Venture to the Uyuni Salt Flats and Atacama Desert on our Bolivia and Chile Photography tour
Embark on an exhilarating, rough-and-ready adventure. Reach the breathtaking heights of the Cordillera Real, scour the bed of a prehistoric lake, and travel to the emerald-watered, flamingo-filled lagoons of the Dali Desert. This Bolivia and Chile photography tour takes you to some of the most stunning locations in South America, and grants you expert guidance on how to capture their brilliance through a camera lens. Though not for the faint of heart, anyone with a sense of adventure and a passion for photography won’t want to miss this.
- Travel to premier destinations for South America photography tours including: La Paz, Uyuni and Atacama Regions
- Learn and develop alongside seasoned adventure photographer Kevin Floerke
- Get an authentic experience of adventure photography staying in ‘rustic’ hotels and overlanding by 4×4 to remote locations
- Breathe the rarified air of the highest city in the world La Paz, sitting at nearly 12,000 feet above sea level
- Photograph not only the staggering and varied landscapes of Bolivia and Chile, but the mesmerizing spectacle of the sky at night with a chance to learn astro-photography
This Bolivia and Chile Photography Tour takes you to incredible locations with a huge variety of photographic opportunities. You’ll begin in southwestern Bolivia and fly into La Paz, the highest city in the world, amidst the glacial peaks of the Cordillera Real. Here, you’ll have a couple days to acclimatize whilst taking in the unique architecture and stunning vistas of the city
From there you’ll travel to and explore the world’s largest salt flats where you’ll find confounding panoramas of pristine, glimmering salt dotted only by ancient coral and enormous cacti. Uyuni’s precise topography and the unique flatness make it a dream location for salt flat photography. If your trip coincides with recent rain, you’ll witness an awe-inspiring optical illusion that sees the sky mirrored in water pooled across the flats.
Next, you’ll move on to the Dali Desert (so-named for its resemblance to the surreal art of Salvador Dali), where you’ll visit the vibrant Green Lagoon at the base of the Licancabur Volcano, the otherworldly rock formations of the Valley of the Moon, and the world-famous ALMA high-altitude observatory. The Atacama Desert photography opportunities offer so much to any photographer.
Our accommodation on this trip is series of eco-lodges and rural hotels that are simple and rustic. We’ll finish the trip with a more upmarket and lovely resort.
With alien landscapes, snow-capped mountains that plummet into desertland, and crystalline views of the Milky Way, whatever your experience as a photographer, you are sure to end this trip with jaw-dropping pictures.
You’ll be in safe hands for our Bolivia and Chile Photography tours. Our trip is guided by veteran adventure photographer, Kevin Floerke. With over ten years experience working in the most remote corners of the Andes, his work has been published in the Guardian, the Outdoor Journal, and BBC Travel.
Trained as an Archaeologist, Kevin earned his teeth on expeditions to the ruins of Inca civilisations, including once covering the Uyuni Salt Flats by foot. Kevin’s guidance on this trip provides not only professional development in your photography skills, but also a knowledge of the area that is second to none.
YOUR 10-DAY ITINERARY
Day 1 - Arrival in La Paz
Having landed at El Alto International Airport, you’ll be transferred to our hotel in the heart of La Paz, La Casona Boutique.
This first day is spent at leisure, acclimatizing to the altitude. We stress that the majority of this tour takes over 12,000 feet, and getting used to this altitude can be taxing. In fact, we recommend flying into La Paz a day early to make sure you’re ready to make the most of your expedition.
Day 2 - Exploring La Paz, the highest city in the world
Today, you’ll take a tour of La Paz, The highest city in the world, nestled in the glacial peaks of the Cordillera Real at 12,000 feet.
In the morning you’ll visit the famous witch markets, and soak in the city’s unique architecture and vibrant cultures. For lunch, you’ll stop at a local restaurant before visiting some of the elevated viewpoints of the city and surrounding mountains. Dinner will be held at Gusto, considered among the top 50 restaurants in all of Latin America.
Day 3 - The salt flats of Uyuni
A short flight to Uyuni, before your first foray onto the salt flats. Once landed, you’ll begin with a short tour of a famed train cemetery and hear the history of the mining industries of the region, before heading to a salt-ming village, Colchani, to see how salt is produced by locals today.
You’ll finish the day driving out into the great Uyuni Salt Flats for the surreal Icahuasi Island, a mound of ancient coral. The bizarre vantage point offers an incredible view of the flats.
After a short drive, you’ll watch sunset in the middle of the unending expanse of the salt flats, then return to Colchani for dinner at your accommodation for the night, a hotel made from salt bricks.
Finally, you’ll have one more excursion to the salt flats and see your first opportunity for astrophotography. Perhaps the most enticing aspect of Bolivia photography tours is the opportunities for astrophotography. From the Uyuni Salt Flats you’ll enjoy a crystalline view of the stars and with any luck, the Milky Way.
