18-23 october, 2024
18-23 October, 2024

Speed Trials Bolivia

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The Salar De Uyuni is

the largest salt flat on earth

100

mi

long

100

mi

wide

30

feet

thick

It’s perched on a mountain; 11,995 feet above sea level. The salt is known as the flattest place on earth. It is so flat NASA uses it to calculate satellite elevation.

Total average rainfall between May and August is .01” (3mm). There is never a cloud in the sky and the wind is mostly calm.

In our opinion iIt’s the best place on earth to set a land speed record. It is absolutely the best place on earth for electric vehicles; the aerodynamic drag is 35% less than sea level.

previous Events

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The Track

  • Will conform to the Fia and Fim record requirements;
  • Will be 15 miles long and 110 feet wide;
  • The event is open to all automobile and motorcycle entries.

The vehicles must conform to safety requirements and other vehicle requirements of the FIA and FIM standards to compete.

Track

fiA LICENSING

You will need to fill out the following forms to compete

Drivers license

Apply for your driver license and your competitors license to your Home country national sporting authority (NSA). If you are an USA resident apply to USAC for your license here. Send the application to:

Member Services

Nikki Klepper

Competitors license

You must obtain your driving license during the year the event is taking place.

Registration form

Normally you would submit the following form to the Bolivian NSA. Because the Bolivian NSA is unfamiliar with Speed Record Requirements, please submit the form to:

Santa Ana, California, USA

President Land Speed Records Commission

This section is being updated. The FIM sanction is being processed.

Fim LICENSING

You will need to submit the following forms to your home country FIM affiliate (FMN).

Competitors license

You will need to apply to your home country FIM Affiliate for your competition license (FMN).

For licensing in the US contact: Connie Fleming cfleming@ama-cycle.org

Medical examination

You will need a medical examination when applying for a competition license. If you are over 50 years of age you will be required to undergo an EKG as part of the medical exam.

Speed record form

You will need to submit a Speed Record form. You must submit these forms to the FIM Affiliate (FMN) in your country of residence.

Event entry and cost

You may submit an entry at any time. Submit entry to mikea@ackavionics.com with a copy to reg@cmr.org.nz The entry fee is $10,000.00 USD. The entry fee will be applied to the cost of running the event. The event is being financed by Mike Akatiff, Reg Cook, Jamie Williams, Jim Knapp, and Al Lamb. Entries are to make their own transportation, hotel, shipping, and other necessary arrangements. We can provide help in making these arrangements.

Marcos Soto is our organizer in Bolivia. His contact information is on the contact page. Marcos is a professional organizer that has worked with film and video production companies for many years. Last year’s event was not properly managed by the person we had relied on to organize things in Bolivia. This year we plan to make this a professional world class event.

Shipping

Ocean containers are shipped to the port of Iquique Chile which is the closest port to the salt flats. Smaller shipments such as motorcycles can be shipped to La Paz (LPB) or Santa Cruz airport (VVI) then transported to the salt flats.

There are two logistics companies located in Bolivia that can handle all the logistics, temporary import paperwork, dangerous goods declarations required from your home port to the salt flats and assure receiving them on time. They are listed below. There is no Carnet required for temporary import. You can arrange for your shipping using your own logistics company if you prefer. During the first two events in Bolivia shipping logistics were a major problem. There are requirements on shipping vehicles to Bolivia. If there is a title to the vehicle the process is simple. If no title exists, then there is other documentation you will need. You will need a packing list with all the contents in the container, an invoice for the contents and if hazardous material is aboard a Dangerous Goods Declaration.

When importing back into the US you will need an Exemption from the EPA. The following file has sample documentation of previous paperwork accepted when shipping to Bolivia and returning to the US. Marcelo’s wife Malena can process the temporary import paperwork for you.

