As written previously in the other posts about tours to Bolivian Salar de Uyuni, you can opt for a longer trip that includes not only the salt flats but also the region Sud Lípez which is one of the most beautiful landscapes of the Andes. It is an amazing colorful desert lying in approximately 4,000 meters above the sea level, where you can see stunning colorful laguna with flamingoes, volcanos, and geysers, or a surrealist desert that reminds of the Dalí’s paintings. Two days spent in Sud Lípez belong to the best what we saw during our tour of Peru and Bolivia. If you are not short of time, go for the longer trip and really, you will not regret – here is why!
After our first day spent on the largest salt flat in the world and night in a salt hostal, we got up early, got in the car and headed direction region Sud Lípez. We drove through a landscape full of rocks and volcanoes until we reached the first laguna.
Finally, we arrived at the first lake – Laguna Caňapa. Pink and white flamingoes were chilling in the dark blue water, behind the lake there are several volcanoes and this place just left us speechless. We were cautiously walking on the soft green ground, paying attention not to slip into the water, listening to music and watching the flamingoes. It was amazing to see those birds with long thin legs from such a short distance.
Laguna Ramaditas, unlike the Caňapa, was empty – no flamingoes were in the water. Also, the wind was extremely strong here.
Laguna Hedionda is another salt lake full of pink flamingoes that extends to 3 square kilometers.
Desierto Siloli is a part of the Atacama, the driest desert in the world. It lies approximately 4,300 meters above the sea level, and so the color of the sky is deep blue which makes a nice contrast with the reddish-brown desert. It is an entry point to the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna Natural Reserve, the very South corner of Bolivia and the country’s most visited protected area.
On some places, there are large stones that people can climb on and have fun. One giant stone that nobody should miss is Árbol de piedra – a beautiful large stone in the form of a tree.
We also had a chance and met a viscacha here – a cute animal from the family of Chinchillidae.
Before entering to the Laguna Colorada you need to pay an entry fee of 150 Bs. The Laguna Colorada is an amazing one and looks even unreal! The red part is created by the algae that live here thanks to the high concentration of salt and are food for flamingoes. The algae react to the light and is the most intense between 12-16 p.m. when the sun is direct. The white parts are borax, a white mineral used in cosmetics, biochemistry or metallurgy.
We arrived to our accommodation which was even simpler than the night before. No shower, no electricity except between 9-10 p.m. The accommodation consisted of long hall with tables and chairs, and few sleeping rooms for 5. Two young girls around 16 welcomed us and continued to clean the floor, running shy around us and laughing as true teenagers.
The next morning, we needed to leave before 5 to see the Geysers Sol de Maňana. Lorenzo was amazing! He woke up much earlier just to prepare pancakes for breakfast and heat plastic bottles with water for us to get some heating while on the road as it was almost freezing in the morning (although it was the end of November and summer was about to start, it was pretty cold in the night). We got into 5,000 meters above the sea level to reach the geysers. Actually, it is very important to come early in the morning when the geysers are the most active. You can walk around them, but not too close as their temperature is around 200°C which already caused bad burnt to some curious tourists.
We left the geysers and continued to another wonder of this journey. Laguna Verde is a salt lake that lies in the foot of the Licancábur volcano on the border with Chile (still something around 4,300 meters above the sea level). The name of the laguna is derived from its color – it is really green, maybe something between turquoise and emerald, depending on how the wind plays with the mineral sediments in the lake. No wonder that it’s a favorite place of photographers from the National Geographic. The green laguna that is 56 kilometers wide is even visible from the space as a green spot.
The fact that we couldn’t have had a shower in the morning was quickly forgotten once we saw the hot springs! After the cold morning spent at geysers, Salar de Chalviri is a great place to relax at 9 a.m., right before the sun starts to shine fully.
One of the last stops was in Desierto Salvador Dalí, one of the most beautiful deserts in the world! Giant rocks are shaped by the wind and the entire place reminds the landscape from the surrealist paintings of Salvador Dalí.
The way back to Uyuni took about 6 hours with a lunch break in a village where Lorenzo comes from. Half of our group slept in the car and the other half started at the pictures we took.
This 3-day tour to Salar and Sud Lípez was together with Machu Picchu probably the best we saw on our trip to Peru and Bolivia and I am so happy that I could have seen such beautiful places on the Earth! Everyone going to Bolivia, I strongly recommend this trip! 🙂 And if you go, from my personal experience, I can recommend Andes Salt Expedition as everything went well with them!
Have you visited Sud Lípez? What were your impressions?
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How was the first day of the Salar de Uyuni Tour? >> read here
Practical information and tips for touring the Salar De Uyuni and Sud Lípez >> read here