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Home > SALAR & VOLCANOES

SALAR & VOLCANOES

This expedition in some of the most beautiful areas of the Altiplano is destined for the wide, open space and Andean altitude lovers.
Real 4WD expedition combined with the ascents of magnificent volcano Uturuncu, with its summit at over 6000 meters of altitude and the most accessible of Bolivia, and of Tunupa, located on the shore of Salar de Uyuni, recognizable by its multicolored crater.
Take your cameras and good adventure!

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Uyuni - Jirira
  • Day 2: Jirira - San Juan
  • Day 3: San Juan - Laguna Colorada
  • Day 4: Laguna Colorada - Laguna Verde
  • Day 5: Laguna Verde - Quetena
  • Day 6: Quetena
  • Day 7: Quetena - Villamar
  • Day 8: Villamar - Uyuni

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: Uyuni - Jirira

Departure from the Hotel at 09:00am with a private 4WD to go to the Salar de Uyuni (el. 3650 m.a.s.l.), the world’s largest salt desert. Visit of the salt exploitation of Colchani and the Salt Hotels (closed since November 2001). We will then stop in the middle of the Salar on the volcanic Island of Incahuasi, covered with stromatolites and giant cacti (Stomatolites are fossilized bacterial colonies, first traces of life on earth).
We will cross the salar to its northen point at the base of the Tunupa volcano. Stop in Coquesa, another village at the limit of the salar, known for its Chipayas mummies.



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 - San Juan

Early morning departure for the ascent of the volcano dominating the Salar. Exceptional view from the mirador (el. 4700 m.a.s.l.) which can be reached in 3 to 4 hours. The summit (el. 5400 m.a.s.l.) cannot be attempted, the ascent becoming too dangerous after the mirador (rock cliffs).
Return to Jirira in the afternoon. We will cross the Salar de Uyuni from North to South, to the village of San Juan, where are kept the spectacular mummies of the “Lords of Lipez” (1200 A.D.) and a little museum.
Hiking time: 7h; Elevation gain: +850m / -850m.



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

Day 3: San Juan - Laguna Colorada

After leaving San Juan, we will cross the Salar de Chiguana. From there, the dirt road climbs from 3600 m to about 4200 m of altitude. We will pass just below the volcanoes Tomasamil (el. 5900 m.a.s.l.) and Ollague (still active), on the Chilean border. Stop at the mirador of the volcano Ollague, a still active volcano containing one of the world’s highest sulfur mines. Following the Chilean border to the south we will drive on the “Road of the jewels”: lagunas Cañapa, Hedionda, Ch’arkota, Honda, sanctuary for three Flamingoes species. The track continues through the superb scenery of the Siloli Desert and its famous “Stone Tree” where we can spot some viscachas, before arriving to the Laguna Colorada in the afternoon. The intense red-brick color of this lagoon is due to the light sensitive phytoplancton present in its water.

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

Day 4: Laguna Colorada - Laguna Verde

Early morning departure for an excursion to the geysers Sol de Mañana (el. 4850 m.a.s.l.) a volcanic crater from with sulfuric fumes and heavy water. After breakfast in Polques we will drive around the Laguna Salada and across the Dali Desert (which indeed looks like one of his paintings). We will arrive to the Laguna Verde, at the base of the volcanoes Juriques and Licancabur (el. 5960 m.a.s.l.) by midday and see there curious phenomenon of the wind changing the color of the Laguna Verde into a spectacular emerald color.
Free time in the afternoon with option to swim in the Hot Springs or to walk around the lagoons.



Night at the Alta Montaña accomodation (basic comfort).
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, room

Day 5: Laguna Verde - Quetena

Start at 04:00am to attempt the summit of the Licancabur volcano. The 4WD will drop us at the base of the volcano (el. 4550 m.a.s.l.) and we will start the climb with the headlights. The whole volcano is nothing else but scree. From the summit we will see over the whole Cordilleras of the Andes: exceptional view over Lipez and the Atacama Desert as well as over the lagunas Verde and Blanca (between 6 and 10 hours round trip).
When back to the laguna Verde and to the vehicles we will cross the Dali Desert (which indeed looks like one of his paintings) before following the Laguna Salada. From there, we will drive to Quetena where we will arrive at the end of the day.
Ascent time: 8h; Elevation gain: +1410m / -1410m.



Night at the Doña Braulia accommodation (basic comfort).
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, guide (hiking), room & breakfast

Day 6: Quetena

Departure in the morning from the village of Quetena to drive to the active volcano Uturuncu (“jaguar” in Quechua), by one of the highest drivable tracks in the world, an old mining road, at 5700 meters above sea level. Depending on the snow limit, the vehicle might drop us at about 5000 m.a.s.l. From there, we will start the climb by following the dirt track to its end.
The summit of the most accessible 6000-meter peak in Bolivia can be reached in approximately 4 hours, and 1 to 2 hours for the descent.
Return to Quetena at the end of the day.


Night at the Doña Braulia accommodation (basic comfort).
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), entrance fees, private transport, guide (hiking), room & breakfast

Day 7: Quetena - Villamar

From Quetena, we will drive to Tomaslaka, and leave the vehicle at the foot of impressive organs looking formations, end of a 20 km long and thousands years old lava.
We will walk into a completely silent canyon with steep cliffs carved by the erosion, and probably find some
viscachas and wild partridges hidden under the rocks. Further on we will discover some abandoned tombs, some of which still containing ceramics and bones.
After a few minutes walk, we will arrive in a vast rocky valley, leading to the immense and desolate Altiplano. We will cross the bofedals, where llamas and vicuñas find the perfect grazing place in the middle of ducks and guallatas (wild geese of the altiplano).
After 5 hours of trekking on moderate terrain the loop will be complete and we will return to our vehicle to drive to Villamar.

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

Day 8: Villamar - Uyuni

Return to Uyuni in the morning(5 to 6 hours on a dirt road). Visit the Valley of Stones on the way , in the Rio Grande, an area with many vicuñas and ñandus (Ostrich family), of Culpina K and the village of San Cristobal. Arrival in Uyuni late in the afternoon and visit of the train cemetery just outside of town.


Included : lunch (no drinks), private transport

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)

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 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 Albergue de Alta Montaña   Laguna Verde

Level : 1*
Included : room

This small shelter, located at the edge of the Laguna Blanca, offers a perfect alternative to spend a night before crossing the border to Chile or climb the Licancabur volcano. The comfort is basic. There is no heating nor hot water. The shelter propose dormitories with shared bathrooms and toilets.

Option : Driver accommodation

Lodging Dona Braulia   Quetena

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

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.

Ask us for
a quote

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