Salt Flats Tour - Quechua Connections Review

Old Jan 21st, 2016, 07:22 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 46
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Salt Flats Tour - Quechua Connections Review

Researching for our trip to the salt flats was challenging. Many people said it was definitely worth visiting (which I agree with), but it was a bit hit and miss regarding tour companies you travelled with.

We booked with Quechua Connections through Kanoo tours. Kanoo tours was a fantastic company to book though, easy to communicate with, pay for tours, etc. We also booked return flights to Uyuni through them. Most people took the night bus, but we opted for a little more comfort!

My first impression of Quechua Connections was not positive. We had been told to be at the offices at 9am for a 10-10:30 departure. We sat around forever with no explanation as to why we needed to be there early. When I asked for a sleeping bag, which was included in the price, I was told I wouldn't need one, despite my insistence that I wanted one. The driver and guide was late and we didn't depart until 11am (in hindsight this was great because we would arrive at sights and it would be a car park, and by the time we left it would be practically empty!). The guide however did insist that we were all given sleeping bags, which we used for the second night.

I booked with Quechua Connections because they stated they provided an English speaking guide, would have no more than six passengers in a car and would see the sunset on the salt flats. We were a group of ten people with an English speaking guide split across two cars. With the drivers and guide, the cars had seven and six people in them. I would not have liked to have been in a car with eight people.

The first day of the three day/two night tour is on the salt flats. The train graveyard was interesting, but the highlight was getting onto the flats. We did a thirty minute bike ride on the flats which was challenging due to the altitude, bumpy ride and full sun (take plenty of sunscreen and be prepared for high altitudes, we reached 5000 meters above sea level). We had plenty of time to take photos and admire the expanse of salt and nothingness! A definite highlight was the island with the cactuses (sorry, I have forgotten the name). Also really enjoyed seeing the sunset on the flats!

The next day we explored the southern desert of Bolivia which had lots of volcanoes and lakes. The landscape is desolate with lots of sand, dust rocks, and extinct volcanoes. The day consisted mostly of driving with plenty of photo stops to take pictures of the lakes, rocks or desert scenery. It was very windy and a little chilly in the afternoon, so be prepared with some warmer clothes (gets down to minus five degrees Celsius at night in summer). Our accommodation was at 4300 meters above sea level (more on this later). I love deserts and enjoyed the day, though there was a lot of driving. If you do not enjoy long drives or desert scenery, it is probably not worth doing a multi day tour from Uyuni.

Our last day we were up at 4am to see sunrise at the volcano (5000 meters above sea level). We witnessed the geothermal activity and headed to the hot springs. I personally thought this was the prettiest lake of the entire trip! We visited sights in the area until nine am. Them those who were going to Chile left and we drove back to Uyuni.

The roads we traveled on are all dirt, often with multiple tracks leading off into every which direction and some real four wheel driving over rocks when going up hills. I can understand how people can get lost! Being dirt roads, I feel like I have consumed a lifetime worth of dust! Be prepared for some bumpy roads! We fortunately had no car troubles, but I did see two cars who had broken down, but they were locals cars, not full of tourists.

Our accommodation for the first night was better than expected with private room and bathroom. The second night was a dorm and shared toilets (no showers). This had rocks holding down them tin roof and you could hear the wind rattling the building. However we were warm at night and slept well. The accommodation was basic.

We were told to bring lots of snacks as food was plain and simple. Not certain what I was expecting, but we had vegetable soup, alpaca steak, chicken schnitzel, pasta, mashed potatoes, sausages and veggies. Certainly did not go hungry (except for the time between an early breakfast and late lunch, or early lunch and late dinner, and this is where snacks came out!)

I really enjoyed the tour. It reinforced my love of the desert, though I have no desire to live in one. The are beautiful yet desolate places! However, if you don't like the desert, long drives or can't miss your creature comforts, the three day tour is probably not for you.
DownUnderDrifter is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2016, 02:46 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,657
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We went two years ago. Thanks for the report and bringing back some great memories of the Salt Flats and Bolivia
live42day is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
nimurg
South America
5
Jun 25th, 2014 10:17 PM
2709
South America
5
May 31st, 2011 06:36 AM
schlegal1
Mexico & Central America
12
Jan 22nd, 2009 10:56 AM
skatedancer
Mexico & Central America
29
Sep 6th, 2007 07:56 AM
Miranda
Australia & the Pacific
4
Jun 26th, 2003 11:40 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:07 PM.