Try to find a tour operator that will take you to sleep in a Salt hotel for the night at the salar. These have small luxuries such as double rooms and warm water (at a price). Also the experience is quite unique, because as the name suggests - the hotel is made out of salt! The building materials (except the ceiling), floor, beds, tables and stools are made out of salt.
Try to find a tour operator that will take you to sleep in a Salt hotel for the night at the salar. These have small luxuries such as double rooms and warm water (at a price). Also the experience is quite unique, because as the name suggests - the hotel is made out of salt! The building materials (except the ceiling), beds, tables and stools are made out of salt.
Accomodation everywhere on this circuit is very basic due to the complete remoteness and it is usually on a first-come first-served basis, so you cannot choose or be sure where you are going to stay. Usually you can forget about hot water or flushing toilets, though sometimes you might be surprised ;-) Electricity, if present, runs for only a few hours. Also accomodation is in dorm basis - so you will share a room and toilets with your companions. Heating is something much sought after in the cold altiplano nights, but never found! Beware of freezing water in and around toilets at night ;-)
A good tip for couples (especially from June-August): beds are single beds and nights are very cold. It is best to share the bed with your significant other and put the blankets of the unused beds on top of you as well. Stay in your sleeping bag in bed too and make sure you are dressed well - a beanie is a good idea as inside the dorm it will almost certainly be below freezing.
Stays in these kind of places, coupled with the fact that groups travel together and in convoys means that evenings are spent in a very social manner - eating and drinking together and sleeping in dorms. A very enjoyable experience if you are with a great group of people like I was :)
We spent nights in La Paz and Santa Cruz, but the one we spent in Uyuni was specially suprising. La Petite Porte has been the nicest accomodation surprise of our trip. You can not expect such a nice place hidden behind a very discreet front. Inside is a very luminous and charming place. The room was very cozy and confortable. There is a central heating system (very usefull in Uyuni), the bathroom was amazingly nice and the shower a real pleasure! There is a free internet and the à la carte breakfast is full of surprises (homemade yogurt, french toast, bacon and eggs, fresh juice etc.) We really recommend this place! The price is maybe a little bit high (80 USD for a doble room) but it really worth it!
The main characteristic of this accomodation is that it has only two rooms. So we had the entire place for ourselves. We really feel at home. There is an LCD Tv and a DVD player in the room and you can just choose a movie from the reception desk. There is a kettle with teas or coffee in the room with a big bottle of mineral water.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES STAY IN THIS HOTEL. We arrived in Unuyi and did some hotel shopping before deciding on this hotel. Big mistake. The next day when we were checking out they changed the prices on us, insisting that we pay 30 US dollars MORE than we had agreed upon. When we refused to pay that they locked us in the hotel and did not allow us to leave. It was terrible. I felt like I was being held hostage. When we tried to leave from another exit the staff ran ahead of us and pushed us out of the way to lock that door as well. I have never felt so taken advantage of before. We kept demanding to be able to leave or to have the police come to the hotel. Finally the police arrived and the situation was resolved. The staff at the hotel showed no remorse and they were as rude as could be. It was an awful experiance. Do not put yourself through this - this hotel and it´s staff should seriously be closed down and jailed.
La segunda noche del Tour del Salar , nada más pasar la Laguna Colorada , nos llevaron al Hostal San Marcelo , era muy básico , pero la verdad es que no hay alternativa en esa zona
Dormimos los seis que íbamos en el 4x4 en una habitación que tenía las camas de piedra y encima había un colchón , además sólo hay luz de 6 a 8 pues la dan con un generador
Comida , la que nos hacía nuestra "cheff"
A pesar de lo duro del viaje vale la pena conocer el Salar de Uyuni y las Lagunas Bolivianas
Para mi el mayor problema fue el soroche (4.300m)
The second night of the Salar Tour , just passing the Red Lagoon , they took us to the San Marcelo Hostal , it was very basic , but really there is not alternative in that region
We slept together the six persons that were traveling together in the4x4 in a room with stone beds and over there was a mattress , besides there is light only from 6 to 8 as they need to use the generator
Food , it was done by our Cheff
Even the hard trip it is really worthy to go to the Salar and the Bolivian Lagoons
For me the biggest problem was the soroche (4.300m)
La primera noche después de pasar el Salar , nos quedamos a dormir en un pueblo que se llama San Juan del Rosario . En estos pueblos no hay infraestructuras y nos quedamos en un hotel que se llama Luz de la Mañana que era muy básico .
Tiene alguna habitación con baño y el resto son con baño compartido
Para comer se utilizan las instalaciones del hotel , pero la comida la hace la cocinera que va con el grupo
Este hotel estaba incluido en el tour del Salar
The night after passing the Salar , we slept in a village named San Juan del Rosario . In this villages there are not infrastructures and we stayed in a hotel called Luz de la Mañana that was very basic.
