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Home > SALAR & TUNUPA

SALAR & TUNUPA

In the Andean cosmology, all the summits are associated with mythological characters.
Volcano Tunupa is supposedly the daughter of the omnipotent God Viracocha. After a period of harsh droughts and diseases, she leaves towards the Western mountain range, where the giant Sajama takes her in, and eventually falls in love with her.

Nevertheless, she is seduced by the young gallant Huayna Potosí, who will abandon her just after their love is consumed. Tunupa, ashamed, runs away again, guided by the South Cross that Viracocha made appear in the sky. Exhausted, she sat on the side of the road and started crying, and cried so much that her tears eventually created… the Salar!

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Uyuni - Jirira
  • Day 2: Jirira - Uyuni

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: Uyuni - Jirira

Today we will discover the world’s largest salt desert! At 9 a.m. we leave the hotel with our jeeps to the Salar de Uyuni (el. 3650 m.a.s.l.). After an half an hour ride, we stop in the village of Colchani to visit its salt exploitation and salt hotel (closed since 2001). We will then ride 73 km on the salt desert (around an hour and a half) to reach the Island of Incahuasi. This surprising island lost in the middle of the salar, offers an incredible view over the salt desert and the several volcanoes that surround it. Of volcanic origin, it is covered with stromatolites and giant cacti (stromatolites are fossilized bacterial colonies, first traces of life on earth). In the afternoon, we will keep riding 46 km on the white desert (around half an hour) to reach its northern extremity. Here, on the feet of the Tunupa volcano (5432 m.a.s.l.) we will spend the night in the small village of Jirira. Before arriving, we will stop in the neighbor village of Coquesa, famous for its “chullpas”: mummies of the Chipaya culture.

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

Day 2: Jirira - Uyuni

Partial ascent - no technical difficulties - good physical condition required
We start the day early to climb up the volcano Tunupa, a colorful mountain located only few kilometers from the salar. Tunupa is the name of the pre-Inca god of volcanoes and thunderstorms.
Our jeep drops us off at the end of the track above the village, at an elevation of 3850 m.a.s.l. We will then trek 3 to 4 hours to the mirador (el. 4700 m.a.s.l.). What an exceptional panorama! It almost seems like we are above the clouds or the sea, but it’s the world’s largest salt flat we are looking at! The summit (el. 5432 m.a.s.l.) can not be attempted since the path is too dangerous.
We will walk back to Jirira in the afternoon and from there drive to Uyuni, where we will arrive at the end of the afternoon after a 2.5 h ride (140 km). We will stop on the road to visit a salt hotel and a salt exploitation.
Trekking time: 4h - Elevation gain: +850m/-850m
Included : lunch (no drinks), private transport, guide (hiking)

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.

Option : Salar Sector Room

Included :
room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Ask us for
a quote

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