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Atacama - Uyuni

9 Sightseeing $$$

Shweta Reddy


Atacama, desert in Chile is home to some of the most remote, harsh but stunning landscape. On the other hand, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is so unique you have to see it to believe it.

Trip starts in Santiago, Chile and ends in La Paz, Bolivia.



Day 1



Things you can do in Santiago

  • Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos
  • Furnicular ride to Santuario de la Inmaculada Concepcion
  • Parque Forestal
  • Plaza de Armas

Do as many or as few as you like.


It's a big city with many options.

Hotels in Santiago

Day 2

Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama

plane icon Santiago to Calama

Its a quick 2 hr flight to Calama which is the closest airport to Atacama. Take a morning flight so that you can finish your day with sand boarding.

bus icon Calama to San Pedro de Atacama

There are lots of buses/taxis from the airport. It takes about 90 mins.

Sand boarding

How many times will you get to try sand boarding. It's not easy but sand is softer than you think to fall into.

San Pedro de Atacama

Everything is a tour in Atacama. All hotels can book your sight seeing tours. All tours take about half a day or less but believe me you don't want to be outdoors for more than that in a desert.

Hotels in SPA.

Day 3

San Pedro de Atacama

Geysers del Tatio

As I mentioned above, everything is a tour in Atacama. This tour starts at 4am and takes you to a field of geysers.

Star Gazing

This is one of the best things you will do. Being the driest place makes Atacama among the best places for star gazing. You can see planets and galaxies!

Atacama Desert Star Gazing is the tour I recommend. It's bit on the expensive side but Jorge's passion comes across in the tour and you will learn many things about the sky. He has top of the line telescopes and showed us Jupiter and it's four moons (easily the best moment of the trip). It's a very weather dependent activity, hence book the tour earlier in your trip so that you have back up nights if the tour gets rescheduled.

There are other start gazing tours as well or you can simply drive bit out of the town with minimum light pollution and look at the sky.

San Pedro de Atacama

Same as day 2.

Day 4

San Pedro de Atacama

Valle de la Luna

Supposedly looks like moon's surface. I don't know about that but its outer worldly enough.

San Pedro de Atacama

Same as day 2.

Day 5

San Pedro de Atacama

Laguna Cejar

Lake where you don't have to swim! It's a sink hole lake with very high salinity which is why you can float.

San Pedro de Atacama

Same as day 2.

Day 6

Hito Cajon

Tour to Uyuni Day 1

This is a 3 day tour in a 4X4 vehicle that takes you to a desert, lakes, geysers, salt flats and finally to Uyuni, Bolivia. The 4 day tour will bring you back to San Pedro de Atacama. The tour includes food and stay.

If you don't plan to go to Bolivia then do the Lagunas Altiplanicas tour which will take you to similar landscape in Chile.

On day 1 you will drive in desert at 1300 - 1400ft which will make you a bit dizzy or a give you a headache or any other kind of mild altitude sickness.

You will see

  • Laguna Blanco
  • Laguna Verde
  • Laguna Colarada

Day 7

Desert of Siloli

Tour to Uyuni Day 2

  • More Desert
  • Unique rock formations
  • More Flamingos

Day 8

Salar de Uyuni

Tour to Uyuni Day 3

The mirror like Salar de Uyuni.

You will reach Uyuni by afternoon.

bus icon Uyuni to La Paz

You can take the direct overnight bus to La Paz. Book in advance with Todo Turismo bus.

Another alternative is to take a bus to Potosi and then an over night from Potosi to La Paz. No advance booking needed in this case.

Day 9

La Paz

La Paz

Things you can do in La Paz:

  • Shopping (Lot of colourful and cheap stuff)
  • Bike on the Death Road
  • Mi Teleferico

La Paz

It's big city with loads of options.

La Paz Hotels

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