Make the Trip to Uyuni Simple and Stress-Free – It’s Easier Than You Think! Are you looking for how to get to Uyuni? First of all, there are three options to get to Uyuni: La Paz city, San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), and Santa Cruz city. However, the most important thing is to opt for a safe and responsible transportation company.
Note: There are flights (not direct) from La Paz and Santa Cruz cities.
With new air routes and VIP tourist buses, getting to Uyuni in 2023 has never been easier. Here’s a city step-by-step guide from the most frequent destinations to help you get there with ease:
HOW TO GET TO UYUNI FROM LA PAZ
Without a doubt, La Paz city is considered the gateway to Bolivia, so it’s the case that 70%+ of travelers who take any Salar de Uyuni tours come from this city.
You have 3 transport options:
- VIP Tourist buses / Public normal ones
Note: There is only 1 Flight Company “BoA” and there is 1 flight every 3 days
Flights from La Paz to Uyuni
Traveling by plane is always the best option to visit Uyuni since the duration of the tour is only 1,30 hrs. and the cost approximately ranges from 89US D to 145USD. However, you must take into account that the Airport of the city of La Paz is located 40min from downtown, and taking a taxi to the destination can cost you from 9 USD to 15 USD depending on the zone.
Links to buy flight tickets from La Paz to Uyuni online
Boliviana de Aviación: the government is the owner and it operates this company, which makes it cheaper.
Also mention that the airport in the town of Uyuni is 10 min from the center and taxis can charge you a maximum of 5 USD (35Bs.) for the whole car. If you buy a tour for the Salar de Uyuni and notify when your flight arrives the transfer is included.
Tourist buses from La Paz to Uyuni
If you are on an adventurous plan it may be that going on a bus is the best option. It’s true that Bolivia does not have the best tourist infrastructure or service provided, however, every day the offer is improving and you can start to find very good services if we talk about transportation.
There are only 3 companies that I can recommend:
- Trans Titicaca
- Todo Turismo
- Trans Omar
It would be misleading to say that the buses they offer are top-notch – they are standard buses with adequate quality to allow you to have a pleasant journey, but expect a bit of discomfort upon your arrival. Finally, they are buses 160 to 180 degrees, with private services, bathrooms, and 2 floors.
What is the best bus company to go to Uyuni from La Paz? The best bus company is “Trans Titicaca” on 2023 if you are looking for comfort. However, the buses between “Todo Turismo” and “Trans Omar” are pretty much the same, but Trans Titicaca offers a better service right now.
Comparison of La Paz to Uyuni buses
|Titicaca Bus||14$ – 25$||9/10||Regular||Yes|
|Todo Turismo||22$ – 47$||9/10||Plus||Yes|
|Trans Omar||14$ – 22$||8/10||Poor||Yes|
|Trans Illimani||10$ to 18$||7/10||Poor||No|
FCA Public Train Oruro to Uyuni
There is still no certainty about going by train to Uyuni in 2023. The service is returning little by little and we will update the information when we have it at 100%.
HOW TO GET TO UYUNI FROM SANTA CRUZ
Surprisingly, Santa Cruz de la Sierra is one of the main gates for entering Bolivia from other countries. Unfortunately, it’s also quite far away from Salar de Uyuni – making the journey to this beautiful destination somewhat tricky.
To travel to Uyuni from Santa Cruz, you have only one direct option and 2 combined options:
- Flight from Santa Cruz to Uyuni (direct)
- Public bus only
- Combined Flight + Bus
Flight from Santa Cruz to Uyuni (no direct)
When considering your options, a flight may be the best bet – tickets range in cost from 105-185 USD depending on the category, the approximate route is 1.5 hours and the only downside could be potential delays common with this company’s flights. If your timetable allows it, this might be the way to go!
Note: Buy your tickets online, BoA is the only option with a layover in Cochabamba city
Public bus only
Making the trip between Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Uyuni by bus can be quite the undertaking – 18-20 hours depending on connections, with a transfer to the city of Sucre included. If this is your chosen method of travel, follow these recommendations:
Bus from Santa Cruz to Sucre:
First of all, take into account that this route doesn’t have a good paved road, so you will spend a couple of uncomfortable hours with unpaved roads, this route lasts about 12 hours and has an approximate cost of 20-30 USD per person. Do you still feel adventurous? Well, the only company that I can recommend to you for this route is “TEQUILAZO”, the buses are the most comfortable to travel with and are accessible in price. You will have to take yourself to the Santa Cruz bus terminal and personally buy your ticket at least 1 hour before your departure (buses depart at approximately 17:00 – 19:00hrs).
