Uyuni Salt Flats Bolivia To
Salar de Uyuni, southwest Bolivia, in the Andes, is the world’s largest salt flat. It was part of a giant prehistoric Lake Minchin, that dried out, leaving behind nearly 11,000-sq.-km. landscape of stark white salt, rock formations and cacti-studded islands. Its unearthly expanse can be observed from central Incahuasi Island or Isla del Pescado. The Salar is virtually devoid of any wildlife or vegetation but its rich brine pools are major breeding ground for several species of flamingos.
This exclusive Bolivia tour begins in La Paz and then travels Sucre. Set in a valley surrounded by low mountains, it’s known for its well-preserved 16th-century buildings. Southwest, Potosi, once known for its silver mines, has grand churches with ornate colonial architecture, built during its boom years. Further, are the breathtaking Salar de Uyuni. During the rainy season from January to April, the world’s largest salt flat turns into the world’s largest mirror, reflecting heaven on Earth.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 10 DAY BOLIVIA TOUR…
And, experience its Cerro Rico, a ‘Rich Hill’ full of silver.
Bolivia is a fascinating country with a rich history and an interesting mix of traditional Indian and Spanish culture. La Paz is the country’s bustling centre of government whereas Sucre is the official capital, a beautiful city with a year-round spring climate. The remote Salar de Uyuni, a vast, otherworldly expanse, is the world's largest salt flat and Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake on earth.
Sucre, is Bolivia’s most beautiful city and the symbolic heart of the nation. Set in a valley surrounded by low mountains, Sucre enjoys a mild and comfortable climate. Its many well-preserved 16th-century religious buildings, such as San Lázaro, San Francisco and Santo Domingo, illustrate the blending of local architectural traditions with styles imported from Europe.
But it is 16th century town of Potosi that has for so long been of interest. Potosí’s story is wholly tied to its silver. During the boom years, it became the largest and wealthiest city of the Americas. But once the silver dried up, the city went into decline and its citizens slipped into poverty. But Potosí still has its grand churches, ornate colonial architecture. Most of all, its down-to-earth, friendly inhabitants are a real delight.
In southwestern Bolivia, visit the breathtaking Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat. There's even a hotel made of salt on it. The Salar de Uyuni was created when a prehistoric lake dried up and left a salty crust behind. During the rainy season from January to April, the world’s largest salt flat turns into the world’s largest mirror, reflecting heaven on Earth. Salar de Uyuni is our dream destination.
There are no direct flights from Britain to Bolivia. The most direct routes go via Madrid, Miami, Buenos Aires or São Paulo, each of which is connected by daily flights from London; British Airways flies to each of these destinations, and there are numerous other options for both Miami and Madrid. Air Europa, has flights from London via Madrid to Buenos Aires and Lima, from where you can take a connecting flight.
Bolivia Uyuni Salt Flats
La Paz, Sucre, Potosi, Uyuni Salt lake
(10 Day – Travel Any Day)
Day 1 – Arrive
La Paz Meet and greet on arrival at La Paz airport, the highest airport in the world and take a private transfer to your hotel where you can relax and become accustomed to the altitude (over 12, 000 feet above sea level).
Overnight at La Paz hotel.
Day 2 – Easy day to acclimatise
La Paz Take a relaxed and easy day to acclimatise and explore the mysterious City of La Paz and its surroundings where every corner and street, is a hidden treasure. It is an adventure into the pre Hispanic times with all their traditions and magic on its streets. Explore the native, colonial and modern areas; the Indian Market, Open Air Museum of Tiwanaku, Witch Doctor's Market and breathtaking panoramas, all overlooked by the majestic Illimani mountain.
In the afternoon take a private tour to Valle de la Luna. Valley of the Moon is not actually a valley at all, but an eerie landscape of hills and rock eroded into fantastic shapes and deep gullies. Located in the posh Mallasa borough, you will find the highest golf club in the world.
Overnight at La Paz hotel (B)
Day 3 – Transfer
Sucre Private transfer to La Paz airport for your flight to Andes to Sucre. Meet and greet on arrival and transfer to your hotel. This afternoon, enjoy a tour of this beautiful city, known to Bolivians as the 'White City' and the 'City of Eternal Spring', due to its delightful climate. Sights include the impressive monastery of La Recoleta, along with the church of San Francisco and the Casa de la Libertad.
Overnight at Sucre Hotel (B)
Day 4 – City Highlights Tour
Sucre Today explore the delights of Sucre at your own leisure. Stroll through the narrow streets in the well-conserved colonial heart of the city, past majestic houses and numerous churches dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. There are numerous restaurants and great bars to choose from for a traditional evening meal and drink.
Overnight at Sucre Hotel (B)
Day 5 – Scenic Mountain Tour
Potosi Take a scenic two and a half hour transfer through the mountains to Potosi, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was once one of the wealthiest cities in the world with an estimated 40,000 tons of pure silver being mined in the 16th Century by the Spanish from Cerro Rico, the mountain overlooking in the city. All these riches came at an enormous human cost with an estimated 8 million slave labourers dying either in the mountain or from illnesses related to working conditions. Rather a sobering thought as you tour the Casa de la Moneda (Royal Mint) and take a look inside one of the mines that still extracts silver. Return to Sucre.
