Top
Image Alt

Bolivia/Chile Uyuni Salt Flats and Atacama Desert

Bolivia/Chile Uyuni Salt Flats and Atacama Desert

per person

HIGHLIGHTS

What a journey to be able to see a unique place on earth.

This photography expedition will show you the most important places to see around Uyuni Salt Flats and Atacama Desert.

  • La Paz
  • Uyuni Salt Flats
  • Isla del Sol
  • Astro Photography
  • Wild Flamingos / Alpacas, Viguñas …
  • High Lakes, Geysers
  • Atacama Desert
  • Valley of the moon

Join us for an adventure across otherworldly landscapes and night skies like you’ve never seen before. Andean Photo Expeditions is proud to offer an in-depth exploration of the Bolivian altiplano and the Atacama Desert of Chile.

Take in colorful Lagunas filled with flamingos, the endless white expanse of the Salar de Uyuni, the highest and driest desert in the world, and night sky scenes of unrivaled clarity as we escape civilization on an overland journey through some of South America’s wildest and most remote landscapes.

Travel in 4×4 vehicles across the world’s largest salt flat, hiking on cactus-covered islands of fossilized coral, remnants of a vast inland sea that vanished millennia ago.

Take in sweeping vistas of colorful mineral-rich volcanoes that tower over the world’s driest desert. These destinations offer a plethora of photographic opportunities, perhaps none better than the crystal-clear views of the night sky from our high altitude vantage points far from the big city lights.

Whether you dream of capturing scenes of wildlife grazing in the open plain, snow-capped mountains towering over the desert, or the perfect image of the Milky Way galaxy, this tour is sure to be a feast for your senses and your lenses!

INCLUDES

  • All transports ( Private cars and overland 4×4 vehicles throughout )
    • Flights from La Paz to Uyuni
    • Private Photography/Cultural Guide.
    • Local and licensed guide in La Paz, Uyuni, and Atacama Regions
    • Entrances to all sites and national park tickets.
    • Oxygen bottle in case of altitude troubles.
    • Accommodations from Day 1 to Day 9.
    • Breakfast every day, some lunches and dinners as noted.

WHAT TO BRING

  • Your Photography gear.
  • Warm clothes for the night and the morning ( gloves, beanie, winter jackets, winter socks ) Rain coat in case of bad luck. Good comfortable walking shoes.
  • Headlamp for walking in the dark, essential!
  • Sharp eyes and your smile!
  • PLEASE NOTE: Visa requirements for your country of origin for Bolivia. US
    Passport holders can obtain their visa in advance of the trip or at the airport
    upon arrival.

RECOMMENDED GEAR

  • Mid-range zoom to cover a variety of focal lengths
  • Wide angle for landscape opportunities and astro-photography (f 2.8 or wider works best)
  • Tripod for landscape shots and astro
  • Filters for landscapes (ND, Grad ND and CPL recommended)
1 Review
  • Departure/Return Location
    La Paz, Bolivia
  • Departure Time
    Flexible
  • Return Time
    Flexible
  • What to wear
    Comfortable seasonal clothing & shoes
  • Included
    Accommodation
    Entrance Fees
    Guide
    Local Flights
    Lunch
    Meals
    Photo Assistance
    Transport
  • Not Included
    Extras
    Insurance

