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Salar de Uyuni Tour Companies

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1. Posted by dbo (Full Member 34 posts) 10y

Hi all

I've checked on some previous threads reagarding the Salt Flats, but there doesn't seem to be any specific information regarding tour companies. Can anyone recommend a good one to go with for a 4-day round trip from Uyuni? It would be good to hear from travellers who have recently taken a similar tour and have had good/bad experiences with companies.

Thanks

2. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 10y

I think there are like thousands of tour companies doing the exact same 4 day tour around Salar de Uyuni, and they seem to change names all the time too so actually it's impossible to recommend a specific one. They provide almost identical food, and they do all the stops at the same places at the same time, and they charge about the same amount of money too, so I don't know if there is actually any difference! Also, I was told that the guides don't have anything to do with the agencies, because they are freelancing.
What you can do is to make sure that you end up in a group of people you like and think you will enjoy spending time with. They put 6 people in each jeep, and you will spend a lot of time in the jeep, so you might as well be picky with the company. We were put together with 4 old couples from France (2 jeeps) who REFUSED to speak anything but French... IF you want to you can check out my travel blog about this specific experience. Lucky for us we had met another (younger) couple the day before - they were a lot of fun and we signed up for the trip together. Thanks God for that!
Nothing's ever full booked, so you can just go there, hook up with some cool people, and sign up for a tour - with any tour company, because there's no difference. That's my advice!

Good luck
//susanna

[ Edit: Edited at Aug 1, 2006 5:11 AM by snatterand ]

3. Posted by guerrita (Budding Member 8 posts) 10y

susanna -- i will be in Cochabamba,Bolivia in September and I would like to do a short side trip to Salar de Uyuni from there. What city should I start my trip from? I have heard that you can get a bus from Oruro, Potosi or Villazon to get to Uyuni. What do you recommend?

Thanks

4. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 10y

I really don't know because I never went to Cochabamba. We came from Sucre, through Potosi, and the roads were alright, paved and all (it's not as common as you would think/wish in Bolivia). There might be a direct bus to Oruro from Cochabamba, but I'm not sure. Does anyone else know?

//susanna

5. Posted by lazyguy (Budding Member 4 posts) 10y

Tours to Salar de Uyuni, Playa Balnca tours are to be avoided. They have a service which matches their dreadful reputation.

6. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

Guerrita,

I'm not sure what kind of itinerary you're planning, but going to the salar from Cochabamba isn't logical. You need to go to Uyuni anyway, since 90% of the tour companies depart from there.

good luck planning, let us know if you need more advice,
Niels

ps: Susanna, congrats on the guru status ;)

7. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 10y

Quoting bentivogli

Guerrita,

I'm not sure what kind of itinerary you're planning, but going to the salar from Cochabamba isn't logical. You need to go to Uyuni anyway, since 90% of the tour companies depart from there.

good luck planning, let us know if you need more advice,
Niels

ps: Susanna, congrats on the guru status ;)

Well, Niels, you've already congratulated me on that, several months ago!!! Am I spotting a tiny degree of sarcasm...? ;)
//Susanna

8. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru 2398 posts) 10y

oh my... thought your "ascension" also was a recent one... must be my own newly gained status playing tricks on me, since I'd never mock a fellow guru ;)

9. Posted by snatterand (Travel Guru 454 posts) 10y

Oh, NOW I get it!!!! You're also a guru!!! Congratulations, finally! What did you do? Bribe them?!?!

;)
//Susanna

10. Posted by holybinch (Budding Member 35 posts) 10y

Susanna : I can relate to your experience, being a french expat myself, i know the behaviour my fellow coutrymen can sometimes have when in groups abroad !
But don't worry, we aren't all like that !