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Myself and my boyfriend did a one day tour of the salt flats with Tado as our guide.
We were so happy with our trip despite the cold start after getting off the overnight bus from La Paz!
Tado was very knowledgeable on all aspects of the tour and was very interactive. Our jeep was comfortable and had plenty of space.
Tado was brilliant when it came to taking those fun perspective photos and helped us get the best ones! He ensured we were happy with everything and always encouraged us to ask questions. Our evening was spent watching the sunset with a glass of.vino (thank you) and afterwards we got dropped straight to the airport by Tado. Couldn't ask for more! Thank you!
With something like over 80 tour operators in town, Red Planet is among the best. Jaime, our guide, knew every nook and cranny of the salt flats, the desert and the surrounding area. He knew about where to go and why and was so VERY helpful with the trick photo shoots. A maestro to be sure.
We visited at the end of April, which was the start of the dry season although we did get some mirror effect. Feb and Mar are supposed to be the best times of the year for that.
The history of the entire region going back 40,000 years really cool also. Sadly, pictures just cant capture all of the 'look and feel' of being there. Fun, fun, fun and already talking about getting some friends together to go back.
Told via email to be at the Red Planet Uyuni office by 9.00am as the tour left at 10.00am but our voucher said 11.00am! Eventually left at 10.30am.
Taxi ride from the airport for the three km was 10 bolivianos per person which was fine.
Two 4x4 vehicles with eleven passengers who could speak or understand English, two Spanish speaking drivers and a single English speaking guide who, as fate would have it, ended up in the second vehicle.
I am sure when we booked online that we were told EACH vehicle would have an English speaking guide.
Casual walk-up customers we overheard in the waiting area at the office were told they would have an English speaking guide in their vehicle for trips they were wanting for other days.
The full day's activities were explained before we left which were consistent with the advertising and off we set.
Our trip was one of the first after the break over the Xmas and New Year period and a lot of rain had fallen. Consequently, the slat flats themselves were, on average, under a couple of centimetres of water when we eventually got there but I felt this added to the experience. It did, however, mean the vehicles could not travel as fast as they usually would and it our trip out to the island at the end was not possible as some of the group needed to be back at the airport for an earlier flight.
As time was clearly a factor from the start, we could have left earlier, we did not have to spend so long stopping to take endless photos of pretty much the same thing and the supplied sit down lunch at Dakar could have been speed up to allow for all of the day's planned activities to take place.
The operators and the guide would have known this before we set off and adjusted things accordingly.
Overall, the trip was a once in a lifetime experience and I was glad we did it but the planning left a 'what if' doubt in the back of our minds.
The tour operators need to be mindful that while the trip is something they do day after day, they may take everything for granted.
For 99 of their customers, however, it is a one-off trip, a bucket list type activity and they will never repeat it again in their lifetime. As a result, everything needs to be as close to perfect as it can be because it is a long, long way to travel to get there no matter where you originate.