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Chile moon valley llamas

Across the Atacama to Bolivia

Bite-sized trip

  • Itinerary:
    San Pedro de Atacama - Altiplano - Salt Flats - Uyuni
  • Duration:
    4 days / 3 nights (flexible)
  • Price:
    from £498 per person (excluding flights)
Travel from northern Chile by jeep through the strange high-altitude world of the Altiplano, filled with volcanic geysers, colourful lakes and flamingos, before finishing in Bolivia's famous Uyuni Salt Flats. You'll join a small group and stay in basic lodges up on the Altiplano - it's far from luxurious, but you'll have private facilities, an English speaking guide and a local cook to look after you. We think that this truly unique experience is well worth forgoing your creature comforts for a few days!

This trip is also available in reverse order, travelling from Bolivia to Chile, and can you can also take a round trip back to San Pedro. Speak to a Travel Specialist for more information.

**We can only book this trip as part of a longer itinerary, but just get in touch and we’ll talk you through the options.**
Bolivia salt flats
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Day 1 – Across the border, and into the Altiplano

This morning you’ll be picked up early and will meet your guide and cook for the next few days, as well as your fellow travellers on this epic journey across the desert. First order of business is to get across the border at Hito Cajones – one of the highest, and possibly least glamorous customs offices in the world. After some (hopefully) brief formalities, you’ll continue your ascent into the Altiplano where you’ll be met by views of the Licancabur volcano towering over the bright green Laguna Verde.

After stopping for a break at Laguna Verde, you’ll head up to the volcanic geysers of Sol de Mañana, before continuing onto Laguna Colorada. In a strange twist of nature this lake is filled with algae which give it a red colour, and also attracts huge numbers of flamingos who feed on the algae. It makes for a pretty surreal sight! You’ll continue through the desert landscape until you arrive at your high-altitude lodge, where you’ll have a hearty meal, take in the pristine star-filled sky, and then wrap yourself in some thick blankets to get some sleep.

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Day 2 – Through the desert

Today you’ll continue your journey through the moon-like landscape, which begins to descend towards Uyuni. There’s quite a lot of driving today, but you’ll make plenty of stops along the way. The route takes you past a number of picturesque lagoons, home to different flamingo species, as well as the vast ‘Salvador Dalí Desert’ – so called because of the surreal rock formations formed over millions of years by the prevailing winds.

In the afternoon you’ll visit the huge Thunupa volcano, where you may spot some of the indigenous types of ducks and gulls that live around here, before continuing your descent. You’ll spend the evening in a simple lodge near the edge of the area’s most famous landmark – the vast Salar de Uyuni.

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Day 3 – Across the Salar de Uyuni

Make sure you’ve still got some battery left in your camera, because today you’ll be travelling across the world’s largest salt lake. In rainy season (usually Jan-Apr) there may be a thin layer of water which creates a mirror effect, and the rest of the year you’ll experience a seemingly endless sea of flat white salt. Against the blue sky it’s a spectacular sight.

Weather allowing, you’ll visit a cactus island in the middle of the Salar, from where you’ll have a panoramic view across the huge expanses of the flats. You’ll also have plenty of time to wander around on the salt surface, take a thousand pictures from different perspectives, and spend a few moments just to appreciate your unique surroundings. You’ll arrive in the town of Uyuni in the late afternoon, where we’ve booked a cosy hotel where you can get some well-earned rest!


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Day 4 – Departure from Uyuni

Uyuni is a dusty little town and there isn’t a whole lot to do here, so we’d usually recommend moving on today. We can arrange transport by land or air to your next destination.

*The exact itinerary described above can be a little different sometimes, as changes are occasionally made due to weather conditions.

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Across the Atacama to Bolivia

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