From San Pedro de Atacama we ventured to the Bolivian border, joining a three-day tour that would take us across the desert and the famous Uyuni salt flat, ending at the southern Bolivian town of the same name.
The Salar de Uyuni is the headline attraction of the region, and justifiably so once seen in person. The vast expanse of shimmering salt crust stretches as far as the eye can see, glittering in the dawn light as it segues from black to a pure, brilliant white.
We experienced the salt flat on the final day of our tour, but the sights that preceded it were equally impressive; vivid lagoons full of grazing flamingoes, enormous desert vistas and smoking volcanoes. Altitudes of up to 5000m made it all an especially heady mix.
What really made it special, though, was the group we were part of for the three days. A Toyota Landcruiser is a small space to be stuck with someone that’s doing your head in, but we were lucky enough to be joined by some really lovely people. The tour had two jeeps of six passengers each, and everyone got on really well from the off – it really added to the whole trip. Big props to Chris and Jenny (from just up the road in London), Roger and Manuela (Swiss newlyweds on an amazing year-long honeymoon), Brigette, Bryce and Dimitri from Belgium, and Robert, Stephanie and Fabien from Switzerland!
Quick recommendation for anyone doing some research – our tour was with Cordillera Traveller, and we couldn’t fault them. They were slightly more expensive than some we saw, but the food, accommodation, transport and drivers were all top notch.