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Salar de Uyuni from La Paz

california
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Salar de Uyuni from La Paz

Sorry to ask this question over and over

I plan on arriving from the direction of Peru, Lake Titicaca

I would assume it is best to make my way to La Paz, spend a few days first

1) how long should I allow to see Salar de Uyuni and return to Peru? I would like to see the salt flats and colored lakes

2) The timing is going to be approx the last week in November, will the potential for rain on the flats dictate a different routing or cancellation

3) I've read about a new road from La Paz to and this hotel Takya del Sal in Tahua, is this available only by some private tour with Fremen Tours? I am traveling solo so no way to put together my own group.

4) Should I wait til I arrive in La Paz? Should I go to Uyuni and book when I arrive?

5) Anything else you can tell me?

Thanks and sorry for the repetitions.

Edmonton, Canada
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1. Re: Salar de Uyuni from La Paz

My advice would be to only spend a couple of nights in La Paz and then make your way to Tupiza. It's a very interesting area so you could spend a couple of days there. Then do the salt flat tour from there. We used Tupiza Tours but there are quite a few operators in town. We did 6 days but I'm pretty sure the normal tour is 4 days.

You may have a problem booking the Tayka Lodges though. Any operator should be able to book them for you but if you join a group you have to stay at the same places the group stays and that is almost always the basic lodging. Basic lodging is very basic (5-6 people in a shared room,shared bathroom, no heat,etc.)

Sorry I can't comment on November weather as we were there in May and I have not heard anything about a new road other than some construction near La Paz.

Gaithersburg...
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2. Re: Salar de Uyuni from La Paz

HI! You can start your tour if Shared or private any day from la paz , ride a train only on tuesday or friday but if so you need to get to oruru first (bus takes 3 hours) buses take off every hour from la paz terminal, another option would be the overnight bus for about 18 usd you get an overnight 11 hour ride to uyuni, there also flights but I think they only leave monday and friday from TAM, Once in uyuni, companies are really sneaky, whoever you go with make sure you get what you paid for or leave a balane outstanding in case they would not give you everything promessed, no company is really recommended not even fremen or tawa they all end up hiring "Any" company from uyuni and off you go, but of course they have already charged you twice the ammount just for a name, simply not worth it! consider this tour takes three days and two nights sleeping in basic lodges, if you look for something really good (as for lodging) try to book with "Hotel Luna Salada" the only top class place we found (thanks to our guide ) around uyuni.

Hope this helps

Miky

california
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3. Re: Salar de Uyuni from La Paz

AFter all the researach I think I will be having to make my way to Tupiza by train and hope for the best, thanks to you both.

Ontario
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4. Re: Salar de Uyuni from La Paz

I just came back from Bolivia 2 days ago. I was also traveling alone.

I traveled from Copacabana to La Paz by bus. Very cheap and easy to book. All the buses leave from the same area. The next day I took the 12pm bus from La Paz to Oruro. Then took the 7pm train from Oruro to Uyuni arriving at about 2:20 am. If you are traveling on an off day from the train then you need to take an overnight bus from La Paz or Oruro. Note that these book up very quickly, but other travelers told me the ride is very bumpy since road to Uyuni is a dirt road (ie no sleep) To quote a cute girl - "the ride was brutal"

Train Schedule

Expresso del Sur - Tuesdays and Fridays at 15:30

Wara Wara - Wednesdays and Sundays at 19:00

You only need the 3 day tour to see what you want. Salt flats, lagoons, hot spring and giezers. Believe me after 3 days you will never want to see another dirt road for the rest of your life.

Do not bother booking a tour in advance since you will pay significantly more. For a single traveler it is not nessessary. As soon as the overnight bus arrives or first thing in the morning (7am) start looking for tours around the plaza. Make sure you book your tour before breakfast as they book up very fast. Most of the tours were 700 to 800 Bolivianos for a 3 day tour with a stay at a Salt Hotel the first night and basic accom the second. It does not really matter who you book with since the drivers are independant and could change from day to day. I went with Ridley tours and lucked out with a good tour and driver with a nice stay at a decent salt hotel and excellant food. No garrentee the tour will be the same the next day since it all depends on the driver you end up with.

Tip: Pay attention to the number of spots on the sign-up sheet. Some companies have 7 and others have 5 or 6. It is worth the extra money if only 5 are available. Sleeping bag on my tour was not required (lots of blankets)

california
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5. Re: Salar de Uyuni from La Paz

Backflush, thanks for all the info, how was the weather condition when you went, any water on the salt flats, did you go as far as the Laguna Colorado and any disruptions in the route due to rains?

Now I am not sure if I should go all the way to Tupiza as I am afraid of getting stuck with no one else wanting to go on a tour the day I am there, although they are assuring me that this won't happen.

London, United...
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6. Re: Salar de Uyuni from La Paz

Don't worry - Tupiza is the place to start the tour from without doubt. There will be plenty of others looking to start the tour, you might have to wait a day or two but just check the reviews. The operators working out of Tupiza run a 4 day/3night trip as the norm whereas the Uyuni operators run 3days/2nights. The trips cost more from Tupiza, but not by much.

We used La Torre Tours but Tupiza Tours also get good reviews. Be sure to take a sleeping bag with you (we got ours free from La Torre after a bit of haggling!). Take plenty of warm clothes with you for the nights as it gets very cold.

Our jeep was great and there were only 4 tourists in it with a driver and a cook. Some of the tours from Uyuni cram 6-7 tourists into it with a driver and a cook. That would be hell.

7. Re: Salar de Uyuni from La Paz

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