I've just returned from a three day trip with Colque Tours to Uyuni, leaving from San Pedro de Atacama. I had read several reviews on this and other tour companies going to Uyuni, and I must confess I was really scared... all of them seemed aweful!
I've decided to take the tour with Colque because they were one of the few companies doing the tour during the first days of 2013, when there was a problem on the border in Bolivia and the regular tours were canceled by most of the other companies.
Some of the good points of my experience:
- no luxury, but no over promisse. the hotel we stayed at in Uyuni was clean and had hot water and comfortable beds. Didn't feel cold at all at night.
- my 4x4 in Bolivia was a Lexus 97, with seat belts and great seats.
- the driver/guide was a 26 year old guy called José, great guy, very nice and caring
- the owner of the company, Felix Colque Ramos, is a character - very fine guy, who'll make the best to please you. I understand some people found him rude - he's just a straightforward Bolivia old man, and if you don't speak Spanish it'll surely be more difficult to get along with anyone in that part of the world.
- the views are amazing and we had enough time to enjoy all the sites of contemplation
- the food was decent, we didn't feel hungry at all
- crossing the border from Chile to Bolivia and from Bolivia to Chile takes up to three hours (if you're lucky you'll make it in 1:30h)
- there're no actual roads - it's mostly dirt roads and lots of dust.
All in all, our experience with Colque Tours was certainly good, and comparing them to all other tour companies, I believe the best part is that they're Bolivian and not Chilean, which makes your life easier on the border crossing.
Besides, they've been operating for 20 years - the longest among all... certainly, that's why they get more reviews than the others, but don't feel scared!
Enjoy your time in beautiful Uyuni!
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