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To get from La Paz to Uyuni, the starting point of salt flats tour, we had the choice of either taking a bumpy 10-hour overnight bus with Todo Turismo (250 BOB) for or a 45 minute flight with Amaszonas (914 BOB or 133 USD).
We decided to take comfort over cost and opted for the flight. Initially the flight was scheduled to be at 6.20am but on the night before the flight, we were informed over e-mail that the plane would depart at 5.35am instead. We were also reminded to be at the airport to check-in at least one hour before the flight departure, meaning that we would need to reach the airport by 4.30am.
To play safe, we were up by 3.30am and it happened that there were new guests checking in at that time. We bid farewell to Raul and took the cab to the airport. Instead of going by the expressway, we used the twisty roads up to El Alto and the cab dropped us at the airport arrival area in around half an hour. The ride cost us 60 BOB.
A short walk past the arrivals and we found ourselves at the check-in area.
I had to show the credit card that I used for booking the ticket but the process was painless enough. The security weren’t open yet so we had to wait at the check-in area.
Ying had a instant Nexpresso for 12 BOB at the airport before the security for domestic flights opened.
Boarding commenced at around 6am and I had seat 7F by the window.
Flight: Amaszonas Z8 300
Depart: La Paz (LPB) – 05:35
Arrive: Uyuni (UYU) – 06:20
Distance: 286 miles (461 km)
Aircraft: Bombardier CRJ-200
Being in row 7 meant that we were exactly in the middle of the flight. It appeared that most passengers were tourists like us.
The take-off roll was probably the longest that I had experienced. The airport’s high altitude meant that even a small plane like CRJ needed a long take-off as well.
Despite being such a short flight, the crew went around distributing drinks. Impressive.
As usual, I checked out the seat pocket content.
The in-flight magazine was Spanish-only.
We arrived on time at the windy and freezing Uyuni and all of us rushed into the airport as soon as we disembarked from the plane.
I really admired the guys who were working in the freezing conditions to deliver our bags to us.
Our tour company had arranged for a transfer for us and the taxi driver was already waiting for us at the arrivals by the time we got our bags.
Although it was only a short flight, my impression of Amaszonas was quite good. While I didn’t really like the late notice about the change in departure time, the flight was actually quite pleasant. I didn’t expect a drinks run and the crew was quite friendly despite the early hours. Would definitely recommend it over taking the bus despite the relatively more expensive price.