The trip from Villazon to Uyuni is one of the favorites of tourists coming from Argentina in the months of December and January, a must for those who want to reach Uyuni by bus or train. Villazon is a border town with a population of 30,000, located at 3,400 meters above sea level. It is a few miles from the Argentinian town of La Quiaca, which has a population of 18,000. The climate is warm in the day and chilly at night. Here are Tickets Bolivia’s 5 tips for making your trip from Villazon to Uyuni perfect.
- Keep in mind time at the border
The border crossing between La Quiaca and Villazon is open 24 hours. Nevertheless, the attention at their offices for migration paperwork (sealing of travel documents, tourist visas, etc.) are open between 7:00 am and midnight (12:00). It is important that travelers take into account this schedule in order to enter Bolivia legally. Another thing to keep in mind is that, during high season (December-January) the amount of people crossing the borders is enormous, causing lines up to 6 hours long at the migration offices. This, especially in the days close to Christmas and new Years.
- Buy tickets beforehand.
Whether you plan on traveling from Villazon to Uyuni by bus or train, it is important that you keep in mind that during high season, there is no way to guarantee you will find tickets for the trip you want to make unless you book with at least several days anticipation. At www.ticketsbolivia.com you can buy the tickets you need (with at least 48 hours anticipation) in order to guarantee your trip by bus or train to Uyuni.
- Train o bus?
There are pros and cons with each option, but in general trains are the preferred form of transportation by toursits due to its comfort . In order to ttravel by train, the options are Expreso del Sur and Wara Wara del Sur. Their schedules are as follows:
Expreso del Sur: Wednesdays and Saturdays at 15:30. The train makes a stop in Tupiza.
Wara Wara del Sur: Mondays and Thrursdays at 15:30 The train makes a stop in Tupiza.
There is little information online regarding direct buses from Villazón to Uyuni. Nevertheless, one option is to travel to Uyuni by bus through Sucre. The bus company 6 de Octubre travels from Villazon to Sucre at 18:00, and arrives at 04:00 am. The buses from Sucre to Uyuni leave at 9:30 and 20:30.
- Take into account the climate and altitude
Both Uyuni and Villazon are located at altitudes above 3,000 meters above sea level. This generates conditions that travelers should take into account in order to enjoy their trip without health problems. In order to assuage the effects of altitude in the body, fr example, you should not engage n heavy physical activity, drink too much liquids nor eat heavy meals, especially at night. A cup of coca-leaf tea can do much to improve the symptoms, which can include dizziness, shortness of breath and headaches.
Also keep in mind that the climate conditions can be very similar to those in deserts: very hot in the day, and cold at night. It´s important to have warm clothes for the evenings, and light ones for the daytime. Also, due to the altitude and landscape of Uyuni, it is very important to have sunblock and sunglasses in order to avoid damage from the sun´s radiation.
- Don´t miss out on the surroundings! Between VIllazón and Uyuni are the colonial cities of Sucre and Potosí, very popular tourist destinations that stand out for their beautiful architecture, rich historical interest and warm inviting climate. Both cities have been declared Patrimony of Humanity by UNESCO. On the other hand, at only 10 hours from Uyuni is the city of La Paz, one of the 7 Wonder cities of the world due to its unusual topography, great night-life and cultural heritage. If you´re traveling between Villazon and Uyuni, don´t miss out on these destinations.