Hi everyone ! Sorry for being so slack lately!
So we did the Salt Flats through Bolivia which where amazing! We started the drive in Uyni, a small town which at the time of our stay had no electricity – which was interesting. Also when they said they hadn’t had electricity for three days, choosing what would be safe to eat at Bolivian restaurants was even more difficult than normal!
The town is just one tour agency after another, and they all do the same thing. You go in a 4 wheel drive car, with generally 6 people max. First stop is the old train graveyard, with rusted trains just left there, and you get to climb all over them (safe im sure). Then you drive to the actual Salt Flats which are really amazing. The ground is white as far as you can see, and hard just like rock salt (and, yes. I did lick it and it was salty – you would have done the same).
The accommodation you stay in, is completely made from salt. The bed is a big salt block, the ground in the hotel is like
walking on an Oyster Plate (rock salt) and the table if you spill a drink, it will melt part of the table away.
The first night, our car sat up until around 1 -2am playing cards and drinking large quantities of wine – which we all discovered the next day in the bumpy car was probably not the smartest of ideas!
The drive takes you all through the salt flats, to the Cacti Mountain (depends on season if this is accessible) and then through the dessert to Lagoons filled with Flamingos and different colour formations and we eventually after three days crossed the border into San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. The landscape was amazing and is definitely worth doing!
Unyi accommodations are actually quite expensive in comparison to the rest of Bolivia, and if possible you can definitely give staying in the town a miss, but don’t base this on relying on the ‘Bolivian Bus Schedule’ our bus of course was 3 hours late and those who had pre-booked tours did miss theirs and was delayed a day or so.
The tours all offer
the same service, they charge an extra 50 bolivianos to cross the border to Chile, but was really smooth and a good place to cross. Make sure you go to the Immigration office in town before heading out on your tour if you plan to cross the border, they will also charge you $B15 ($2USD) but this is actually just the police taking some for themselves, it shouldn’t cost you anything to exit each place as you generally pay taxes at entry points if there are going to be any! But for $2, we decided not to kick up a fuss.
Tours can range from $B600 – $B1200. If you arrange it in La Paz, they include the ticket with your bus to and from La Paz, (around 12 hours or so) and is often more expensive. The best way is to catch the bus from La Paz and then negotiate the cost with a travel agency in town and shop around a bit.
Not to miss is Uyni: The little burger street stand just as you enter the main square. For $USD2 you can get a home made burger on a bun, with onions and
home made salsa and egg – definitely the best food Uyni has to offer!
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