Journey Atacama to Uyuni

Journey Atacama, Chile to Uyuni, Bolivia - 8 nights / 9 days (Apr-Dec)

From the deep silence of the terra cotta mountains in the Atacama Desert to the endless white of the Uyuni Salt Flat: unravel two of the world’s most fascinating locations in the journey of a lifetime, traveling across one of the remotest regions on Earth.

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 above sea level/ 7,897 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 yourself over the Altiplano’s 4,000 m.a.s.l/ 13,123 f.a.s.l. is an experience you will not regret. But above all, experiencing the Puritama hot springs 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 desert.

Days 2 and 3 - Atacama Desert

Delve into the world’s driest desert and feel its inextricable aura in every step and landscape. The plan you and your guide have idealized together begins to unfold at your own pace in this private program. The activities range from light to 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. And remember: any weather makes a perfect day for exploring. But if the skies happen to be clear, dive into the fresh desert night sky in an astronomy session in the observatory at our 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 – but all we have lived and learned these first few days remains with us for life. We begin the trip through the Andes and reach the border at Hito Cajón, 47 km/ 29 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.

The exploration continues as we go. 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 savour lunch as we gaze at the colours of the Altiplano vividly mingling. We then proceed until we reach the mountain home at Ramaditas, where we watch the sun set into the horizon and finally rest for a new day. As we close our eyes, we can feel and listen to the vast silence, the lonely beauty of the territory we have just started to unearth.

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 Chituca, where we will learn about the culture and lifestyle of local families. At nightfall, the silence of the Altiplano fills the air as we wonder at the starry shimmering 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 explorations of your choice. Explore the surroundings, roaming the cactus forest and the ancient agricultural terraces nearby. 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, 10,000 km²/ 3,861 mi2 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, located at 3,665 m.a.s.l./ 12,024 f.a.s.l. We stop for lunch at the salt flat, where your next exploration sets off: an explorative hike at the Pescado Island or an overland journey to it. Once complete, we drive to Uyuni lodge, settled on the slopes of the Tunupa volcano.

Day 7 and 8 - Uyuni Salt Flat

Enjoy the wonderful view of the Uyuni Salt Flat from the comfort of our lodge, operated in partnership with local families.. Your guide will help you decide the explorations you would like to go on. You can choose from hikes, overland trips, and bike rides. Climbing the multi-hued slopes of the volcano up to 5,432 m.a.s.l/ 17,835 f.a.s.l., 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. What you see here will remain imprinted in your heart, soul and fondest memory for the rest of your life.

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. A last glance. For now.

Should your Travesía start from Uyuni, please consider beginning the crossing after spending at least 2 nights above 2,500 m.a.s.l/ 8,202 f.a.s.l., so as to give your body time to adapt to local conditions and prepare for the journey ahead.