You are currently viewing Bolivia on a Budget: My Unforgettable Group Tour Through the Desert and Salt Flats
Photo by Andrea Huls Pareja on Unsplash

Bolivia on a Budget: My Unforgettable Group Tour Through the Desert and Salt Flats

Embarking on a memorable journey through the Bolivian desert and the mesmerizing Uyuni Salt Flats was an experience I’ll never forget. As a park ranger, I’m often surrounded by nature, but the otherworldly landscapes of a vacation in Bolivia offered something truly unique. Opting for a group tour with a local travel expert made it even more special, and I can’t wait to return with my family.

Day 1: San Pedro de Atacama, Chile to Red Lagoon, Bolivia

stone tree - salt flats bolivia - bamba travel

Our adventure began bright and early, departing from San Pedro de Atacama at 6:30 am. The excitement was palpable as we crossed the border into Bolivia and switched to a sturdy 4WD Jeep, ready to tackle the high plains. Our first stop was the stunning Green Lagoon, with its toxic copper waters shimmering under the sun, followed by Laguna Blanca at the foot of the towering Licancabur volcano.

Driving through the Dali Desert, the surreal landscapes left us in awe, feeling as if we had stepped into a Salvador Dali painting. The Sol de Mañana geysers were another highlight, with boiling pots of mud and fumaroles creating an otherworldly atmosphere. By the end of the day, we arrived at the intense red-hued Laguna Colorada, home to thousands of flamingos. The night was spent in shared rooms, where the cold was kept at bay with warm scarves and wool hats.

Day 2: Red Lagoon to Chiguana Salt Flat, Bolivia


After an early breakfast, we set off through the Siloli Desert, known for its unique rock formations shaped by wind erosion. The sight of the tree-shaped lava rock was unforgettable. We continued our journey, visiting the high plain lagoons—Laguna Honda, Chiarcota, and Cañapa—all boasting vibrant colors and stunning views.

Our day ended at the Chiguana Salt Flat, surrounded by volcanoes. Spending the night in a Salt Hotel was a unique experience; the walls and furniture made entirely of salt added a touch of magic to our stay.

Day 3: Chiguana Salt Flat to Uyuni Salt Flats and Villa Mar, Bolivia

uyuni - salt flats bolivia - bamba travel

The highlight of our trip was the vast Uyuni Salt Flats. We departed early to visit Inca Wasy (Fish Island), where giant cacti and petrified coral formations created a surreal landscape. The white expanse of the salt flats was the perfect backdrop for fun and wacky photos, playing with perspective and proportions.

We also visited Colchani, a village where salt miners work tirelessly extracting salt. Our journey continued to the town of Uyuni, where we took a brief rest before heading to Villa Mar for our final night in Bolivia.

Day 4: Villa Mar, Bolivia to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

san pedro de atacama in bolivia - salt flats - bamba travel

Our final day began early with a 4:30 am departure from Villa Mar. The drive to the Bolivian border was peaceful as we reflected on the incredible sights we had seen. After completing immigration formalities, we switched to a minibus for our return to San Pedro de Atacama, arriving around 1:00 pm.

Saying goodbye to the new friends we had made on this journey was bittersweet. The shared experiences and breathtaking landscapes had bonded us in a special way.

Final Word

This budget-friendly group tour through Bolivia’s deserts and salt flats was an unforgettable adventure. The expertise of our local guide made the trip seamless and enjoyable. 

I am eager to return with my family to share the beauty of this incredible region and create more lasting memories. If you’re looking for an affordable and extraordinary travel experience, I highly recommend this group tour through Bolivia.

Gary Linedecker headshot

Guest post written by Gary Linedecker

Gary is a dedicated park ranger with an insatiable passion for the great outdoors. His love for nature and adventure has taken him to some of the most breathtaking landscapes around the globe.