How can I go from Uyuni to Puno directly? Is there a bus? and what's the travel time?


Short answer: You really can't.

Long answer: The most direct way (ie not taking a Potosi bus and connecting) is to take just two buses.

The first bus will be from Uyuni to La Paz. This can take 12-15 hours depending on the time of day, the bus company, your driver (some will pull over for a few hours to sleep!) and stops (some stop in El Alto to drop off passengers). Bring warm clothes - it's a COLD long ride.

(My recollection is that it goes up route 30 to La Paz, not via Potosi, but I could be wrong - I certainly don't remember ever being in Potosi but it was in the middle of the night, to be fair)

Then from La Paz to Puno, you have two options - either the fast route around the lake by bus (5 hours), or via Copacabana, which takes longer but is more of a 'fun' experience - you take a ferry at one point.

I assume you're doing a salt flats tour? Speak to your tour company beforehand, as they can often organise a bus for you so that you can end your tour and hop on a bus to La Paz soon afterwards - they quite often fill up, especially if you want cama class instead of semi-cama seats.

  • you know a lot ;)
    – Washu
    Feb 24 '13 at 21:54
  • 1
    @Washu It's just handy when I've done the route myself :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Feb 24 '13 at 21:56
  • I'm a bit confused. I Haven't been there but I'm looking at maps out of curiosity having travelled routes that "don't exist" in other parts of Latin America I thought it might be fun to take a look... It looks like the most direct way is via Potosí to Nuestra Señora de la Paz. What am I missing? Feb 24 '13 at 23:06
  • @hippietrail - possibly not as clear as I'd hoped - going by Potosi meant 3 buses (ie to Potosi, to La Paz, to Puno) whereas the buses to La Paz direct mean fewer stops. In addition, I'm almost certain when I went our vehicle went up the 30 road, rather than the 1 highway, skipping Potosi. However I wasn't in the best state at the time (long story) so could be wrong. I'll tweak my answer.
    – Mark Mayo
    Feb 24 '13 at 23:14
  • Ah OK. In asking I realized that we tend to use some of the same words when we talk about routes and bus connections, like "direct" that can make it a bit tricky. I guess the OP was asking both about the route and the fewest bus changes. Feb 24 '13 at 23:18

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