Review on Salar de Uyuni Tour Tupiza - Uyuni
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Jan 25, 2013 3:23 PM Last Post By: KaraokeMonk
Jan 19, 2013 11:14 PM
My friend and I took a Salar de Uyuni tour from Tupiza to Uyuni back in September 2012 using Tupiza Tours. We had a wonderful time, although things probably would have been different had our Jeep's wheel fallen off prior to getting to the salt plains, (rather than 20 minutes prior to arriving in Uyuni, where the tour ended). Before people jump to conclusions with judging Tupiza Tours, I want to point out that most of the other tour companies' jeeps had various issues one way or another (eg: flat tyres). I presume that most tour companies run on extremely tight schedules/tight margins (ie: a tour will end on one day and then start up again the following day), so with the combination of long distances, hard usage, rough terrain + driving over salty water, it's no wonder so many people comment about jeeps breaking down in the middle of nowhere. So my feedback to all tour companies (rather than just specifically Tupiza Tours) would be for them to look at improving the frequency in which they service their vehicles. This would probably mean raising the prices of tours, and for the tourist to be willing to pay for this....
We had Janet as our tour guide (English speaking) and cook, and Wilmer as our driver. There were four of us (ie: a total of six of us in the jeep when including the guide and driver) on tour, and I wouldn't have wanted any more. Wilmer was a great driver - skillful out in the bush, and Janet was a very attentive guide and great cook. The food was delicious and I obvserved that it was better quality than some of the other tours. For those who are curious, sample meals included: rice with a fresh tomato, cucumber and onion salad,chicken, diced carrot and potato and pea stew; we had llama steak another day with salad and potato. There was always plenty of water to drink + soft drink, as well as fresh vegatables and fruit. We were provided breakfast, morning tea (eg: strawberry yoghurt and a chocolater wafter bar), lunch, afternoon tea (eg: hot cocoa, crackers and biscuits) and dinner.
And to whether I would recommend Tupiza Tours, I would say yes. They were honest and clear with describing what is included in the tour, and from what I observed, the other tour companies (eg: La Torres) have basically copied their tour itinerary as we'd often see them at the other main sights. In saying this, it probably wouldn't make much of a difference going with another tour company, given that they're all replicating each other! I would say that La Torres would also be good. We were actually going to go with them but they were very honest in telling us that they didn't have an English guide available for the date that we wanted to start our tour, and for us to go with another company.
I'd like to add that despite bumping into other tour groups on occasion, overcrowding at key sights was never an issue for us - Wilmer our driver was great at timing our stops and knowing where to stop off so that we felt like we were out on our own. Accommodation on tour was basic, but then that was made very clear from the start. Make sure to bring thermals and a good down sleeping bag! I made the mistake of handwashing some clothes one night and had them freeze on the washing line in a matter of minutes.....
For those of you tossing up between starting the tour from Tupiza versus Uyuni, I would highly recommend starting from Tupiza if you have time as you will get to see the salt plains at sunrise, which isn't something that is possible if you start the tour from Uyuni. You'd also see less people around if you start from Tupiza. Tupiza is also a much nicer town if you wanted to spend a few days there prior to starting the tour. Uyuni's definitely not worth an overnight stay. I did ask Janet whether she knew of any good tour companies that started from Uyuni, and for the longest time she was silent as she was basically trying the rack her brain for a good suggestion.... She explained that it was difficult to say, as there's so many companies out there, and they all keep on changing their name. She also mentioned that about 60% of them are illegal/unauthorised tour operators, so my advice would be to be extremely careful..... I would encourage other people to post feedback if they do find a good (or bad) tour company operating from Uyuni.
Anybody interested in Salar de Uyuni photos can also have a look at my blog post:
Jan 20, 2013 7:17 AM
1Hi City Girl,
I did the same tour around a month ago and had Wilmer as our driver as well. Tupiza Tours were great and I would definitely recommend them. The people in the office in Tupiza were pleasant to deal with, the drivers were safe, knowledgable, fun, hard-working and safe, and the cook for our group was an absolute magician!
Doing the 4 day tour from Tupiza is definitely worth it. The south west of Bolivia is such an incredible place and I dont think anyone would be disappointed with the amazing landscapes.
Yes, the accommodation was basic, but I was actually pleasantly surprised with what we actually got. You still get electricity (only a few hours worth in the evening), toilets (BYO paper), and two of the three nights there was a shower available. I was expecting a lot worse.
Jan 23, 2013 2:04 AM
Jan 23, 2013 3:23 PM
Jan 25, 2013 3:23 PM
4I did he tour from Tupiza about 3 & 1/2 weeks ago with La Torre and for the most part was satisfied with them. We didn't have access to a shower until the third night which was no big deal. My biggest complaint was having to listen to the unrelenting music played way too loud. My pleas to turn it down or off for a while were, for the most part, ignored. Breakfasts were a little disappointing but the rest of the meals were good.
I paid 1300 bolivianos for 4 days & 3 nights. I bought a sleeping bag just for this trip and never needed it. I guess it depends on what time of year you do the tour.
(0 star Hotel)
From US$13.61 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$5.96 per night
Santa CruzBook now
(0 star Hotel)
From US$3.83 per night