During 4 days we traveled in the South of Bolivia in order to see the Salar de Uyuni. This visit was absolutely not planned in our program. So why did we go there?
Because of the recommendations of other travelers we met during our stay in Chile. For many of them, visiting this salt desert was their best memory of South America.
After seeing the Iguazu Falls, located on the border between Argentina and Brazil, we had about a week before leaving for Peru. So we decided to go to Bolivia.
From Argentina to Bolivia
Argentina is a huge country and to get around the two most simple solutions are the plane or the bus. With gigantic distances the prices of air tickets can quickly climb to more than 500 euros / pers. We made the choice to take the bus. This type of transport is much slower, but a little more economical.
The punctuality of the Argentinean buses really leaves something to be desired. We traveled a lot with the Andesmar bus company. This company offers a lot of destinations. This advantage is also their weakness. Their buses never stop operating and delays and breakdowns were very frequent. We waited sometimes more than 6 hours for our bus, and when it arrived on time it was delayed because of numerous breakdowns either of the motor or air conditioning system.
We do not really recommend Andesmar. But despite transportation worries and a 2-day trip, we were able to travel to Tupiza, Bolivia.
As soon as we got off the bus we wasted no time and looked for an agency with which we could make our trip to Uyuni.
Searching for a travel agency
We had had good feedback on Tupiza Tour and started with them. Unfortunately all places for the tour that left the next day were taken. We were offered to leave the day after but it was impossible. Our plane to Peru was already booked and time was running out. So we turned to Alexandro Travel. In the same way we had heard a lot of positive things about them and especially about the guide named Pepe. Here again, luck was not with us, the tour was complete for the next day.
We ended up at Aventurista Travel. To be honest, we had not heard of them before and had not seen any reviews of them on TripAdvisor. But we did not really have a choice, and after all most of the agencies offer the same circuit.
For 1150 bolivianos (140euros) we went to the south of Bolivia, got a driver, all meals and hotels included. We would be 5 tourists in the car with the driver.
We are not fans of organized tours, in which we often meet many tourists and don’t get much time to enjoy what we see. But there isn’t many other ways to go by if you want to see the Salar de Uyuni.
So we left for 4 days of adventure.
From Tupiza to the Salar de Uyuni
The first two days were awful. Vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, difficulty to breath: altitude sickness had reached us. In hardly a day we had gone from 1000 to almost 5000 meters of altitude. It was as if we had gone to Mont Blanc! That change was too fast for our bodies.
Before you leave for these high altitudes we recommend you equip yourself. Go to a pharmacy and ask for a small bottle of oxygen, anti-diarrhea, anti-emetic and ibuprofen. We all react differently to changes in altitude but it is better to be ready.
The Tupiza Tour guide that we met several times on our way, was very kind to us. She helped and gave us tips to make us feel better. A visit to the doctor was also very useful. After two difficult days we were better … even if we were not fully recovered.
We still enjoyed the beautiful landscapes. On the program, mountains, cliffs, geysers, lakes covered with flamingos, and of course the Salar of Uyuni. We ended our tour by visiting this huge salt desert and we did well. To finish with this natural spectacle was the ideal conclusion to our Bolivian journey. Like many tourists before us, we had fun taking pictures with optical effects. Yes, these large white expanses are perfect for this kind of effects.
We loved our trip to Bolivia, so if you go to South America, consider going to the Salar de Uyuni. If you want to see our photo album about Bolivia, it’s this >>way<<