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2024 Atacama & Uyuni Photo Tour

Astro and Landscapes in Northern Chile & Bolivia

Embark on an Atacama & Uyuni Photo Tour to capture the most breathtaking nightscapes and photogenic locations of these unique regions. From the driest desert on earth in Atacama to the largest salt flats in the world in Uyuni, we will photograph spectacular dark skies, snow-capped volcanoes, lagoons filled with thousands of flamingos, endemic cacti and vegetation, geysers, badlands, and otherworldly geological formations. 

We are running this Atacama & Bolivia photo tour in April 2024, during the dry season and the best time of year to photograph the Milky Way reflected in the Uyuni salt flats. 

Two people standing under the Milky Way arc in Uyuni Salt flats during the night

OVERVIEW

The Atacama & Altiplano are some of the most breathtaking and photogenic regions in the entire Andes. Both the altitude and the geographical position of these areas have created special conditions for unique landscapes, flora, wildlife and night skies.

Atacama is the driest non-polar desert on earth, and the most important international observatories such as ALMA and Paranal are located here for good reason. High altitude, almost non-existent humidity, and constant atmospheric conditions are the trifecta for ideal night sky viewing conditions. Pair this with giant volcanoes, geological formations, endemic cacti, and beautiful lagoons…this region is arguably the best for landscape astrophotography in the world.

As we move further north toward higher elevations, there is a complete change in the ecosystem. The Andean Altiplano is the highest plateau in the world after Tibet, and the cycles of heavy rain and drought during the wet and dry seasons have shaped drastic landscapes. From lagoons filled with thousands of flamingos and wildlife to the largest salt flats in the world in Uyuni, the photographic possibilities are endless.

April is an ideal time to visit and photograph both Atacama & the Altiplano. First, it’s the dry season with the highest chances of clear skies, and secondly, this is the only time of year offering the opportunity to capture a once in a lifetime shot: The Southern Hemisphere Milky Way Galaxy reflected at your feet in Uyuni.

Sun setting over the horizon with a forest of giant cacti in the foreground

Atacama & Uyuni Photo Tour Highlights

    • Photo tour from April 3-13, 2024
    • Group size: 10 participants + 2 instructors + local guides
    • Main topics: Astrophotography, landscape, wildlife
    • Main areas: Atacama (Northern Chile) & Altiplano (Bolivia)
    • Accommodation included in top hotels in the area
    • Transportation included during the entire trip
    • All entrance fees to National Parks and natural attractions included
    • Night photography sessions in Uyuni (with optional camping under the stars)

Download the official Atacama & Altiplano Photo Tour Brochure

Atacama and Uyuni photo tour brochure front page image

2024 Atacama & Altiplano Photo Tour Itinerary

Even though there is a planned itinerary, we will keep a flexible schedule so we can adapt to the weather and enjoy the best possible conditions. 

We are visiting these regions during a statistically ideal time for landscape and astrophotography, but the clouds and wind can show up at any time of year, and we need to be flexible to maximize our chances of success in each location.

Below you can see the details of our Atacama & Bolivia workshop itinerary:

rock formation standing tall in the middle of the night with a starry sky filled by the Milky Way

DAY 1: Atacama Photo Tour

Our Atacama & Uyuni photo tour will start in the city of Calama, where we will pick you up at 10:00 AM before driving to our base camp in the heart of the Atacama desert in the renowned town of San Pedro de Atacama. 

San Pedro is the epicenter of the Chilean Atacama Desert, and it’s a vibrant town with a great location near all the region’s top attractions. Our base camp during our stay in San Pedro will be the “Casa de Don Tomas,” considered one of the best hotels in town. 

After presentations and our tour orientation, we will do a personal gear review to make sure everybody is familiar with their cameras and settings for the day and night sessions. 

Our first photo spot will be at the “Vallecito”; a dry valley full of badlands and spectacular geological formations close to San Pedro de Atacama. Here, we will photograph the iconic Atacama “Magic Bus” and vast desert landscapes at sunset.

After the blue hour, we will take our first Milky Way session where we’ll capture the renowned night skies the Atacama Desert is famous for. 

Sunset in Atacama dessert on a cloudy day

Badlands in the Vallecito area of Atacama

Abandoned bus in the desert surrounded by rock and sand formations

DAY 2: Atacama Astrophotography Tour

On the second day of our Atacama Photo Tour, we will slowly drive to a higher altitude to the Machuca area.

This region is a bridge between the dry Atacama Desert and the high Altiplano, and it offers unique landscape features, wildlife, and vegetation you can’t find anywhere else. 

Some of the highlights that we’ll photograph include the Tatio Geysers, an area full of geothermal activity and small geysers, the viewpoint of Putana Volcano, and some lagoons where we might have a glimpse of the first flamingos of the trip.

flamingo looking into the water

We will also do many photo stops along the way to capture the mountains, volcanoes, and wildlife, like Guanacos.

In the evening, we will drive down to capture the Guatín Canyon. Most tourists overlook this location, but it’s one of the best hidden gems in the Atacama Desert. There, you’ll find a canyon surrounded by walls of centennial cactus that reach up to 30 ft (10 m) in height. Once in location, we will take a short walk to scout the best compositions for the night before photographing the sunset.

At night, we will enjoy a mesmerizing view of the Southern Milky Way rising over these giant cacti, offering some amazing astrophotography opportunities.

Guanacos in a field with snow-capped mountains in the backdrop

Mountainous region with a couple of guanacos in the foreground

Guanacos spread across a field with a snow-capped mountain in the background

Sun setting behind a hill, in the foreground there is a variety of giant cacti spread across a hillside

Field of cacti with a rainbow in the background

Cacti field with a sky full of dramatic clouds and a rainbow

Cacti under the night sky filled with stars and the Milky Way

Cacti under the night sky filled with stars and the Milky Way

Cacti under the night sky filled with stars and the Milky Way

DAY 3: Atacama Photo Tour

On the third day of our Atacama photography workshop, we will photograph one of the most special locations in the entire Atacama Desert: “El Valle del Arcoiris” (“The Rainbow Valley”).

This valley, located about an hour’s drive from San Pedro, is full of badlands and incredible rock formations. Textures, lines, and multicolor patterns abound in the multiple ravines and giant walls of this valley. 

We will spend the evening here walking and photographing the most photogenic formations. If you have a drone, make sure you bring it here since it also offers breathtaking aerial opportunities. 

However, the best time to enjoy this valley is at night when darkness and a billion stars take over, and you can enjoy unparalleled views of the sky with zero light pollution. We will photograph the Milky Way from different spots where you can capture our galaxy rising over these stunning landscapes.

Milky Way arch covering the night sky

Rock formations in the desert

Rock formations seen from an aerial viewpoint

Aerial view of badlands and rock formations in Atacama Desert

DAY 4: Chilean Atacama Photo Tour

On the 4th day of our Atacama photo adventure, we will venture to one of the most renowned locations near San Pedro de Atacama: “The Valle de la Luna” (“Moon Valley)

This valley, located in the lands of the original Atacama people, offers a landscape that mimics that of Mars. Giant sand dunes, dramatic badlands, and a scenic road are the perfect scenery to capture stunning desert images. 

In the evening, we will drive to the Altiplano near the border with Bolivia to capture one of the most special night locations of the trip: “Monjes de la Pacana” also known as “Centinelas de Tara.”

This desert will remind you of those surreal desert paintings by Dali, where you could see spectacular rocks in a minimalist arid landscape. Our goal here will be to photograph the night sky. Located at 14,000 ft (4,300 m), we will enjoy conditions like no other to photograph some of the most stunning night skies in all of South America.

The giant rock formations will be the perfect foreground for our night pictures, offering ideal conditions for light painting with a subject to show a sense of scale.

Sand dunes and rock formations under the harsh mid-day light

Badlands under dramatic light

Rock formations under dramatic light conditions

Rock formation under a Milky Way arch in the starry night sky

Rock formation under a Milky Way arch in the starry night sky

DAY 5: Atacama Photo Tour

On day 5, we will enjoy a change of scenery and photograph a very different area of the Chilean Altiplano. 

We will start driving slowly up to the high plateau, where our first location will be the Miñique and Miscantis lagoons. These two colorful lagoons are located at the base of their respective volcanoes and are great subjects, both for landscape and bird photography. 

After visiting the lagoons and doing more photo stops along the way, we will visit “Piedras Rojas” also known as “Salar de Aguas Calientes.”

This is a truly unique landscape where you can see turquoise-colored lagoons surrounded by vibrant red rocks and snow-capped volcanoes in the background. There are endless compositions here, so we’ll take as much time as we need to compose and photograph under different light conditions.

This is a long day considering the driving distance, so the night shoot will depend on the weather conditions and how our group feels. If we decide to do a night session, it’ll be near Piedras Rojas, where the skies are incredibly dark and beautiful.

Milky Way arch covering the night sky over the desert

Guanacos feeding in a field with a snow-capped mountain in the background

Snow-capped mountains in the Chilean Altiplano

Snow-capped mountain in the Chilean Altiplano

Person standing on rock formations in Salar de Aguas calientes

Reddish rock formations with a snow-capped mountain in the background

Aerial view of Salar de Aguas Calientes during golden hour with a rainbow in the middle of the frame

DAY 6: Bolivia Photo Tour

On the 6th day of our Atacama & Uyuni Photo Tour, we’ll move to a new region and country in the Altiplano: Bolivia.

In the morning, we will cross the border to meet our Bolivian guides.For this leg of the tour, we’ll travel in off-road vehicles with 4WD and photograph all the landmarks of this fascinating side of the Altiplano!

Our first stop will be the Laguna Blanca and Laguna Verde, two beautiful lagoons with the prominent Licancabur Volcano in the background. We will visit Laguna Verde around noon when the lighting is best to see the vibrant green colors for which this lagoon is famous.

After that, our next stop will be the “Aguas Termales de Polques,” a series of hot springs located in a remote area of the Altiplano. Here we’ll have lunch and enjoy a soak in the hot springs while we enjoy the landscapes and wildlife of the Altiplano.

In the evening, we will arrive at our final destination in one of the most special places of the trip: Laguna Colorada! This is one of the most unique lakes in the world, with an intense color that comes from the red sediments and pigmentation of the algae found in the shallow waters.

Once we check into our accommodation and have dinner, we will do a night session where we’ll capture the Milky Way arch expanding across the lagoon.

Turquoise lagoon with a mountain in the background

Snow-capped volcano with flamingos in the foreground

Lincabur Volcano

Flamingos bathing in the water in the Bolivian Altiplano

Person relaxing in thermal water pool in the Bolivian Altiplano

Dramatic clouds cover the sky over a dry landscape

Flamingos feeding in a shallow lagoon under dramatic clouds and light

Multiple flamingos in Laguna Colorada

Multiple flamingos in Laguna Colorada and a mountain in the backdrop

DAY 7: Bolivia Photo Tour

On the second day of our Bolivia photo tour, we’ll begin with a visit to a new section of Laguna Colorada in the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve.

This area is the perfect place to see the vibrant red colors of the lagoon when the morning sun illuminates the water. Here, we’ll enjoy a magical scene of the red lagoon with thousands of flamingos and snow-capped mountains in the background.

We’ll visit Laguna Colorada at a prime time to see flamingos after the rainy season. All three types of flamingos: Andino, James, and Chileno, can be found in the lagoon. We will take a short walk across the lagoon to photograph the different flamingos interspersed with the natural reserve’s dramatic colors and landscapes.

Lagoon filled with flamingos and a mountain in the backdrop

Aerial view of a lagoon filled with flamingos

Flamingo basking in the sun

Flamingo with bright yellow and orange beak

Bunch of flamingos in the water

Flamingo drinking water in a lagoon

After our morning shoot, we will continue driving across the Altiplano and photographing different highlights, such as the rock formations around the “Arbol de Piedra” (“Stone Tree”) in the Dalí-esque desert. We’ll also photograph the “Sol de Mañana Geyser,” a spectacular geothermal area with mud pools and small geysers that looks like an oasis of colors in the middle of the desert.

Our next stop will be at Laguna Hedionda, where we’ll have lunch with a privileged view of this lagoon full of spectacular landscapes and migratory birds and flamingos. Not far from there, we will photograph the last lagoon, Laguna Cañapa, another gem for landscape and wildlife photography. 

Rock formation in the desert

Aerial view of sol de la mañana

Flamingos in lagoon with a mountain in the backdrop

In the evening, we’ll arrive at our final destination in Uyuni, where we will stay at one of the renowned salt hotels for the next couple of days. Our first night session will be at the train cemetery, an abandoned train graveyard on the outskirts of town with old mining trains that have become one of the area’s top landmarks. 

Staying away from the light pollution of town, we’ll do an astrophotography session with the train skeletons.

Train under the night sky filled with the Milky Way

DAY 8: Uyuni Salt Flats Photo Tour

On day 8, we’ll start our Uyuni photo tour by visiting some of the most remote areas in the largest salt flats in the world.

Salar de Uyuni stretches more than 4,000 square miles and was formed by prehistoric lakes that evaporated thousands of years ago. During the rainy season, Uyuni gets flooded with a thin layer of water that transforms the landscape into an otherworldly location with stunning reflections. 

The flooding and accessible areas in the dry lake change from year to year depending on the rain, but the beginning of April is the only time of year when it’s possible to photograph both the flooded salt flats and the interior of Uyuni, which is inaccessible during the rainy season.

Cacti field in Salar de Uyuni

Person standing next to a giant cactus under bright sunlight

Cacti field in Salar de Uyuni during blue hour

On our first day in Uyuni, and as long as driving conditions allow, we will visit Uyuni’s Coral islands, a series of isolated pieces of land in the middle of this giant playa. Here, you can photograph a surreal landscape where the rocks and giant cacti surround the intense white salt flats.

Our main landmark will be Isla Incahuasi, one of the most spectacular islands where there is a huge density of giant cacti that can reach up to 30 feet and live more than 1,000 years. Once there, we’ll spend most of our time exploring this little island and capturing impressive landscapes from a higher elevation.

If conditions allow, we will have the opportunity to spend a night of optional camping near the island. This is a unique chance not offered by other tour companies that will allow us to photograph the darkest area in the Uyuni salt flats, in a location where light pollution doesn’t exist. The completely flat landscape is the ideal place to capture nightscapes, as the Milky Way is rarely photographed here.

Cacti field in Salar de Uyuni during sunset

Cacti field during a sunset in salar de uyuni

Cacti field filled with golden light during a sunset in salar de uyuni

Milky Way arch over Isla Incahuasi in Salar de Uyuni

DAY 9: Uyuni Salt Flats Photo Tour

We will start day 9 by visiting some of the main landmarks of Uyuni, such as the Dakar Monument, the world flags, and the Salt Museum, which is full of impressive salt sculptures.

We will also scout for locations where we can see the sought-after Uyuni reflections. These reflections make Uyuni stand out from other salt flats, especially during this time of year.

Here, we will photograph the sunset and get back to town before preparing for a very special night. Our plan is to photograph a once in a lifetime experience when the stars and the Milky Way appear in the sky as well as the reflection of the salt flat at your feet.

We will do a long session here photographing the arch, single images, and shots with light painting using our 4WD cars and subjects to give a sense of scale. Expect a night of astrophotography for the books!

Person standing in the middle of salar de uyuni under the night sky with the milky way Milky Way in Salar de Uyuni

SUV under the night sky in Salar de Uyuni with the Milky Way

Person standing in the middle of salar de uyuni under the night sky with the milky way

Person standing on an SUV in the middle of salar de uyuni under the night sky with the milky way

Two people standing under the Milky Arch in Salar de Uyuni

Person standing on an SUV in the middle of salar de uyuni under the night sky with the milky way

DAY 10: Atacama & Bolivia Photo Tour

On the last day of our Atacama & Bolivia photo adventure, we will drive to La Paz, stopping for different photo opportunities along the way.

Once in La Paz, we will do a farewell group dinner and spend our last night there. Feel free to stay here and spend more time visiting the capital of Bolivia. Otherwise, you should book your flight for the next day. Most international flights depart in the morning.

La Paz, Bolivia at night

PRICE: $6,400 USD

Deposit: $2,000 USD

A $2,000 USD deposit is required to reserve your spot for this workshop. You can also pay in full at any time. The remaining balance is due 120 days before the start of the photo tour. If the remaining balance is not paid in full by the due date, you will lose your spot.

What does the price include?

INCLUDED

    • Pick-up at Calama Airport
    • Transportation in private minibus & special 4WD vehicles
    • National Park & attraction fees
    • Border crossing fees
    • Accommodation in hotels in shared rooms with private bathrooms
    • Expert local guides in Atacama & Bolivia
    • Photo guide services from professional landscape & astrophotographers
    • Half board in Atacama & Full board in Bolivia

*BONUS

NOT INCLUDED

    • Flights to/from Calama & La Paz airports
    • Private room – Extra $900 (*Subject to availability)
    • Meal in San Pedro de Atacama (Half board is included)
    • Health/travel insurance (We can help you purchase the best travel insurance according to your needs)
    • Bolivian Visitor Visa
    • Telephone, personal expenses, tips, etc., and any other service not mentioned in the “INCLUDED” section

Upcoming Altiplano Photo Tours 

Dates

GUIDES

5/5
Nick Nath
Nick NathAMAZING EXPERIENCE!
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I visited Patagonia with the Capture the Atlas team and it was an amazing experience! This truly turned out to be one of the most amazing trips that I have done that included everything from beautiful hikes to groundbreaking and amazing landscape photography.
Lauren Laspisa
Lauren LaspisaEXCELLENT GUIDES!
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What an experience! I took the Death Valley & Alabama Hills Workshop with Dan and Capture the Atlas and WOW! Between the breath-taking landscapes and incredible Milky Way views offered by the area and the sincere and approachable teachings and guidance of Dan and his team, I was blown away.
Glenn Mohs
Glenn MohsEPIC TOUR!
Read More
Dan made certain everyone had the best experience and opportunity to capture photos that will long be enjoyed. His knowledge of choosing locations to make the best use of the time available and his recommendations for camera settings was greatly appreciated. Great job! I plan on going with Dan on future trips.
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What will I learn during this Atacama Photo Tour?

This trip is focused on astro, landscape, & wildlife photography, mainly shooting the Southern Hemisphere Milky Way, mountains, volcanoes, deserts, lakes, flamingos, and salt flats. 

What you learn during the workshop will vary according to your goals and skills. Your instructors are professional photographers with extensive experience who will help you take your photography to the next level.

During the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to learn:

    • Getting comfortable shooting different types of landscapes and wildlife in manual mode.
    • Adjusting to the best camera settings in each situation.
    • Planning your sunset and Milky Way images.
    • Shooting long exposures using ND filters.
    • Enhancing your composition with the best techniques.
    • Basics of wildlife photography.
    • Designing your own shooting workflow to be more efficient in the field.
    • Basics of drone photography.
    • Creating powerful compositions that tell a story and engage the viewer.
    • Building a connection between your photography and your vision.
    • Becoming a master of light: learn how to enhance it and keep it under control.
    • Advanced landscape techniques like bracketing, focus stacking, or focal length blending.
    • Advanced night photography techniques.
    • Advanced drone photography like aerial panoramas, vertoramas, and bracketing.

Some of the post-processing techniques that you can learn with the included tutorials are:

    • Basics of Lightroom and Photoshop.
    • Preparing your images in Lightroom/Adobe Camera Raw.
    • Stitching of panoramas using different software like Lightroom or PTGui Pro.
    • Reducing the noise in your images with Denoise AI.
    • Sharpening your photos with Sharpen AI.
    • All types of Blendings (exposure, focal length, focus, etc.).
    • Light shaping and Dodge & Burn in your landscape & night images.
    • Post-processing of moody and atmospheric landscapes.
    • Advanced night photography post-processing techniques.

Your instructors on this Atacama & Bolivia photo tour

Dan Zafra will help you take your photography to the next level on this Atacama & Altiplano Photo Tour. He will help you with composition, technique, and post-processing in your astro, landscape, & wildlife images and use the best methods according to your skills.

Dan is a professional landscape and astrophotographer and has explored the lower latitudes of our planet over the years in places like Peru, Bolivia, Atacama, and Patagonia. He has experience running photo tours all around the world, and he’s very knowledgeable not only about the best locations but also about the best time and lighting to photograph them.

Dan is the Co-founder of Capture the Atlas, and his main passion is educating other photographers with photo tours, workshops, and tutorials. His online photography courses have helped over 1,000 photographers over the last few years. This workshop is a great opportunity to join Dan and learn how to best capture the highlights of both Atacama & the Bolivian Altiplano.

David Aguilar will be your photo tour leader throughout this Atacama & Bolivia photo tour, and he will make sure that you are in the right place at the right time to get the best photography results. He will help you with your photography, technique, and composition in all your landscape and night images.

David is a real expert in South America after taking many trips throughout the continent’s main regions and running photo tours there over the last few years. He’s very knowledgeable about the most photogenic locations, the weather patterns, and the best techniques to capture breathtaking landscape images. 

David’s main passion is traveling and helping others with their craft. He’s traveled extensively, not only in Atacama and South America, but also in Nordic countries like Iceland and Norway and across vast areas in the European Alps.

He’s also a skilled post-processing editor and has helped countless photographers over the last few years with his online landscape editing courses.

What to bring on this Atacama Photo Tour

We will send you a complete list of everything we recommend bringing on this tour when you sign up. Below is a summary of things you might need:

PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR
    • DSLR/mirrorless camera and a sturdy tripod.
    • A wide-angle lens, such as a 14-24 mm lens.
    • A medium zoom lens, such as a 24-70 mm lens.
    • A telephoto lens, like a 70-200 mm lens.
    • A camera bag to transport all your equipment.
    • A headlamp for the night shoots.

You may be interested in this guide on photography equipment for traveling.

Some optional items, if you are focused on advanced MW photography, are:

    • A star-tracker.
    • An astro-modified camera.

*While zoom lenses are acceptable for this workshop, prime lenses are recommended for Milky Way photography. Some of the best lenses in this range are:

    • 20 mm f/1.8
    • 24 mm f/1.4
    • 28 mm f/1.4
    • 35 mm f/1.8
    • 40 mm f/1.4
    • 50 mm f/1.8

You can get them either from your camera brand or from third-party manufacturers like Rokinon or Sigma.

*This astrophotography workshop focuses on Milky Way nightscapes and not on deep-sky imaging. However, you can bring a telephoto/telescope and take your own deep-sky photos if you like.

You can find more information in our list of best lenses for the Milky Way and best cameras for astrophotography.

Person standing next to a lagoon with flamingos

CLOTHING

We will visit diverse regions, from the desert to wetlands, located at very different altitudes. As a result, we’ll experience very drastic changes in temperatures that requires dressing accordingly:

    • In San Pedro de Atacama, temperatures in April range from a high of 80ºF (27ºC) to a low of 42ºF (5ºC).
    • In Uyuni & the Salt flats, temperatures range from a high of 62ºF /(17º) to a low of 31ºF (0ºC).
    • In both the Chilean & Bolivian Altiplano above 14,000 ft (4,000+ m), temperatures range from highs of 54ºF (12ºC) to lows of 22ºF (-5ºC).

You should come prepared for all kinds of weather and bring clothing both for warm and cold climates. Even though it’s the dry season, strong winds occur throughout the year, and rain is possible. Some of the things that we recommend bringing on this Atacama & Bolivia photo tour are:

    • system of top layers to wear (base layer, fleece, windproof layer, shell)
    • system of bottom layers to wear (hiking pants, fleece pants for cold nights, overpants for rain)
    • A good pair of breathable boots to keep your feet warm and protect your ankles while hiking
    • Warm and breathable socks
    • wool hat, neck gaiter, and gloves
    • Light water bottle

Some optional items are:

    • Hiking poles
    • A cap or sun hat
    • Light sneakers or sandals for San Pedro
    • Sunglasses
    • Lip balm
    • An external power bank

You will find more items and details on the official list of recommendations that we provide upon registration.

Person standing in a desert with interesting rock formations

MONEY

The currency in Chile is the Chilean Peso (CLP) and in Bolivia the Bolivian Boliviano (BOB).

We highly recommend getting Chilean pesos and Bolivianos in your home country, although, if that is not possible, you can always purchase some at the airport. Credit and debit cards are accepted in most places in San Pedro de Atacama, but in Bolivia there are still many businesses that only take cash.

DOCUMENTATION

For Chile, people from most countries, including the Americas, Europe, Eastern Asia, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand, don’t need a tourist visa to visit Chile for trips that are shorter than 90 days.

In Bolivia, people from Europe and most countries don’t need a Visa. U.S. citizens need a Bolivian visitor visa that costs $160 USD and can be paid in USD or local currency upon arrival. This visa can be obtained at a Bolivian Embassy or Consulate in the United States or purchased at any land or air border (More information here and full list of entry requirements for U.S. citizens).

Cloudy sky reflected in Salar de Uyuni with an SUV and three people

ACCOMMODATION

The standard accommodation on this Atacama & Bolivia Photo Tour is double occupancy in shared bedrooms with two individual beds and a private bathroom

We also offer limited single occupancy rooms in all hotels and accommodations on the trip for an extra $900. If you are interested in this, please let us know on the signup form below since the single occupancy rooms are subject to availability.

  • In San Pedro de Atacama,we’ll stay in “Casa de Don Tomas Hotel”, one of the best hotels in San Pedro de Atacama. 
  • On our way to Uyuni, we will spend a night near Laguna Colorada in some basic lodging. (No hotels in this area)
  • In Uyuni,we will stay in one of the most popular salt hotels of this area. 

If conditions allow, there might be an optional camping night in Isla Incahuasi in the heart of Salar de Uyuni.

HEALTH & SAFETY

It’s currently a requirement for US citizens to be vaccinated against yellow fever before traveling to Bolivia. Please, make sure to review any travel requirements or restrictions for your country of origin before booking your flights.

HIKING & ALTITUDE

Most of the locations are a relatively easy walk from the parking lot, but the trip is very physically intense, so we recommend having a good level of fitness to enjoy the experience. 

We will also spend a considerable amount of time walking and photographing at high altitude, including a night sleeping at 14,000+ ft (4,000+ m). We have designed an itinerary so our bodies can become gradually acclimated to the altitude, and if you are in good health, altitude shouldn’t be an issue on this trip. 

We have led multiple high altitude trips in the Andes in the past, and we have experience preventing, recognizing, and avoiding altitude sickness symptoms. Our guides are certified first aid and CPR responders, and we always carry a Garmin inReach device in case of emergency in remote areas.

Badlands in Atacama

LOCAL GUIDES AND TOURS

All the expert local guides in both Chile and Argentina are included.

These guides own and work for reputable local companies that have been operating for years in these areas. 

During the tour, we will visit many attractions that require a fee, such as Valle de la Luna, Piedras Rojas, Tatio Geysir, Laguna Colorada, etc. All these fees are included.

What expenses should you consider for this Atacama & Bolivia photo tour?

FLIGHTS

You should book your inbound flight to Calama at “El Loa Airport” (CJC) and your outbound flight from La Paz at “El Alto International Airport” (LPB).

The best way to get to Calama is by getting a local flight from Santiago de Chile. There are direct flights to Santiago de Chile (SCL) from the main cities in Europe and the U.S., Canada, and Australia, such as LA, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Miami, NY, Toronto, Madrid, Barcelona, London, Paris, Auckland, Sydney, or Melbourne. 

From La Paz, you can find direct flights to three main capitals in South America (Santiago de Chile, Lima, and Bogota), and from there, there are direct flights to the main cities in the Americas and Europe.  

Airline ticket prices will depend on the airport you are flying from, but round-trip flight tickets from the USA cost around $900 – $1,300, and $800 – $1,100 from Europe.

MEALS

Meals are included as follows:

    • Half-board in San Pedro de Atacama (Always breakfast in the hotel + either lunch or dinner, depending on the shooting conditions)
    • Full-board in Bolivia (All meals included) 

The only meals not included are the meals taken on our own in San Pedro de Atacama.

We recommend preparing to spend about $20-$30 USD on food per day in San Pedro de Atacama.

People enjoying a meal under the sun in Salar de Uyuni

VISA

If you are a U.S. citizen, plan on spending $160 USD to process your Visa.

TIPS

Tips and gratuities for the local guides in Chile & Bolivia are not included.

What makes this Atacama & Altiplano Photo Tour unique?

Immersive

Our workshops are completely centered on photography: finding the best lighting conditions during the trip and creating an intensive experience that is conducive to learning and taking the best images.

Intimate

Our workshops are limited to small groups with a ratio of no more than five students per instructor. This is also an important factor for providing the attentive instruction you need during the tour.

Exclusive

During this workshop, we will photograph the famous locations in Atacama & Altiplano as well as some hidden gems that we have discovered while exploring in the past that are rarely visited or photographed.

Dedicated

We will discuss your goals before the tour so we can create a dedicated instruction plan for you. It doesn’t matter what your age is or your skills are; we will design your plan and provide you with materials before, during, and after the workshop so the learning process is not limited to just the tour.

Proven

We have spent years designing national and international photo tours with successful results, helping photographers with everything from the simple task of getting off Auto to the ambitious goal of capturing complex images.

Unforgettable

Beyond the photography, our photography workshops help build strong bonds that last forever. After our trip, you’ll feel like you have been with a group of friends rather than on a standard tour. We are thankful to have plenty of repeat clients who keep traveling and learning with us.

Frequent questions about our Atacama & Uyuni photo tour

Whether you are experienced or just starting out in photography, you are welcome to join us, and I am convinced that you will progress very fast. Together, we will get you back home with a greater and deeper knowledge of many photography topics.

Once you sign up for the workshop, we will discuss your skills and goals for this tour, and I’ll organize a teaching plan so you can make the most of this experience. You’ll also receive access to Dan’s Capture the Milky Way course so you can start preparing your astrophotography before the trip.

Most of the locations are a relatively easy walk from the parking lot, but the trip is very physically intense, so we recommend a good level of fitness to enjoy the experience.

We will also spend a considerable amount of time walking and photographing at high altitude, including a night sleeping at 14,000+ ft (4.000+ m). We have designed an itinerary so our bodies can become gradually acclimated to the altitude, and if you are in good health, altitude shouldn’t be an issue on this trip. 

We have led multiple high altitude trips in the Andes in the past, and we have experience preventing, recognizing, and avoiding altitude sickness symptoms. Our guides are certified first aid and CPR responders, and we always carry a Garmin inReach device in case of emergency in remote areas.

There is no age limit to join this Atacama & Bolivia photo tour.

We do recommend that participants older than 70 years old do a physical examination with a primary care provider (PCP) to make sure that they are physically prepared for this experience.

Non-photographer companions are welcome to join the tour, and they need to book a spot under the same price and conditions as any other participant. (We don’t allow non-participant companions tagging along with the group). We have had plenty of non-photographer companions over the years and all of them enjoyed an amazing experience. As long as they enjoy nature, beautiful landscapes, and are a bit patient with the schedules of a photo tour, joining the trip can be a great experience regardless of the shooting.

Drones are prohibited in some private areas and natural reserves, but they’re allowed in many other locations, including the Uyuni Salt Flats.

If you have a drone, we recommend bringing it on the trip. 

Our Happy Students!

