Salar De Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat and it is without any doubts, one of the most incredible places we have been to.
Amid the Andes in southwest Bolivia, at 3,600 meters above sea level, with its 10,000 square kilometres, Salar De Uyuni is considered one of the most extreme and remarkable vistas in all of South America, if not Earth.
Left La Paz in the early morning we reached Uyuni in less than one hour with a convenient flight with a spectacular aerial view over the salt flats.
Many people decide to take the overnight bus instead of the flight in order to save some money (not to much honestly!), but we definitely recommend to fly there. After a long night spent on a coach you will reach Uyuni in the very early morning and it’s not the best place where you want to spend 4-5 hours waiting for your tour agency to let you in. Also, you have a long quite hard 2-3 days ahead and it’s better to approach it rested and relaxed.
There are many companies offering either 1 or 2-3 Days Trips to see the Salar de Uyuni . It’s very important to pick a reliable company and to make sure you have all the information before you book it. We wanted to do the 3 nights/2 days tour and the most reliable and better reviewed companies are Red Planet Expeditions and Tour Quechua Connection 4WD. We choose the second one and we are glad we did it. We paid anything around $180 per person. It’s possible to arrive on the day and book a cheaper tour than this but we wouldn’t recommend it.
The agent arrived to pick us up at the airport and after a quick stop at the office to fill some paper works, meeting the other people and buying some snacks and water for the trip, we jumped on our 4WD and we started the tour among with other three jeeps. We fit quite comfortable in the car and our driver never showed any sign reckless driving – which are the biggest concern with many reviews. Together with a Spanish girl, an English couple, our driver and a guide, once lifted our baggage on the roof of the jeeps, we were now ready to start our adventure.
The tour includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. There was always enough food for everybody and it was surprisingly delicious. We had read reviews of other tours of people complaining about food, but we had no problem at all.
On the last day, we are dropped off in Santiago de Atacama in Chile, our next destination. With the heart and eyes full of love, after the last three beautiful days, it’s was time to say goodbye to our friends going back to Uyuni.
3D – 2N SALAR DE UYUNI TOUR ITINERARY
DAY 1: On the way to the Salt Flats we stopped to visit some sites. The Train Graveyard, a mysterious train cemetery filled with old abandoned trains a century ago and the Colchani Salt Mine, a salt processing community. Once reached the magical Salar De Uyuni, we jumped off the car for a 3km bike riding over the salt flats. We had so much fun cycling on the salt flats. Arrived at the meeting point where a nice table was set up for us, we had our first lunch together. After taking many funny prospective pictures, spending a beautiful day at Incahuasi Island and Pia Pia Island, what better way to end the day than enjoying a stunning sunset over the salt flats. It’s almost impossible to watch this sunset and not dream.
We spent our first night at Manica Hostel in a double room with private bathroom.
> During the dry season, temperatures goes really down in the night, up to -15 Celsius degrees. Make sure to bring warm cloths and a good sleeping bag. They will provide you with one if you don’t have yours, but make sure to check it. We have been unlucky to got a broken one and we didn’t have a pleasant night at all.
DAY 2: After a long cold night we woke up quite early, looking forward to explore the beautiful Bolivian landscapes.
In the morning we had the chance to visit Coral Valley and Ollague Volcano. Following the lunch we spent another spectacular day visiting the Altiplanic Lagoons with lots of pink flamingos, the Siloli Desert, the Red Lagoon and walking through the Sol De Manana Geysers. The Red Lagoon – or Laguna Colorada, which by that time, was truly red streaked with white due to the borax in the water, was perhaps the most beautiful view we had on the tour.
We spent the second and last night at a very basic lodge dormitory with shared bedrooms and toilets. Here there is no shower and during the night is extremely cold – you are at about 5000 meters above sea level. A secret tip that will save your life: ask to the host to fill your empty plastic bottle with hot water and place it at your feet in the bed, it will help you warming up and falling asleep.
After the dinner, we enjoyed the most beautiful sky we have ever seen so far. We were actually able to clearly see the milky way among with thousands of stars and many constellations. Only this incredible view worth all the cold.
If you like, you can go to enjoy the near hot spring drinking a glass of wine but we were not so brave to do that. The water wasn’t too hot and outside it was really freezing, so we and many other people decided to skip it.
DAY 3: Before reaching the Chilean border, you will see other two stunning lagoons and the Dalí Desert – so named because the barren landscapes and rocks formation are believed to resemble those depicted by the surrealist painter Salvator Dalí.
Following the beautiful White Lagoon we arrived at Green Lagoon – or Laguna Verde – at the foot of the volcano Lincabur which literally divides the frontier between Bolivia and Chile.
With different shades of colours, landscapes and three different varieties of pink flamingos, all the colourful lagoons are simply amazing.
Goodbye Beautiful Bolivia!