Uyuni Salt Flats. Exploration Journey Day to Day to Bolivia

Atacama – Uyuni

Itineraries

All our programs are private: They include an exclusive vehicle, one driver and one expert guide to assist you in each one of the activities carried out in this Travesia. You choose the direction of the travel itinerary: You either begin from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile or from Uyuni, Bolivia.

This itinerary is described departing from San Pedro de Atacama, but you can decide to start from Uyuni. If you want to depart from Uyuni you need to have started your acclimation process (have been above 3,000 m.a.s.l./ 9,842 f.a.s.l. for at least three days).

explora Atacama at night, another explora experience. Five-star services for the best vacations in the Altiplano

Day 1 - San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

We pick you up at the Calama airport and transfer you to the oasis of San Pedro de Atacama, located at 2,407 meters / 7,890 feet above sea level. It is a 1-hour drive to the explora Atacama hotel, where your arrival sparks an immersion in the essence of the remote. After your welcome, we introduce you to the region with a talk either just before lunch, or after your first exploration, depending on the time you arrive. In the end of the day, you and a guide discuss and decide where and what you will be exploring in the next few days.

We do recommend you start off by exploring the oasis, the La Sal and Domeyko mountain ranges, the Atacama salt flat and the unparalleled canyons, landscapes and ecosystems. After that, adventuring yourself over the Altiplano’s 4,000 m.a.s.l / 13,123 f.a.s.l. is an experience you will not regret. But above all, experiencing the Puritama hot springs in explora’s Puritama Natural Reserve with your own senses is a must.

This is the perfect start for the transforming journey ahead of you. Warm up body and mind by unravelling the many charms that astonishingly bloom in the Atacama.

Atacama Explora Horse Back Riding Desert

Days 2 and 3 - Atacama Desert

Delve into the world’s driest desert and feel its inextricable aura in every step and landscape. The plan you and your guide have idealized together begins to unfold at your own pace in this private journey. The activities range from easy to advanced difficulty levels, short to long durations, and multiple exploration methods: hiking, horseback, bike rides, drives and short walks, and even mountain climbing, for the adventurous-spirited. And remember: any weather makes a perfect day for exploring. But if the skies happen to be clear, you are in luck: dive into the fresh desert night sky in an astronomy session in the observatory at the hotel.

Travesia Atacama Uyuni Flamingos

Day 4 - Crossing the border

Time to get back on the move. As sunlight cracks the deep blue sky, we depart from San Pedro de Atacama early in the morning and leave behind the oasis – but all we have lived and learned these first few days remains with us for life. We begin the trip through the Andes and reach the border at Hito Cajón, 47km /30 miles away from our starting point. We are now in Bolivia. Along with an explora guide, we switch vehicles and carry on our journey through the captivating entrails of the Altiplano.

The exploration continues as we go. We visit the Sol de la Mañana geysers and a myriad of salt flats, wetlands and lagoons. The Colorada lagoon is the perfect spot to sight flamingos in their natural habitat, and is also where we savour lunch as we gaze at the colours of the Altiplano vividly mingling.

We then proceed until we reach Ramaditas, where we watch the sun set into the horizon and finally rest for a new day. As we close our eyes, we can feel and listen to the vast silence, the lonely beauty of the territory we have just started to unearth.

Ramaditas Travesia Atacama Uyuni Chile Bolivia

Day 5 - From Ramaditas to Chituca

The wondrous landscapes are never-ending as we approach the Uyuni salt flat. In the morning, we set off to Chituca, where we will spend the next night. On the way, we get to walk through ancient mines and valleys. The Turquiri lagoon, with its great diversity of birds and rock formations, is the perfect setting for a restoring lunch. It is then time to explore the region in greater depth: choose between hiking or alternating drives and short walks. After the exploration is done, we continue the drive towards our camp in Chituca, where we will learn about the culture and way of life of the locals. At nightfall, the silence of the Altiplano fills the air as we wonder at the starry shimmering sky, which has served as a map for the villages in the region for centuries and centuries.

Chituca Uyuni Travesia Atacama Uyuni Chile Bolivia

Day 6 - From Chituca to the Uyuni Salt Flat

After a fulfilling breakfast, we set off to one of the expeditions of your choice. Explore the camp’s surroundings, roaming cactus and the ancient agricultural terraces nearby. Or visit the village of San Pedro de Quemes, a former Spanish settlement with bewildering panoramic views of the Altiplano and the salt flat. We then continue our journey towards the Gruta de Las Galaxias, an astonishing cave with rare geological formations where you will discover and experience a fascinating part of Andean history.

