Days
3
Price from
$907USD

Bolivia is a landlocked nation complete with towering mountain peaks, high altitude plains, colonial cities and lush farming lands. With nearly 65 percent of the population belonging to the Aymara, Quechua and other indigenous groups, it is the most ‘Indian’ nation in South America.


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

Why we love this trip

  • If you've ever dreamt of walking on water (well, at least on a lake), this is your chance. Cross the epic white expanse of Bolivia's salt lakes in a 4WD with a local guide

  • You know those trippy photos of tiny travellers standing on spoons and skateboards? They were probably taken on the Salar de Uyuni. So get snap-happy and start bending some perspectives. Remember, there is no spoon...

  • Where does a train go when it dies? To a graveyard of course! Pay your respects to the rusty, abandoned trains at Uyuni's eerie Train Cemetery

  • Ancient mummies don't just exist in Brendan Fraser movies. See some real live ones (well, not exactly 'live' - that would be terrifying) in the Coquesa Caves, which happen to sit at the foot of a dormant volcano

  • Step inside a surrealist painting as you explore the rocky Isla Wasi. Rising out of the salt pans and covered with giant cacti, this is not your run-of-the-mill island. It is WAY cooler

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip travels to some remote places, as well as locations at high altitude (La Paz, for example). Due to the thinness of the air, some people can suffer from altitude sickness. Some aren’t affected at all, but if you are, be sure to drink plenty of water and don’t push yourself too hard. If possible, arrive into Cuzco a few days early to allow yourself time to acclimatise. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information about altitude sickness.

  • You'll be spending a lot of time in a 4WD crossing some bumpy surfaces. This is the best way to see the sights in and around Uyuni and is all part of the adventure.

  • In Bolivia (especially in Uyuni), sometimes things don't go to plan. For example, an attraction may be closed for the day with no notice or reason. Although this doesn't happen very often, please be prepared for the possibility.

  • This trip is not like other standard group trips. Depending on the amount of people wanting to travel, you may join up with like-minded travellers from other companies (who may be older than 39 years old) or travel alone with a guide. Either way, you'll see some of the most fascinating landscapes in South America.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Touch down in lovely, but dizzying, La Paz. Dizzying because it sits at a spectacular 3,660 metres above sea level. Perched on the edge of a canyon and backed by the looming Mount Illimani, La Paz makes sipping a cup of Bolivian tea a jaw-dropping experience. Today is arrival day so there are no activities planned until an important welcome meeting at 6 pm in the hotel with your leader and group. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Eva Palace or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today take a flight from La Paz to Uyuni. You'll be told the flight time at your evening meeting on Day 1. Uyuni has a bit of an 'end of the road' feeling to it, probably because it kind of is. This remote town sits on the edge of the high altiplano, which extends towards Bolivia's border with Argentina and Chile. Trains carrying minerals to Pacific Ocean ports once passed through here. In the 1940s the mining industry collapsed and a lot of trains were abandoned. Depending on what time you arrive into Uyuni, you'll visit a local rusty Train Cemetery (yes, a train cemetary) either today or tomorrow. 

 

Uyuni's salt flats are a 12,000-square-kilometre expanse of perfectly flat salt. Spend a full day exploring the lake by 4WD. Make sure you get some of those awesine perspective-bending photographs with your group (using props really adds to it). Discover the cacti and weird coral-like structures on the rocky island of Inca Wasi and visit the small town of Colchani, where you'll see how locals farm and process salt from the Salar. Head to the tiny village of Jiria at the foot of the Tunupa Volcano, where you'll check out ancient ceramics and a family of mummies in the Coquesa Caves. The mummies have remained untouched for over 1,200 years. At the end of the day, drive to your accommodation on the salt plains.

 

Note: If you're travelling between December and April (the wet season), please see the 'Important Notes' section of the trip notes.
Accommodation
  • Tonito Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Uyuni Salt Flats - Guided tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning travel across the salt flats to the Galaxy caves. Stalactites and stalagmites form floor-to-ceiling columns in this bizarre natural formation. Afterwards, stop for lunch and visit the Pulacayo mine, before heading back to Uyuni. From here, take a flight back to La Paz airport, where sadly your adventure comes to an end. If you need additional accommodation in La Paz and/or a transfer into the city, we'd be happy to help. Just have a chat with your booking agent.

Departure last day:
If your flight is on time, you are expected to land in La Paz airport at about 21.00 (9pm). If you need additional accommodation in La Paz and/or a transfer into the city, we would be happy to assist. Please speak with your booking agent.

If you are booking a departure flight from La Paz for today please ensure it's no earlier than 23.30 (11.30pm)

Note: During the wet season, it won’t be possible to visit the Galaxy caves, although you will see the Pulacayo mine.

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

2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

4WD vehicle, Mini-van, On foot, Plane

Accommodation

Dormitory (1 night), Hotel (1 night)

Included Activities

  • Uyuni Salt Flats - Guided tour

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Share Services:
This is not a group tour. You may join like minded travellers that have booked through other companies and who may be older than 39 years old. If there are no other travellers bookd the same day, you may be travelling with your guide alone.

Trip End Point:
Important: This trip ends at the airport upon arrival from Uyuni on day 3.
Important: If you are booking a departure flight from La Paz for the last day please ensure it's no earlier than 11pm. Alternatively if you wish to fly out earlier please check with us within 30 days from departure and we can advise you what time your flight from Uyuni is due to arrive in La Paz.
We recommend booking a transfer from La Paz airport to town on the final day and an additional night in La Paz. We would be happy book this for you, please speak with your travel agent.

Wet Season: Itinerary Alteration
From December to April 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.

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.