They have few rooms with bathroom and the others with share bathroom
To eat you use the hotel installations , but the food is prepared by the travel group cook
This hotel it was included in the Salar tour
Cuando llegamos a Uyuni , la mayor parte de los hoteles que aparecen en las guías estaban llenos , así que visitamos cinco y finalmente encontramos La Joya Inca , un hotel pequeño , a cinco minutos del centro , donde eramos los únicos clientes y que estaba bien y limpio
When we arrived to Uyuni , most hotels in the travel guides were busy , so we visited 5 and finally we found the Joya Inca , a small hotel , five minutes from the center , where we were the only customers and it was quite nice and clean
Un soñador hizo un hotel completamente de sal , las habitaciones , los salones , las mesas , las camas ..., todo de sal menos el tejado , pero no contó con los problemas de los residuos y los permisos de las autoridades que no le han permitido tenerlo en explotación
A dreamer made a salt hotel , the rooms , the sitting rooms , the tables , the beds..., all made with salt but the roof , but he didn´t tookin mind the enviromental problems and the authority permits that have forbiden the hotel operation
There is now (Nov 08) another alternative to staying in Uyuni. Lonely Planet in Apr 04 said that the two old salt hotels out west of Colchani on the Salar were being deconstructed and relocated near Colchani. I know the Hotel Playa Blanca was still there in May 06, so maybe they just moved the Palacio del Sal. When we went from Jirira to Colchani in May 06, they were building a new, large salt hotel on the edge of the Salar north of Colchani. The new salt hotel had not opened yet. I only saw it from a distance but the construction seemed pretty far along. I found a website for Palacio del Sal that I think must be the new hotel. There are definitely reviews now for this hotel and they are good. Just realize that it is in the middle of nowhere. Another problem would be getting there if you arrive on the 10:50 PM train in Uyuni but maybe they will run a shuttle. One review said the llama steaks were good at the hotel. It's a good thing because the nearest restaurant is in Colchani.
Everything is made of salt blocks.
This hostel is situated away from the town centre so it is quieter than those nearer the train station (on some days, the train gets in at 2AM).
The hostel has rooms arranged around a big courtyard where the owners hang their washing, their meat to dry and where their noisy kid plays (during the day).
Our room had a bathroom but no hot water ever came out of the shower. I tried the shower block accross the courtyard and the water was not much warmer. Not nice when the average temp is at below 0C.
Breakfast was correct but a bit skimpy. At least the room was warm due to a chimney.
Owners not really bothered or nice.
Quieter in the evening and at night than hotels near the station, when the owners kid is not playing noisily in the courtyard while you trying to have an afternoon nap.
You will be cold and have to sleep in your sleeping bag under a pile of blankets but it is the same everywhere in Uyuni as far as I know.
We tried the Kory Wasy in May 06. I must say it is way overrated in at least two tour books. I would say it is just adequate. I had a small single room with one twin bed and not much space for anything else. The "private" bath was all mine but it was across the hall. I don't think it had a hot shower but I really don't know since I did not use it. I decided not to streak across the hallway. The Kory Wasy is also built around a central, open stairwell. It was even noisier than the Kutimuy since the hotel is smaller. There may be better rooms but I did not have one of them. Breakfast was adequate and about the same as the Kutimuy. I must say that the staff at Kory Wasy were more friendly than at the Kutimuy.
The breakfast area is nice and even has a fireplace. There is also a very comfortable lounge area.
The first time I went to Uyuni in Oct 03, I was using Fremen Tours and they contracted with Colque Tours in Uyuni for the 4WD trip. Colque is affililated with the Hotel Kutimuy and I stayed there. It is the tallest building in town. I had a comfortable room with a private bath and hot water shower. However, it was a little noisy since the rooms are built around a central stairwell. The staff were nice enough but seemed very busy and overworked.
When I returned to Uyuni in May 06, I decided to try another hotel (Kory Wasy - see next tip) that was highly recommended in the tour books. That turned out to be a mistake. The Kutimuy has larger cleaner rooms, is quieter and has a better breakfast. It may even cost less.
The breakfast area is on the top floor and has a large rooftop patio that overlooks the town and street market.
This hotel was a pleasant surprise. It's a 3-4 star hotel in the middle of nowhere. While we were traveling on budget, the fact that we arrived in the rainy season (February) allowed us to secure a reasonable budget-travel price. The hotel first floor accommodates TupizaTours, I guess the best travel agency in town, where you can book your trips to the surroundings and to the Salar through the Lagoons (4 days tip).
Comfortable modern rooms with hot showers (a rarity in these parts)
When travelling through the Salar de Uyuni you do not see any towns as such. There are some scattered refugios consisting of dorms, a cooks kitchen, and very basic toilets.
A couple have hot water and generator electricity until 10PM.
Most of them have kiosks where you can buy alcohol, cigarettes, chocolates, toilet paper and of course water.
The refugios consist of a 3 or 4 small buildings and have basic heating in the dorms. The harsh desert conditions mean you will need a good insulated sleeping bag along with a couple of layers of blankets that they supply you. The nights get very cold.
If you are going on an organised tour. The cost of these accomodations and food are usually included in the total cost of the tour.
i can`t say too much about the hotel because i only spent one night.
but the room was clean and the staff of the hotel were kind.
so, i recommend you to stay here before or after the tour around Uyuni.
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