Bolivian Salt Flats 3 day/2 night tour from San Pedro to Uyuni
Where to begin, we weren’t too keen on taking this tour at all, why would you want to spend 3 days looking at a load of salt? All the guidebooks, backpacking forums, friends and fellow travels rave about the Salar de Uyuni.
When you start looking into tour companies it is like a minefield as they all seem to get mixed reviews with comments about drunk drivers, drivers falling asleep at the wheel, cars breaking down, more than 6 people been squashed into a jeep for 3 days, bad food etc etc. Anyway we narrowed it down to 2 companies Cordillera Traveller and World White Travel; we visited both offices and decided to go with Cordillera Traveller.
We went with very low expectations; the first morning is spent going through Chilean and Bolivian immigration meeting your driver, who is also your guide and meeting your fellow passengers, we were lucky to be sharing our jeep with 4 other girls, 2 from the UK, 1 from USA and 1 from Holland. The driver didn’t speak English which we knew beforehand but 2 of the girls translated for us.
The journey over the 3 days covered some spectacular landscape, such as lagoons, rock formations, colourful mountain ranges, volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and we even saw some wildlife. The tour was so much more than I could have imagined, it felt like we were on a different planet.
The environment is very harsh, you are at high altitude, dust is everywhere, the sun is strong, the wind is even stronger and it is cold at night, now partner that with basic accommodation and being stuck in a jeep for hours it all makes for an exhausting few days.
Highlights of the tour – Watching the sun rise and the moon go down over the Salt Flats. Seeing the different coloured lagoons and sitting watching wild flamingos feeding.
Lows of the tour – Richard getting food poisoning from an apple, we think! Unnecessary stops that included a tourist market and the old closed salt hotel, I felt this was to drag out the tour.
Tips – Arrive a couple of days before the tour to acclimatize to the altitude (there were a lot of people with Altitude sickness the first day/night)
Bring high factor sun screen, moisturizer, lip balm and eye drops. Don’t try and do this tour on the cheap, if something goes wrong you are in the middle of the freaking desert!!!
To see such natural beauty was mind-blowing it’s not an everyday experience. Don’t do this tour expecting 5 star or any star accommodation or Michelin rated food, it’s not for the princesses of the world and you will need a good couple days rest after the tour, we were exhausted.
We would recommend Cordillera Traveller, our driver was the “salt of the earth” and he was very attentive when Richard was ill. Overall we enjoyed the tour.