most out of a short stay in Bolivia, I chose a four-day tour from Tupiza to Uyuni with La Torre Tours. Tupiza isn’t the easiest place to get to. But I picked this route so we could end our journey in the salt flats of Uyuni. In the interest of time we flew from La Paz to Uyuni Town and then drove with La Torre Tours to Tupiza. Even after two flights, one layover and a 5-hour drive, I still think the experience was worth the effort. Bolivia’s endless expanse of lagoons, desert and salt was something I’ll never forget.

 

 

Passing through La Paz?

La Paz may not be one of Latin America’s top tourist destinations but it is home to one of the continent’s best restaurants. Named after the Quecha word for flavor, Gustu was founded in 2012 by Danish restaurateur and Noma co-founder Claus Meyer. Book a table in advance and indulge in the tasting menu for Bolivian cuisine at its finest.