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Best tour operator for Salar de Uyuni

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Best tour operator for Salar de Uyuni

Hi. Me and my girlfriend are going to take the Salar de Uyuni tour in the middle of november. Can anyone recomend a good and safe tour operator that makes the tour from Uyuni and with end station in San Pedro de Atacama.

And I also wonder if it's best to book the tour in advance or go find a tour operator when we arrive in Uyuni.

/Jon

Perth, Australia
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1. Re: Best tour operator for Salar de Uyuni

Hey John,

Although we did the tour from Tupiza, we spent a couple of days in Uyuni 1st intending to do the tour from there. Red Planet is the most expensive but they seemed the most professional (better cars, less people/car and a tasty looking menu). If we'd decided to start the tour from Uyuni, we would have gone with them. If you want to end in San Pedro, just ask the tour operators if it will be possible. It's easy enough to book a tour once you get to Uyuni, no need to book ahead. I spent a fair while trawling through tripadvisor reviews and this is the list of who had some dodgy reviews: Atacama Mystica, Empexsa, Tunupa Tours, Estrella del sur (Expediciones), Cordillera Travels, Tito tours, Iniraymi, Thiago tours, San Andino (too many passengers), Relempargo Turismo ( too many in jeep), Andrea tours, Lago min chin tours, Platinum tours ( too many people), Todo tourista, oasis, Dali. This list of operators might help you narrow down your choice. Good luck - it's an incredible tour :)

Canmore, Canada
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2. Re: Best tour operator for Salar de Uyuni

Hello

I am going to uyuni this july and I spent a lot of time checking forums about the best tour operators. I spoke with UYUNI TOURS BOLIVIA through several emails for a 4 day tour. I was going to book with them even if they kept asking for a 50% deposit through western union. Right before I gave them the payment, I simply asked them how I coud trust them and if they can give me some way of knowing this is not a fraudulous thing (everybody knows western union is not the safest method for someone you don't knoe). They gave me s**t for that and said to go elsewhere if I was not happy. Well that's what I did.

they have a nice website, FB page, they may be as good as they claim, but I never saw any review on the forums so it's kind of weird. I may be wrong, but a serious company will allow paypal/mastercard/visa for security deposit, not sending money through wester union to a dude that I don't know, and especially not be rude to a customer who is cautious.

So besides that deposit, maybe they are a good company but If you can book on-site I guess you can judge better. I also saw good comments on RED PLANET and Empexsa Expediciones, I will probably go with one of them...

Brisbane, Australia
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3. Re: Best tour operator for Salar de Uyuni

I went with Red Planet last October. I lined up a space on a tour back in May and they did not require and payment until I arrived in their office on the morning of the tour. My space was there for me- they even turned other people away before I turned up to pay for mine. I was very happy with the quality of the tour and what they provided.

california
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4. Re: Best tour operator for Salar de Uyuni

You might try to book through Kanoo Tours in La Paz, they can help you with bus/train/or airfare to get to Uyuni. They work with a lot of the backpacker hostels in La Paz so should have uptodate information. They have an option on their website for both budget and midpriced options.

In 2011 I took Blue Line Service and we dropped two people off at the transfer point in Chile.

They do the group tours with overnight stays in salt hotels, with shared bathrooms. Basic but not terrible.

Don't expect gourmet cooking with them, bring some extra protein snacks especially for the last night's dinner. Bear in mind that any opened packaged foods as well as all fresh foods such as produce will be confiscated before you enter Chile.

At that time I paid 700 Bs and the people going to Chile paid 750 Bs. Feel free to negotiate your prices if booking directly. They came down 100 Bs without batting an eye.

Edited: 5:15 pm, July 05, 2013
5. Re: Best tour operator for Salar de Uyuni

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San Francisco...
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6. Re: Best tour operator for Salar de Uyuni

Here's another vote for Red Planet. I confirmed everything with them via email and did not pay anything until I arrived in their office (after they picked me up from the airport). I was extremely happy with my experience. While I'm always looking out for the best value and making sure I get a good deal, it's to important book with a reputable tour company because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You wouldn't want a jenky tour company to screw things up. Good luck! :-)

Madrid, Spain
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7. Re: Best tour operator for Salar de Uyuni

I just came back from Uyuni. I can not single out any tour operator. I have a feeling that there is no real variation as all of them follow the same recipe. The cars look like they leave the same time ans have so similar itineraries and services, it is hard to tell the difference. Being in the Salar is a fantastic opportunity. It is really a very different place with unique beauty. But if you complete the picture with several hundred jeeps running around it surly knocks off some points from the whole experience. .If you have visited remote sites (desert like) before and you have enjoyed the serenity of the place, then the Salar my be short in that respect. So if you find a tour operator that is more likely to avoid the crowds then definitely go with him no questions asked.

Delden, The...
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8. Re: Best tour operator for Salar de Uyuni

My girlfriend and I will visit Bolivia at the end of August.

I read in this topic that lots of you has experience travelling from Tupiza. we don't know to start from Uyuni or to start from Tupiza. I understood that every tour operator is also offering customized trips. Because of lack of time, we're thinking about a 3 day trip from Tupiza to Uyuni, with a couple of hours horseriding in the canyon country included.

Does anyone have experience with a customized 3 day trip? Is it true it takes more time to start with a tour from Tupiza? And does it take much more time to start with a customized trip? And can anyone recommend good tour operators from Tupiza? Does anyone has any experience with La Torre tours?

I know, lots of questions, but every help is welcome!

Mi Wuk Village...
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9. Re: Best tour operator for Salar de Uyuni

Safe? No worries on that. The Bolivian army took out Butch and Sundance. Recommendations often don't do any good. If a tour isn't full at the last minute, the agencies have been known to combine tours so you may end up in another agency's vehicle. No real incentive to book ahead. Given the overall state of transport in Bolivia it is easy to find yourself delayed. You can always book a tour the same day if you take a night bus that gets in early.

Delden, The...
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10. Re: Best tour operator for Salar de Uyuni

Thank you 103billw, it will save time for me to arrive early, but is it possible to combine the salt lake with canyon country? Or is it better to book them separately? Also because you mentioned that tour operators combine tours. Or is it very common to book a customized tour and the tour operators can easily find people who has the same wish?