Currently cost to ship from Oakland CA to Iquique Chile are: Carrier: Sealan:  Transit time 31-33 days 20'ft $3142, 40'ft $3573
Commodity: General cargo / nonhazardous

Travel Lodging

Bolivian Visa and entry

Check with your country's Department of State to determine whether a Visa is required. A Visa is not required for entry from many countries.  US citizens will need a Visa to enter Bolivia. You may obtain your Visa when you arrive in La Paz. The cost is $160.00 USD. Only cash is accepted Either Bolivianos (BOB) or US dollars. The Visa is valid for 30 days. You will need to show that you have a return flight reservation, hotel reservations and a passport with an expiration date no more than 6 months from the date of entry. You will not be required to have a Yellow Fever vaccination unless you plan to travel below 7,546 ft.

Travel to La Paz

Most flights to the city of La Paz originate in Bogotá Colombia. There are no direct flights from the US or Europe that we know of to La Paz. In previous years we booked flights whose destination was La Paz. These flights had several stops and took between 18 – 25 hours. All stop in Bogota and transfer to a La Paz flight for the final leg.  From Bogota there is a 3-hour flight to La Paz. Cost is $350.00. You can fly from a major US airport directly to Bogota. A round trip flight from LAX, Dallas or Houston takes 5 -6 hours. Currently economy fare runs about $500.00 round trip on Avianca.

Once in La Paz

There are shuttle flights to Uyuni from La Paz. Flight time is 45 minutes, cost is $136.00 round trip. There are no rental car agencies in Uyuni. Previously we hired local tour guides or rented their vehicles. These were old beat-up vehicles, some marginally safe to drive.  Cost was about $150.00 a day. You can drive from La Paz to Uyuni, a 6-hour drive. There is a new modern highway going to Uyuni. You can rent a 5 passenger 4X4 SUV in La Paz for about $550.00 a week or a 5 passenger 4X4 pickup for $880.00.

Travel direct to Uyuni

You can also fly to Santa Cruz and from Santa Cruz to Cochabamba and finally Uyuni. Total travel time can range from 18 to 35 hours. If you have someone there that has rented a vehicle in La Paz they can pick you up at the airport. There are taxis at the airport, or you can hire a local tour guide to drive you.

Lodging

There are a variety of lodging options in the town of Uyuni. With costs from $30.00 to $110.00 per night. Uyuni is a town of 30,000 people and has a variety of restaurants to choose from. The travel time from Uyuni to the entry to the salt flats is about 20 minutes. There are three hotels located at the salt Hotel Palacio de Sal, Hotel de Sal Luna Salada and Cristal Samaña. These hotels run between $160.00 to $250.00 per night. There are no other facilities near these hotels and the only food options are what the hotels provide.

ABOUT BOLIVIA

Bolivia is the poorest country in South America. The Salar De Uyuni is in a remote area. The town of Colchhani is the gateway to the Salt Flats. It is a very poor town of 600 people. The economy is built around harvesting salt. There is a section of town in which locally made goods and souvenirs are sold. They do not accept credit cards but will accept US dollars or Boliviano (BOB) .* We have found the people in this region of Bolivia to be very friendly and have never felt unsafe in any of the surrounding areas.

The town of Uyuni is approximately 30 miles from Colchani and is much larger with a population of 30,000. There are a variety of restaurants and shops. Most of these shops and restaurants accept credit cards. There is much lodging available in town.

Bolivia
Altitude

About the Altitude

On our two previous events in Bolivia about 60 people attended each event. All I believe, flew from sea level directly to Uyuni. Of the 60 people, some as old as 82, only a couple had issues with the altitude. One of the youngest was affected with a headache, tiredness and some dizziness when arriving but became acclimated within a couple of days. We have oxygen available if needed but have never used it. If you are concerned about it there is a prescription medication acetazolamide that you start taking a couple days before you go. Your doctor can prescribe it.

* The US dollar is readily accepted in Bolivia rural areas however make sure to get fresh bills from your bank even a small nick or torn corner and they might not be accepted. Bring more cash than you think you will need. Not many ATMs in Bolivia. Smaller bills are more useful as many small shops and gas stations won’t be able to make change for large bills. Don’t accept torn, repaired, or tatty boliviano notes as change as they may not be accepted although still legal tender. The currency limit to bring into or exit the country without declaration is $10,000.00 US.