Atacama to Uyuni next week? tips?

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by cucubaa, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. cucubaa

    cucubaa n00b

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    Hi,

    I'm riding from San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni late next week. Anybody doing the same trip about the same time? Would also appreciate any recent information about the roads, etc.

    cheers,

    tani
    #1
  2. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    Are you taking the lagunas route or going through Ollague??
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  3. mrtuc

    mrtuc Adventurer

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    I have recently made Antofagasta, Iquique, Oruro (north of Uyuni), Potosi.
    Which road are you going to make?
    #3
  4. cucubaa

    cucubaa n00b

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    I'm planning to take the lagunas route. That is not a must though.

    tani
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  5. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    The lagunas is a must, trust me on this. :deal

    I took some photos of the InfoTur map that has the jeep trails and villages marked with "amenities" that will come in handy if you want them.

    map 1 - south

    map 2 - Salar


    map 3 - all


    here's a taste of what you would be missing. Keep in mind I'm heading south here.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Y7Of-6954p0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    #5
  6. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

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    +1, seriously epic riding to be had there. :choppa
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  7. robram

    robram Trilheiro

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    Hi,

    My son and I was there.

    january 2013.

    From San Pedro, go to Laguna Colorada, leave fuel and water, the road is in good situation untill there. Have a coletive accommodations and food.

    From Laguna Colorado to Uyuni, the road is not very good, have a lot sand and rocks. This is worst track. After LAguna Hedionda (have a hotel there) turn right to Uyuni, passing by Alota (have accommodations) and San Cristobal (have fuel), near Alota the road is good like a pavement road.

    Use Garmin GPS with Mapear version 10.2.

    Nights is very, very cold.

    You will pay 150 bolivianos to enter in the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve.

    I wrote a story about my adventure, but portuguese.

    http://www.bmw650gs.net/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=1991&start=40#p60138

    We came from Uyuni to San PEdro
    #7
  8. snatchy

    snatchy Adventurer

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    Hi Cucubaa

    I am in Santiago and plan to be having a look at Southern Bolivia in 3 weeks or so. If you have any info on those tracks by then i would appreciate if you could post it up here.

    Thanks Misery Goat for those shots of the map. Was the InfoTur map widely available in Sth Bolivia? I have some GPS tracks of up there but the maps help.

    Does anyone have Garmnin files they would share of the tracks - particularly the bit from near the San Pedro de Atacama border .... that supposedly goes back to Tupiza through Quetena, Uturuncu, San Vicente and Villazon. If it is easy and obvious, then great. If not it would be great to have a track. I have Viajeros for Garmin which show a lot of tracks in this general region, and i have read that it can be a maze of tracks.

    I am keen to do the Lagunas circuit (not going to or from Chile) with someone else if anyone is planning to be there during May. DR650 and offroad rider. PM me for my riding CV :D. I think it would be smarter to ride with someone else in this area if possible.
    Apologies for the semi Hijack, but i was going to start a thread on this very soon.
    #8
  9. robram

    robram Trilheiro

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  10. cucubaa

    cucubaa n00b

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    Thanks for the maps Misery Goat. robram thanks for the information. I hear its going to be extremely cold during the nights. Have to gear up before going. Do you think that GPS is a must? @ moment I’m not having one. I agree with you snatchy about going with someone, but it seems that I’m going there alone. Looks amazing from the videos&pics you posted.
    #10
  11. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    If you're accustomed to traveling without a gps I don't think you need one to ride the lagunas routes. The main jeep routes are pretty well marked for the most part. Not having a gps may limit your exploring off the main routes but you could still do it if you're a decent navigator. Hell I had a gps and I still got lost a lot. :lol2
    #11
  12. robram

    robram Trilheiro

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    Cucubaa,

    To me, yes the GPS is a must. Sometimes you will be alone or follow car that go to another place.

    Be in desert after 6 pm isn´t a good idea, because the temperature go down until -15 Celsius.

    Sorry my tips, but I´m worry about your health.

    Good luck, e go there, you'll love the place.

