Colors of Bolivia

Amazing Altiplano and The Salt Flats


This 4×4 overland tour is designed to get into the heart and soul of the Bolivian Altiplano, focusing on the wild south-western corner. We will be spending most of our time within the regions of the Salar de Uyuni and south, deep in the Sud Lipez region and then east towards the badlands of Tupiza. These places will leave you breathless – not only due to the beauty but the altitude as well. In order to acclimatize properly we will make our way south, after two days in La Paz, gaining altitude slowly, while visiting surreal locations. The plan is to be at the most spectacular places during the best times of day for photographing the grand landscape and wildlife of this region.

Photo: Edson Vandeira. All rights reserved.

The prime season is from early April to mid November (dry season), when the roads are in good shape for travel after the rainy season (December-March). From May to August the weather is cold as it is winter (with very rare snow) but these months offer the best climatic and travel conditions. The Altiplano is a high, cold and dry region most of the year so prepare for cold temperatures at night and comfortable to chilly temperatures during the day. The landscapes are so spectacular and you will focus on making amazing photos of an awe-inspiring landscape that promises to deliver beautiful light, convoluted and rugged landscapes, glacier-covered volcanoes and shimmering multi-colored lagoons full of pink flamingos. The Altiplano is an amazing landscape and offers surprises to new and frequent visitors alike. We have often experienced the most amazing sunsets on the Salar de Uyuni and Laguna Colorada.

Tour Highlights

  • Travel thorough some of the worlds most fascinating landscapes
  • Explore stunning desert landscapes with herds of wild llamas, lagoons full of flamingos and snow capped volcanoes
  • Practice night photography at the famous Stone Tree
  • Photograph the giant Salt Flats in the dry and flooded areas in different moments of light
  • Meet the descendants of the Incas and the local Indian people in one of South America’s most dramatic countries.
  • Custom designed itinerary
  • Optional hands-on photography assistance by NatGeo photographer

Suggested itinerary

DAY 1 - La Paz (-, -, -)

Arrival at La Paz international airport. Transfer to the hotel for check-in. Rest of the day free at leisure. The city provides ideal conditions for acclimatization before heading to the Altiplano. La Paz is the federal capital and seat of the Bolivian government, located at 3,600m above the sea level. The city is immersed in the Andes mountain range including the imposing Mount Ilimani, considered the guardian of the city by locals.

DAY 2 - La Paz (B, -, -)

For our acclimatization process, we will drive out of the city and visit Chacaltaya, a former ski station at 5150m altitude that offers beautiful views of the mountains of the Cordillera Real, as well as the snowy Huyana Potosí and the cities of La Paz and El Alto. In the afternoon, we have an optional visit to a viewpoint for panoramic photos at sunset and evening.

DAY 3 - La Paz - Uyuni (B, L, D)

Transfer to the airport for departure to Uyuni, the gateway to the famous Bolivian Salt Flats. Arrival and transfer to the hotel. The Uyuni Salt Flats is the largest and highest salt desert in the world, located at an average altitude of 3,600m above the sea level. A plain that seems to have no end, in a harmonious encounter between heaven and earth. In a satellite image, it is easy to find this place: a huge white spot in southwest Bolivia, close to the Andes. Its unique settings often provide the optical illusion that we are floating in the sky. On board of our 4×4 private vehicles, we will join the sunset light to photograph this paradisiacal place formed thousands of years ago, from a prehistoric lake, which was once an arm of the ocean. As the lake’s water dried up due to weather conditions, a huge crust of approximately 10 billion tons of salt remained.

DAYS 4, 5 - Bolivian Altiplan (B, L, D)

Departure for two days adventure around the Bolivian highlands, where a huge variety of stunning scenery awaits us. We will be staying in a cozy refuge strategically located to access the best locations. Some places we intend to photograph:

– Lagunas: Laguna Verde and Laguna Blanca, located around 4,000m altitude and close to the Chilean border. In the middle of the desert, the water of Laguna Verde has a tone that resembles Caribbean beaches and becomes more intense when the sky is cloudless. With a lighter color, Laguna Blanca acts as a mirror that reflects the surrounding mountains. Laguna Colorada is known for the incredible reddish tones of its waters and for being the habitat of hundreds of flamingos and some other species.

– Stone Tree and Dalí Desert: The rocky structure called “Stone Tree” is found in the middle of a large and arid portion of the Bolivian desert. Its structure took shape over many years by the action of the wind, becoming a symbol of the region. This is a perfect location for practicing night photography. The Dalí Desert has incredible rocks and mountains, with different colors and shades. The landscape here resembles some paintings by Salvador Dalí and the local people say the place served as inspiration for the Spanish artist.

– Geysers: Great places to visit early due to the increased activity of hot vapors and gases released by geysers, located between craters and rocks. A real geothermal field forming another surreal desert landscape.

DAY 6 - Bolivian Altiplan - Uyuni (B, L, D)

We will return to Uyuni Salt Flats with a stop on the way in another ideal location to photograph the flamingos. Late afternoon we will visit Isla Incahuasi, a rock formation covered by giant cacti in the middle of the salt flat, like a true oasis. From the top of the island, accessed by a short trail, we pass centennial cacti up to 10 meters high until we reach the point where we have a 360° view of the salt flat.

DAY 7 - Uyuni (B, L, D)

Free at leisure until leaving for night photography looking for some remaining flooded areas in order to produce magic images.

DAY 8 - Uyuni - La Paz (B, -, -)

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for flying back to La Paz. Rest of the day free at leisure.

DAY 9 - La Paz - Departure (B, -, -)

Breakfast. According to the flight time, transfer to the airport for departure.

Quick Facts

  • La Paz & Highlands, Bolivia
  • April to November
  • Nature Photography
  • Natural History
  • Individuals & Groups
  • All physical levels + up to 5000m altitude

Contact Us

If you want to book this tour, customize the itinerary or take any questions, please fill out the form below and our team will get in touch with you as soon as possible.