salar-uyuni-sud-lipez-2 salar-uyuni-sud-lipez-3 salar-uyuni-sud-lipez-4 salar-uyuni-sud-lipez-5 salar-uyuni-sud-lipez-6 salar-uyuni-sud-lipez-1

Home > 4WD DISCOVERY TOUR
Andean deserts and jungles

4WD DISCOVERY TOUR
Andean deserts and jungles

From the barren open spaces of the Altiplano to the incredibly lush valleys of the Yungas, our expedition allows us to discover in turn Potosi, Impériale city, followed by the wonders of the Altiplano: Lipez Desert and its multicolored lagunas hosting flamingoes at an altitude of 5000 meters!, Cordillera de los Volcanoes and finally the famous Salar de Uyuni, largest salt desert in the world.

At the end of our journey, we discover the Yungas, intermediary region where the Cordillera dramatically drops into the Amazon Basin. We then enter thicker tropical vegetation. Far from the harshness of the high plateau, Nature offers us here a more luxuriant face.

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: La Paz
  • Day 2: La Paz
  • Day 3: La Paz - Potosi
  • Day 4: Potosi
  • Day 5: Potosi - Uyuni
  • Day 6: Uyuni - Villamar
  • Day 7: Villamar - Laguna Colorada
  • Day 8: Laguna Colorada - San Juan
  • Day 9: San Juan - Jirira
  • Day 10: Jirira - Uyuni - Jirira
  • Day 11: Uyuni - La Paz
  • Day 12: La Paz - Coroico
  • Day 13: Coroico - Chulumani
  • Day 14: Chulumani - La Paz
  • Day 15: La Paz - El Alto Airport

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: La Paz

A private driver will pick you up at the airport and drive you to your hotel.

Night at the Naira hotel***.
Included : transfer arrival, breakfast buffet , room

Day 2: La Paz

Our private driver will pick us up in the hotel lobby at 09:00 am for a half-day tour around the best points of view over the city and into the Moon Valley. La Paz, world’s highest capital elected in 2014 as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities, is surrounded by the high picks of the Andes. From many parts of the city we can admire the white summits of the Cordillera Real and the imposing Illimani, protector of the city. From the K’Illi K’Illi mirador and the Laykakota Park we will enjoy a panoramic view over the capital. The Montículo, in the bohemian Sopocachi is the classical meeting point of lovers and newlyweds for romantic pictures. Since 2014 La Paz is proud of its new gondolas. From the sky the panorama over the city and the mountains is unique and we can get an impression of the social gaps while flying over different neighborhood. We will then drive to the south, cross the rich "Zona Sur" and get out of the city to enter the Moon Valley. Here we can enjoy the quietness and walk among the lunar rock formations during an hour.
NOTE: The K’Illi K’Illi mirador and the Laykakota Park are closed on Mondays.
Spanish speaking local guide

Night at the Naira hotel***.
Included : entrance fees, private transport, local spanish-speaking guide, breakfast buffet , room

Day 3: La Paz - Potosi

Departure from the hotel at 07:30 by private vehicle for a North to South crossing of the Altiplano. After a lunch in the village of Challapata, we will drive Potosi, arriving in the afternoon in this colonial city registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site (9-hour trip).
Lunch included and dinner not included. Hotel.


Night at the Santa Teresa hotel***.
Included : lunch (no drinks), private transport, room & breakfast

Day 4: Potosi



Today we will get to know the history and current life of Potosí, city listed as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO (full-day tour). Our guide will pick us up at 09:00 am at the hotel lobby and we will go to the Cerro Rico to visit the mine and see the miners at work. This encounter can be overwhelming since the miners (of all ages) work in very hard conditions. We will then go back to the city-center to visit the Casa de la Moneda. The coins of the Spanish crown were minted in this beautiful colonial house until the 19th century. It is now an important historical museum.
NOTE: It is possible to visit the mine everyday but the miners do not work on Sundays and the activity is greatly reduced on Saturdays and Mondays. The Casa de la Moneda is closed on Sundays afternoon and Mondays.

Night at the Santa Teresa hotel***.
Included : english speaking guide, entrance fees, room & breakfast

Day 5: Potosi - Uyuni

Departure from the hotel at 9 a.m. in a private 4WD. We cross the Frailes Mountain range to reach the village of Uyuni, a small town lost on the shores of the Salar (5 to 6-hour drive on a dirt track). On the way, we stop in Pulacayo, small town that was the second largest silver mine of the continent, during the 19th century. Today, it is practically a ghost town, where we can nonetheless visit a museum telling of its glorious past. Arrival in Uyuni at the end of the day.
Cold lunch (included). Dinner open (bar-restaurant La Loco recommended). Hotel.