Overnight: Hotel Coloso (B)
Day 6 – Scenic Journey
Uyuni Salt Lake Today, embark on a long but scenic journey to Uyuni, enjoying a packed lunch en route. Arrive near the famed Uyuni Salt Lake and check into your hotel which has been built entirely out of salt.
Overnight: Hotel Luna Salada (B, L)
Day 7 – Uyuni Desert Tour
Uyuni Salt Lake Set off on a private excursion into the remote Uyuni desert to visit the Frog’s Valley, where wind erosion has created amazing, unusual stone formations. Continue to the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve to see Laguna Colorado, flanked as it is, by mountain lakes, volcanoes and a variety of wildlife.
Overnight: Hotel Girasoles de Uyuni (B)
Day 8 – Uyuni Desert Tour
Isla Pescado Take a full day’s private excursion at the Uyuni Salt. Start with a visit to the salt processing plant at Colchani before your journey to see Isla Pescado, the fish-shaped, cacti-clad island that rises out from the blinding salt flats of the lake. Inka Wasi (the island’s historical name), is located at the centre of the Uyuni Salt Lake forming an isolated oasis-type ecosystem which looks stunningly picturesque against the backdrop of the salt lake. After lunch head to Uyuni airport for your flight to La Paz.
Overnight: Hotel Europa (B)
Day 9 – Depart
La Paz Private transfer to La Paz airport for your flight (B)
The true price is customised based on final choice of hotels, travel dates, and other custom preferences. All prices exclude international flights.
Price Includes: hotels, airport transfers and transportation within the country, unique experiences guided by local experts and 24X7 support during your trip.
Make this your holiday
Overview Bolivia is the highest and most isolated of the South American republics, with stupendous Andean landscapes, which is why this landlocked country is nicknamed ‘the Tibet of the Americas’. In spite of its economic poverty, it has a wealth of remains of ancient civilisations and a fascinating cultural richness. It shares Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, with Peru, Bolivia also boasts the highest capital city in the world, La Paz, sitting on a barren canyon floor 4km above sea level.
Where to go Begin with La Paz, the highest de facto capital (Sucre is its official capital), in the world and one of South America's most fascinating and lively cities. To the west of the city is the country’s most important archaeological site, Tiahuanaco, the civic–ceremonial core of a powerful, self-sustaining empire that held sway from 400BC to between 1000 and 1100AD. Imagine a regal city of multi-terraced platform pyramids, courts, temples, monolithic statues and urban areas, all once painted, gilded and clad in luxurious textiles.
Just north of La Paz the Andes plunge precipitously down into the Amazon basin through the deep, lush valleys of the Yungas. The best base for visiting the Amazon is the town of Rurrenabaque, close to the near-pristine rainforests of Parque Nacional Madidi and the wildlife-rich Río Yacuma.
South of La Paz, is home to some of Bolivia’s foremost attractions. The former mining town of Oruro, best known today for its annual fiesta, La Diablada (Devil Dance), the most famous in Bolivia. The legendary silver mining city of Potosí offers a treasure-trove of colonial architecture and the opportunity to visit the Cerro Rico mines.
Further south in the Altiplano of Bolivia, is Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt lake. You can drive across the surface, which glints like a mirror, especially after rain. The other lakes all differ in colour and texture, depending on the minerals in the salt. The surface of Laguna Colora (‘coloured lake’) is often completely covered by thousands of St James’s flamingos, whose feathers are exactly the same shade of red, as the lake.
To the north of Potosí, the city of Sucre, (Bolivia’s official capital) is small and elegant, with some beautiful colonial architecture, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. As the home of two of the country's oldest universities, it has a lively cultural scene and several good museums.
Completely different in character to the highland cities, Santa Cruz is a brash, modern and lively tropical metropolis. The city is a good base for exploring the Eastern Lowlands, including the rainforests of Parque Nacional Amboró and the idyllic town of Samaipata.
When to go November - March: This is summer and the rainy season though more pronounced in the lowlands. In the Amazon, road transport can be disrupted though, conversely, river transport becomes more frequent. In the high Altiplano, it rains much less and travel is not as restricted, though delays and road closures still occur but you can get some spectacular photographs of reflections on the salt flats.
April - October: This is winter and the dry season, and is the most popular time of year to travel to Bolivia. The days are usually sunny, and the skies crystal clear, making this the best time of year for trekking and climbing. It is also the best time for visiting the hot and humid lowlands, when temperatures are generally slightly (but pleasantly) lower, although the dry season is less pronounced and rain remains a possibility all year round.
Visas British nationals don’t need a visa to visit Bolivia. The length of stay permitted on entering Bolivia is initially 30 days. This can be extended for a further 60 days, at no extra charge, as long as you apply before the end of the 30 day period at one of the Department of Immigration offices throughout the country. The Department of Immigration has imposed an annual limit for tourists of 90 days in Bolivia without a visa.
Your passport must contain an entry stamp, otherwise you’ll have to pay a fine to leave. If you enter Bolivia overland make sure your passport is stamped on both sides of the border, with an exit stamp from the country you are leaving and an entry stamp on the Bolivian side - you may need to ask for directions to the immigration office. The British Embassy can’t intervene in immigration issues. Make sure you get an entry stamp when you arrive in Bolivia.
Passport validity: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Bolivia.
Visa information source: www.gov.uk