Travel from the gleaming salt floor of Uyuni to the Siloli Desert's (technically part of the Atacama) rock formations and Eduardo Abaroa National Park, stopping along the way at lagoons each beautiful in its own way, visit the hotsprings and geysers, a hotel made entirely of salt, and a volcanic peak now become an "island".
You'll be picked up in 10:00 in the town of Uyuni and we'll head in our 4x4 Jeep to the world's largest desert of salt, the Uyuni Salt Flats, whose surface holds 10 billion tons of salt and whose brine lake 7 to 66 feet beneath the salt crust contains 50-70% of the world's lithium reserves.
At the one-street town of Colchani we'll observe how the workers of a cooperative jointly owned among them use traditionally rustic methods of artisanal salt extraction. These are the only people who can exploit this natural resource. While there you'll be able to see their salt-based artisan products as well.
During our next stop you'll be able to see how locals can cope with scarce traditional building materials: the Salt Hotel in the center of Uyuni was once a functioning hotel made completely of salt from walls to beds, but now operates only as a sort of museum.
Our next visit will be to Fish Island. In Uyuni, the "islands" are not literally islands but rather the tops of ancient volcanoes which were submered way back when Uyuni was part of a massive prehistoric lake, Lika Minchin. Their strange coral-like structures house colonies of the curly-tailed viscacha, an animal reminiscent of the rabbit. You'll note the fossils and algae in their deposits and marvel before the giant 39ft cacti.
Our day ends in the small town of Chuvica, where we will spend the night in a family home.
After breakfast we'll depart for the Cañapa, Stinking, Chiarcota, Honda, and Radadita Lagoons, where we will watch the flamingos feeding. The stinking lagoon is aptly named due to the sulfur and algae in the water, but this same red algae gives color to the hundreds of flamingos at this lake.
In November, this area becomes a breeding ground for flamingos, including the rare James's Flamingos, and other bird species.
Afterwards we will continue to the Siloli Desert, famous for its extraordinary eroded rock formations such as the Tree Stone. Siloli is considered part of the world's driest desert, the Atacama, even though it's only an hour from the colored lakes.
Our last stop is the Eduardo Abaroa National Park, the entrance to the Red Lagoon. Here, you will see three different kinds of flamingos and other diverse birds. We'll spend the night in this spot.
We'll wake up early at 5:30 am, which will allow us to better appreciate the Sol de la Mañana (Morning Sun) Geysers, where we will have our breakfast while observing these noisy fumaroles which explode through surface holes and mud pools every few seconds.
Afterwards we'll head to the Chalvin Desert to relax in the natural hotsprings.
Then it's off to the beautiful Green Lagoon, a green lake whose mirror-like waters reflect Licancabur Volcano, at whose base it lies.
Finally, we must return to the town of Uyuni.
*Tourist Class or Public Bus Options Available