There are many ways to explore a country so we decided to see the beauty of Bolivia by doing a 3 day Jeep tour from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile to Uyuni, Bolivia. We shared the car with 4 people from Spain, Denmark and Australia. Ronald was our driver, tour guide, mechanic, troubleshooter and cook. The tour started with a border crossing into Bolivia which was the quickest and most unproblematic border I have ever crossed, however it was also one of the most remotest.
From the first moment after crossing into bolivia we visited one natural beauty after another. At 4200 metres above sea level we stopped at the Laguna Blanca, where the water shimmered white due to its high amount of mineral. Next stop at The Laguna Verde had a temperature of minus 56 degrees and was still liquid due to its chemical composition.
At 5000 metres we visited The Geiser Sol Manana which where steam pools of boiling mud. At this height we suffered from the altitude and every small hill became a challenge. We struggled with headaches, dizziness and short of breath, typical symptoms for high altitude.
We had the opportunity to take a relaxing bath in the hot springs of Aguas Termales.
At the Laguna Colorado we saw James’s flamingos, the water shimmered white from the mineral Borax and red from the algae which was truly impressive.
The 2nd day started with a visit to a Lost City and this was also the place where our car broke down. The Jeep was dismantled, seats were taken out and cables were checked. Due to the remoteness of the place there was no phone signal so unless the car could be fixed we had no way of getting out. While Ronald worked on the car we planned our survival strategy for the night, which basically meant rationing out Sams Pringles. I have no clue how Ronald fixed the problem but after 2 hours trouble shooting it suddenly worked with a cable running from underneath our seats to the engine.
We spent our 2nd night in the Hotel de Sal, which was entirely made out of salt. Salt bricks, salt tables, chairs, salt bed and salt on the floor. It felt very unique but it was bitter cold in the night.
Our 3rd day started at 4.30am so we could be on the road by 5am to see the sunrise over the Salar de Uyuni, which is the worlds largest salt flat with 10582 sqkm. For 3 hours we cruised over the few metres thick salt crust to enjoy the sunrise. The water on the salt flats gives an unbelievable mirrored image of the sunrise and the surrounding mountains, none of the pictures have been altered or enhanced with photoshop, basically what the pictures show below was our view from the car as we where driving over this impressive salt crust. It was absolutely breathtaking.