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“Haters be hatin' - but this was a great tour”

Red Planet Expedition - Day Trip
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Day Trip to Uyuni Salt Flats
Ranked #5 of 48 Tours in Uyuni
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed August 20, 2013

We traveled with Red Planet in August and learned after the fact of the negative reviews of Gonzalo, who was our guide and apparently is still there. Contrary to all the haters out there, we had a great tour with Gonzalo who was polite, charming, insightful, and made the trip very enjoyable. Red Planet further took care of my husband's dietary considerations without any advance warning or hesitation. The cars we used were in great condition (we had one flat tire, but hey, that happens), and our driver was excellent. The accommodation was alright - we were warned that night 2 was in a common dorm, which was fine, although one bathroom for two tour groups perhaps a bit too little. Terrific group too. All in all, a great experience, and the Salar is not to be missed. No hesitation to recommend Red Planet, who seem to address the good and bad from their reviews to improve their service.

Thank langurpsoun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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686 - 690 of 939 reviews

Reviewed August 16, 2013

We spent days researching the best travel agency to go with aswe knew this was a once in a lifetime experience and we wanted it to be the best it could be. After doing A LOT of research we decided to go with red planet tours, we thought we were paying a premimum price for the best service but this was not so!

We basically paid the extra money (1200 bolivianos each, almost double what most companies charge) because we thought it would be good to have an English speaking guide, little did we know he would be in another truck so we did not actually get any information from him on the journey and when we did stop he did not even tell us anything about where we were.

Secondly we paid extra money for our transfer to Chile, this also did not materialise! Our guide on the day of the transfer told us we would have to pay him extra money if we wanted to have our transfer, money which we did not have! He was asking for 200 bolivianos per person and told us that was the price of the ticket but when we told him we did not have that much he started screaming in our faces and swearing at us. He threatened to take us back to Uyuni and continued screaming in our faces until he then came up with some lies about exchange rates between Bolivia and Chile and then reduced the price of the tickets!!!!!

When we got to the border he told us he had had a radio messege through from head office (something he had previously told us was impossible) saying that they had actually already purchased our tickets!

We waited at the border until a bus turned up and he loaded us on it saying this was our transport. When we arrived in Chile we were told by the bus company that we hadn't had tickets and that Gonzales our guide had told them thatwe would pay on arrival into Chile.

The company have no form of customer service and despite many people in our group complaining we never heard a word back from red planet.

Basically Gonzales is a massive lair and was completely useless as a guide anyway!

My advice is go with a cheap and cheerful company and you really dont need an english speaking guide anyway.

44  Thank c m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2013

My fiance and I spent a long time researching the Salar de Uyuni tour agency options, and finally booked with Red Planet (which has the best overall score) with some anxiety- we specifically asked Not to have Gonzalez as our guide. We were soon made very happy with our choice. Our guide Oscar was extremely energetic, friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, and speaks excellent English. Our driver Ronald spoke little English but was also unfailingly friendly, helpful, and conversational to the extent allowed by our Spanish- and very importantly, he was a 100% sober and safe driver.

Our tour stopped at many impressive attractions, including the train graveyard, salt mining sites, Isla Incahuasi, several gorgeous flamingo-filled lagoons, volcanoes, rock formations, thermal cauldrons, and hot springs (along the way we saw many llamas and vicunas, as well as an andean fox). At every stop, we were given an in-depth explanation, time to ask questions, and plenty of time to walk around/explore/take pictures. On the salt desert, Oscar spent 1-2 hours helping us take the famed perspective pictures. One thing we really appreciated about the itinerary of the tour is that our group often visited sites well before or after the other agncies' tour groups, so the sites weren't swarmed with people. One highlight was our nighttime visit to the hot springs, which are right next to the second night's salt hostel, so you can soak under the stars before bed. Only our group and one other was there at the time, but the next morning as we were leaving we saw about five or six groups crowded into the springs- it did not look very relaxing.

The food was always surprisingly good; we have been travelling S. America for ten months and have learned not to expect much from tour food, but all our meals on this tour had protein, grains, fruits, veggies, beverage choices, sweets, and best of all, flavor. Accommodation was also better than expected; we bundled up like Eskimos to go to bed, only to end up stripping down from heat; both hostels provide three very thick blankets per bed, and Red Planet provides sleeping bags, plus a hot water bottle on the second night (included in the tour price).

Overall this tour constituted three of the best days of our entire trip and we would absolutely recommend it to anyone. Red Planet may charge a bit more than other agencies, but it is worth every penny. Tour agency aside, the Salar is simply unmissable; sometimes it feels like another planet.. However you end up getting there, be sure to go!

1  Thank poorjharrison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 10, 2013

the tour is factasnic our guide Oscar J is the best guide and driver. thank you RED PLANET, for amazing trip, We had so much fun and recerved great service .Absolutely loved the springs and hot woter bottles on night two , tancks again

2  Thank Uma P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 9, 2013 via mobile

First let me tell everyone that the infamous Gonzalez is no longer working for Red Planet so don't worry about the previous reviews.
Our guide Oscar was knowledgable, passionate and enthusiastic. He made the trip for us.
Also, the food was very good considering where we were.
Highlights - salt flats, cactus island and beers in the hot spring under the stars on the second night. The accommodation for the 2nd night was actually better than expected (a newish hostel).

2  Thank HaiBin_Doh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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