The Bolivia southern border has been closed for several days because of the snow, which is quite unusual for the season. We checked every day with our tour company, in San Pedro de Atacama, to see if it was opened… And the big day finally arrives.
It’s time to start our tour. We’re really excited. A small van picks us up around 7 am. 45 minutes later, we arrive at the Chilean border. A small queue, a stamp and we’re good to go. We go through the same steps on the Bolivian side.
Once past the formalities, we have breakfast, meet our driver and guide for the next 3 days, Ronald, and get in our 4×4. We are six tourists in the car: 2 Australians, 2 Canadians and us. Everyone is excited!
We were a bit worried at first as we heard a lot of people talk about issues they had with drivers who drank a lot during the tour. We’re lucky, our driver is great, even though he drives really fast.
He takes us through breathtaking landscapes that seem to come straight out of a dream or a painting of Dali. It all seems unreal: green, red and white coloured lakes, geysers spewing water and steam with a smell of sulfur, desert areas with the stone tree or Arbol de Piedra standing, a small salt desert crossed by a railway line that seems to lead nowhere, a hot spring where you can swim with views of the snowy peaks of the Cordillera, and a few animals here and there, not that worried about tourists: flamingos, giant chinchilla, foxes, vicuñas, llamas and even seagulls lost in the mountains over 4 000 meters…
Here are a few videos of the geysers, Inca Wasi island and Lamas on the road:
Even after all those amazing places, the Salar de Uyuni leaves you speechless. It’s a salt desert that stretches to the horizon. So big in fact that it lets you see the curve of the earth. And in the middle, an island: the Inca Wasi island standing there, out of nowhere and covered with giant cactuses of more than 900 years old.
Once again, our journey ended with a head full of beautiful images, and this time maybe a little more than usual. The Salar de Uyuni and Sur Lipez have really made an impression on us.
If you go to Bolivia, you know the one thing you have to see.