Days
6
Price from
$1,595AUD

Take a 4WD safari across the jaw-dropping landscapes of Bolivia.

Perspective-bending salt plains, bone-tingling hot springs, snow-capped desert volcanoes, remote villages, friendly Bolivianos, mummy caves and proper witches. This action-packed Bolivia bash has it all and more. All you need is a 4WD. Check. And a taste for adventure. Check!

Hot tip: head to Mercado Lanza in La Paz for scrumptious pastry snacks called saltenas and tucumanas, if you know what’s good for you.


Start
La Paz, Bolivia
Finish
La Paz, Bolivia
Country
Bolivia
Code
GSAD
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18 , Max 99
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Ever dreamt of walking on water? Now’s your chance. Kind of. The sprawling salt lakes of Bolivia serve up some seriously mind-bending photo opps

  • The Train Cemetery at Uyuni will send a shiver down your spine. Who would have thought dead machines could be so… charming? Must be that romantic desert skyline

  • Ancient mummies don't just exist in Hollywood movies. See some real ones in the Coquesa Caves – at the foot of a dormant volcano, no less

  • The trippy ‘Salvador Dali Desert’ is named that for a reason. Dali probably didn’t a have a 4WD this sweet though

  • Get amongst the weird and wonderful in La Paz, from the strange brews of the witches’ market to the tasty treats of Mercado Lanza

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a proper adventure, and can be tough going. There will be long travel days in 4WDs on dusty washboard tracks, basic toilet facilities and multishare accommodation. However, without a doubt, this amazing journey will be one of the highlights of your trip to South America.

  • It can get seriously cold out there in the desert. Make sure you're prepared for all elements, especially the freezing cold.

  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, so it's important to read up on the risk of altitude sickness. See the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more information.

  • This Extension is a ‘join in’ group departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Geckos group leader – our local representative fills this role – and the configuration of any fellow travellers in the group might change during the trip. You may join likeminded travellers that have booked through other companies and they may be older than 29 years old.

  • This trip will run with a minimum of one person, so you may be joined by other travellers booked on the same date as you, or you may be on your own.

Itinerary

Kamisaki! Welcome to Bolivia. Today is an arrival day, so there's nothing planned until an important welcome meeting at 6 pm in the hotel with your local representative. Look for a note in the lobby or ask reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so make sure you have these handy. If you're going to be late, please let the hotel know. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you might like to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today take a flight from La Paz to Uyuni. The flight time will be advised at your evening meeting on Day 1. Arriving in Uyuni feels a bit like you've reached the end of the road, which in many ways is true. This remote small town sits on the edge of the high altiplano, a wilderness that extends for hundreds of kilometres towards the border with Argentina and Chile. So it's hardly surprising that the town has a bit of a wild west feel about it. Uyuni is best known for its proximity to the Bolivian salt flats known locally as the Salar de Uyuni. The town was once a distribution hub for trains carrying minerals on their way to Pacific Ocean ports. In the 1940s, the mining industry collapsed and many trains were abandoned. Depending on when you arrive into Uyuni, you'll visit the Train Cemetery either today or tomorrow. Spanning over 12,000 square kilometres, and heaving with around ten billion tonnes of salt, Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest saltpan, and there are plenty of opportunities for perspective-bending photographs with your group (using props really adds to it). 
Stop by the small town of Colchani, where you'll see how locals farm and process salt from the Salar. After you'll visit Isla Wasi – a rocky, cactus and coral-like structure covered island erupting from the monotonous salt crust like a hallucination.

Note: If you're travelling between December and April (the wet season), please see the 'Important Notes' section of the trip notes.
Accommodation
  • Dormitory (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Full-day 4x4 tour of Salar de Uyuni including a visit to Isla Inca Wasi
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Drive through the spectacular landscape of the Atacama Desert, which is sprinkled with other-worldly volcanoes and lakes. During this drive you’ll reach an altitude of approximately 4,900 metres above sea level, so it’s important to revisit the notes on altitude sickness (please see the ‘Is This Trip Right For You?’ and ‘Health’ sections of the trip notes). Stop by Laguna Colorada, a rich red lake vividly coloured by algae and rich minerals. Perhaps one of the strangest sights in such an arid and inhospitable landscape is the abundant wildlife, with llamas, flamingos, vicuñas, and foxes frequently making appearances on the Altiplano.

