La Paz to Uyuni beginning of January
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Dec 1, 2012 10:17 AM Last Post By: banjanti_respawn
Nov 30, 2012 7:09 AM
La Paz to Uyuni beginning of JanuaryHi All,
Our final 2 weeks in South America will be in Bolivia. I know that's not much time, but that's all we have. We will be in Copacabana, coming via Cuzco and Puno, then on to La Paz. We would love to get to Salar de Uyuni. Can anyone advise on the safety of the buses and the effect of the rainy season the first week of January?? Are there frequent mud slides?
Any other suggestions for things to do and see would be welcome!!
Nov 30, 2012 7:50 AM
1Road to Uyuni is going trough altiplano and it's rather flat so there won't be any landslides, however it's still a heck of a journey. I suggest flying.
Jungle and yungas are out of question in this time of the year, but you can still visit cities of Sucre and Potosi.
I would fly to Sucre, stay there 2-3 nights, go to Potosi for another 2 then take a bus to Tupiza and from there tour trough SE Cirucuit.
Otherwise you can just fly to Uyuni directly from La Paz
Nov 30, 2012 11:47 AM
2Always the possibility of delays by road--those routes no more or less than elsewhere in Bolivia. Parts of both main and back roads are mountainous, not "flat." Stuff washes out or floods, there can be snow, and (most likely of all the possibilities) blockades by strikers.
If you crave relative reliability, fly. If on the other hand you intend to visit Bolivia, take some bus trips. Regardless, leave some free time to cover all eventualities. Whether you find Bolivian roads or bus travel rugged or not depends largely on your context. I didn't find it bad at all.
My only travel in Bolivia consisted of exploring large parts of the Altiplano during December and January. I'm just reporting what I saw, so YMMV.
Hope that helps.
Nov 30, 2012 12:41 PM
3#2 Open google maps. use satellite view option, create route from La Paz to Uyuni. Now show me the places where you can experience land slides in that particular, high and dry area.
La Paz-Ouroro leg is flat like a table trufis go 120km/h and more here, other parts can be called "hilly", but not mountainous!
There is also a rail tracks from Ouroro-Uyuni, so do you seriously try to tell me that they've build the state of art tracks or dozens of tunnels? No! It's more or less FLAT terrain, that's why there is a train actually working
Nov 30, 2012 1:38 PM
4Can't help you there. I can only report that I experienced snow, hail, thunderstorms, plus minor mud, moderate flooding, and washouts navigable on my bike on the roads between Copacabana, La Paz, Ouroro, Potosi, Sucre, Uyuni and onward to Chile. I also rode over a couple of high passes (see: snow, hail, thunderstorms above) and several lower heights of land. This was late December through early January.
On the other hand, I did not take the train, and I did not check Google--before, during or after.
Nov 30, 2012 3:51 PM
5December and January are indeed awful months, even in altiplano. I don't arguee that delays are bad conditions are not prescient, that's why I recommend flying - but it's not yungas road, when you can see real landslides, it's also hard to call this plateau environment mountainous
High passes are always unpredictable, but there is none of them on route to Uyuni
I don't argue on principle - just for the benefit of OP, regardless flying is recommended
Dec 1, 2012 4:47 AM
6Biggest problem on road to Uyuni in rainy season is usually high stream / river levels which can make parts of the unpaved road south of Challapata impassable (there are several bridge-less river crossings). High water levels often mean train services get cancelled as well (damage to the track bed, bridges etc, not far from Oruro the tracks are on an embankment through part of Lake Poopo). How often this happens depends on rainy season, some years are worse than others. Strikes and blockades are another common issue. As above flying is recommended if you can.
Snow on high passes (and again swollen streams / rivers) can affect the multi day jeep tours into Chile from Uyuni but is not normally an issue on the La Paz Uyuni road
Dec 1, 2012 5:00 AM
7Probably worth adding that if you decide to go by bus rather than fly it consider going via Potosi. Bit longer but now the new paved Potosi - Uyuni road is open it should be a more reliable and comfortable route and is paved all the way (same risk of road blocks though, the most regular cause of travel disruption in Bolivia!)
Dec 1, 2012 9:43 AM
Dec 1, 2012 10:17 AM
9There is TAM (very infrequent) and amaszonas, I suggest the 2nd one
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