One more question RE: travel options. We are now flying to Sucre (from Cuzco), and have 5 days to get to Uyuni, do an overnight (2 days 1nt) tour and get to Arequipa.
Sounds crazy I know, given the advice above too, but we really aren't bothered with a 3-4 day salt flats tour, 1 day sounds enough to see it, experience it, and sleep there.
If that's the case I'm hoping I can do the following
Day 1 : Sucre to Uyuni via Potosi (stay Uyuni)
Day 2 : Salar Tour (stay salt flats)
Day 3 : Salar & afternoon bus (or train) to La Paz (overnight on bus)
Day 4 : Arrive La paz, rest (stay La Paz)
Day 5 : Bus to Arequipa (arriving late!)
To help achieve this, does anyone know if it's possible to do some of the travelling via taxi to speed things up? Eg. I read someone's blog about allegedly getting a taxi between Sucre and Potosi which was quicker than a bus. Costlier, less exciting, but TIME is our biggest issue!
Also, i'm hoping the train would help between Uyuni and Oruro, can anyone advise when this goes and what time of day? We'd be leavng on a Sunday so may not be running???
Also thanks to advice above, I am considering two contingency plans :-
1) If we have problems getting to Uyuni, we will go for a single day trip out to the cactus island and drop the overnight stay.
2) If we have problems going to La Paz, not shown here is an extra day (Day 6) "free" just in case.