We knew we wanted to came here but what we experienced here was something beyond anything we would have imagined. We chose to do the 3 days tour (2 nights) and we talked to other backpackers about it and everyone was unanimous that it was very tiring. You will walk a lot, in a hot sun and in altitude which means you will have to hydrate very often (3 liters per day!) and even if we were dead when we arrived to Uyuni city, it was a pretty amazing adventure and would recommend to everyone (if you don’t mind not having a shower sometimes and sleep for few hours!) that wants to see a little bit of the beautifull and untouched Bolivian natural wonders.You can do the tour from San Pedro or from Uyuni (cheaper) or you can also do a day tour to Salar only. We paid 160 dollars for the 3 days and spend 250 bolivianos (around 37 dolars) in the park entry, thermal waters, to have a hot shower on the second day and in some beer, the rest like food and acomodation is included in the tour.
On the first day, the agency picked us up around 7:30 AM in your hostel, from there you will go to the Chilean and Bolivian border, this where you stamp you passport and eat breakfast. After this they will take you to the entrance of the national park: Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina. You will pay 150 bolivianos (21 dolars) to enter this park.
The first stop is Laguna Blanca and after Laguna Verde, in this lagoon, with the Licancabur volcano on the other side, the minerals in the water it seems to be green. Unfortunately it only happens sometime in the day and when we arrived it was still brown. Next stop, the thermal waters – very nice and the only contact you will have with water in that day. After this you will stop in Sol de la Mañana: a big geyser.
After this you will stop in the “hotel” to put your stuff there, take a small nap and eat lunch. In the afternoon we went to Laguna Colorada, a lagoon with red reflections because of the minerals and fictoplacton that habits there. This where you will see lots of flamingos! They’re super cute and we couldn’t stop photographing them! From there we went to the hotel and played some ping-pong, eat dinner and drank some wine with our lovely group (we were 3 couples, german couple, us and a chilean couple).
We woke up around 6:30 AM next day and headed to another lagoon and got to see 3 vicuñas chasing away a fox (zorrito)! After this we headed to rocks with weird shapes and climbed up one of them to see “little Italy” a geological formation that was mistaken by a village seen from far away by an italian tourist that got lost here (she was saved by the people in the near pueblo, Villamar).
After this we ate lunch and went for a walk in a big canyons full of wild llamas (Llamas are domesticated animals!) and other birds. Lovely place. After the big walk we went to see a river called Anaconda (the real name is Alota) because of its shape. From there we went to a little pueblo (village) and drank some quinoa beer but it expensive and it wasn’t good. From there we went to San Juan and stayed in a salt hotel. Although we wouldn’t really call it a hotel it was very comfortable and had energy (the other place only has energy until 10pm) and even a hot shower (for 10 bolivianos)! We drank some more wine and after went to sleep because we had to wake up very early as we wanted to see the sunrise in the Salar.
We woke up around 3:45 AM and went straight to the Salar. This was definitely the high point of the trip, when we arrived there was the full moon on the side, with a just amazing reflection and the whole sky full of stars where reflecting in the water. In an hour everything changed and we got to see this unbelievable sunrise that there are no words to describe, really but we leave you with our humble photographies.
The last day we spent it whole in the Salar. The salt flat is like a desert, only worse because it reflects all the light so you will have to drink a lot of water in this day. We went to Isla del Sol and took the traditional perspective photos, went to the first salt hotel and eat lunch in the Salar too! After this we went to Colchane to buy tradicional souvenirs (we only bought a magnet for our collection for 5 bolivianos) and from there to the train cemetery, as Uyuni used to have a lot of exportation of salt and other minerals, nowadays it lives of touristic activity and some salt extraction as well.
It was a great day but when we arrived to Uyuni we couldn’t face the night bus ride to La Paz (as our german friends!) so we stayed in a hostel in the center of Uyuni and slept for 12 hours! 🙂
Some tips: January is the rainy season. If you go in this particular month there will be only water, which means beautiful sunrise and sunset but you can’t see the other parts of the Salar. We were very lucky because we could see the water and also the dry part of the salt flat and this was because it rained a lot 2 weeks before! But nature is unpredictable and sometimes it rains in February as well. We would advice you to try come early February as you will see the water mirror and the dry part was well!
Há muito que queriamos vir aqui, mas aquilo que experienciamos é dificil de imaginar. Escolhemos fazer o passeio de 3 dias, 2 noites e partimos de San Pedro del Atacama, quando perguntamos a outros mochileiros toda a gente foi unânime que era bastante cansativo, pois anda-se bastante, debaixo de um sol ardente e em altitude, o que faz que você tenha de beber pelo menos 3 litros de água por dia! E apesar de estarmos mortos de cansados quando chegamos á cidade de Uyuni, aconselhamos a todos esta aventura maravilhosa, se você não se importar de não tomar banho um dia e dormir poucas horas para ver a linda e intocável natureza boliviana. Você pode começar o passeio de San Pedro do Atacama, da cidade do Uyuni (50 dólares mais barato) ou fazer passeios de um dia apenas ao Salar. Pelo nosso passeio pagamos 160 dólares (500 reais) e gastamos 250 bolivianos (120 reais) com a entrada do parque, para ir nas águas termais, tomar um banho quente na última noite e comprando umas cervejas, tudo o resto está incluído no pacote.