Resuming our trip, 10,000km² of pure white majestically emerge out of thin air before us – we arrive at the Uyuni salt flat. This is the salt flat with the greatest area and the highest altitude on Earth, located at 3,665 m.a.s.l./12,022 f.a.s.l. We stop for lunch at the salt flat, where your next expedition sets off: an explorative hike at the Pescado Island or an overland journey to it. Once complete, we drive to the Uyuni lodge, settled on the slopes of the Tunupa volcano.

Uyuni Travesia Atacama Uyuni Camp Chile Bolivia

Day 7 and 8 - Uyuni Salt Flat

Take in the astounding view over the Uyuni salt flat from the comfort of our haven. Your guide will help you decide the expeditions you would like to go on, out of the 16 exploration plans available. You can choose from hikes, overland trips, and bicycle rides. Climbing the multi-hued slopes of the volcano up to 5,432 m.a.s.l/ 17,820 f.a.s.l., biking across a section of the salt flat, or cruising the slopes of the volcano and stopping by at villages along the way are a few of the possibilities. What you see here will remain imprinted in your heart, soul and fondest memory for the rest of your life.

Salt Flats Uyuni Bolivia Travesia Atacama Uyuni

Day 9 - Uyuni

The last day of the travesía. After a nourishing breakfast, we drive across the eastern area of the salt flat towards the Uyuni airport, recalling all we have lived for the past days as we gaze off into the rare beauty and enormity of this extraordinary place. A last glance. For now.

Extra Night in Atacama - Extension to 9 Nights

To really get to know a destination you need to delve deep into its landscapes and culture. With so much to see, three nights in San Pedro de Atacama will leave you yearning for more. Adding one more night is also a good idea for those who like to take it easy and enjoy a good rest: ideal for an afternoon to relax in our pool area or to roam through the picturesque village of San Pedro de Atacama.

Extend your stay in San Pedro de Atacama adding one night at explora Atacama and turn your 8 night into a 9-night itinerary.

This itinerary is described departing from San Pedro de Atacama, but you can decide to start from Uyuni. If you want to depart from Uyuni you need to have started your acclimation process (have been above 3,000 m.a.s.l./ 9,842 f.a.s.l. for at least three days).

Travesia Atacama Uyuni Explora Hotel Chile

Day 1 - San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

We pick you up at the Calama airport and take you to the San Pedro de Atacama oasis, located at 2,407 meters above sea level (7,897 feet above sea level). After a 1-hour drive (approximately) we reach our hotel, where we will welcome you and introduce you to the destination. Together with a guide, you will decide what you will be exploring in the next few days.

We recommend that you start off by exploring the oasis, the La Sal and Domeyko mountain ranges, the Atacama salt flat and the unique canyons, landscapes and ecosystems, to then tackle the Altiplano at more than 4,000 m.a.s.l. / 13,123 f.a.s.l. You cannot miss the Puritama Natural Reserve and its hot springs

Travesia Atacama Uyuni Explora Hotel Chile

Days 2 and 3 – Atacama Desert, Chile

In addition to being the perfect spot to prepare our body and mind for the Travesia, San Pedro de Atacama is a destination with many exploration possibilities. Be ready to enjoy them!

These two days you will explore the desert according to the plan agreed with our guides on a daily basis. Since this is a private journey, you will be able to discover the amazing landscapes we visit at your own pace. Remember that we have options for all travelers, with short to long durations, easy to advanced difficulty levels, and multiple exploration methods. We suggest hiking, horseback, bike rides, drives combined with short walks, and even mountain climbing for the most adventurous. If weather conditions are favorable, don’t miss an astronomy session at the hotel’s observatory.

Travesia Atacama Uyuni Explora Hotel Chile

Day 4 – Crossing the Border to Bolivia

We depart from San Pedro de Atacama early in the morning and leave behind the San Pedro oasis, beginning the trip through the Andes Mountain Range and reaching the border with Bolivia at Hito Cajón, 47 km / 29 miles away from explora. A guide will always follow along. We switch vehicles at the border and carry on with our journey.

As we go, we visit the Sol de la Mañana geysers and a series of salt flats, wetlands and lagoons. One of them is Colorada Lagoon, at the Eduardo Abaroa Natural Andean Wildlife Reserve, a perfect spot to sight flamingos in their natural habitat. After lunch by the lagoon, we continue to our first camp (at 4,075 m.a.s.l. / 13,369 f.a.s.l.) were we will enjoy the sun set and rest.

While resting there for the next day, we will have the chance to feel and listen to the vast silence and the deserted beauty of the territory we have just started to unearth.

Travesia Atacama Uyuni Explora Hotel Chile

Day 5 - Ramaditas

Different exploration options will be available for you today. These include hikes, overland trips and even mountain climbing to visit lagoons, broad valleys, salt flats, and amazing rock formations, one of which we have called “Cathedrals” due to their magnificence. In the afternoon, we return to our refuge and spend the second night in the heart of the Altiplano, a perfect moment to disconnect ourselves from daily worries and truly get in touch with nature.

