The 3-day Salar de Uyuni Tour
I booked my 3-day tour of Salar de Uyuni while I was in La Paz, I originally wanted to only visit the salt flats for the day but I would have been stuck in La Paz for those 3 days because of an elections (the country pretty much shuts down) so I thought I may as well spend those 3 days in the Bolivian outback.
The most popular thing to do in Bolivia is visiting the Salar de Uyuni. It’s a vast amount of land that’s, well, salt – the “salt flat” is renowned for its mirrored aesthetic, Salar de Uyuni’s horizon never seems to end, beautifully divided between the bright whites and deep blues.
I only wish that I visited during the rainy season (Jan-April), that’s when the water lies on the ground and creates stunning reflections – guaranteeing incredible photos.
At 12,000 square kilometres, Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world. The town you have to go to begin your tour is Uyuni, you don’t want to spend much time in this ghost town, it’s expensive and there are only 600 inhabitants.
I met my driver who couldn’t speak English and the tour group I’d be spending the next 3 days with. Luckily some of them spoke Spanish. Most tours do the usual route and you often bump into other tours. We started at the desolate rail track and then on to the salt flats.
At this point everyone is taking photos, getting creative with their poses. I had to explain how to use a camera to a lad from Belgium on my tour let alone how the position of the subject will create a certain effect. Nightmare. Most of the first day is spend on the salt flats before setting up camp for the night in a salt hotel.
It was an early start each day which saw us starting the drive while still dark, which also meant we got to see the sun rise. Much of the day is spent cruising around the most diverse landscapes, I often requested to stop so I could take photos. The highlights of the tour are seeing the pink flamingos in the red lake, driving across the desert, in fact you see so many diverse landscapes it’s just amazing!
I have no idea how many miles we covered over 4 days but we went through two spare tyres. It was a great all round experience but I guess this sort of tour will rely on who you’re spending the 3nights and 4 days with. I was lucky to get to enjoy my tour with some great people.
Why should you visit Salar de Uyuni
- You’ll take the best photos you’ve ever taken!
- See wild Vicuñas roaming freely across the vast landscape.
- You’ll see the salt of the earth – in incredible form.
- The landscapes will make you feel like you’ve visited many different planets.
- See a shit ton of flamingos chilling in a red lake.
- You’ll feel like a dessert trooper, a wildlife explorers and bonafide adventurer.
- You’ll see towns that are stuck in the past, places you never knew existed.
- Unforgettable sunsets and sun rises!
What to pack
It gets very cold at night!
Clothes– warm clothes are a must at 16,000 feet (nearly 5000 meters). If traveling during rainy season (Nov-Feb), come prepared with a rain jacket. I would take a scarf and sunglasses over anything else. Accommodation is very basic, so this means no heat and a lukewarm shower, so bring some warm clothes. I didn’t shower at all for 3 days.
Footwear– I wore a pair of trainers and I trekked the Inca Trail in those same trainers, in fact I’m wearing those trainers right now. A good pair of trainers will do the job. Lugging a pair of boots around is too much for me, I travel light.
Food– All customers are fed pretty well with both meals and snacks, but a few familiar snacks are always nice to have, especially when spending your days riding around in a car.
April 29, 2019
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