From San Pedro de Atacama I crossed the border into Bolivia. I took the bus at 3am from San Pedro and arrived in Uyuni, Bolivia around 3pm. The bus cost $18,000 pesos and the journey was quite interesting aka at one point we had to exit the bus and the guys pushed the bus because it got stuck in the mud. After crossing into Bolivia the roads definitely got a bit rougher and more challenging due to the fact that it was still the rainy season. However, we arrived so everything was fine!
Once we got to Uyuni, we found a hostel called Residencial La Cabana which cost $100 bolivianos for a two bed/shared bath room. The wifi worked well and the showers were hot so I was happy. Afterwards, we went to a couple of different companies to book a tour of the Salt Flats. Because of their good reviews, we decided to book with Cordillera Travel. The tour cost was $875 bolivianos for 3 days. This included our driver, food, and the dorm for two nights.
We met at their office the next morning at 10am and started by going to the Salt Flats. They were huge and covered in water since it was the rainy season. However, it still offered some great photo opportunities. We ate lunch in the middle of the salt flats and that afternoon we went to the train cemetery. Due to the rain water, we took a slightly different route than normal through the salt flats due it was still beautiful.
On day two, we woke up at 5am and left for the drive at 5:30am because there were protests going on and blockades were going to be put up later in the day so we wanted to make sure we could get through before they were in place. In the morning, we visited several lagoons in the mountains that were filled with flamingos and other birds.
Next, we went to a valley with tons of amazing volcanic rocks in the middle of the desert and ended the day by visiting the beautiful pink laguna named Laguna Colorada. This laguna was filled with flamingos and even had baby flamingos! I greatly enjoyed taking my time here and simply observing these amazing birds!
The next morning we woke up at 5am again and went to see the geysers. It was really neat to see the volcanic activity happening beneath the ground. Afterwards, we went to the hot springs where we were able to see the sunrise. While there were a bunch of people, it was still beautiful. After the hot springs we made our way to the final laguna got to observe the amazing scenery along the way.
After we dropped off some of our tour group that was going onto San Pedro, we started our way back to Uyuni. Due to the blockades we took a route different from normal but I didn’t mind the slightly longer drive because the views were spectacular.
The salt flats of Uyuni were very impressive and I thought the 3 day tour was great. Our driver was very knowledgable and nice. He knew a ton about the region and was great at answering our questions. While there was some overlap between the type of things I saw in San Pedro and Uyuni I thought they offered enough unique opportunities to make both worth it!