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“Great experience on tour to Uyuni with Colque Tours, leaving and returning to San Pedro de Atacama” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Colque Tours - Day Tours

Colque Tours - Day Tours
Ranked #13 of 35 Tours in Uyuni
Attraction details
Sao Paulo
Level Contributor
147 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 79 helpful votes
“Great experience on tour to Uyuni with Colque Tours, leaving and returning to San Pedro de Atacama”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

I've just returned from a three day trip with Colque Tours to Uyuni, leaving from San Pedro de Atacama. I had read several reviews on this and other tour companies going to Uyuni, and I must confess I was really scared... all of them seemed aweful!

I've decided to take the tour with Colque because they were one of the few companies doing the tour during the first days of 2013, when there was a problem on the border in Bolivia and the regular tours were canceled by most of the other companies.

Some of the good points of my experience:

- no luxury, but no over promisse. the hotel we stayed at in Uyuni was clean and had hot water and comfortable beds. Didn't feel cold at all at night.
- my 4x4 in Bolivia was a Lexus 97, with seat belts and great seats.
- the driver/guide was a 26 year old guy called José, great guy, very nice and caring
- the owner of the company, Felix Colque Ramos, is a character - very fine guy, who'll make the best to please you. I understand some people found him rude - he's just a straightforward Bolivia old man, and if you don't speak Spanish it'll surely be more difficult to get along with anyone in that part of the world.
- the views are amazing and we had enough time to enjoy all the sites of contemplation
- the food was decent, we didn't feel hungry at all

Downsides:

- crossing the border from Chile to Bolivia and from Bolivia to Chile takes up to three hours (if you're lucky you'll make it in 1:30h)
- there're no actual roads - it's mostly dirt roads and lots of dust.

All in all, our experience with Colque Tours was certainly good, and comparing them to all other tour companies, I believe the best part is that they're Bolivian and not Chilean, which makes your life easier on the border crossing.

Besides, they've been operating for 20 years - the longest among all... certainly, that's why they get more reviews than the others, but don't feel scared!

Enjoy your time in beautiful Uyuni!

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank jcpastore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Belo Horizonte, MG
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“BIG MISTAKE! Do not EVER book with Colque Tours! They will steal your money!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2013

They will steal your money!

I've booked via internet, have payied 50% of 187 U$ Dollars in advance and when I arrived in San Pedro de Atacama, the agency was closed. I had no information about my tour (booked for the 25th december), but I've decided to do my part of the deal. On the next day I've waited outside my hostel from 5am to 6am and nobody came. No surprise about that, since they had no ideia where I was staying (they haven't asked before. Esther, from the La Paz office thought it wouldn't be necessary).

On the 25th december the office in San Pedro was open and a woman named Cecilia told me that I was wrong nd that they wouldn't gave me my money back, She told me the driver of Colque Tours went to my hostel (how???) two times and that I was not there (impossible). There was a lot of headache and discussion. After I've showed an email I've wrote to the office in La Paz at 5:50 am of the 25th december, Cecilia spoke to a guy on the phone and they've agreed to give 85 of the 90 dollars back. The problem: they money would be payied via Bolivia, since they were responsible for my booking. Now Bolivia is saying the same old [--], that the mistake was mine and that they will not give my money back. Great, isn't?

Do yourself a favour: do not EVER book with Colque Tours, They will steal your money.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank Glaucimara84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manchester
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“DO NOT go with Colque Tours!!!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2012

