Tours in Bolivia Part 1: Salt Flats

Month three is underway as we settle into Bolivian life! I apologize for my lack of posts, but as you might imagine, the internet connections here aren’t as reliable.

We crossed the border from northern Argentina almost two weeks ago in  time to do the famous Salt Flats tour.   Although I felt a bit hesitant to put down a fair chunk of change (a little less than $200USD) up front in a country where a meal can cost a dollar, it was well worth it for four days of splendour!

We began in Tupiza (south western part of Bolivia, which is easily accessible after a border crossing).  We took a few days to acclimatize, which I highly recommend, since the town sits at almost 3000m.

The tour began its first day with introductions to our Bolivian driver, our English-speaking guide and cook and us jumping into a jeep for some off-road excitement.  We just sat in amazement staring out the window at the natural landscapes as we bumped along.  Our guide was quick to explain all the different minerals of said landforms.  We kept climbing in altitude as we visited some llamas and even a “ghost town.”  This deserted town is complete with ruins and human and animal bones of the civilization of hundreds of years ago.  We finally made it to 5000m, our highest point, where we could view a grand volcano in the distance.

The night involved eating a delicious meal and crawling into every piece of clothing I brought to stay warm at the 4200m shack we were staying in.

Day two began with another bumpy ride across incredible terrain.  One of the day’s highlights was sliding into a hot spring at 4000m.  We warmed up from the otherwise freezing air and then enjoyed a delicious lunch.  The second awesome sight of the day was a trip to what felt like hundreds of geysers.  These hot ovens were showcasing bubbling liquid of all different colours, depending on the mineral, I learned from our guide.  We were also taken to the famous Red Lake, which is home to thousands of flamingos (it was too bad most of them have migrated to Chile for this time of year),

Again, we found shelter for another cold night above 4000m. This time, we had a woodstove to keep us warm for a nice social evening in the common area before the lights were turned off.

Our third day was reserved for seeing several lagoons, which all looked amazing against such an incredible backdrop.   We finally made our way to a hostel in the village of Uyuni, next to the Salars (Salt Flats), which were to be the conclusion of our tour.

Finally, the big day came, after a slightly warmer sleep at 3700m. We woke up to watch the sun rise over the great Salt Flats.  At first, I felt like we were driving over a huge ice field.  There was white as far as the eye could see, meeting up with an orange then blue sky.   We were able to get out and explore the amazing salt piles that had glistening reflections from the slight layer of water beneath them.

When the sun finally chose a spot high in the sky, our guide gleefully took our camera to be our personal photographer with silly jumping and crazy perspective shots.

We arrived back in Uyuni for lunch to finish off the tour.

With Torres Tours, it was an unforgettable four days and an awesome way to start off our time in Bolivia!

Amazing sights, fantastic guides, delicious meals.  Definitely worth spending more than a one-day tour from Uyuni.

Stay tuned for Part Two: Pampas Tour in the Amazon.

 

 

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Tours in Bolivia Part 1: Salt Flats

Month three is underway as we settle into Bolivian life! I apologize for my lack of posts, but as you might imagine, the internet connections here aren’t as reliable.

We crossed the border from northern Argentina almost two weeks ago in  time to do the famous Salt Flats tour.   Although I felt a bit hesitant to put down a fair chunk of change (a little less than $200USD) up front in a country where a meal can cost a dollar, it was well worth it for four days of splendour!

We began in Tupiza (south western part of Bolivia, which is easily accessible after a border crossing).  We took a few days to acclimatize, which I highly recommend, since the town sits at almost 3000m.

The tour began its first day with introductions to our Bolivian driver, our English-speaking guide and cook and us jumping into a jeep for some off-road excitement.  We just sat in amazement staring out the window at the natural landscapes as we bumped along.  Our guide was quick to explain all the different minerals of said landforms.  We kept climbing in altitude as we visited some llamas and even a “ghost town.”  This deserted town is complete with ruins and human and animal bones of the civilization of hundreds of years ago.  We finally made it to 5000m, our highest point, where we could view a grand volcano in the distance.

The night involved eating a delicious meal and crawling into every piece of clothing I brought to stay warm at the 4200m shack we were staying in.

Day two began with another bumpy ride across incredible terrain.  One of the day’s highlights was sliding into a hot spring at 4000m.  We warmed up from the otherwise freezing air and then enjoyed a delicious lunch.  The second awesome sight of the day was a trip to what felt like hundreds of geysers.  These hot ovens were showcasing bubbling liquid of all different colours, depending on the mineral, I learned from our guide.  We were also taken to the famous Red Lake, which is home to thousands of flamingos (it was too bad most of them have migrated to Chile for this time of year),

Again, we found shelter for another cold night above 4000m. This time, we had a woodstove to keep us warm for a nice social evening in the common area before the lights were turned off.

Our third day was reserved for seeing several lagoons, which all looked amazing against such an incredible backdrop.   We finally made our way to a hostel in the village of Uyuni, next to the Salars (Salt Flats), which were to be the conclusion of our tour.

Finally, the big day came, after a slightly warmer sleep at 3700m. We woke up to watch the sun rise over the great Salt Flats.  At first, I felt like we were driving over a huge ice field.  There was white as far as the eye could see, meeting up with an orange then blue sky.   We were able to get out and explore the amazing salt piles that had glistening reflections from the slight layer of water beneath them.

When the sun finally chose a spot high in the sky, our guide gleefully took our camera to be our personal photographer with silly jumping and crazy perspective shots.

We arrived back in Uyuni for lunch to finish off the tour.

With Torres Tours, it was an unforgettable four days and an awesome way to start off our time in Bolivia!

Amazing sights, fantastic guides, delicious meals.  Definitely worth spending more than a one-day tour from Uyuni.

Stay tuned for Part Two: Pampas Tour in the Amazon.

 

 

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Awards

Kristin’s Backpack won 1st Prize for TESL Ontario’s 2011 ESL Week Blog Contest.
About Me


Welcome to Kristin’s Backpack! I jumped on the blogging bandwagon in 2010 to share my Canadian-theatrical-backpacking perspective on my world adventures. With my return to Canada, I will continue to dig into my pockets and reflect on life as it has come to involve Teaching, Travel, and Theatre. Time to unzip the pockets!
Portfolios
Check out my past and current work here: 

Kristin's Library
Looking for some interesting reading material? Check out my Reading Picks and Bookworm post for some ideas! 

               
This is what summer is all about- finished a book yesterday and am on to the next today.  I just opened The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill, which has been on my shelf for ages.  I have been extremely interested in reading accounts that stem from true stories in a dark history that is often swept to the side.  
At the same time, I have been listening to The Maze Runner series as an audio book and have been extremely captivated by the young characters’ circumstances and their view on the world.  
Find me on Facebook