Getting there & away
Several flota (long-distance bus company) buses leave the bus station (terminal tax US$0.20) in the morning and evening for Potosí (US$4 to US$6, at least eight hours) and Villazón (US$1.25, 2½ hours), and at night for Tarija (US$4, eight hours), with connections for Villamontes and Santa Cruz. There are daily departures to La Paz (US$12, 16 hours) via Potosí and Oruro at 10am and 3:30pm. O Globo (624-3364) leaves for Cochabamba at 10am and 8:30pm daily.
There are daily 4WD services to Uyuni (US$6.25, six to eight hours), leaving around 10:30am. Although it’s a tight fit for 10 in the back of the Landcruiser, it’s a spectacular, memorable trip via Atocha, where you can expect to spend at least an hour. Buses also run the same route a couple of times a week (US$5), and camiones sometimes leave in the early morning from just east of Plazuela El Mundo, a traffic circle around an enormous globe.
Unfortunately, if you travel by train you miss most of the brilliant scenery on the route to Uyuni, so you might consider the less comfortable jeep service from the bus station. The ticket window (694-2529) at the train station opens irregularly on days when there’s a train, so it can be easier to have an agency buy your tickets for a small surcharge.
The Expreso del Sur trundles north to Uyuni (popular/salón/ejecutivo US$3.10/5/12.60, 5½ hours) and Oruro (US$7.25/11.50/25.25, 12½ hours) at 6:25pm on Wednesday and Saturday. At 4:10am on Wednesday and Saturday the Expreso speeds south to Villazón (US$1.60/2.10/4.25, 2¾ hours).
The Wara Wara del Sur, which is often late, leaves at 7:05pm on Monday and Thursday evenings for Uyuni (popular/salón/ejecutivo US$2.75/3.60/8.25, six hours) and Oruro (US$6.75/8.60/19, 13½ hours), and at 9:05am on Monday and Thursday for Villazón (US$1.40/2.10/4, three hours).