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Australian tourists found in Bolivia

13:04 Sat Dec 29 2012
AAP

The tourists, aged between 21 and 31, went missing after leaving the nearby southern city of Tupiza on Thursday, Colonel Denis Duchen, police chief of the department of Potosi, told reporters earlier.

The La Razon newspaper website says the five Australians were found and were returning to La Paz. It's understood their van became stuck in mud.

The search for their tour guide is continuing.

There are no roads in the Salar, which is located near the crest of the Andes, some 3650 metres above sea level, and spread across a desolate expanse of 12,000 square kilometres.

Visitors usually navigate their way around the treacherous landscape by relying on tracks left by previous vehicles, but these can be washed out by heavy rain.

On Saturday a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) spokesman confirmed the Australians had been found safe by lunchtime, local time.

They had been reported missing to local authorities less than 24 hours earlier, the DFAT spokesman said.