Notes: Accommodation in the desert is basic. Shower facilities can be unreliable and cold, as the pipes often freeze in the winter months. Electricity is generated by solar panels, so there won’t be enough power to charge electronic devices. The Desert is at high altitude and can experience extremely cold weather, particularly at night. In the rainy season, the itinerary may need to be altered depending on the accessibility of roads. Be aware, this trip can be tough going. There will be long travel days in 4WDs on dusty washboard tracks, freezing temperatures, basic toilet facilities and multishare accommodation. However, without a doubt, this amazing journey will be one of the main highlights of your trip to South America.
Accommodation
  • Dormitory (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning we will visit the picturesque Laguna Verde (Green Lake) a mineral salt lake, located 4300 metres above sea level at the foot of Volcano Licancabur.
Apart from incredible vistas and snow-capped volcanoes, the arid landscape of the Atacama Desert also hosts some stunning natural hot springs. We'll stop at one of the desert’s natural thermal baths. Soak in the soothing outdoor baths and watch steam rise from the water against the morning sun. Afterwards hop back into the 4WD and travel back to Uyuni, passing geysers and volcanic vents along the way. Back in town, wander around the streets of this remote settlement and chill out before heading back to La Paz tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Catch a morning flight (included) to La Paz and enjoy a free day to explore this incredible city's irregular-shaped streets and alleys at your leisure. Perhaps pay a visit to the intriguing Witches Market (Mercado de Hechiceria), stop in for an impromptu tour at the La Paz Chocolate Factory, or try some empanadas at the Mercado Camacho. Maybe head to the Mirador Killi Killi Lookout, located on top of a steep hill in the neighbourhood of Villa Pabon, and one of La Paz’s most impressive viewing points. Nearby is the National Museum of Ethnography and Folklore, which exhibits a wide collection of stunning works that takes you through Bolivian history. Toast the end of your high plains adventure with a glass of api and plate of chicarron.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Visit to Galaxy Cave
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Your trip comes to an end this morning. Flights can depart at any time, as there are no activities planned for today.
At Geckos, we're always looking for ways to improve our trips, and your feedback can really help. It tells us what we're doing right and what improvements could be made to help future travellers choose and enjoy Geckos. At the end of your adventure, it would be great if you could take a few minutes to complete our on-line feedback form. Just go to https://bookings.geckosadventures.com/bookings/en_AU/feedback/. We’d love to hear what you have to say!
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners

Transport

4x4, Plane

Accommodation

Dormitory (1 night), Hotel (4 nights)

Included Activities

  • Full-day 4x4 tour of Salar de Uyuni including a visit to Isla Inca Wasi
  • Visit to Galaxy Cave

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

Jump to a departure month

Important notes

EXTENSION TRIP:
This Extension trip is a ‘join in’ group departure, which means you are not accompanied by an Geckos group leader – our local representative fills this role – and the configuration of any fellow travellers in the group might change during the trip. You may join likeminded travellers that have booked through other companies and they may be older than 29 years old.
This trip will run with a minimum of one person, so you may be joined by other travellers booked on the same date as you, or you may be on your own.

WET SEASON ITINERARY ALTERNATION
From December to March during the wet season it’s likely we will not be able to cross the Salt Lake due to flooding, therefore your itinerary will be altered slightly and alternative activities will be scheduled.
During this time there are countless photo opportunities. The water covering the slat lakes creates a mirror effect.The mirroring effect of the water results in the striking illusion of there being two skies, two sunsets and two sunrises.
You will still have a full day on the salt lake and it will be mainly spent driving around searching for best photos.
The night usually spent in the Salt Lake hotel will instead be spent in the hotel in Uyuni town.

BOLIVIAN VISA FOR U.S CITIZENS
Nationals from the United States need a visa to enter Bolivia and you we highly recommend you obtain this visa in advance from your nearest Bolivian consulate or Embassy. Not obtaining the visa in advance is likely to cause long delays at the border.
Please see the visa information on these trip notes for more information.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.