Night at the Tambo Aymara hotel***.
Included : dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, box lunch, room & breakfast

Day 6: Uyuni - Villamar

We begin today our journey across the Sur Lipez area, elevated region of colorful landscapes and lagoons, rock formations and volcanoes. In the two next days, we will ride around 355 km in our private jeep, crossing altitudes between 3650 and 4750 m.a.s.l.
We will start the day at 09:30 am with the visit of the train cemetery on the outskirts of Uyuni. Here a collection of old rusted train engines remind the glorious mining past of the region. We will then ride south and make different stops on the road to visit villages, in particular the model urbanization of Culpina K. Here the population has decided to waive working in mines and organized itself to ensure that the whole community can live from the culture of quinoa and from community based tourism. We will have lunch in the village of San Cristobal, where we can visit a beautiful colonial church if we are lucky (it is not always open). We will then cross the region of Rio Grande to reach the village of Villamar (4022 m.a.s.l.) at the end of the afternoon. Distance covered today: 190 km.

Night at Las Piedritas hostel* (basic comfort).
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, room & breakfast

Day 7: Villamar - Laguna Colorada

We head south for Laguna Colorada. . This laguna owes its intense red-brick color to the light sensitive phytoplancton present in its water. We keep heading south for an excursion to the Sol de Mañana Geysers (el. 4850 m.a.s.l.) a volcanic crater from which escape sulfuric fumes and heavy water. We then stop for breakfast in Polques before skirting Laguna Salada and crossing the Dali Desert (named after the scenery reminiscent of one of his paintings). We reach the lagunas Blanca and Verde, at the foot of volcanoes Juriques and Licancabur (el. 5960 m.a.s.l.) at the end of the afternoon. Curious phenomenon: when the wind picks up, the waters of Laguna Verde change to a spectacular emerald color.
Return to Laguna Colorada at the end of the afternoon.
Cold lunch. All included. Night in shelter (basic comfort).


Night in a basic accommodation.
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, room & breakfast

Day 8: Laguna Colorada - San Juan

We head north through the magnificent landscapes of the Siloli desert and its famous “Arbol de Piedra” (Stone Tree) where we may be able to spot some viscachas. We then skirt the Chilean border following the “Route of the Jewels”: lagunas Honda, Ch’arkota, Hedionda and Canapa, a sanctuary to 3 different types of flamingoes. We stop at the viewpoint of volcano Ollague. This active volcano hosts the world’s highest sulfur mine.
The track then drops from around 4200 meters above sea level to 3600. We cross the small Salar de Chiguana at the foot of volcano Tomasamil (el. 5900 m.a.s.l.) before arriving in the village of San Juan where are located the spectacular mummies of the “Lipez Lords” (1200 A.D.).
Cold lunch. All included. Hotel.


Night at La Cabaña de Sal hostel* (basic comfort).
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, room & breakfast

Day 9: San Juan - Jirira

A 2-hour trip from San Juan will take us to the Salar de Uyuni (el. 3650 m.a.s.l.), the largest salt desert in the world. The atmosphere is special: the horizon seems to not have any limits and the immensity is overwhelming. We head north to the Island of Incahuasi. This Island is of volcanic origin and covered with stromatolites (fossilized bacteria representing the first traces of life on earth) and giant cacti.
In the afternoon we cross the Salar to reach its Northern extremity, at the foot of volcano Tunupa. We stop in Coquesa, a small village on the shores of the salar, known for its Chipaya mummies, before arriving at Jirira.
Cold lunch. All included. Night at Doña Lupe and Don Carlos in the Aymara village of Jirira (basic comfort).


Night at the Doña Lupe accommodation*.
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, room & breakfast

Day 10: Jirira - Uyuni - Jirira

Guided ascent– no technical difficulty – good physical condition required
Early morning departure for the ascent of the volcano dominating the Salar (our 4WD vehicle drops us off on a dirt road, above the village). Exceptional view from the mirador (el. 4700 m.a.s.l.) that we can reach in around 4 hours. The summit (el. 5400 m.a.s.l.) can’t be attempted, the ascent becoming too dangerous after the mirador (rock bands obstructing the way).
Return to Uyuni in the afternoon.
Cold lunch. All included.
Hiking time: 7h; Elevation gain: +850m / -850m




Night at the Doña Lupe accommodation*.
Included : lunch (no drinks), private transport, room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 11: Uyuni - La Paz

Early departure for the long crossing of the Altiplano (8 to 10-hour journey). We will arrive in the village of Challapata around midday, where the dirt road ends and the the sealed road going to La Paz via Oruro starts.