Tour Plan

1
DAY 1-Arrival
Pick-up from El Alto International Airport and transfer to our hotel in the heart of La Paz.
The day will be spent at leisure to acclimatize to the altitude. In the afternoon we meet in the hotel lobby with our local guide to discuss the itinerary and plans for each upcoming day. Meals: Breakfast at the hotel upon arrival. Lunch and Dinner on your own. Accommodation: La Casona Hotel Boutique (early check-in is guaranteed)
2
DAY 2-La Paz Photo Day Tour
We will start a small visit of the Bolivian Capital.
Today we take a tour of the highest city in the world. Surrounded by the glacial peaks of the Cordillera Real, La Paz sits at nearly 12,000 feet, with parts of neighboring El Alto surpassing 13,000 feet of elevation. We take in La Paz’s unique architecture and vibrant blend of cultures as we tour La Paz’s open markets, including the famous witches’ market where ceremonial goods hang in storefronts. We stop for lunch in a local restaurant to get a taste of Bolivia’s famous empanadas. After lunch, we visit elevated viewpoints of the city and the surrounding mountains, culminating with a ride on the cable car system. Our day ends with a visit to the southern neighborhoods of La Paz where we’ll enjoy a delicious dinner at Gustu, considered one of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America.
3
DAY 3-Flight to Uyuni Salt Flats
After breakfast at the hotel, we transfer to the airport to take a flight to Uyuni, where we take our first foray onto the Uyuni Salt Flats. Our tour of the world’s largest salt flat begins with a short visit to the famed train cemetery, full of rusting train cars that were once used to transport minerals and people to and from Uyuni. We then continue to the salt-harvesting village of Colchani to see how the locals produce salt.
At last, we drive onto the great Uyuni Salt Flats, visiting the bizarre Incahuasi Island, a mound of ancient coral that is covered in enormous cacti. From this surreal vantage, we get an amazing elevated view of the flats, which stretch like a white sea from horizon to horizon. Our visit is timed to hopefully coincide with recent rains, with any luck we will find an area where the water creates a perfect mirror on the salt flats. There we take in a sunset in the middle of the endless expanse of glittering salt before returning to Colchani to overnight in a hotel built from salt bricks! After dinner in the hotel, we return to the salt flats to take pictures of the sky full of stars and, with luck, the Milky Way.
4
DAY 4-Full Day Uyuni Salt Flats Tour
An early morning pick-up from the hotel will have us on the salt flats to take pictures during the sunrise (coffee will be provided, and warm clothing is recommended!) We return to our hotel for breakfast before visiting the community of Coquesa, situated at the base of the Tunupa volcano. Fields of quinoa and herds of llamas and alpacas provide a foreground for spectacular views of the volcanic cone and the expanse of the salt flats. We take a walk along the volcanic slopes to a burial chamber containing ancient mummies, preserved by the arid climate and the high altitude.
From various viewpoints, we will be able to appreciate the strong colors of the landscape juxtaposed with the immense whiteness of the flats. We enjoy a special lunch in the middle of the salt flats to take before returning to the hotel to take a rest. Another optional night tour will be offered this evening for those who would like to return to the flats one last time.
5
DAY 5-Eduardo Avaroa Reserve
Today our adventure continues through the lunar landscapes of the southern altiplano at Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve. As the country's most visited protected area, the reserve boasts volcanos, deserts, colorful lagoons, and unique Andean wildlife, such as flamingos and vicuñas.
We enjoy a picnic lunch next to one of the region’s multi-colored lagoons, as flamingos flock overhead. We continue our overland journey to Siloli Desert, where we will photograph the unique rock formations created by wind erosion over millennia. Today’s tour finishes with a visit to the brilliant red waters of the Laguna Colorada. We retire to our remote eco- lodge nestled in the high mountain passes of Southern Bolivia for dinner and a well- earned rest.
6
DAY 6-Eduardo Avaroa Reserve
Today we continue our journey to the southernmost part of Bolivia, exploring the Lípez region and the southern extreme of the Eduardo Avaroa National Park. Among our many photo stops are the steaming geysers of Sol de mañana, located at more than 16,000 feet above sea level. We continue to the thermal waters of Polques where the brave among us can enjoy a soak in a natural hot spring. From there we head to the Valley of the Stones before continuing to our hotel in Villamar, built right into the walls of a cave in the style of ancient shelters of the region.
7
DAY 7-Atacama Desert Arrival
In the morning, we will travel through the Dali Desert, named for its resemblance to the work of surrealist artist Salvador Dali.
Afterward, we visit the Emerald waters of the Green Lagoon where the imposing Licancabur Volcano serves as a backdrop. From there we continue to the remote border crossing of Hito Cajon where our Chilean drivers and guides will be waiting to show us the wonders of the world’s highest-altitude desert. They will take us to our lodging in the small town of San Pedro where we have lunch. In the afternoon we visit the otherworldly rock formations of the Valley of the Moon to see our first Chilean sunset. We return to our hotel for dinner and to rest up for our final days!
8
DAY 8-Atacama by Night and Day
We awake early and take breakfast to go for a sunrise shoot at the colorful Laguna Chaxa. We continue our exploration of the Chilean Altiplano with an all-day tour to highland lagoons Miscanti & Meniques with breathtaking views of the volcanoes above and the Atacama below. Take in a sunset shoot of the mountains over the desert before returning to town for our final dinner together. Be sure to save some energy for our final night of astrophotography in the dark skies of the Atacama, complete with a visit to the famous ALMA high-altitude observatory.
9
DAY 9-Sunrise Shoot and Departure
Those who feel up to it can join us for a sunrise shoot in the Cordillera de Sal before returning for breakfast at the hotel and a transfer to Calama airport for departure.

Tour Location

Tour Reviews

We will be grateful for your honest and objective feedback.

10.0

Superb

Overall 0

Tour organization 0

Destination 0

Value for Money 0

Comments

  • LiveAndExperience
    18/02/2022

    See Peru from the lens of a professional photographer!
    I spent 15 days touring Peru and Boliva with our awesome tour guide Pedro. We covered over 3000km and Pedro was there to help every step of the way. He arranged all travel, accommodations and most of our food options throughout the trip. He provided guidance well before the trip in terms of documents we needed, fees, medication, equipment, clothing, etc.

    Everything with Pedro was very well organized yet still allowed us individual time to explore locations and photograph at our leisure. Pedro is also very accomplished photographer, so in additional to all the logistics and planning, he helped bring my photography skills up immensely. Pedro taught me so many tips and tricks along the way that I still use to this day. It was more than just a tour and totally reflects the type of person Pedro is.

    If you’re in Cusco, Peru, and you get the chance to take a tour with Pedro, don’t miss out. He’s fantastic and you’ll have memories forever. Book it!

    Overall Tour organization Destination Value for Money

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.