We have dreamed of going to Uyuni for many years now. And now that the time has finally come, we did our due diligence by researching on this site and others to find the good companies, from the multitude of companies that offer tours. We saw many horror stories from people that went with different companies. My research pointed towards Quechua Connections as being the tour company to give most likely the best service. So we reserved our tour several months ahead of time. The bus from La Paz was an adventure in and of itself. Leaving at 8:00 PM, the road was fairly well maintained until Oruro. From that point on for the next 300 miles it was nothing but sand and mud. Several times the bus had to cross actual rivers and one time a fairly large lake. But the driver knew exactly what to do and how to avoid getting stuck in the mud and sand, and at about 9 AM we safely arrived in Uyuni. We showed up at the Quechua Connections office. Even though we had reserved months ahead of time, we were the only two people there scheduled for the tour for that day. They said we needed to fill the vehicle with six people in order to take off on the tour, if not they would send us to a different company. I was hoping that would not happen. By 11:00 AM, the scheduled departure time, four other people had found their way onto the tour. So we were ready to go. The owner, Jose, said that because it was the rainy season the original itinerary had to be modified a little bit because some of the salt flat was flooded. Not a problem. For a driver/guide we were assigned Jose Manuel.
It was a three day two night tour. The first day we toured some giant cactus areas, and spent the entire afternoon at the Salar. The Land Rover easily handled the 6 inches of water that we had to drive through to get to the Dry salt area. We took turns three at a time sitting on top of the vehicle the roof of the vehicle as we were driving through the water. It was super fun. Took a lot of pictures of the cloud formations reflected in the water where you couldn't tell where the sky ended and the water began. Very beautiful. Then we made it to a vast area of dry pure salt. We explore the area, including a salt hotel, that is now a museum. And we took the famous funny pictures that Uyuni is famous for because of the lack of depth perception. José Manuel prepared us our lunch which was llama stake, quinoa, vegetables, and dessert, which we ate in a restaurant constructed completely out of salt bricks. We stayed and watched a beautiful sunset over the Salar, and drove to our first night accommodations. To say that the accommodations were basic is an understatement. I won't go into too much detail about the rest of the food or accommodations. But hey, this is Bolivia. If you want the Ritz, then book the Ritz. If you want to see some of the most amazing scenery on the surface of the earth, you're going to have to rough it, but by all means you must see remote Uyuni.
The second and third days we saw many different lagoons, each one with a different color, based on the chemical composition of the water and the surrounding land. Beautiful volcanoes reflected in pristine lakes. Herds of wild llama and vicuña. Hundreds of flamingos at close range. Geysers and other geothermal features in the land that you could step right up to if you wanted to. The list goes on and on. The third morning we stopped at a thermal Hot Springs and bathed and it felt good to get the salt and dirt off our bodies. José Manuel did his very best to make sure that we got to see the very best. He bent over backwards to make sure that each of the guests were very pleased with all of the sites and activities. He explained everything with thorough knowledge, prepared meals and snacks, he knew all the roads and pathways, and had spare parts for his vehicle, and made sure number one that we all had tremendous fun and enjoyed the beauty of the natural surroundings. And he was a very safe driver. A very nice man. A good cook, good photographer, and did not drink. By the end of our tour, all six of us felt like family.
If you want to see one of the most beautiful and interesting places on earth, go to Uyuni. And if you want to take the best tour company, one that will not let you down, then you must select Quechua Connections. About $120 US per person for 3 day 2 night tour, food and accommodation (so to speak) included. All six of us left the tour with big smiles hugs and very pleased by our decision to use this company.
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