Day 4 - Salt flats at dawn, volcanic hills, and community visit
An early morning pick-up will have you on the flats to capture shots at dawn. A quick breakfast back at the hotel, then you’ll visit a Coquesa community at the foot of the Tunupa volcano.
Magnificent views of the volcanic cone and the immensity of the salt flats are framed by fields of quinoa and herds of alpacas and llamas. You’ll hike the volcanic hills to a burial cave where you’ll find catacombs filled with mummies perfectly preserved by the dry environment and high altitude.
From there you’ll travel to a number of vantage point where you can really appreciate the vivid colors of the terrain and their contrast against the vast whiteness of the flats. You’ll have lunch out on the flats before returning to the hotel for some free time.
Day 5 - Further angles of the salt flats
This will be your last chance to capture any last shots of the Uyuni Salt Flats. The flats are truly a one of a kind destination for Bolivia Photography tours, and there are very few places on the planet that allow photographers to experiment with perspective and scale in the same way. The schedule will be flexible, allowing you to choose what you’d like to visit the most and the shots you’d like to take.There will also be an optional night tour to the flats available for those keen for one last visit.
Day 6 - Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna Nature Reserve & Laguna Colarada
Today, you’ll move on from the Flats and Colchani to the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve. This epic landscape of the area contains volcanoes, deserts, lagoons, and unique Andean wildlife.
By the side of one of the reserve’s multicolored lagoons, with flamingos flocking overhead, you’ll picnic for lunch, then continue your journey to Siloli Desert. There, you’ll photograph the distinct rock formations carved by milenia of wind erosion.
You’ll end your day visiting the Laguna Colorada with its rich red waters. Your accommodation for the night is a remote eco-lodge nestled in Southern Bolivia’s staggering mountains-capes.
Day 7 - Lipez region, Sol de Manana, and thermal springs of Polques
Another day spent on the road, as your journey continues to the southern borders of Bolivia and you explore the Lipez region. There’s plenty of incredible viewpoints to stop at along the way and you’ll also have a chance to photograph Sol de manaña.
Then, on to the thermal springs of Polques where you can enjoy a soak in the hot pools. After, you’ll head to your accommodation for the night in Vilamar, a hotel built in a system of caves.
Day 8 - Dali Desert, Green Lagoon, and San Pedro
So begins the second half of your Bolivia and Chile Photography tour! Early in the morning you’ll travel through the Dali Desert, of course taking ample photo stops, as you travel to the Green Lagoon at the foot of the Licancabur Volcano. Having taken in the views, and the chance to relax by the turquoise waters of the lagoon, the group will move on to the border crossing of Hito Cajon.
Having completed your journey, you’ll take lunch at your lodging in the town of San Pedro. In the afternoon you’ll visit the out of this world rock formations of the Valley of the Moon and woitness your first Chilean sunset.
Day 9 - Laguna Chaxa, Altiplano, and highland lagoons
On your final full day together, you’ll take breakfast to go this morning, driving to the Laguna Chaxa for a sunrise shoot. You’ll continue your exploration of the Chilean Altiplano with a tour of the highland lagoons Meniques and Miscanti, each with their own beautiful views of the volcanoes above and the atacama regions below.
Your tour of the lagoons will end with sunset photos of the mountains over the desert, then you’ll return to town for dinner. At night you’ll have a final excursion to take astrophotography of the Atacama’s dark skies and a triip to the world-famous high altitude ALMA observatory. This has to be one of the highlights of any Chile Photography tour.
Day 10 - Departure
The final day of your Bolivia and Chile Photography tours is here. For your final morning there will be the option to join for a sunrise photo shoot in the Cordillera de Sal. After which you’ll return to your hotel for breakfast and take your pre-arranged transfer to Calama airport for your flight home.
|Chile & Bolivia|
|Sept 11 – 20 2023|
|Leader: Kevin Floerke|
|Group Size: Max. 12|
|All Photography Levels|
- All accommodation
- Breakfast every day and some lunches and dinners
- All transport via private cars and 4×4 vehicles, including transfers to and from the airport
- Flights from La Paz to Uyuni
- Photographic tutoring
- Local, licensed guides in La Paz, Uyuni, and Atacama Regions
- Entrance fees to all national parks and reserves
- Oxygen canisters and emergency medical kit
- International flights
- Personal travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature
For this South American photography tour, we recommend the following equipment:
- SLR camera
- A range of lenses; ideally including a wide angle lens
- Tripod or bean bag
- Sturdy camera bag
- Laptop if you’re keen to edit your images during the trip
WORKSHOP LEADER: Kevin Floerke
Kevin is a professional photographer guide with vast international experience. With a background in archaeology and anthropology, Kevin spent years doing field work in remote and stunning areas of South America, while also working as a traveling photographer and filmmaker. His work has taken him to six continents, and has covered a wide range of photographic subjects. He’s driven by a passion for storytelling, and sharing the diverse beauty of our world – its nature, people, and creatures – with a wide audience.