Discover an unearthly realm of unbridled adventure on this ten-night Atacama to Uyuni Salt Flats tour, a private and privileged pilgrimage of deep immersion along the ancient Incan Qhapaq Nan trail across the altiplano between Chile and Bolivia.
Exclusive, All-Inclusive Excursions
The ultimate in extreme exploration, this Salar De Uyuni tour from San Pedro De Atacama will take you on a remote yet culturally rich route through some of the world’s most dramatic landscapes and unique ecosystems imaginable, from the arid desert delights of Atacama to the spectacular saline scenery of the Uyuni Salt Flats.
You’ll have the exclusive comforts of your own vehicle, chauffeured by your very own private local driver, and escorted by your own encyclopaedic Explora guide to assist, inspire and enrich your journey every step of the way.
With their help, you’ll effectively choose your own path from a multitude of different daily explorations of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty, so each day can be paced and tailored to your own particular interests, or how you’re feeling.
Along the way you’ll explore three different altitude zones, discovering first-hand their unique geographic, cultural and biospheric characteristics. Hike to breathtaking viewpoints with panoramic vistas of the altiplano and salt flats (which you can also cycle over), scale volcanoes, relax in hot springs, stargaze under clear Andean skies, and even spot puma tracks, all whilst unraveling the rich human history of the region.
Little Luxurious Lodges
Explora are renowned for their remarkable, sustainable South American lodges in some of the continent’s most remote and precious locations, and their Explora Atacama and Explora Uyuni lodges, where this expedition starts and ends, are no exception.
Explora Atacama has 50 rooms, indulgent spa facilities and its own observatory, and provides an oasis of calm for your opening days of acclimatization and exploration of the sand dunes, geysers, hot springs, and volcanoes of this desert domain. Explora Uyuni is the latest of their lodges, a minimalist mirage of scandi-style luxury amid the dreamlike salt-scape of the final destination of your tour.
En route to Explora Uyuni, you’ll stay in two beautiful, aptly-named “Mountain Homes” in Chituca – a former shepherding settlement steeped in history and surrounded by hidden villages, necropolises and petroglyphs – and Ramaditas – a remarkable region surrounded by flamingo-filled and vicuña-lined lagoons – both exquisite bases from which to explore their surrounds and recuperate from the days’ excursions.
The Mountain Homes have space for just 12 travelers in 6 rooms, and the Explore Uyuni lodge space for 16 in 8 rooms respectively, all with en-suite bathrooms, as well as a separate dining and lounge areas serving sublime indigenous cuisine from Bolivian Chef Mauricio Lópex (of famed Ancestral restaurant in La Paz), all made with locally sourced ingredients and accompanied by wines from the region.
Established in partnership with local families and designed by award-winning Chilean architect Max Núñez, these Mountain Homes and lodges have been painstakingly planned to avoid interference with, blend into, and highlight the landscapes around them, and have been carefully constructed so as to be reversible and leave no permanent footprint.
Altitude & Altiplano Safety
Your team have been traveling this route, exploring the furthermost reaches of the altiplano, and perfecting their portfolio of excursions for over 15 years, and know the region better than many of the locals you’ll meet along the way.
Such remote adventure is not without its dangers, but rest safe in the knowledge that they have all the necessary equipment and infrastructure to ensure your safety and that of the inhabitants and wildlife of the pristine landscapes you’ll discover.
Your guide has Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification as proof of their knowledge and skills to aid people in isolated areas, and the all-terrain vehicles are endowed with satellite communication and navigation systems, VHF radio, and oxygen – which may come in useful on a journey that for the most part fluctuates between 3,600 and 4,700 m.a.s.l. (although the itinerary has been carefully crafted to slowly adapt you to the altitude, starting from Atacama which lies at 2,400 m.a.s.l.).
From the driest desert on earth to its biggest salt flats, to experience this astonishing journey across the altiplano is sure to be one of the most remarkable adventures of your lifetime. Please note the season for this Atacama Desert and Uyuni tour is from mid-April to mid-December, and may also be done in reverse.