    Robram
    #12
  13. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    There are two main westerly jeep routes that run north and intersect with the main road that runs b/w Uyuni and Ollague, these roads are pretty well marked and I don't think you "need" a gps to ride them and the jeep tours run these roads. You can buy supplies (gas/food) from the jeep operators, in my experience they usually have extra and are willing to sell some. I look at the jeep routes as the arteries of life, I figure no matter what happens if I can get back to the main jeep route I can stay alive. :lol3 I (and others here) rode the lagunas alone, it can be done with some preparation. There are a number of places on the main jeep routes that have at least some structures where you can throw down a sleeping bag and get protection from the elements.

    I camped one night and spent a night at Laguna Colorado when I was heading south, the jeep tours use this place for their tours. The tours bring in all their own food and supplies though so you're kind of on your own there. I just showed up and the young couple running the place fed me and let me stay there. They didn't want to take my money but I insisted. This was in 2011 so not sure if they are still there.

    Laguna Colorado

    [​IMG]

    I had a private room too! :freaky

    [​IMG]

    It's basic amenities here, they have electricity during the day so it was nice to recharge batteries, etc.

    There are a number of places that have structures where you can get out of the elements, Laguna Honda and Villa Mar are a couple more. Ollague is out of the way if you're heading to Uyuni but I'm friends with some of the border agents there and they have accommodations if you get in a situation where you need it. I can put you in touch with them if you want.
    #13
  14. Honduras

    Honduras Adventurer

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    Made that trip the other way around a few weeks ago and for me it was hard, challenging, intimidating, but on the end all worth it and was probably the best memorable part of the whole trip, Fell once or twice making 3 miles an hour and one day made only 50 miles in 8 hours.

    Did I mention the scenery?

    Don't worry of having enough gas, any jeep will sell you for less as the official gringo price, if I remember it good 6 Bolivianos for a liter, local price was 3.71 and gringo was nine something

    remember to get the motorcycle papers at 5033 meters in the middle of nowhere 80 km from the Chilean border post!

    read about it in my blog http://utilamoto.blogspot.com/search/label/Bolivia
    #14
  15. cucubaa

    cucubaa n00b

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    Thanks for all the information! I’ll be heading there this Sunday. Good to know there is some places to hide from the elements, get gas and even electricity. I’m going to go customs(-22.440907,-67.805901), laguna Colorado (might stay the night already there) and then Villa Mar, Villa Alota, San Christobal and then plan is to head to Uyuni. This route seems simple enough. Just hoping that -15 is not too much for the DR. Thanks Misery Goat but Ollague is a bit far from my path. Will post here about the condition of the tracks or any other info I think is necessary to people heading there after me.
    #15
  16. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    No worries, I just threw out Ollague as a back up just in case. I ended having to go there unexpectedly the second time I rode southern Bolivia b/c of some dumb shit I did. :lol3

    I rode all the villages you listed and they are relatively easy to find. San Cristobal is on the big road b/w Uyuni and Ollague and has a proper gas station.
    #16
  17. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    Here's the road b/w Villa Mar and Laguna Colorado. I'm heading SOUTH and the video ends north of Laguna CO at the turn off.

    The big salar you see at the end is Culpina.

    Just before this video I crossed a deep fucking river south of Villa Mar, in fact Villa Mar was cut in half by a river which I have a video of too.

    I was there in early February and it was wet, in and out of thunderstorms all day. :lol3

    It should be dry by now I would think. :freaky

    A llama tries to commit suicide by SE at slightly less than half way. :rofl

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/sGN410gEFeE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
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  18. cucubaa

    cucubaa n00b

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    Hi! I finished route Atacama-laguna Colorado (1st night)-villamar – san gristobal (2nd night) – uyuni couple of days back. Had a big fall first day. Just be careful with the soft sand that is piled cos’ of the 4x4s especially where the tracks meet. You will need a boat to cross laguna verde at this time. MiseryGoats map was easily good enough, you can’t really get badly lost there. Laguna Colorado is good place to sleep, but a bit close to Atacama (unless you have a fall like me:). DR was great the whole trip, eventhough I did broke her a bit when I fell. A lot of 4x4s going there so you are not totally alone. Later there are a lot of big rocks on the road, just take care when riding in the dust of the cars/trucks.
    #18
  19. Misery Goat

    Misery Goat Positating the negative Super Moderator

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    Good news. :thumb
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  20. 2fortheroad.co.uk

    2fortheroad.co.uk n00b

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