Atacama Desert, Volcanoes, and Bolivia's Salt Flats

April 3 – 14, 2024

When the winter rains flow down from the high Andes surrounding the Bolivia flats, the water spills out onto sections of the 11,000 square kilometer area, creating a stunning, sparse landscape with incredible reflections and polygon shapes in the mud from evaporation.

To reach this spectacular location, we’ll take an overland adventure through the Andes, reaching up to 16,000 feet with volcanoes reaching as high as 21,000 feet. We’ll spend the first three nights in Chile at the village of San Pedro de Atacama, at 8,500 feet, so everyone has time to get comfortable with Bolivia’s higher elevations. These days acclimating will be filled with photography too! We’ll capture the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon), Tatio Geysers, and Humedal de Putana (Putana Wetland).

Then we’ll ascend to 15,000 feet and cross into Bolivia. We’ll pack into Land Cruisers and head through the wilderness of the high Andes to the salt flats. We will have a few long drives through the fantastic landscapes of the impressive mountains as we venture north to the town of Uyuni and beyond. We’ll visit Laguna Colorada, home of three species of flamingo, as well as other birds, Isla Incahuasi (large cacti hill), and many more exotic locations. By day, you’ll learn techniques to best capture the reflections of the salt flats and the spectacular, star-filled night skies. We will also have our famous image reviews and Lightroom instruction.

Everything is covered, from the airport pickup in Calama, Chile, to the airport shuttle in La Paz, Bolivia. You are expected to acclimate to 16,000 feet for this workshop, and we will carry oxygen in each vehicle for emergencies.

Due to the high altitude, this workshop has an age limit: you must be fit and 70 or younger.


Chile and Bolivia




April 3 – 14, 2024


Open for Registration
Limited to 10 Guests


This expedition reaches altitudes over 16,000 feet. Please read the document linked in ALTITUDE. 

This itinerary is subject to change due to weather, local conditions, and other factors.

April 2, 2024: We recommend arriving at Santiago International Airport (SCL) and staying at the Holiday Inn Airport Santiago. This hotel is within walking distance of the regional terminal for easy access to board your flight to Calama the following morning.

April 3, 2024: Everyone will take an early flight from Santiago to Calama together. For this reason, it’s much better to arrive in Santiago on April 2nd and stay at the Holiday Inn at the airport. Our guides will greet us at Calama airport and drive us to San Pedro de Atacama, about two hours away. After lunch and checking in to our hotel, we’ll spend the evening walking around town and photographing the interesting architecture.

If you wish to arrive early in San Pedro de Atacama to help acclimate yourself, please let us know, and we’ll help you arrange logistics. This is recommended for anyone living at sea level or who has never been above 14,000 feet in elevation.

April 4, 2024: An early pre-dawn shoot of stars at a location near town. You’ll return for breakfast and a review of your images. After lunch, you’ll explore and visit one of many locations at 14,000 feet in altitude today, allowing your body to experience the thin air for the first time. There are plenty of great photogenic locations to choose from. We will spend the afternoon exploring an old mission and canyon filled with beautiful cacti. Dinner back in town.

April 5, 2024: You’ll have one more early morning to photograph the incredible stars at a location near town. This location will be up in elevation, so you can spend even more time in the thin air, preparing your body for the higher altitudes in Bolivia. The other significant advantage of the higher elevations is the lack of atmospheric haze, making the stars brighter. After breakfast and rest, you’ll spend some time reviewing images. In the afternoon, you’ll visit a location to photograph one of the many tall volcanoes in the region, Lincancabur. Dinner and rest for the next day’s adventure entering Bolivia.

April 6, 2024: We’ll begin our journey overland to Bolivia. This will be the first of several legs up and over high passes and onto several dry lakes along the way to the Bolivia salt flats. When we reach the Bolivian border at Hito Cajón, we’ll meet our Bolivian guides and five jeeps, where we’ll continue to Laguna Colorada. Along the way, we’ll stop for lunch at the Hot Springs of Chalviri or Dali’s Desert. We’ll spend the sunset photographing the Laguna Colorada.

April 7, 2024: We’ll drive further into Bolivia from Laguna Colorada to Villamar. We’ll spend the day photographing the incredible high plateaus of the Andes with snow-capped volcanoes in the distance and, on occasion, flamingos in the lagoons. We’ll spend the night at our second remote hotel high in the Andes.

April 8, 2024: Today, we’ll continue our journey to the salt flats and the town of Uyuni. When we reach Uyuni, we’ll check in to our first salt hotel and head to the salt flats for sunset.

April 9, 2024: We’ll get up very early to drive out on the salt flats to create images of the Milky Way in dark night skies. After sunrise, breakfast, and checkout, we’ll continue from Uyuni to Tahua, near the volcano Tunupa. We’ll have the opportunity to cross the salt flats if there’s not too much water. When we arrive in Coquesa, we’ll check in to our second salt hotel, then head out to photograph the local culture and the fantastic quinoa fields. We will photograph the stars reflecting in the salt flats this night.

April 10, 2024: We’ll spend the day on the salt flats visiting the island of Incahuasi, where the cacti grow on the rocky cliffs overlooking the salt flats. Depending on the conditions, we’ll photograph the volcano of Tunupa with polygon shapes in the salt flats or visit the colorful quinoa fields. We’ll have another opportunity to spend time on the salt flats photographing the stars and the Milky Way in some of the darkest skies in the world.

April 11, 2024: We’ll have time to spend the perfect hours in the night photographing the stars on the Salt Flats again, ensuring everyone gets an excellent opportunity to capture this unforgettable spectacle. We’ll have time to spend in the small village capturing images of the local life, including herds of Alpacas. Based on the conditions, we might return to another location in the Salt Flats for sunset and dusk light.

April 12, 2024: On our last day in the region, we’ll drive to La Paz. We leave early and make a few restroom stops along the way, with a good break for lunch at the market in San Cristobal. Once in La Paz, we’ll check in to our hotel for a much-earned meal and rest.

April 13, 2024: Today we’ll sleep in and spend our time on the incredible grounds of the hotel. After breakfast, we’ll review images and teach post-processing techniques in a private meeting space. After a restful day, we’ll celebrate a great adventure over dinner.

April 14, 2024: Fly home anytime. Many flights back to the US depart at 2-3:00 AM, and we’ll arrange a taxi for you to the airport. 


This photography workshop visits altitudes of more than 16,000 feet. You must be comfortable at this elevation.

Please read this document, "Health Changes of High Altitude Adventure" prepared by physician Gordon Saperia (also one of our clients).

This workshop is designed to provide two nights at 8,500 feet in elevation to help acclimate for the much higher elevations reached in the Bolivian Andes. If this will be your first time at altitudes above 14,000 feet, we recommend arriving early into San Pedro de Atacama. We can arrange for our local guides to meet with you and drive you from Calama to San Pedro de Atacama.

To prepare yourself for enjoying high altitudes, we recommend visiting locations in your home country that exceed 14,000 feet in altitude. Be careful and remember that doing this safely takes time. If you are from the US, you can visit Pikes Peak in Colorado to test your acclimation process. It is best to spend a minimum of two nights at an altitude of around 8-9,000 feet to properly acclimate and enjoy yourself at 14,000 feet. We require that everyone acclimate to high altitudes and consult their physician. We also recommend consulting your physician to obtain the proper medication to help your body adjust. We can only offer recommendations, but you must consult your physician for final approval and prescriptions!



Challenging: You must be able to hike up to one mile at elevations up to 16,000 feet.


Arrive El Loa Airport (CJC), Calama, Chile before 9:00 AM on April 3, 2024. Depart El Alto International Airport (LPB), La Paz, Bolivia anytime on April 14, 2024.

What to Bring

Please see our page How To Prepare For Your Workshop. We will send you a detailed information document 90 days before your workshop. This document will include specifics of where and when to meet, gear and clothing recommendations, and more.

What’s Included

  • Double occupancy lodging. Single available for $2,000 supplement.
  • All meals, soft drinks, and snacks during the workshop.
  • All permits and park fees.
  • All transportation during the workshop.
  • Tips for crew, drivers, and local guides.
  • English-speaking local guide throughout the workshop.
  • Photographic guiding and instruction from 2 pros.
  • Image reviews and post-processing instruction.
  • Adventure, fun, inspiration, and a great time!

Not Included

  • Travel to Calama, Chile and from La Paz, Bolivia.
  • Passport and visa fees (if applicable).
  • Any meals or accommodations before or after the workshop dates.
  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Medical Evacuation Insurance (required).
  • Travel Medical (required).
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance (optional, but recommended).
  • Anything else specifically not listed as included.
  • Single rooming available for $2,000 supplement.

Payment Terms

  • Your deposit of $4,495 will hold your space in this workshop.
  • Further payment of $5,000 is due by September 1, 2023.
  • The balance is due not later than December 1, 2023.
  • All of our standard Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Need special payment arrangements? No problem, just ask us.


“Wayne Suggs was extremely helpful in the camera settings and instructing new techniques to use while shooting. He has a unique passion for his profession. ”

— Barb McCourt, New Mexico Land of Enchantment '17

“Congratulations on hiring Joseph Roybal! He is clearly a master of all aspects of his craft, an exceptional leader and team player and he's superb at understanding the group's needs as well as those of each individual. He did an outstanding job of ensuring we had the basics down pat, understood and tried new techniques in the field and in the post processing of our images. He is a wonderful addition to your team and will be a significant asset in the months and hopefully years to come! ”

— Andy Partridge, Atacama Bolivia Salt Flats '23
Behind the Scenes
You might also like…