GLAMPING AT THE UYUNI SALT FLATS
Day 1: Uyuni Salt Flats (- / L / D)
At the arrival in Uyuni Town or Airport, you will be transferred to the lodge. At Kachi Lodge we will look to tailor your visit to your interests and preferences, as such we do not put together any set itineraries for our guests. To help give you an idea of some of the activities on offer however, please find below a selection of alternatives. Most activities are classed as half day activities; however, many can be combined to make a full day exploring the local area.
Overnight at Uyuni Salt Flats
Day 2 & 3: Uyuni Salt Flats (B/ L / D)
CULTURAL VISIT TO THE ARCHAEOLOGIAL SITE OF ALCAYA Half day activity, approx. 1 hour drive from the lodge.
The communities around the northern edge of the Salar de Uyuni are a mix of the indigenous Quechua and Aymara cultures, meaning their history and traditions are often combined. The impressively preserved burial site of Alcaya is a good example of this and located at the foot of the spiritual peak that is the Thunupa volcano, makes for a magical setting. Exploring the different burial sites and impressive stone constructions, together with your Kachi guide and one of the local villagers, you will be able to see preserved individuals buried hundreds and thousands of years ago, together with their possessions, so that they wouldn’t enter the next life empty handed. Alongside this, you will have the opportunity to visit a local villager’s home and share in their daily life for a short while.
SHARING IN THE FARMING ACTIVITIES IN THE VILLAGE OF JIRIRA 2–3-hour activity, a short drive or bike ride to the village
The main subsistence activities of the local communities (apart from salt harvesting) are llama farming and quinoa plantations. Here you will be able to learn with the locals what this means. Join Carlos for his daily routine of herding and tending to the llamas, with opportunity to get as stuck in as you would like. Learn the local process of creating llama jerky, and of course give it a try.
Alongside this, Berta’s quinoa plantation will help demonstrate the origin of one of world’s current superfoods. Bolivia is one of the biggest producers of quinoa, and this region of the altiplano is one of the ideal environments for its production. Depending on the season, get involved in the planting, harvesting, or processing of the quinoa grain.
VISIT TO THE VILLAGE OF COQUESA 1–2-hour activity, short drive from Kachi Lodge
A short drive from the lodge, Coquesa is a beautifully preserved village, with impressive colonial constructions. Visit the local church, museum and enjoy the peaceful charm of the community.
DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKING ON THE EDGE OF THE THUNUPA VOLCANO 3-hour activity, 1 hour drive from the lodge
For the adventure seeker, this is one of the more extreme activities on offer. Driving up to nearly 5,000m, the view of the Salar from up high is your first treat. From here, it really is downhill all the way, and you can enjoy the challenging twists and turns on the dirt roads back down to “Salar Level” at 3,600m. It is recommended that participants in this activity are confident off road on a mountain bike, however your guide will be there to help give instruction and advice.
TREK TO THE VOLCANO CRATER OF THUNUPA Half day activity
The volcano Thunupa is considered one of the energy centres for the local communities, and what better way to experience its magnificence than reaching the edge of the crater at 5,000m. A challenging 4x4 track on the western side of the peak can take us much of the way, with a 1 1⁄2-hour trek to the crater itself sure to take your breath away. The summit itself, at 5,300m is a much more technical climb, but your vantage point on the crater’s edge is more accessible, and equally rewarding with the view it will give you. Descend via the same route, and then return via the Salar to the Lodge for a well-earned lunch (or dinner)
4x4 ACROSS THE SALAR Half day activity
This will generally be your first activity on arrival into Uyuni, since driving across the Salar is the way to access Kachi Lodge. On route however, we will take some detours to visit some of the less frequented “islands” found in the middle of the Salar. Also, while the Salar itself is only flooded at certain times of the year, you will always find the impressive “Ojos de Sal”, natural pools of water which often create beautiful large salt crystal formations.
A private picnic lunch on the Salar itself is a special experience, with Gustu Restaurant’s gastronomy adding to the magic of your meal. The Salar is also a photographer’s dream for many, with unique tricks of perspective taking place due to the clean air and high altitude. Your guide will be on hand to help bring this to life for you. Finally, a visit to the Salinas to learn about the salt extraction process with help demonstrate the financial as well as ecological importance of this zone, and the difficult balance that exists to maintain both.
Activities close to the lodge:
TREK TO THE PEAK OF KACHI ISLAND 1 hour activity, close to the lodge
People may have heard of the “Incahuasi Island” in the middle of the Salar. It is a beautiful setting, however, has become extremely busy with visitors in recent years. Fortunately, at Kachi Lodge we have our own “mini Incahuasi” just 500m from the lodge. Just 80m of ascent on a zig zag trail, it is the perfect spot to enjoy sunrise or sunset, or just to stretch your legs at any point.
ASTRONOMY EXPERIENCE IN THE LODGE
With telescopes and expert guides on hand to bring this to life for you, a clear night sky on the Salar is a common occurrence, and the lack of artificial light means you can enjoy the constellations more fully than almost anywhere on the planet. As well as the constellations, you can learn about the Andean cosmology, and the different belief that the ancient cultures had about the night sky.
BIKING ACROSS THE SALAR
With bicycles available to explore the Salar, you have the expanse of the Salt Flats (and the convenience that it is flat!) to explore at your leisure, either on your own or with your guide.
Overnight at Uyuni Salt Flats
Day 4: Uyuni Salt Flats (B / - / -)
At the set time you will be transferred to Uyuni airport or continue with your land program to the next location.
· Transfers Uyuni – Lodge – Uyuni.
· Menu of activities provided by the lodge:
· Visit to Archaeological Sites
· Visit to Quinoa Field
· Visit to Local Communities
· Telescope at your disposal for stars gazing
· Accommodation in Domes
· Meals as mentioned in the itinerary, drinks during meals
· Permanent assistance in each destination
· International or domestic airfare
· Services and non-mentioned meals/drinks in the itinerary
· Early check-in, late check-out, and hotel extras
· Personal expenses
· Tips for guides and hotel staff