Explore the Salar de Uyuni and Bolivian Altiplano

Added by Benedikt Jürges

Spectacular experience on the world's largest salt flat combined with wonderful views of volcanos.

One of the most spectacular outdoor activities in Latin America: Driving across the Salar de Uyuni! However, this is only possible as a guided tour...

Day 1:
Arrive in Uyuni, not the most appealing town to be found on this wonderful planet. It is highly recommendable to organize a tour just when you arrive, so you do not get stuck there. Talk to one of the innumerable tour guides offering their services, they pretty much provide the same quality, make you stay at the same places, etc. Bargaining can help a tiny bit here but prices are pretty much fixed.

Once you figured out the tour, wait for a few minutes until your transportation (most probably a Toyota Land Cruiser) pulls up, you and the other group members (they fill up the cars if possible) cramp yourselves into the vehicle and lets go.

The first day takes you across Salar du Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world . Spectacular views are guaranteed. Pass by the Hotel de sal - a hotel entirely made from salt - and spend your day mesmerized by the abstract place. Depending on the season, there will be water on the lake, creating spectacular reflections. The night will be spent at the coast of the lake, if you're lucky even at a hotel made from salt.

Day 2:
A lot more driving. You leave the salt lake and drive across the Bolivian Altiplano, enjoying perfect views of the volcanos and lakes. Stop at "Arbol de Piedra", a rock formation looking like a tree. Finally, after seeing the laguna colorada, you stop at a small inn, sleep (not very comfortable and not for long).

Day 3:
Last day of the tour. Get up very early (5.00am), hop into the car and leave for the Geysers, which you can then enjoy in the light of the rising sun, just disturbed by a lot of other tourists. The final stop is a thermal pool just besides a huge magnificent lake.

The tour ends with your operator either dropping you off at the Chilean border, from where you are transported to San Pedro de Atacama or you are taken back to Uyuni.

This adventure basically is spent in the car all day, but the views make it extremely worth it

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Overall rating: 

A whole 'nother planet

People use this as an easy way to get from Peru to Chile without flying, but this is so much more than that. Over the 3 days (if you choose to do that tour), you see some terrains that are just breathtaking. The night skies are unbelievable and the salt flats seem like they're from a different planet. Would definitely recommend.


🥇Top Contributor

about 3 years ago

Beautiful Experience

I would 100% recommend this adventure to anyone visiting Bolivia! When visiting Uyuni the most popular options are to either do a one day tour of Salar de Uyuni or the three day tour outlined above which covers both the salt flats and some of the surrounding areas. I would highly suggest choosing the three day option instead of the one day. The salt flats were amazing but everything we saw on the second and third days were just as breathtaking. From a massive red lake with hundreds of flamingos to active volcanoes to mars like desert landscapes, I was constantly blown away.


🥇Top Contributor

over 3 years ago

Simply incredible

The Salar de Uyuni is quite simply one of the most unique, bizarre, and beautiful places on earth. Its solitude is magnificent, the geology of the surrounding volcanoes is incredible, and the wildlife is equally as bizarre as the landscape is. Almost everyone that visits the Salar does it with a guide, and I highly recommend it. I am the type of person that does not like tours and like exploring on my own instead, but you cannot just rent a car here and do your own thing. I do not think that would be advisable anyway. As beautiful as the landscape is, it is also extremely harsh. The altitude is insane, the windy nights are frigid, and the salt makes the air drier than you could ever imagine. You are going to want a guide to make sure you not only see all the cool things, but also are in good hands in case you get sick (which I did). My understanding is that Uyuni is a bit easier to get to now, but no matter how bumpy the roads or long the train ride is, its worth it.

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