There are only a few places on earth that leave you speechless. Driving with a 4×4 jeep through the Atacama Dessert towards Salar de Uyuni was one of those moments for me. The incredible landscapes of Chile’s Atacama and Bolivia’s Dessert are like no other place on earth. Its Volcano tipped horizons, beautiful lagoons and breathtaking night skies are the perfect match to escape reality and explore the unknown. Every minute you will be amazed by the landscapes around you, it will turn you into a storyteller!
How to get there
International guests should fly to Santiago de Chile and afterwards take a flight to Calama. From the airport you can take a shared taxi, this is very cheap and effective. They will drop you off at your Hotel and you have a return ticket to get back to the airport. If you are arriving from La Paz, Bolivia you can take a night bus from La Paz to Uyuni and start your tour there.
There is 90% of sun during the whole year. Depending on the season your traveling it can get very cold at night and in the mornings/evenings. TIP: Make sure to pack some thick sweater, a lot of layers for during the day (since it can get warm in the afternoon) and a good sleeping bag.
Me and my friend, Marie booked our trip with World White Travel. We booked the “Uyuni Salt Flat Colective Tour/ 4 days and 3 nights” because we had to get back to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. You also have the option to go for San Pedro to Uyuni and continue your trip there. worldwhitetravel
The trip is really not expensive and just amazing, it is not luxurious but that doesn’t matter. Just make sure you have your own sleeping bag and you will be fine.
First day: Departure is at 7:30, they will pick you up at your hostel/hotel in San Pedro de Atacama until Bolivia’s frontier. You go to the Bolivian High Plateau, Laguna Blanca and Laguna Verde. I can’t describe how it looks and feels so I’m going te let you see for yourself.
After this our journey continued to the Salvador Dali desert, hot springs, sun geysers and Laguna Colorada.
Second day: we visited the Siloli Desert, the Tree of Stone (big volcano rocks). After this you will visit incredible high plateau lakes (Honda, Chirarcota, Hedionda and Cañapa). At night you will sleep at the Hotel of Salt (everything: tables, chairs, you bed, .. is made out of SALT!!). TIP: make sure you have an extra battery charger for you camera, Iphone, .. because you will not be able to charge you devices in every hostel.
TIP: Nowhere on earth is better for stargazing that the dessert, just take a 500m walk out of your hostel, lay down on the ground an watch some shooting stars.
Third day: Today is THE DAY you will finally go to Salar de Uyuni, you will leave early in the morning (which is super cold so make sure you have some warm clothes with you) and drive towards the salt flat. The sunrise is incredible and indescribable. Make sure before your trip you have some nice gadgets with you to have some “optical illusion fun” at Salar de Uyuni.
Where to stay in San Pedro
At our arrival in San Pedro we searched from some hostels. San Pedro is not super cheap so it make take you a while to find something decent/cheap.
What to do in Atacama
In Atacama you can do several treks, by car, bicycle or horseback ride. The last day of our trip we rented 2 bicycles and went to the Cejar lagoon, just south of San Pedro. It was a two hour trek by bike. TIP: take enough water with you, sunblock and a hat. This small lagoon, a natural pool with a high quantity of salt makes it impossible to swim. Just lay back in the water and enjoy the views of Salar de Atacama and the Andes.
Make time for the great outdoors and don’t forget to escape to the unknown once a while!