Travesia Atacama Uyuni Explora Hotel Chile

Day 6 - From Ramaditas to Chituca

We will continue discovering incredible landscapes and approaching the Uyuni Salt Flat. In the morning, we set off to Chituca, our second camp. We will have lunch in the surroundings of Turquiri Lagoon, a chance to see a great diversity of Altiplano birds and remarkable rock formations. There, you will be able to choose between an overland trip –an exploration combining drives with short walks– or hiking. After that, we will drive to our camp in Chituca where we will learn about the way of life of local dwellers.

Travesia Atacama Uyuni Explora Hotel Chile

Day 7 - Chituca

A second day in Chituca is an invitation to explore this region in more detail. You can choose a full-day exploration or come back and have lunch at our camp. The options we offer include walking to ancient trails, shepherds’ refuges, quinoa crops, petroglyphs and pictoglyphs that account for Andean history, and even high mountain climbing towards an active volcano. In the afternoon, we return to the camp and face the silence of the Altiplano and a starry sky that served as a map for different peoples. We watch the sky and the vastness of the Altiplano with high performance binoculars ideal for stargazing, and for land use over large distances.

Travesia Atacama Uyuni Explora Hotel Chile

Day 8 - From Chituca to Uyuni

After breakfast you can choose among different options, one of which is to explore a cactus forest and ancient farming terraces in the camp’s surroundings. You can also visit the town of San Pedro de Quemes, an old Spanish settlement with panoramic views towards the Altiplano and the salt flat. After that, we will continue our trip to the Gruta de las Galaxias, unusual geological formations where you can learn part of the Andean history. We will continue and suddenly, 10,000 square kilometers / 3861 square miles of salt appear in front of your eyes: The Uyuni Salt Flat, located at 3,665 m.a.s.l. / 12,024 f.a.s.l. and the largest on Earth. We have lunch by the salt flat where you can decide whether to take an overland to Isla del Pescado or an exploration hike on the same island. Finally, we reach the Uyuni lodge on the slopes of the Tunupa volcano.

Travesia Atacama Uyuni Explora Hotel Chile

Days 9 and 10 - Uyuni

From this refuge, you can calmly view the enormous expanse of the Uyuni Salt Flat and define –along with your guide– which explorations you would like to carry out from a selection of 16 activities, including hikes, overland trips, and bike riding. Some of the options are climbing the multi-hued slopes of the Tunupa Volcano up to 5,432 m.a.s.l. / 17,821 f.a.s.l, biking across parts of the salt flat, or touring the slopes of the volcano visiting villages, wetlands, and archaeological sites. There are no words to describe what you will see in this place.

Travesia Atacama Uyuni Explora Hotel Chile

Day 11 - Uyuni

The last day of this Travesia will find us enjoying dawn at the salt flat, to set off to Uyuni Airport. We drive across the east part of this salt flat keeping in our memories the enormous vastness of this place that was our home for the last couple of days.

Travesia Atacama Uyuni Explora Hotel Chile

Extra Night in Atacama - Extension to 11 Nights

If you want to explore San Pedro de Atacama and its multiple options with more detail, we recommend that you add one additional night at explora Atacama. If you stay only three nights you may feel that you needed more time to enjoy the amazing landscapes found in this destination. This is also a good idea for those who like to take it easy and enjoy time for leisure, since you can relax in our pool area during one afternoon or go and visit San Pedro de Atacama.

Extend your stay in San Pedro de Atacama adding an additional night at explora Atacama and make your 10-night into an 11-night itinerary.

This itinerary is described departing from San Pedro de Atacama, but you can decide to start from Uyuni. If you want to depart from Uyuni you need to have started your acclimation process (have been above 3,000 m.a.s.l./ 9,842 f.a.s.l. for at least three days).

Laguna-colorada-uyuni salt flat

Opening Rate

The Travesia Atacama – Uyuni is an all-inclusive private program that connects the Atacama Desert in Chile with the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. The Travesia can take place in both directions, exploring everything in between: valleys and mountains in the Los Andes Mountain Range; salt flats; incredible rock formations, and ore-hued lagoons.
The Travesía’s opening date is May 2020, but we will accept travelers only as of June 15, 2020.
During this initial launching period we offer limited spaces with a special launching rate.

The 8-night/9-day travel itinerary has the following cots:

Opening rateNormal rate
USD 6.104USD 8.720

The 10-night/11-day travel itinerary has the following cost:

Opening rateNormal rate
USD 7.280USD 10.400

*Limited spaces.
*The rate is per person on a double room basis.
*5% discount for former explora travelers.

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