UYUNI SALT FLATS
What a journey to be able to see a unique place on earth.
This Private expedition will show you the most important places to see around Uyuni Salt Flats.
Uyuni Salt Flats
Isla del Sol
Wild Flamingos / Alpacas, Viguñas …
High Lakes, Geysers
Arrival in LaPaz from Lima, Cusco or your international flight.
We will meet at the hotel and have a quick brainstorming about our Bolivian expedition. Depending from where you are arriving you may need some time to acclimate to the altitude.
We will start a small visit of the Bolivian Capital.
Enjoy La Paz! Take a street photography tour with your photography guides and take a cable car to the top of the city where you’ll have access to an amazing scenic view. La Paz is also an amazing location for street photography so get those 35mm and 50mm ready! Relax for the rest of the afternoon and at night take a comfy night bus to Uyuni.
Arriving early morning in Uyuni Town.
Start your tour off at 10:30 am with a visit to Uyuni’s ‘train graveyard’ to see the first locomotives in Bolivia. Then visit the small settlement of Colchani (salt miners workshops next to the salt flats) where you can see handicrafts made of salt and textile art made of llama and alpaca. Take photos as you cruise along the vast white expanse of salt, visit los Ojos de Agua Salada (‘salt water eyes’) and then a hotel made completely of salt which is currently a museum.
Lunch will be served on “Isla Incahuasi” (Fish Island) where you will have time to take a hike to the top of the island to see giant cactus and rock formations made of petrified coral. Take time to organize your group for fun perspective and proportion-distorted photos on the blinding white surface of the salt flats. Then, head to Pia Pia island for the unique experience of seeing a beautiful sunset over the salt flats. Have dinner and spend the night at Ajencha town.
STAR GAZING will start at 22:00 and will finish in your hotel at 00h30. Uyuni offers some of the clearest nighttime views of the stars, moon, and planets. But it’s just one of many destinations around the world that cater to celestial enthusiasts—and where the nightime views rival those in the daytime.
Start off at 7:00 am for breakfast first stop at Chiguana desert on the south side of Uyuni salt flat, surrounded by volcanoes such as Ollague (5840m), which is still active and that you can see from the lookout. Continue along a rocky road – Pasito Tuntun – to the beautiful Andean lagoons inhabited by 3 species of Andean flamingos. Marvel at three lagoons on the way; ‘Cañapa’ where you’ll see the first pink flamingos, ‘Hedionda’ where lunch will be served, and ‘Chiarcota’ where you’ll see a wider variety of birds and altiplanic fauna.
Then we enter the Eduardo Avaroa National Reserve and visit the Desert of Siloli at 4550m (the highest and driest in the world) and take a photo next to the ‘Rock tree’, a lava rock formation. Before arriving to our final destination today, we will stop at the overlook point by the Red Lagoon to see more pink flamingos in their natural habitat and admire this intense red-colored lake.
Get off to an early start around 5:00 am to visit again red Lagoon and then the Sol de Mañana Geyser, at 5,000m and walk next to fumaroles and steaming craters filled with boiling pots of mud at 150-200 Cº. Continue to the open air hot springs and take a bath in 35 Cº water before enjoying a pancake breakfast. The next places to visit are the Dali Desert where Salvador Dali found his inspiration from boulders sprinkled in the middle of the desert, and then the Green Lagoon (toxic copper water at the foot of the big Licancabur volcano at 6000m, a few kilometers from the Bolivia-Chile border).
Then head back to Uyuni passing by beautiful scenery along the way and eating a picnic lunch along the roadside. On the way, pass by the Valley of the Rocks, the Alota settlement and the San Cristobal Village where we will visit the church and see the exquisite colonial paintings. Return to Uyuni by 6:30 pm where your tour comes to an end.
2 options to get back to La Paz :
Take the same night bus ride.
Sleep in LaPaz and fly the next day to La Paz.
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WHEN TO VISIT UYUNI
Uyuni in the dry season: the world’s biggest blue screen
Uyuni is a high-altitude desert and it receives zero rainfall April thru September and only a smattering of drizzle in October and November. From June till at least November, the salt flats are rock hard and extremely easy to drive on. This means you’ll be able to get around with no hassles and will be assured of visiting the ‘islands’ (outcrops of cacti), caves and volcanoes that are included on our itinerary
The dry season is also the best time to take hilarious, perspective-shifting photos as the pure white backdrop serves as Nature’s version of the blue screen. The lack of cloud cover means that both sunblock and warm clothing – especially in the chilliest months of June, July and August – are essential.
Uyuni in the wet season: the world’s biggest mirror
Uyuni receives less than 5 inches of rain per year, but the vast majority of this falls between December and April. Because the salt is so darned hard, this water has nowhere to go and by February or March, the salar becomes one giant knee-deep puddle.
All the water makes getting around a bit harder (we provide waterproof boots!), so come prepared for the fact that you may not be able to reach some parts of the salar, most notably Incahuasi ‘island’. The spectacular mirror-effect created by all that water more than makes up for any hardships – the rainy season is an extremely popular time to visit, so be sure to book well in advance. Uyuni’s sunrises and sunsets are always incredible, but in the wet season, they become truly otherworldly. That word again.
Best of both worlds?
For many visitors, the ideal scenario is to visit when there is enough water around to experience the mirror effect but not so much as to hamper your movement completely. Traditionally this meant visiting in April or May but changes in weather patterns (see below) make planning a bit trickier.
Pick-up and drop-off at La Paz Airport.
Private Transport the whole way. Apart of the night bus.
Entrance fees to the national parks.
Food: Lunch and dinner from day 3 to 5, breakfast and dinner day 2.
All accomodation. (Shared dorm)
Professional photography guide every step of the way
Professional local guide in Uyuni.
Landscape, Environmental Portraiture and Astro Photography (if the weather allows for it)
WHAT TO BRING
Your Photography gear.
Warm clothes for the night and the morning ( gloves, beanie, winter jackets, winter socks ) Rain coat in case of bad luck. Good comfortable walking shoes.
Headlamp for walking in the dark, essential!
Sharp eyes and your smile!
Mid-range zoom to cover a variety of focal lengths
Wide angle for landscape opportunities and astro-photography (f 2.8 or wider works best)
Tripod for landscape shots and astro
Filters for landscapes (ND, Grad ND and CPL recommended)