Today I began my 3 day Salt Flat and Outback tour of Bolivia. I will be going with one of the high rated tour groups, Red Planet. It is important to choose a tour group based on recommendations and not on lowest prices. My tour will include a caravan of 4 Toyota Land Cruisers with drivers, a guide and a mechanic. They will carry food for all our meals and gas for the entire trip. The drivers are experienced locals becasue the roads (dirt paths) are unmarked and the area is vast.
Our first day, after several hours of driving, we crossed about 60 miles of the Salt Flats to the 'Salt Flat' hotel. Our drivers and guide prepared a wonderful meal. This is not your ususual hotel, but a building in the middle of nowhere without electricity, heat, or water, and built out of salt blocks. Nasty bathrooms. After dinner we drove on for miles before stopping in a remote location with nothing to see but miles and miles of white salt flats and in the far distance a ring of mountains that are age old dormant volcanos, except for one that is simi-dormant and still puffs smoke. The guide was an experienced photographer and executed the amazing photos I have added. Was more fun then I expected.
Our first night was spent in a salt block building. I shared a room with 4 others, no heat, but a nice clean flushing toilet and running water in a sink. No hot water or showers. Clean flushing toilets are rare in this area, and Inca toilets (behind a rock) very common.