I’d managed to visit the Salt flats the previous day (previous blog post) for the sunset, before beginning my 3 day tour which would take me through the incredible landscapes of southern Bolivia. We would travel through completely untouched and unoccupied lands, driving past flamingos, vicunas, ostriches, red lakes, green lakes, blue lakes, steaming geysers and volcanic peaks. It was an incredible journey, and I’d love to come back with my own transport and the freedom to be at some of these locations for the sunrise or sunset.
I chose Andrea tours (800BOB – £75), having arrived mid afternoon on a sunday all the tour agencies were closed so I had to find an available tour on the following morning, and leave that same day. I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend the company I went with, the guide did the job, took us everywhere, but never went out of his way to show us anything. For instance we didn’t get to go out to where the shallow water on the Salar de Uyuni is, where you can witness the surreal, perfect reflections (see previous blog post), not far from the Hotel de Sal. For me this wasn’t a big deal as I’d been out there the evening before, but the rest of the group hadn’t. The other criticism was that we left Uyuni at exactly the same time as a lot of other tour groups, and since all were following exactly the same itinerary it meant we were arriving at every location along with 15 other 4×4’s, if you wanted a little more tranquility at these beautiful landscapes you might like to consider starting the tour from the less visited Tupiza (also where Butch Cassidy ended up).
I did a mini photo-essay of shots of Oscar, my driver and the road ahead during the tour, which can be seen below, I liked how his expression was so consistent, yet the landscape around was changing so much. With the Nikon 14-24mm it was just about possible to fit it all in.
Logisitically this tour works perfectly for those, myself included, who plan to carry on south into Chile, as the car drops off passengers at the border checkpoint (get the Bolivian exit visa stamped in Uyuni to save time). From there we caught a bus down the road to San Pedro de Atacama…