We are 5 guys and ad an awesome tour from la paz to Uyuni and the Three days! we booked trough a company called "Kings Travel" and they were just great , the rate we paid was 165 U$ each but it was money well spent! at first we had a just excellent guide named Gery, who speaks fluent english, is a professional archaeologist and a paramedic! he started the trip with us and came along the whole tour! giving us tons of really technical information far far better than any tourist could get from a normal driver /guide which all of the "standart tourists get" we had four "Extra" stops and visibly the driver did not like to make them, but he knew that Gery , our pro, guide was in control, we stopped in the middle of the salt flats to "get" our pretty souvenirs in "salt Cristals", then we had another stop far from any other car or person to take our "Crazy pictures" on the flats and then we stopped in a fantastic "Mummy ceremonial spot", plus we stopped to look for and actually watch the "andean fox", this tour and Guide is recommendable to any tourist who wants a guaranteed, safe and reliable tour!
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I'm not sure if it could be classed as off the beaten track, it certanly a well trodden road !! but its still so remote you feel you are the first person to ever see it, If that makes sense
The start of a epic journey, one which i shall never forget
My first stop the train grave yard climb amongst them get your camera out and fire away
When i did this trip in 98 we only met one other group!! I wonder if that would be true today
The title might sound crazy but this tour is extremely popular and you see plenty of cars with tourists all the way, at least 50 or more cars with 6 passengers each per day. I would not call that "off the beaten path" but it is great and interesting and highly recommendable.
Though we were getting tired of the strange rock formations by now, this stop was a welcomed relief to get out of the truck on the way back to Uyuni. It was nice to walk around, get some fresh air, and of course, snap a few photos.
You see a lot of llamas on your travels around Bolivia and Peru, and enough alpaccas too, but vicunas, their wild and undomesticated relative is a much more rare sight. I snapped this shot from the truck as they scampered from the road. The graceful animals' fur is the most expensive clothing material and reported to be the warmest too.
Our tour ended at Laguna Blanca where we parted away with Nico. We then took a bus down to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. The Bolivian border was a breeze, but we were detained for over an hour at Chilean immigration due to inspections. It makes sense though, since Bolivia is so poor compare to modern Chile.
We ate breakfast here before continuing on. After eating, we continued on to the Laguna Verde, a beautiful lagoon with strange foam on the water edge. The mighty Volcan Llicancabur overlooks this lagoon. I walked around part of the lagoon to enjoy the change in colors with the different light.
After the geyser, we drove down to the thermal waters at 4300 meters above sea level. On the way, we passed an amazing desert like scenery, which I was again looked more like a picture of Mars, then on Earth. Anyway, I was a bit reluctant at first, but after seeing the others relaxing in the thermal waters I decided to join them. So with freezing weather, I took my clothes out, put my swimming trunks on, and ventured into the thermal waters. The water was a nice 30' Celsius, which made for a sharp contrast with the near freezing temperature of the air. In fact, there was ice on the surface of the small lake, which lies not even 10 meters away from were the thermal water lies. Surprisingly, I didn't get cold once I left the bath.
We woke up really early on the third day. It was still dark outside so it was freezing cold. We drove uphill for about 1 hour to the Sol de Mañana Geysers. As always, Nico Schumacher made sure that we were the first there. The geysers were quite nice! We got to see the sunrise there. Since we were early, the sulfur fumes were going hot. Also, the mud melting holes were acting up like beasts. The view of the sun appearing through the vapors was amazing.
We finally got to the Laguna Colorada (elevation 4,278 meters above sea level), where we spend the night. We hiked to the Mirador to enjoy the gorgeous view of the lagoon with its many colors (red, blue, yellow, white, etc).