Great! Your next destination is set. Bolivia. Woohoo! Congrats! 💪. You have probably noticed that there is this must-see place in south-western Bolivia called the Uyuni Salt Flats. It's an amazing place and an unique experience for sure. Here is a short guide on how to see the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia. Read about how to access this place, what's the price and when to go and much more.
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How to See the Uyuni Salt Flats?
Before we get into details, let's make clear what's special about the Uyuni Salt Flats.
What are the Uyuni Salt Flats?
With an area of 4,000 sq. miles, Salar the Uyuni (Uyuni salt flats) is the world's largest salt flat in south-western Bolivia and is located 3,656 meters above sea level. Those flats are a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes and contain a high amount of sodium, potassium, lithium and magnesium. Due to is location on the plateau (Altiplano of Bolivia) it also represents a major transport route across Bolivia.
How to Access the Uyuni Salt Flats?
There are daily overnight buses from La Paz to Uyuni Salt Flats, leaving at 8 pm from the main bus station in La Paz. The bus ticket costs between $15-$25, depends on the bus company you choose. We'd recommend to go with Todo Turismo. The bus drive is quite challenging due to bad road conditions - especially the last 2 hours. We arrived early in the morning (at 7 am) and booked a tour on the same day that started at 10 am. Most tours usually start between 10 and 11 am.
Different Tours & Prices
There are many ways to see the Uyuni Salt Flats. It depends how many days you're willing to spend in this part of Bolivia. Here are two ideas:
- A one day tour with a 4x4 jeep includes the visit to the train cementary, a stop in Colchani and at the end the Salt Flats. The lunch is included. The tour ends at 5 pm and gives you the possibility to take the overnight bus back to La Paz. This is exactly what we did - a great way to see these flats but due to high tempo it was quite exhausting..The prices are from $30 to $60.
- A 3-day tour allows you to sleep over in one of the Salt hotels made out of dried salt at the Salt Flats, and the next two days it brings you to beautiful lakes, hot geysers, flamingos flocks, hot springs, rock formations and volcanoes. The prices rage from $100 to $250, depends on the tour operator and the hotels.
We advise you to bring enough money with you from La Paz as sometimes the ATMs in Uyuni don't work.
When to go
The peak season is between May to October when there is dry season. If you want to take the reflecting photos of water on the salt then February to March are the best months to travel when there is a lot of rain. Our period of travel was April though which turned out to be a great decision - it was sunny all day long and there were not many tourists! It is also worth to mention that nights are very cold throughout the whole year and rank from −9 to 5 °C .
Here are a few more photos from our trip to the Uyuni Salt Flats (sorry for the quality, our camera was bad back then hehe!)
It's also a hub of many interesting world-travellers out there - we met quite many cyclists who conquered the Bolivian heights and made a bit of history with their ways of travelling :)
Once at the Uyuni salt flats, everyone starts to use this place as the playground of a funny photo shooting! So did we! I even got the chance to show Jerry who's the boss! ;=)
A stop at the the impressive Incahuasi island with cactuses - it is a part of the one-day tour:
The Uyuni salt flats are perfect also for those gym photos - oh man, how happy we felt when we finally got to see this natural wonder!
Is Bolivia on your bucket list? What about the Uyuni salt flats? Let us know in the comments below!