Night at the Naira hotel***.
Included : lunch (no drinks), private transport, breakfast buffet , room

Day 12: La Paz - Coroico

Departure at 8:30 a.m. from the hotel for a 4WD trip to the Cordillera Real. After passing La Cumbre, a saddle at 4750 m of altitude, the Andes abruptly drop down. The Amazonian Basin is only a few hundreds kilometers on a straight line! Welcome to the Yungas, an incredible area which name is from a pre-Incan tribe which used to live on these steep slopes. As we will drive down the winding road, the vegetation will becomes thicker, the air more humid, the wind warmer... it is a more than 3500 meters of elevation loss to reach Yolosa (el. 1100 m.a.s.l.) in just a few hours!
To end the day, a steep, 7-kilometer uphill (650 m of elevation gain) takes us to the village of Coroico, the “pearl of the Yungas”.
Excursion to the village of Tocaña with one of the black african-bolivian communities and its so particular music and costumes. Return to Coroico at the end of the day.
Lunch and dinner are not included. Hotel / swimming pool.
Night at the Gloria hotel***.
Included : room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), private transport

Day 13: Coroico - Chulumani

In the morning, 4WD expedition followed by a hike to the Vagante River at the bottom of the Coroico Valley. We find ourselves surrounded by lush vegetation, waterfalls and icy torrents.
Later on, we continue with our 4WD and cross the Yungas, from north to south, on very steep mountain slopes. Successions of short ascents and descents via a route seldom traveled. Coca terraces, coffee plantations and orchards line our journey to the village of Puente Villa.
Lunch on the way. All included. Hotel.




Night at the El Castillo del Loro hotel***.
Included : room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), private transport

Day 14: Chulumani - La Paz

After breakfast and a last glass of lemon or papaya juice, we get back in the 4WD and follow the Unduavi River located in the most beautiful valley of the region. Suddenly, on a promontory dominating the river and hidden behind ferns, we glimpse the silhouette of a “Medieval” castle. Probably the strangest building in Bolivia, it was erected by Paraguayan prisoners during the Chaco conflict (1932), in order to satisfy the whim of the Bolivian president. Lunch at the castle. We recommend taking a short walk to the beautiful river down below.
After leaving behind the waterfall of «Bridal Veil», named because of the mist its water generates, the valley becomes narrower and we begin our long ascent towards the Cordillera. At this point, we trade our sandals and bathing suit for warmer clothes.
Lunch on the road (included). Dinner open. Hotel.


Night at the Naira hotel***.
Included : room & breakfast, lunch (no drinks), private transport, breakfast buffet , room

Day 15: La Paz - El Alto Airport

A private driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the airport.
Included : transfer departure

Night hotel Naira   La Paz

Level : 3*
Included : breakfast buffet , room

Beautiful Naira Hotel is located in the heart of downtown of La Paz. With 22 warm, confortable and big rooms, private bathroom, hot water 24 hours, TV, Phone and room service. The aditional services included, laundry Service, Safety Box, travel agency and restaurant. It also has a cafeteria and Internet. Few steps from San Francisco Church.

Hotel Santa Teresa   Potosi

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

The hotel is situated in the historic area of Potosí just a few steps from the historic and touristic landmarks such as churches, monasteries, monuments and Main Square. The building style dates from the colonial era, which is why the facilities were built with a cozy design to provide a warm atmosphere and makes your stay enjoyable.

Hotel Tambo Aymara   Uyuni

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Welcome to THE Ethno-Hotel of Uyuni with singles, twins and double rooms all with heating and private bathroom. The hotel has a restaurant, a charming Ethno-bar, a video library and a parking.

Las Piedritas   Villamar

Level : 1*
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

This small inn in the village of Villamar is undoubtedly the best place to stay a night or two, enjoy a really fair comfort, good food prepared by the owner all of this for a very affordable price. The rooms are equipped with private bathroom and hot water.

Lodging Don Roman   Laguna Colorada

Level : 1*
Included : room & breakfast

Accommodation, offering basic comfort, located in the town of Hullajara about 6 km from Laguna Colorada. It offers a beautiful view of the lake in the morning. There is no private rooms only shared.

Hotel La Cabaña de Sal   San Juan

Level : 1*
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

The Cabaña de Sal is a nice little hotel built with salt blocks coming from the salt flat lake. The rooms are comfortable with private bathroom and hot water. There is no heating in the rooms.

Option : Accommodation driver

Lodging Doña Lupe   Jirira

Level : 1*
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Doña Lupe is pleased to welcome you in her little hostal, situated at the northern part of the Uyuni's Salt Flat, at the bottom of the Tunupa volcano. The scenic view over the Salt Lake is simply incredible.The comfort is basic.Its rooms with private bathrooms and toilets, are not heated and the hot water is not always available.

Hotel Gloria   Coroico

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

The Gloria Hotel is a magical place to rest and live the nature with all its splendour. The hotel is located 2 ½ hours far from La Paz

Hotel El Castillo del Loro   Chulumani

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

Hotel El Castillo del Loro is situated in the Los Yungas region, in south, in the municipality of Yanacachi, just 64 kmsfrom the city of La Paz.

Ask us for
a quote

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE