Since I started planning my trip I have been excited to do the salt flats in Bolivia. In San Pedro we scoured the various agencies trying to find the best one for the best price. We had heard good things about the company Estrella del Sur and so bargained them down from 65,000 pesos to 58,000 and decided to go with them.
Then, the night before we were set to leave, we receive a knock at our hostel room door saying that the company had called and we were to go right away. They told us that the other people on our tour had cancelled and it was just the two of us, so we couldn’t go. They said they had called another company, Colque Tours, and we could go with them. We weren’t satisfied with this, though, because we would be paying the same price for a lesser company (base price at 60,000) and we had heard bad things about Colque.
So, annoyed, we went out onto the street trying to figure out what to do. Then a tour operator we hadn’t tried before, Tierra Mistica, was standing outside and asked us if we wanted to go to Bolivia tomorrow. He had just had two people cancel and needed to fill the spots. Lucky us! We had him in a spot and bargained him down from 65,000 to 50,000. On top of that deal, everything was included — entrance fees to the national parks and Bolivia, etc. — which was another 10,000 pesos that would have been added on to the price we would have paid for any other company. In effect, we saved about 18,000 pesos, or around $36US! Not bad! (more…)