If you want to travel from Salar De Uyuni in Bolivia to San Pedro De Atacama in Chile (or vice-versa), without taking a guided tour, you’ll be pleased to know that its very doable, very affordable, and one of the most spectacular journey’s you are every likely to take.
It’s not well-advertised, but there are public buses that run between Uyuni and San Pedro every day by companies Cruz del Norte and Trans Salvador, and a 12-hour journey costs less than $30 USD per person.
Your journey will be in a semi-cama bus with comfortable seats and plenty of space for your luggage. You’ll need to take drinks and snacks with you, and you’ll need to be patient at the border crossings! Leaving Bolivia is easy, but entering Chile takes time, and every item of luggage is inspected thoroughly. Once you are back on the bus, it’s non-stop to Calama, and you’ll arrive in San Pedro de Atacama at around 17h30.
The journey from Uyuni to San Pedro is simply beautiful. Here’s just a glimpse of what you can expect: