Guided Tours

All agencies offer horseback riding (B$210/300/420 for three/five/seven hours). They also offer the triathlon (B$300 to B$380 per person, including lunch, based on four people), which is an active full-day tour of the surrounding area by jeep, horseback and mountain bike. You can also arrange a jeep tour (B$480 to B$600 per day) or a guided hike (B$150 to B$275 per half-day).

Practical Tip: Touring the Southwest Circuit from Tupiza

An increasing number of operators in Tupiza offer trips through the Southwest Circuit ending in Uyuni or back in Tupiza. Tupiza is a great place to start this trip, as you get to explore the lesser-known wild lands of Sud Lípez as well as seeing the well-established highlights at different times to the large convoys of 4WDs that visit them out of Uyuni. Tours out of Tupiza often kick off with a visit to El Sillar or Quebrada Palala, before heading on to the Sud Lípez lakes, including several that aren't visited on standard circuits that start from Uyuni. The salar itself is visited on the final day, with the option to see the sunrise over the salt well worth getting out of bed for.

The downside is that you may have to wait a while in Tupiza to get a group together (although the larger outfits have departures almost daily). While the standard salar tour starting in Uyuni is three days, Tupiza to Uyuni tours require four days, and therefore cost a little more. Expect to pay between B$1200 and B$1600 per person for the standard four-day trip, based on four people in a jeep, during the high season. This price typically includes all meals, transport and basic accommodations, but does not include the B$150 entrance to Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa, snacks, sleeping-bag rental or bottled water. Customized trips, many including climbing options, will cost a bit more but they’re worth the extra.

While most tour operators display enthusiastic comments from satisfied customers, the truth is that standards vary widely. Try to avoid buying through your hotel and chat to a few operators. Professionalism, honesty and flexibility are the things to look for, not willingness to haggle on the price. The same safety precautions apply as in Uyuni when looking for the right tour operator for you.