If a foreigner is in Southwestern Bolivia it means they are doing one of two things. Going to cross the border into Argentina (what I had just done) or set out for a tour of Bolivia’s most popular attraction, the Salar de Uyuni.
The Salar de Uyuni is part of the Altiplano, a high plateau, which was formed during uplift of the Andes mountains. The plateau includes fresh and saltwater lakes as well as salt flats and is surrounded by mountains. Sound exciting yet? If my writing can’t convince you then the pictures surely will.
I booked a 4 day tour with Lee from the UK who I had been traveling with since we met on the bus from Argentina. We set about the town looking for two other travelers in order to have a full tour, and the best price. We ran into 2 other girls (Donna and Lauren) from the UK who we had seen at the border. We joined forces and together booked a tour to leave 2 days later. In the meantime, the internet was non existent in this rural city so I ate, slept, and read the next day while Lee went horsebackriding.
Fun fact. Tupiza is known as the last stop for the infamous Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid who were eventually gunned down.
I also bundled up on clothing because Bolivia can get cold. Cold enough that I bought myself a big, puffy blue winter coat for ten bucks, a snow hat, longjohn pants, gloves, and 3 pairs of socks. The Salar de Uyuni tour is actually more famous for being the coldest experience of some peoples lives, rather than the stunning salt flats. I obviously took those tales very seriously.
The next morning we got ourselves to the tourist office pretty early in time to buy a few extra bottles of water and join our guide and cook loading up the red 4×4 Toyota Landcruiser with the gas cookers and other supplies.
And just minutes later we left Tupiza for a journey into Bolivia wilderness!