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Private Bolivia Salt Flat Adventure for Grownups

8 Days From $4,019

Until now, backpackers have had the remarkable Salar de Uyuni all to themselves. They crammed into jeeps and stayed at hotels literally called, “without comfort” that had no heat, no showers, and no food. This trip is for grownups who want to experience the otherworldly landscape and fascinating way of life only found on the Salt Flat “with comfort.”


See colored lagoons pepperd with pink flamingos.

Stay in a hotel made of salt.

Harvest salt or quinoa with the locals.

Shepherd llamas.


Day 1: Arrive in La Paz

Arrive in the world’s highest city, La Paz.

Your guide meets you at the airport and accompanies you to the hotel to help you check in.

Rest before dinner at the Pan de Oro restaurant. This elegant colonial house is known for its traditional cuisine and folkloric music and dance shows.

Meals: Dinner

Hotel: La Casona (or similar)

Altitude: 11,811 feet

Day 2: Explore Cholets & the Valley of the Moon

Learn about the evolution of Andean architecture and then visit the almost too-colorful-to-believe Cholet buildings in El Alto, a suburb of La Paz.

End the day admiring the bizarre landscape of La Paz’s Valley of the Moon.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel and dinner

Hotel: La Casona (or similar)

Day 3: Discover the Ancient Site of Tiahuanacu

The largely adobe site, located near the shores of Lake Titicaca, may have been inhabited as early as 1500 BC, but was most likely built between 300 and 1000 AD.

Marvel at carved images, designs along the walls, and giant stone monoliths.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel and lunch

Hotel: La Casona (or similar)

Day 4: Welcome to the Salt Flat

Fly into Uyuni, gateway city to the largest salt flat in the world.

Visit a salt factory in Colchani to see how families process and package the salt for sale.

Drive through the spectacular Bolivian salt flats, stopping to take pictures along the way.

Hike to the top of Incahuasi Island. Photograph the giant cactuses that grow on this island with the white of the salt flat in the background.

See ancient mummies in Coquesa on the slopes of the Thunapa Volcano.

Visit a museum of ancient artifacts curated over many years by Don Santos.

Enjoy a folkloric dancing show after dinner performed by a local group from Tahua.

Overnight in a salt hotel.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, picnic lunch, and dinner

Hotel: Tayka Salt Hotel

Altitude: 11,811 to 12,139 feet

Day 5: Journey Through the Sensual Salt Flat into the High Desert

Hike to pre-Columbian ruins at Pucara de Chillima.

Trek into the Chiltaico Canyon to see an extraordinary rock formation.

See an ojo de aqua – a hole in the salt flat where water bubbles up.

Enjoy a picnic lunch at the Cathedral of Chiquini, a huge cliff facing the salt flat.

Explore the Chiquini cave where you can see stalactites and stalagmites dating back thousands of years.

Help the local community harvest salt or quinoa.

Hike to the top of Fish Island, a place rarely visited by tourists, to get a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape.

Drive into the high desert.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, picnic lunch, and dinner

Hotel: Tayka Stone Hotel

Altitude: 12,139 to 12,090 feet

Day 6: Experience the High Desert

Participate in shepherding a herd of llamas as you learn about the relationship between people and llamas in this remote corner of the world.

Snap pictures of Andean flamingos at a string of small lagoons.

Enter the high desert where you are truly off the beaten path.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, picnic lunch, and dinner

Hotel: Tayka Desert Hotel

Altitude: 12,090 to 15,092 feet

Day 7: See Otherworldly Landscapes

Rise early for a trip to the Morning Sun Geysers. Stroll among the pots of bubbling grey, brown, and scarlet mud.

Marvel at the remarkable shape of the Stone Tree along the way.

Visit the Colored Lagoon, which is a fiery red color and is inhabited by a flock of pink flamingos.

Drive across the Chalviri desert and salt plains. These plains are perfect for picture taking with their combination of snow white salt, earthy desert sand, and scattered blue lagoons.

Soak in the Polque Hot Springs followed by a delicious picnic lunch.

Return to Uyuni to visit the train cemetery on the edge of town. Hulking locomotives from the era of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid rust in the intense sun.

Enjoy sunset before settling into a salt hotel for the night.

Meals: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch, and dinner

Hotel: Cristal Samana

Altitude: 15,092 to 12,139 feet

Day 8: Discover La Paz with a Local Guide

Fly to La Paz.

While you wait for your international flight indulge in a quick tour of the city.

Explore popular markets, neighborhoods, and back alleys of La Paz with a local guide from the Hormigon Armado project.

These intensively trained guides are street children who shine shoes to earn a living. The project aims to provide them with education so they have alternatives to life on the street. 100% of the cost of the tour is given to the guide.

Return to the airport for your international flight home.

Altitude: 12,139 to 11,811 feet

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Trip Rating

Easy to Moderate


Prices for 2019

2 to 4 people – $4,988/person

5 to 8 people – $4,019/person

Own room – $500/person

Included In Price

Accommodations – double occupancy

Airport/hotel transfers

Carbon offsets

English speaking guides

Entrance fees for scheduled tours

Meals as specified in the itinerary

Transportation specified by the itinerary

Excluded From Price


Airport taxes

Alcoholic drinks

Baggage fees

Meals not specified by the itinerary

Personal expenses


Travel insurance (required)


Voluntary philanthropic gifts

Departure Dates

Best time to go is May through September.

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