I’ve had the opportunity to work with and help countless photographers over the last years:

This was my second tour with Capture The Atlas, this time in the Lofoten Islands in Norway, and it was an amazing experience from beginning to end. This was an immersive experience across the board, spending time shooting at carefully chosen locations, and interacting with our phenomenal guides. Editing sessions, and group learning with Dan, Prince and David were exemplary, and it continued my faith in the value Capture the Atlas brings to my enjoyment and passion of this great hobby. Carefully scouted locations and an intimate understanding of the area absolutely solidified my commitment to Capture the Atlas as my photographic tour vendor of choice. Absolutely the best in my opinion.
Chris Lamb
I visited Patagonia in April 2023 and it was an amazing experience with Capture the Atlas team! This truly turned out to be one of the most amazing trips that I have done. It included everything from beautiful hikes to groundbreaking and amazing landscape photography. If you want to go to Patagonia and see the rugged landscape and capture the beauty of it, then you should definitely book a trip with Capture the Atlas. Prince, David, and Dan were just amazing and you will have a fantastic time!
Nick Nath
What an experience! I took the Death Valley & Alabama Hills Workshop with Dan and Capture the Atlas and WOW! Between the breath-taking landscapes and incredible Milky Way views offered by the area and the sincere and approachable teachings and guidance of Dan and his team, I was blown away. I think my favorite part was that I left feeling excited and inspired to get out and shoot more. I HIGHLY recommend Dan and Capture the Atlas if you're looking to get into landscape or astrophotography or if you're already into it and want to learn/explore more!
Lauren Laspisa
What an incredible adventure. I went with the group on the Patagonia tour in April 2023. This had to be one of the most incredible tours I have been on. The accommodations at the hotels were great and scenic. I particularly loved the hiking and backpacking of the 1st segment. The overall experience will forever be one of my favorites. I can't begin to recommend Dan and his group enough. My guides Prince and David were very helpful. I highly recommend Capture the Atlas.
Eddie Carter
1 Iceland Photo Tour Review Capture the Atlas
This trip is truly the best photography tour I have ever been on. Dan and Prince did make learning photography so much fun. Their technical skills, guidance, and patience are absolutely awesome. Their efforts are much appreciated and I am already looking forward to the trip to Lofoten in February 2023.
Cindy Mok
Iceland Photo Tour Review Capture the Atlas 2023
"Great tour! Dan was great with helpful information while arranging the trip on what was going to happen, and what to bring to have a good experience. David and Jose were excellent tour guides. They went out of their way to accommodate everyone's requests, and to do as many things on the itinerary as time allowed. They were great with both technical coaching and participant management, and knew all the great spots to get the best shots. Would highly recommend this company for future tours!
Michael Singer
Iceland Photo Tour Review Capture the Atlas
"I can't say enough about the experience with Capture the Atlas; It was fun, educational, inspiring, adventurous, and life-changing! The knowledge the tour leaders David and JL had of the area, and the planning that goes into each day is self-evident and perfectly organized. In their commonly used words, this trip is INCREDIBLE, INSANE, and GORGEOUS 🙂 I would absolutely love to return on a trip with this great team to some other location. I’m sure it would undoubtedly be a fantastic experience!!
Praveena Bhairraju
Dan made certain everyone had the best experience and opportunity to capture photos that will long be enjoyed. His knowledge of choosing locations to make the best use of the time available and his recommendations for camera settings was greatly appreciated. Great job! I plan on going with Dan on future trips.
Glenn Mohs
The trip of a lifetime was made even more incredible by Capture The Atlas and our guides: Prince and David! They took away the stress of having to organize and plan a trip of this scale on my own. The cabins were fabulous and the photo locations were unlike anywhere I’ve been before. The 1-on-1 photography instruction helped me get the best shots at each location. I also really appreciate the community that this team creates for each tour - the friendships formed were unexpected and very much appreciated. I can’t wait to start planning my next adventure with Capture The Atlas.
Lorrie Fisher

Join the expedition

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

This tour is governed by these Terms and Conditions.

The Atacama & Altiplano regions are a nature photographer’s dream.

The variety of wildlife and vegetation, the contrasts in the landscape, and the pristine night skies make it one of the most immersive trips you can take as a photographer.

Capture once in a lifetime experiences, such as the Atacama Desert’s world-renowned night skies, colorful lagoons with thousands of flamingos and snow-capped volcanoes, or the world’s largest salt flats in Uyuni.

This trip will mark a before and after in your travel experience and in your photography. Join us on a photography adventure like no other in Chile & Bolivia!

DAN ZAFRA

Atacama & Bolivia Gallery