Destination Guides South America

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING SALAR DE UYUNI

What is Salar De Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world, an endless sheet of hexagonal tiles (created by the crystalline nature of the salt) – making for one of the most unique, and stunning landscapes to explore. At 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi), this salt flat is considered to be one of the most remarkable vistas in all of South America.

During the wet season, the salt desert is transformed into a enormous salt lake! During this time, the shallow salt lake perfectly mirrors the sky, creating for some spectacular photographs.

How many days should you visit?

Some people opt to only do a day tour here, but we highly recommend opting for a 3-4 day tour that heads deeper in the Altiplano.

If you only do a day tour you will never get to see the place at sunset (which is a must) and there is so much more to see if you venture out further into this spectacular landscape.

On our Geckos Adventures trip, a 3 day jeep tour was included – and it was our favourite thing we did in all of Bolivia!

What is the best time of year to visit?

This all depends on what you are wanting to see!

If you are wanting the white, dry salt flat look then go from May to November when the weather is mild.

If you are after the beautiful mirror effect, you need to go in the wet season from January to April.

Best way to get to Uyuni

The starting point to get to Salar de Uyuni is a little town called Uyuni.

The cheapest way to get from La Paz to Uyuni is by bus, and it will take you approximately 12 to 15 hours. Uyuni does have an airport if you prefer to pay the extra and fly from La Paz.

What we did? On our Geckos Adventure tour we took the slow route to get to Uyuni, and saw more of the country. Taking a bus from La Paz to Sucre, then on to Potosi and finally a 7 hour bus to Uyuni over a number of days. This way you can explore everything that Bolivia has to offer (surprise, surprise Bolivia isn’t just known for it’s salt flats)!

What is the best way to explore the Salt Flats?

In Uyuni there are a bunch of tour companies all providing basically the exact same tour. Instead, ask these things to help choose which tour company to go with:

  • How many people are there in the car? the less, the better, of course, but it is usually 6 people + driver.

  • Does the driver speak English? if you have no clue understanding Spanish than it is best to go for a tour providing an English speaking guide.

  • Where does the tour end? do you come back to Uyuni or do you continue in Atacama Desert in Chile? That is all up to you, and where you are heading next on our adventures.

  • Is the entrance to the National park included? If not it is an extra 150 Bob (22$).

And the price? The average price is 700-750 Bob for a 3 days tour (100 – 110 USD).

For us, our 3 day tour was already included in our South America Highlights tour, and our guide and driver were fantastic!

What will you see on the tour?

On a three day Salar de Uyuni tour you will see:

  • Train cemetery

  • Largest salt flats in the world!

  • Isla Wasi – an island full of massive cacti

  • A hotel made entirely out of salt (and spend the night)

  • The spectacular landscape of the Atacama Desert

  • Active volcanoes

  • Pink, green and red lakes

  • Incredible wildlife – alpaca, flamingoes, foxes

  • Geysers

  • Hot springs (and you even get to take a dip)






Where do you stay?

On our first night we stayed at a salt hostel – completely made of salt. The tables, chairs, walls, bed – everything all completely out of salt! Also, this hostel was located over 4000m altitude – just an FYI!

On our second night we stayed at a little hostel in a large shared bedroom with 6 beds – all 6 of us from the tour had a massive slumber party – was the best night!

What to pack?

  • Warm clothes: Layers is key!

  • Sunglasses and sun block: We got burnt from the sun bouncing off the white ground

  • Camera & camera charger

  • Waterproof shoes: We wore sneakers and our feet were soaked from walking on the water

  • A towel: The hotels are super basic and don’t provide these kind of things

  • Water and snacks

  • A torch

Want to explore South America? Make sure you check out Geckos Adventures South America Highlights Tour

Thanks to Geckos Adventure for allowing us to be apart of your ambassador program for 2017!

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