How to get from Uyuni to La Paz: a complete guide

Uyuni to La Paz Bus

Uyuni to La Paz by road
Uyuni to La Paz by road

The most popular way to travel from Uyuni to La Paz is in bus. Buses offer comfortable night buses with reclining seats, heating and blankets. Tickets Bolivia works with Panasur, Trans Omar, Cruz del Norte and Trans Titicaca:

CompanyBus classRouteTime of departure and arrivalPrices in US Dollars
Trans OmarLie-flatDirect service20:30/6:30 (+1 day)$21.90
PanasurLie-flatDirect service20:30/6:00 (+1 day)$21.90
Cruz del NorteSemi lie-flat/Lie-flatDirect service20:30/6:30 (+1 day)$14.60/21.90
Trans TiticacaLie flatDirect service22:00/7:00 (+1 day)$27.74

Uyuni has no proper bus terminal, but it has a street where buses depart from and arrive. All the buses leave from the bus company office in Uyuni which are all located in the same street: https://ticketsbolivia.com.bo/googlemaps/terminal_uyuni.php

Buses arrive at the main bus terminal in La Paz. The terminal is located here: https://ticketsbolivia.com.bo/googlemaps/terminal_la_paz.php

Useful information:

  • All the direct buses between Uyuni and La Paz are night buses.
  • These companies don’t offer food or refreshment during the trip. Sometimes they will take sellers on board offering drinks or food, this is a common custom for buses in Bolivia. Sometimes they will also stop to pick passengers or packages along the way.
  • Buses should come with heating and blankets as the journey gets cold at night on the altiplano but it is better to always come prepared. It will also be very cold (whatever the time of year) when arriving in the morning so better have warm layers.
  • There are other bus companies doing this route, another very good company that offers this service is Todo Turismo with buses leaving at 21:00 every day and tickets costing about 37 us$.

Train from Uyuni to La Paz

With this option, passengers have to travel first from Uyuni to Oruro by train and then take the bus to La Paz. 

1- Buses depart from Uyuni to Oruro four times a week on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The trip lasts around seven hours and the trains arrive at the train station located on Avenida Velasco Galvarro.

The trains that travel from Uyuni to Oruro are Wara Wara del Sur and Expreso del Sur, they are both owned by Ferroviaria Andina and people can choose between two different classes: 2nd class and Executive.

Wara Wara del Sur leaves on Wednesdays and Sundays at 19:00, arriving in Uyuni at 02:20 in the morning. Expreso del Sur leaves on Tuesdays and Fridays at 14:00, arriving in Uyuni at 21:20. 

2 – Once you are in Oruro, you must take a taxi to the bus terminal of Oruro, located on Gregorio Reynolds Av. The cost of the bus should be about 30-35 bolivianos. Here is the map: https://ticketsbolivia.com.bo/googlemaps/terminal_oruro.php

With this option you can enjoy the trip by train and to travel during the day so to enjoy the views of the altiplano. The trains also have a restaurant wagon where they can purchase drink and food during their journey. 

Flights from Uyuni to La Paz

There are two Bolivian airlines doing this route directly with the following departure times:

Schedule flights Uyuni - La Paz
Schedule flights Uyuni – La Paz

The flight lasts about an hour and departure are in the mornings and the evenings. The prices start at about 95 US$ and up to 170 US$ for one way. Flying has the advantage of being the fastest option.

Alternative itineraries

Via Potosi or Sucre

Depending on your plans, budget and planned itinerary you can decide to visit Potosi and/or Sucre before heading to La Paz. Sucre and Potosi are relatively close so it is easy to visit both in a few days. Potosi is famous for its history and silver mines which can be visited, it’s also packed with museums worth visiting such as Casa de la Moneda.

Buses from Uyuni to Potosi leave at 7:30, 8:00 and 16:00 with Expreso 11 de Julio. It takes about four hours by bus. There are no trains or direct flights available.

Sucre is the constitutional capital of Bolivia, it’s a charming and pleasant city with colonial architecture. There are also plenty of museums to explore and is located near cretaceous sites where you can observe dinosaur footprints.

To travel directly to Sucre from Uyuni, you will have to take a night bus. You can travel with Exp. 11 de Julio (not to confuse with Expreso 11 de Julio which goes to Potosi) at 21:30, or with 6 de Octubre at 22:00.

There is no train or direct flight from Uyuni to Sucre.

Uyuni – Potosi – Sucre – La Paz

You can travel to Potosi or Sucre but if you have the time, you can go to Potosi first before continuing to Sucre and then taking a night bus or flight to La Paz. Buses to La Paz are regular with the bus company Trans Emperador and the journey takes 4 hours.

Via Oruro

If you are planning to take a train from Uyuni or want to travel during the day to La Paz then you will have to stop in Oruro and change transport before continuing to La Paz. There are regular departures between these cities.

Where to stay in La Paz

If you are planning more than one day in La Paz, which we recommend, you can stay either in the city center near the bus terminal or in the south zone which is at a lower altitude and warmer conditions.

What to do in La Paz

Travelers may stop in La Paz after Uyuni and before heading to Cusco. La Paz can be overlooked sometimes but there are plenty of activities, restaurants and bars to go to. Here is a guide on things to do in and around La Paz:

Things to do in and around La Paz

And if you only have a few hours there is this option so you don’t miss on the best things La Paz has to offer:

Discover La Paz in three hours:

To buy tickets online from Uyuni to La Paz, visit Tickets Bolivia.

One thought on “How to get from Uyuni to La Paz: a complete guide

  1. Pingback: From Uyuni to Cusco by bus: a complete travel guide

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s