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“Amazing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni
Uyuni, Bolivia
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Ranked #2 of 15 Attractions in Uyuni
Type: Deserts, Geologic Formations, Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Bodies of Water, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: The world's largest salt plain is a popular and scenic destination for tour groups.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

Great place, fun to take pictures because of the crazy perspective. Go with a tour - I recommend Red Planet! They give you tons of cool photo ideas as well. Also try to be there at sunset, so beautiful!

Visited July 2013
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Basel, Switzerland
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29 reviews 29 reviews
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“Don't go with Oasis Tour!!!!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

We booked the Salar de Uyuni Tour with Oasis because Red Planet was too expensive and all the other Tour agencies we asked werent really honest regarding the content of the Tour.

The salar de uyuni is incredible and the landscape awesome. Unfortunately the organization of the tour wasn't good at all.

Poor Tour Guides: The Tour Guide spoke just Spanish which wasn't really a problem but he had no idea about any facts or other interesting information about the salar de uyuni. We asked him questions and he just gave uss wrong information.

The Transfer to Chile was included in our tour and because the border in the south was closed due to snow we had to go over the boarder in the west. We booked a three Day Tour and on the third day we made no stops - nothing. The Driver said that because of the snow we can't go more to the south and he has to drive uss to the boarder. But it turned out that all other Tours left on the third day to go more to the south to the hot springs etc. It looks like because I and my boyfriend had to go to Chile, the rest of the Group had to join uss and missed so the hot springs on the last day. When we were at the boarder the Driver stopped in the middle of the road and said we had do walk 600 Meters to the control Point of Chile there is 100% a bus waiting for uss. One Girl in the Jeep told uss we shouldn't do that because she read in the Internet that it happened to travellers that there is no bus waiting. We insisted and said to the Guide he should drive uss to the boarder. As he throw all the Coca leaves out of the window (its forbidden in Chile) and told uss if he gets problems my boyfriend and I are responsible he drove uss to the control Point and it turned out that there was no bus waiting for uss....

Nature: In the winter months you can't see the Mountain with the seven colours and a lot of other attractions in the south. Check first if its possible to visit all the places they offer, otherwise just go on a 1 day tour!!! (If yes tell them you need it in written form and they should write it down on your ticket)

In the evening of the 2nd Day we had to pay 150 Bolivianos entry fee to get in the national park (where you normally can go and visit the hot springs, dali desert etc. ) It turned out that in our case we just had to pay that amount to sleep in the hostel because it was in the national park. In my opinion they should take another hostel for the 2nd Night if ist not possible to visit all the sights on the 3rd day. Otherwise it makes no sense. why should I pay a entry fee just to sleep for a night in a hostel and I do see no amazing nature??????

I have been to many countries and did a lot of tours..but this was absolutely the worst I have ever done!

Visited July 2013
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London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
116 reviews 116 reviews
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Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
“Absolutely unique.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013 via mobile

You'll see few places in the world like this. 3D/2N tour with Red Planet includes:

Train graveyard
Visit to salt mine
Salt flats
Cactus island (Isla piscina)

Night stay in private rooms

Awesome rock formations
Green lakes
Red lake
FLAMINGOES!

Stay in basic accommodation, hot water bottles provided (and needed at -14C)

Geysers and mud pools at over 5000m
Hot springs
Return to Uyuni

Laguna verde was shut due to snow do check and ask for discount if so. Food is plentiful but basic. Red planet driver was sober, spoke very good English and stuck to roads and speed limits.

Expect long time in car but some of the most unique scenery you'll ever see!

Visited May 2013
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Austin TX
Top Contributor
143 reviews 143 reviews
36 attraction reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
210 helpful votes 210 helpful votes
“Amazing Salt Flats - Horrible- HURACAN tour Operador”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

Salar De Uyuni is AMAZING !! Don't miss it for the World. Just be careful about the Tour Company you pick. It is a matter of chance, but still, some research will help.

We made a mistake of picking Huracan, review below:

Took a train from Oruro to Uyuni and planned to shop around for the Salar De Uyuni tour. We took the mid day train to Uyuni which reaches there at about 10:30 PM.

BEWARE!! As soon as you land, there are several people will approach you soliciting the Salar De Uyuni tour. Then comes a woman named Johanna/Joyana from Huracan Tour Operador, the only good thing about her is she speaks decent English as compared to the other Solicitors.
She will sell you the 2 nights/3 days tour for about 660 Boliviano. We met 4 Peruvians and we all decided to make a group of 6 and book a tour with Johanna, BIG mistake.

Next day morning, she took us to her Office in a 4X4 Jeep, driven by her Husband. When we got there we started asking her questions about the tour and what all is included. She basically said everything we wanted to hear. I am very interested in Photography and wanted to make sure we will get enough time to take good pictures and the Driver/Guide will be able to help us out. She and her husband confirmed that it will be great and also misled us to believe that the Husband is going to our Driver/Guide. I asked about Vegetarian food and if we will get hot food since it was SO cold, they both confirmed saying “Si Si no problem”. They told us that we will get hot Vegetarian food. We wanted to transition to San Pedro De Atacama, they charged us extra for the Bus transport from Bolivia border to San Pedro De Atacama. Asked about the camping first night and they told us, it will be a shared room and one bathroom for 6 people or private room and bath for extra charge. For the second night there was only one option, to stay in a shared room for 6 and a shared bathroom for 6. Johanna and her husband confirmed that it will be all good and we will have fun. They kept saying “Si Si no problem”, which basically means, there is a HUGE problem and we are lying about everything we are promising.

