Thursday, 15 August 2013
Salar de Uyuni
The Salt Flats of Bolivia lie near the border to Northern Chile. You can book tours to go and visit them from La Paz and other Bolivian towns. Some of the most popular are three day tours which leave from Uyuni. You can get buses to Uyuni quite easily. I got an overnight bus from La Paz and stayed in Uyuni for the night. Be prepared though, hostels are more expensive here and it is cold!
The actual tours, you go in a small group of four or six in a 4x4 and spend the entire tour with those people.As you travel at your own pace, you don't really see many other people when you are driving over the flats and through the mountains.
There are not many things that separate the different tours and it really is hit and miss as to who it turns out. The one that I was on, the second night there was no hostel booked for our group so we had to stay in a really horrible hostel. I was feeling very well either so I was not impressed when we got told we had no where to stay. The guides you have don't necessarily speak English so try and make sure you travel with someone who is fluent in Spanish. Even if the tour operator says the guides are bilingual it isn't necessarily so.
You do go through some stunning countryside, it's a shame you can't get out and walk around a bit more. You are pretty much in the 4x4 all the time. I opted to get a tour which dropped you in Chile which was good. You got picked up at the border and taken to a near by Chilean town.
I thought the tour was a really good way of seeing the sights and crossing the border. I wouldn't do anymore than the three days though.