We've had a terrible experience with Colque Tours at the end of JULY on our Bolivian Salt Flat Tour from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile to Uyuni. We booked the tour through STA. We were misinformed of where to meet the tour by the owner of Colque thus missed our trip. If you have any issues with this company, do not believe anything they say they will do to rectify a situation. They said they would drive us to meet our tour wherever they were and when that was never arranged, they said they would arrange accommodation for us and accept any other additional costs due since we were now delayed an additional day. We never heard back from the owner and thus had to do everything ourselves and absorb the costs. We did however receive excellent help from the Colque receptionist Sheryl who will remain a good friend. The difficulties with Colque unfortunately didn't end there as when we did finally go on our trip, our driver was very DRUNK on the first day. He insisted that he was not drunk and was willing to continue driving us. It reached a point where we ended up having to put the driver in the back seat where he soon passed out and my husband drove for the next 3:30 hours. During this time, my husband had to endure difficult 'roads' at very high altitude while we received verbal abuse from the driver every time he woke up. We found out from other drivers/tours the first night that our driver and colque tours are notorious for this kind of thing. Unfortunately we missed a few stops that afternoon because we didn't know where to go and simply had to get ourselves safely to the hostel. Luckily our driver was fine for the rest of the trip however we had to continually check he wasn't accessing any drinks and getting sleep throughout the day. These guys are overworked and drive long hours. Watch how your driver is doing no matter what tour company you go with. This trip was very unfortunate as Bolivia was one of the most beautiful places we had ever seen. I will say that they're day trip to Mooon Valley in the Atacama desert was good but other members of our salt flat tour had continual issues with Colque. For example, 2 girls in our group booked a tourist bus from Uyuni to La Paz through Colque and found out on the day that Colque never actually reserved them a place, nor reimbursed them for it. Though some people had some good experiences with Colque, there are more negative experiences and the danger they are willing to put you in is not worth the prices. If you book through other agencies like STA, find out who the operating company is first.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank mvigier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Broughton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Excellent tour in beautiful places”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 29, 2012

I feel really bad that some people have had bad experiences with Colque Tours, as my tour was absolutely excellent. I hope this is down to them learning from past bad reviews.

We were picked up and taken to the border where we met our guide (Saul) and the family we were sharing the jeep with. We had absolutely no problems with the transport - and Saul was an excellent guide. He stopped loads so we could take photos and was really informative. He was really keen to help us take good photos as well!

The accommodation is simple and cold, but we were expecting this and came prepared. The food was also basic, but very edible and after a day in a jeep entirely appreciated! Despite the cold, we had a good night sleep and the next day we were taken to Uyuni. Staying in Uyuni turned out to be good (some of the salt hotels are bad for the salar, we discovered), as we got up really early to see the sunrise. We even managed to change our programme as the family we were with didn't want to get up early. The guides let us switch jeeps so we could go.

The only negative thing was that on the second night at the hotel in Uyuni there were no vegetables or anything to drink at dinner. When we asked why we had glasses the lady just shrugged her head. I can only assume that this is because the cooking there had been left up to the hotel staff and not our guides, as the rest of our food on the trip was served with salad and drinks!

I really hope people read this review and give Colque Tours a chance - I had a fantastic time and would definitely recommend them!

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Josie W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tours, France
Level Contributor
187 reviews
64 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 125 helpful votes
“What a Joke...”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2012

Definately cheaper and here is why: When we got to border crossing Colque had no jeep for 7 people so we had to go with some guy from another agency who had a 7 seater (bearing in mind his jeep was already having a few problems). To be fair the first day was fine, saw everything planned , the meals were good and the accomodation was as expected, simple and cold. The only problem here was that there were no sleeping bags for hire or oxygen bottle in jeep which was not what we'd been told. From this point it al went downhill: 2nd day we did not take the route we were supposed to so didnt see half the villages and our "guide" (just a driver) took us straight to uyuni to sleep in a hotel instead of sleeping in a salt hostal in the salaar... We were given at least 5 different excuses as to why we couldn't sleep in salaar. We were the ONLY tour who had to sleep in Uyuni (which btw is the biggest dump to put it politely).So ok we got a hotel instead with hot water: lies again. We were then asked if the next day we wanted to do sunrise on the salaar or not, of course we all said yes as we were already supposed to have done sunset, next scam: they cancelled our lunch because we did sunrise instead... NOT PART OF THE DEAL! I would like to add that 2 people on our tour booked the ride back to san pedro on 4th day and they had to go elsewhere to book transport because colque had no petrol or driver available to take them back.To top it all when we complained it was like talking to a brick wall,don't expect compensation they are liars, thieves and just a total joke...

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank mel1637
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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