Reality:
Our driver was not Johanna’s husband but a guy who just knows how to drive. His name is JOHN/QUAN, BEWARE. If he is the Driver you are stuck with, you are about to spoil a lot of your trip. He is as useless as they get. We knew that he doesn’t speak any English, but that was the least of our problems. He has no clue what was going on and didn’t want to help with anything. He took us to the sightseeing places and declared: this is this and you have so much time to spend here. He didn’t even want to get out of the car unless there was another Driver and car nearby. John was more interested in racing other cars and gossiping with other Drivers than anything else. The Lunch we were served was boiled veggies and Rice with Mayo and Ketchup and a banana. So much for hot food.

We decided to stay at an expensive Hotel Luna Salada and were spared the “Hot” Dinner and Breakfast the next day morning. John was extremely happy to find out he doesn’t have to do any work that night or the next day morning. We were told we will be taken to see the Sunrise both days. First day started late so we missed Sunrise.

John played loud music all along the way and when my husband tried to reduce the volume, he slapped his wrist and told him not to touch the stereo, which was just out of line. One of the Peruvian girls yelled at him and then he reduced the volume.

The second night camping was at a Hostel which is extremely cold and the bathrooms are not shared between 6 people but 24 people. They sinks were clogged and the Potty was disgusting. Another BIG lie. If we would have knows it is a shared bathroom between ALL the people staying at the Hostel, in our case 24, we would have come more mentally prepared. Johanna lied about the details of the entire trip.

The worst was the 3rd day. Our Driver was sleeping when we all were ready at 630AM in the morning, when I went to wake him up, he kept telling me to wait. Instead of leaving at 630, we left almost an hour late at 730. Then he decided to act smart and make his own way, and drove in about 5 inches of snow and got us stuck for an hour. We basically had to hurry to catch our Bus for Atacama and we missed everything that was scheduled for the 3rd day. Johanna told us the bus for Atacama will pick us up at 10AM, we waited till 1030AM and decided to just pay another Bus company and leave for Atacama.

Johanna basically lied and misled us about the entire trip. John was rude and useless. He didn’t help with anything and didn’t give us any information about anything. He was most interested in racing other cars and listening to music. He has no clue how to click Pictures or what Volcanoes are around the area. He even mixed up the names of the Lagoons and kept giving us incorrect information. He has a nasty attitude and is extremely careless. I am thankful he didn’t get us in a wreck or something horrible happened to us while on this trip. In the end, we all were praying to safely reach our destinations. He is a useless guide and an extremely bad Driver. His threw a tantrum he 3rd day which made us suffer. He told us he has been doing this job for 4 years. I am shocked, if I was the owner of this company, John will never be hired. And if by some chance he is hired, he will be FIRED after the very first trip he takes.

BEWARE. Only good thing about Huracan is that Johanna speaks decent English. When you reach Uyuni and if you are approached by Johanna, SAY Thanks and walk away.

Consider yourself warned. HURACAN Tour Operador and JOHN “Driver/Guide” will potentially SPOIL one of the best experiences of your life.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Graz, Austria
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Travel scam with Cordillera Tours”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

To make it clear, this review is not about the salt flats itself, because the stunning scenery in the flats and lagunes would deserve 4-5 stars. Its about the fact that the trip there in many cases like ours is spoilt by people being unfriendly and not telling the truth. It started in the morning when we booked the tour. We paid around 700 bolivianos with cordillera tours and were guaranteed 6 people maximum in the jeep. Some monutes before we left we were told that we are only allowed to bring one big luggage not to overload the jeep. Later on we found out why: They took 7 people and two of them had to transfer to san pedro. At the booking we were informed that we were probably not able to se the hot springs and geysirs on the last day due to snow but they provided us an alternative route which now turned out to be impossible due to the transfer. They also didnt tell us that we have to pay the 150 bs national park fee only because our accomodation around 5p00 m into the park even though we couldnt see anything else inside. When we asked the driver if we could go to another accomodation he refused to answer properly, got pissed and didnt answer other questions the rest of the day which was especially bad for people that wanted details about the transfer to san pedro since the original way was blocked by snow. In the end the driver told us we can go to the geysirs. So we paid the fee. It turned out to be a lie to make us pay. We went a bit further only to turn around due to snow... We also had two vegetarians, who got a confirmation for veggie food on the first morning but were still served beef for the first lunch. After complaining they got vegetarian options the rest of the way.
The positive things were a beautiful scenery and nice people on the tour. Still i heard that problems are common on uyuni tours. If you have time go on a 4 day tour from Tupiza. Friends of mine did it and were amazed.
Uyuni itself is an ugly place with unfriendly people that you should only use for bookings. Dont stay over night if possible.
If you are coming from or going to la paz go with turismo the most reliable company. We went to sucre with ttans emperadir and it was again a pure lie. They told us in the travel agency that its direct, with heating and blankets. It turned to be neither heating or blanket. We got a blanket after complaining. But the worst was that we had to change in Potosi without further notice at 1 am. First into a random car. Then again to a minibus. There we met some people that told us they even had to go into cargo with tge bus company Bolivar from La Paz to Uyuni for several hours due to double booked seats...

Visited June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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