Had a wonderful few days exploring the salt flats, deserts and lagoons of the Andes as part of a 4 day private tour with Andes Salt Expeditions. Everyday I thought the view couldn’t get any more dramatic, but everyday we saw new highlights and scenery like nothing I’ve ever seen before.
So first off, we decided to do a private tour because we figured we could tailor our itinerary, spend more time in some places and less in others etc. Andes Salt Expeditions and our guides were very flexible and helpful with this. At no time did we feel rushed or pressured to move on and the route we took minimised turning up at the same time as everyone else. This meant that on some days we didn’t see any other tourists at all!
We saw so many things and there are too many to detail them all, but a few of the standouts for me included:
The train graveyard, I was expecting one or two rusting steam engines, but seeing them stretch to the horizon was another thing.
The Salt Flats, of course! Never seen anything like it in my life. Just vast, beautiful and empty.
The Siloli Desert, and staying in the Hotel del Desierto Ojo de Perdiz. It looked like part of another planet, and staying in a tiny piece of civilization there was magical.
The whole thing was brilliant and our guides (Abel, Israel) and driver (Oscar) were awesome and made the experience. They were very knowledgeable, friendly and entertaining, and they went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we had a good time. For example, Israel and Oscar insisting we get good photos of the night sky and spending time in the freezing cold getting the camera setting right, while we stayed in the warmth of the land rover. Or when Abel spotted a hole in the Salt Flats so stopped to find us a beautiful salt crystal. They also took good care of us, from bringing along a gas heater for one of the hotels which didn’t have any, to making sure we got across the border with Chile at the end, when it looked like it was about to be closed due to bad weather. All in all they did a top notch job - thank you very much guys!