Boundless Journey

From the deep silence of the Martian mountains in the Atacama Desert to the endless white of the Uyuni Salt Flat, journey to two of the world’s most fascinating and remote regions on Earth. Travesía Atacama-Uyuni is a deep immersion in discoveries from destination to destination and everywhere in between. Cross the desert from Chile to Bolivia in a 4×4 vehicle, led by an expert explora guide and a local driver. On the way, stop at explora lodge and camps to delve into the wonders of the Altiplano alternating hikes, drives and other adventures amid the immensity of this otherworldly region.

Duration: From 8 to 11 nights.
Route: This journey can set off from either the Atacama Desert in Chile or Uyuni salt flat.
Accommodation: All programs spend the night at explora Atacama, in camps and Uyuni lodge.
Number of participants: 2 travelers.
Transportation: 4 × 4 vehicle which has satellite communication systems and oxygen equipment, led by an expert explora guide and a local driver.
Highlights: The Salar de Uyuni, the Tunupa Volcano, the multicolored lagoons, geothermal fields and surreal Altiplanic landscapes.
When to go: This Travesía takes place between April and December. We will start operating in May, 2020.

The Itinerary
Day 1 - San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

We pick you up at the Calama airport and transfer you to the oasis of San Pedro de Atacama, located at 2,407 meters / 7,890 feet above sea level. It is a 1-hour drive to the explora Atacama hotel, where your arrival sparks an immersion in the essence of the remote. After your welcome, we introduce you to the region with a talk either just before lunch, or after your first exploration, depending on the time you arrive. In the end of the day, you and a guide discuss and decide where and what you will be exploring in the next few days.

We do recommend you start off by exploring the oasis, the La Sal and Domeyko mountain ranges, the Atacama salt flat and the unparalleled canyons, landscapes and ecosystems. After that, adventuring over the Altiplano is an experience you will not regret. But above all, experiencing the Puritama hot springs in explora’s Puritama Natural Reserve with your own senses is a must. This is the perfect start for the transforming journey ahead of you. Warm up body and mind by unravelling the many charms that astonishingly bloom in the Atacama.  explora Atacama

Days 2 and 3 - Atacama Desert
Delve into the world’s driest desert. The plan you and your guide have created together begins to unfold at your own pace in this private journey. The activities range from easy to advanced difficulty levels, short to long durations, and multiple exploration methods: hiking, horseback, bike rides, drives and short walks, and even mountain climbing, for the adventurous-spirited. Weather permitting, check out desert night sky in an astronomy session in the observatory at the hotel.

Day 4 - Crossing the border
Time to get back on the move. As sunlight cracks the deep blue sky, we depart from San Pedro de Atacama early in the morning and leave behind the oasis. We begin the trip through the Andes and reach the border at Hito Cajón, 47km /30 miles away from our starting point. We are now in Bolivia. Along with an explora guide, we switch vehicles and carry on our journey through the captivating entrails of the Altiplano.

We visit the Sol de la Mañana geysers and a myriad of salt flats, wetlands and lagoons. The Colorada lagoon is the perfect spot to sight flamingos in their natural habitat, and is also where we have lunch as we gaze at the colors of the Altiplano vividly mingling. We then proceed until we reach Ramaditas, where we watch the sun set into the horizon and finally rest for a new day.

Day 5 - From Ramaditas to Chituca
The wondrous landscapes are never-ending as we approach the Uyuni salt flat. In the morning, we set off to Chituca, where we will spend the next night. On the way, we get to walk through ancient mines and valleys. The Turquiri lagoon, with its great diversity of birds and rock formations, is the perfect setting for a restoring lunch. It is then time to explore the region in greater depth: choose between hiking or alternating drives and short walks. After the exploration is done, we continue the drive towards our camp in Chituca, where we will learn about the culture and way of life of the locals. At nightfall, the silence of the Altiplano fills the air as we wonder at the starry sky, which has served as a map for the villages in the region for centuries and centuries.

Day 6 - From Chituca to the Uyuni Salt Flat
After a fulfilling breakfast, we set off to one of the expeditions of your choice. Explore the camp’s surroundings or visit the village of San Pedro de Quemes, a former Spanish settlement with bewildering panoramic views of the Altiplano and the salt flat. We then continue our journey towards the Gruta de Las Galaxias, an astonishing cave with rare geological formations where you will discover and experience a fascinating part of Andean history.

Resuming our trip, 10,000km² of pure white majestically emerge out of thin air before us – we arrive at the Uyuni salt flat. This is the salt flat with the greatest area and the highest altitude on Earth. We stop for lunch at the salt flat, where your next expedition sets off: an explorative hike at the Pescado Island or an overland journey to it. Once complete, we drive to the Uyuni lodge, settled on the slopes of the Tunupa volcano.

Days 7 and 8 - Uyuni Salt Flat
Take in the astounding view over the Uyuni salt flat from the comfort of our haven. Your guide will help you decide the expeditions you would like to go on, out of the 16 exploration plans available. You can choose from hikes, overland trips, and bicycle rides. Climbing the multi-hued slopes of the volcano, biking across a section of the salt flat or cruising the slopes of the volcano and stopping by at villages along the way are a few of the possibilities.

Day 9 - Uyuni
The last day of the travesía. After a nourishing breakfast, we drive across the eastern area of the salt flat towards the Uyuni airport, recalling all we have lived for the past days as we gaze off into the rare beauty and enormity of this extraordinary place.

Extra Night in Atacama - Extension to 9 Nights
To really get to know a destination you need to delve deep into its landscapes and culture. With so much to see, three nights in San Pedro de Atacama will leave you yearning for more. Adding one more night is also a good idea for those who like to take it easy and enjoy a good rest: ideal for an afternoon to relax in our pool area or to roam through the picturesque village of San Pedro de Atacama.

Extend your stay in San Pedro de Atacama adding one night at explora Atacama and turn your 8 night into a 9-night itinerary.

Availability and pricing upon request.