"Uyuni and Details for 4WD Tours North and South" Top 5 Page for this destination Uyuni by AlbuqRay

Uyuni Travel Guide: 303 reviews and 919 photos

Northern and Southern Itineraries

Uyuni is the jumping off point for the 4WD tours of southern Bolivia. There is a standard 4-day loop to the far south and a less traveled 2-day loop to the northern part of the Salar. Both loop tours do the Salar de Uyuni, i.e., Colchani (salt processing village), the old salt hotel west of Colchani (there is a new, big salt hotel being built north of Colchani), and Incahuasi (an island with cacti in the Salar mistakingly called Fish Island by some). The southern loop leaves Incahuasi and goes to places on the way to Laguna Colorado and the most southern part of Bolivia. However, if you have less time (2 days), you may do the first three stops and then spend the night near Volcan Thunupa in the northern Salar before returning to Uyuni.

My detailed southern loop itinerary was Colchani, mounds of salt, salt hotel, Incahuasi, Chuvica (first night), Paso de Leon, Laguna Canapa, Laguna Hedionida, red rocks with viscachas, Arbol de Piedra, Laguna Colorado (second night), Sol de Manana geysers, Laguna Polques hot springs, Dali rocks, Laguna Verde, bus stop to San Pedro at Laguna Blanca, upper end of Laguna Colorado, village of Culpino, Rio Grande crossing, and back to Uyuni. It was supposed to be a 4-day tour but my guide had an emergency in La Paz and had to get back. We drove all the way back to Uyuni on the third day. Normally the tour would have a third night in a rough shelter and end at the train cemetery near Uyuni. I have done Things to Do tips below (with multiple pics and in chronological order) for most of these places. Be sure to scroll down; there are three pages. Endure a few inconveniences and don't miss this 4WD tour if you get a chance. It will be one of the all time highlights of your travels.

It is Jan 08. I was looking for information on the Salar de Uyuni during the rainy season, when I happened upon this amazing journey by a young family with two kids that cycled from Canada to Chile. What an adventure! 4WD vehicles have a hard time going across some of the places they went.

Northern Salar de Uyuni

The northern part of the Salar de Uyuni is empty and untouched. There are also many wonderful places to visit in this area. My detailed northern loop itinerary was Colchani, mounds of salt, salt hotel, Incahuasi, north shore of the Salar, Coquesa (spent the night), Volcan Thunupa, the mummy caves, Pukara, Jirira and the "eyes of salt," before returning to Uyuni via Colchani. The Coquesa tips and travelogues include Volcan Thunupa, the mummy caves, Pukara and Jirira.

Uyuni Itself

Not much to do in Uyuni itself besides the train cemetery outside of town. Uyuni is on the railroad from Oruro to Chile and Argentina. It also has numerous 4WD tour companies. I used Colque Tours to do the southern loop and Thunupa Tours to do the northern loop. I had good experiences with both. Although I would rate the Colque driver, Nicholas, as just okay. He was a no show the next morning to take me to the bus station and that was after I gave him a good tip the day before. Guess I should have waited to tip him. The Thunupa driver, Ramiro, and cook, Janet, were excellent.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Can get a 4WD tour to spectacular places
  • Cons:Limited selection of hotels
  • In a nutshell:Transit point but not a place to stay
  • Last visit to Uyuni: May 2006
  • Intro Updated Jan 28, 2010
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