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“The best tourist experience of my life!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni
Book In Advance
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$99.00*
and up
Private Uyuni Salt Flats Night Tour from Uyuni
Ranked #1 of 35 things to do in Uyuni
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The world's largest salt plain is a popular and scenic destination for tour groups.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“The best tourist experience of my life!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2013

My wife and I went on a three-day tour with Quechua Connection. It was amazing (partly, also, because we just had a fantastic group of people). Jose, our guide/driver/cook is an awesome guy, very professional but super cool and witty, we enjoyed his company. Apart from standard things, he took us to places where no one else goes which made us feel very special (sunset at Phia-Phia, star watching and partying in a middle of night...)

For three days we saw a variety of natural wonders. It's not only surreal Salar and cactus island - the tour is full of places that can make you just... emotional. At least, you don't see anything similar in Europe. We thought whether a 3-day tour is worth it - for us, it definitely was!

Take a good wind-proof jacket (it's super windy sometimes), sun cream (of course) and some cream you can put in your nostrils (the air is pretty dry).

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Omakapuje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
24 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Book your Uyuni trip upon arrival at Uyuni for the best deal”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 19, 2013

Bus to Uyuni from La Paz:
We booked our own Semi-cama (recliner seats but not fully reclined) bus trip from La Paz directly at the bus station with 'Trans Omar' for 100 boliviano (there was a toilet onboard) one way. Local agencies here recommended booking either with Trans Omar or Todo Turistico. Todo Turistico is supposed to be an awesome bus company as we heard from other travellers that there were toilets on the bus and you also got dinner and breakfast in your cama bus (full recline, 3 seats across) for 240 bolivianos. The semi-cama bus was comfortable, but we decided to book the Cama bus instead (fully reclined seats with only 3 seats across rather than 4 seats across in the Semi Cama) on the way back still with Trans Omar. This cost 150 boliviano and was much more comfortable. Do make sure you book your bus back to La Paz when you arrive at Uyuni as they sell out fast.

Only downside is that these tickets are sold as having a toilet onboard but based on our experience and discussions with other travellers the Cama bus of Trans Omar does not have a toilet on-board. They do stop once for a toilet stop where there is a public toilet, but you could also go to the toilet on a random street in the dark for free. Since the buses generally leave in the evening and arrive in the morning, going to the toilet is usually not too much of an issue since you sleep the whole way. We also didn't find the roads to be as bad as some people have mentioned on Trip Advisor, infact they were only a little bumpy.

Tour duration:
There's a 1 day option as well as a 3 day and 2 nights option. There are so many cool things to see and do on the 3 day tour that if you have the time, I'd recommend the 3 day tour.

Booking an agency:
As your bus usually arrives around 7-7.30am the next day, and most tours leave from about 10:30am in Uyuni, you have about 3 hours to find yourself an agency. Best to do some research online and decide on a few agencies that you will be happy to go with based on reviews. As soon as you arrive, there will be people touting offering you tour packages (you can choose from 1 day or 3 day, 2 nights options). You can have a conversation with them and gauge general prices and understand what is on offer. Avenue Ferroviaria is the main street in Uyuni and a short walk (7-10min) from the bus arrival point where most of the agencies are located.

As most agencies all offer the same package (or variants of it), we came up with the following questions that was important to us and helped differentiate between the agencies:
- How many people are on the trip (don't go for an agency with more than 6 - it won't be a comfortable ride. The more people in your car the more people to help with taking your perspective photos on the salt flats. You'll struggle to get cool photos with only 2 people, 6 is probably a fun number, we had 4 people on our trip.)
- Which countries are they from (you want a good mix of people who speaks spanish and english if your spanish isn't too good because the drives all don't really speak english. We had 2 Brazilians in our 4x4 which made the trip much more enjoyable)
- Is there hot water in the accommodation for the two nights included or do you have to pay 10 boliviano extra (interesting to know, but we didn't shower for the 3 days as it is so cold (from -25 to 0 degrees Celsius) that you will not want to shower
- What kind of 4x4 will you get, the approximate age of the car, state of the tyres (ours was a 2005 Land cruiser which was perfect, you don't want a breakdown situation)
- How old is your driver and have they just come back from another trip (you don't want an inexperienced driver who is tired from excessive driving.