Bus from Sucre to Uyuni:
There are many ways to get to Uyuni from Sucre, the best option is to take a direct bus that lasts around 7 hours with some short stops along the way. Unfortunately, this route doesn’t have the best service or buses travel-wise, however, the road and the duration are much smaller than the previous route.
Take note: to select the bus that will take you to Uyuni! The only company I can recommend you is “6 DE OCTOBRE” which has daily departures at 09:30hrs and another at 20:30hrs. Many times they fill up and other days are delayed in their departure until filling their seats. In spite of so much informality, this is the best option to travel from Sucre to Uyuni.
In total, you’ll need around 18 to 20 hours to get from Santa Cruz to Uyuni, but don’t be scared because there’s also another option and the most recommended one to save a little if you cannot take the direct flight from Santa Cruz to Uyuni.
Combined Flight + Bus
Note that for this option you’ll need a budget of at least 90USD per person just for the tickets.
Are you ready? Well, let’s begin, the first thing you’ll have to do is to buy a BoA or Amaszonas flight ticket with the following route: Santa Cruz to Sucre which lasts only 35min. And are very economical ranging from 35-50 USD, the idea of taking this flight is to save 12 hours of travel and arrive in Sucre before 18:00 pm so you have time to go to the city of Sucre and buy a ticket In the buses terminal 6 OCTOBER to Uyuni (15USD to 18USD per person) and depart around 20:00 pm. Note that you will arrive in the middle of the night to Uyuni and you will have to book some lodging before arriving in Uyuni. Complicated? Maybe yes, but believe me, it’s the best option if you are under a budget, in theory, it will only take you 8 to 9 hours to get to Uyuni.
HOW TO GET TO UYUNI FROM SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA
If you are planning to visit the Salar de Uyuni from Chile, consider that San Pedro de Atacama and Sud Lipez are the borders between Bolivia and Chile, therefore many tourists take the opportunity to visit both destinations taking a tour of 3 days or 4 Days for both places. So if you are in San Pedro de Atacama may be the best option you can have is to take a tour to visit the colored lagoons located in Bolivia and finish the day in the Salar de Uyuni concluding the tour in the town of Uyuni (explore our best seller from San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni 3 day tour) To continue your trip up or return to Atacama, there are many options to make this circuit. Consider that the cost of these tours range from 140USD per person or more.
Okay okay I understand, you are looking for something more economical … Pay close attention to the following: One of the most economical ways to visit the Salar de Uyuni from San Pedro is to take a bus or public transport from Calama to Uyuni. First, you have to transfer to the city of Calama from San Pedro de Atacama (there are cars, buses and all kinds of transport to do at any time of day, the journey usually lasts a little over 1 hour, after that you should go to the Terminal of buses of Calama and buy your ticket in person or access to web pages of the local transport companies.
I do not recommend you to take just a bus from Calama to Uyuni” description=”The Salar is great and unique in the world, but I assure you that spending time in the lagoons of Colors (Laguna Colorada, Laguna Verde and deserts) is a must.
I only had the opportunity to visit 2 companies that go to Uyuni from Calama, these are: Cruz del Norte and Atacama 2000, both are average but economic companies, from Calama to Uyuni usually costs around 15USD per person and the travel time is More than 8 hours depending on how long you do in your migration process.
Note: buses depart very early from the bus terminal, many prefer to sleep in Calama not to miss the bus (departures from 05:00 to 06:00 hrs)
Once you get to Uyuni, you can take a tour of Salar de Uyuni only half a day or a whole day that can cost you as 15USD to 35USD per person, visit this beautiful destination and then go your way. I must be honest with you, I do not recommend doing this circuit, but many do it to save money and continue their journey to the city of La Paz and then to Peru. The Salar is great and unique in the world, but I assure you that spending time in the lagoons of Colors (Laguna Colorada, Laguna Verde and deserts) is a must.
Best Regards Jeff