Tours from the salt flats start at three different locations: Uyuni in Bolivia, San Pedro de Atacama in Chile an Tupiza in Bolivia.
It is a well-known fact that the logistics of border-crossings have proven problematic in the past. Many of these horror stories have arisen as a result of people who have insisted on traveling by bus from Chile to Uyuni for their tour of the Bolivian Salt Flats.
The more recommended way to see the flats from Chile is to take either the 3 or 4 day tour from San Pedro de Atacama. The 3 day tour is ideal for visitors who plan to continue their travel north from Chile after the tour, as it finishes in Uyuni. The 4 day tour is ideal for people who wish to continue their travel from Chile after they finish the tour, as it both starts and finishes in San Pedro de Atacama. Due to the distance, there are no one-day tours available from this location.
If you begin your tour in the south (either in San pedro de Atacama or Tupiza), you will be able to avoid large masses of tourists who take the tour from Uyuni. Beginning your tour in the south means that you will be visiting each location at different times to the people who began their tours in Uyuni.
For more information on the tours from San Pedro de Atacama click here.
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