Our Agency:
We ended up picking Senda Andina as a lady came to us as a tout selling her tour at the bus stop. We ended up getting a last minute price of 700 boliviano per person all inclusive (except for 2 park entry fees of 30 boliviano and 150 boliviano per person which is standard across all operators).
We would recommend them as they were a punctual and reliable agency who delivered on everything that they promised. The food was generally good (Night 1: Quinoa soup, llama steak and vegetables for dinner with crepes for dessert, Night 2: Vegetable soup, Spaghetti bolognese, average flan dessert), lunches were generally better (Day 1: Milanese beef with pasta and mixed veges, coke and water. Day 2: packed lunch of chicken and vegetables with rice, potatoes, tomatoes, eggs). Accommodation was really nice on day 1 at the Salt hotel but really average on day 2 at the Los Flamenco hotel. Our driver spoke no english and was a gentleman and well informed. He was also very hygienic when he prepared our lunch as he always wore disposable gloves. He was a very safe driver (almost a little questionably slow at times) but knew the unmarked terrain very well. He also knew the times we were to spend at each attraction to ensure that we made our bus back to La Paz on time.

Useful tips:
- We brought sleeping bags as this made sleeping in the beds much warmer, were quite helpful for the 5am start on day 2 when you're in the car at -25 degrees celcius, and for the bus ride to and from Uyuni. Salt hotels seem to have small holes in the walls which do let in air
- We also brought baby wipes for our baby wipe showers as at that temperature, no one really wants to show in the conditions that you are offered.
- bring all your warmest clothes - it does get pretty freezing
- bring your camera with spare batteries and extra memory cards - there are many cool photos to be taken. If you're into cameras, bring a polarising filter as it's really really bright.
- bring sunscreeen SPF 50+ and sunglasses - the sun is unforgiving
- buy water for 3 days at Uyuni (we brought 6 litres for 2 people) as water is much more expensive if you find it at the attractions.
- bring cool items for your perspective photos (we used a spoon, wine glass, pringles tin, wooly hat)

Highlights for us:
-Flamingos in the red lagoon
-Perspective photos
-Salt hotel
-Generally awesome sunrise and sunsets

Good luck!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
15 Thank Raereen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Go with estrella del sur”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2013

Not sure what to expect in Uyuni we had a day to go check out different places. This place had some ok reviews and when we checked it out it was pretty reasonable prices (750Bs including our transfers to Chile). Our guide Miguel was great and a very safe driver. The car could have improved a little as it had a crack through the windscreen which he would have to put his thumb over every time someone over took us as to make sure no flying rock would make it worse. After a month in Bolivia I actually didn't notice it at first as we have driven in way worse and have gotten used to windscreen cracks.
The first day you stay at a really nice salt hotel with hot water and warm beds but lower your expectations for the second night and make sure you have a sleeping bag as its freezing the second night.
Salt Flats are not to be missed and estrella del sur were a great company overall to see it with.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank JKLC7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
393 reviews
210 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Water mirror”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2013

I loved the Salar de Uyuni, but you have got to be ready for the adventure (the "bathroom" is horrible, the food is so so and the drivers are crazy). The car we took broke down several times and the driver was really late. At least, he took us to the middle of the Salar. Other companies sell you a package and you end up going nowhere close to the center. It is amazing to see what people come up with when taking pictures in the Salar mirror. I'd like to go back in the dry season. It is certainly a very different experience. If I had to give a grade for the whole structure, it would be a "3", but the Salar itself deserves more and that's why I graded it "4".

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Beatriz O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2013

Great place, fun to take pictures because of the crazy perspective. Go with a tour - I recommend Red Planet! They give you tons of cool photo ideas as well. Also try to be there at sunset, so beautiful!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank nicolethompson427
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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