When I travel, I try to find and discover the unusual, and Salar salt flat desert is definitely one of the most extraordinary places I have ever visited.
You can visit the Salar during the dry season to see the geometric pattern imprint created by the salt or at the end of the wet season, when there is still a thin cover of water, remaining from the rain on the salt. I traveled in April to see the spectacular mirror effect, a horizon stretching beyond any border, where the sky and earth are one and all you see is infinite sky.
So, how can you get to the largest salt desert in the world? I got there from Sucre, with a night bus, very early in the morning, spend few hours in a local cafe, checking in a booked a tour in one of the many travel agencies in Uyuni town. 3 days, 2 nights around the Salar and Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna national reserve, laguna colorada and laguna verde.
There are many tour agencies on the main street in town, I advice to follow the reviews, and if you really wish to experience everything, don’t be afraid to pay a bit extra. We had a great group and guide, but unfortunately we didn’t get to see the salt flat in sunrise or sunset. For me, I was super excited to be driving through the desert, make crazy reflection images and time lapse videos, there is seriously nothing like it in the entire universe. Our first day was dedicated to the desert, we spend about 4-5 hours exploring the desert, before heading out our salt hotel for the first night.
Perspective pics in the salt desert
Second day dedicated to the national reserve park, laguna Verde where you can watch the pink flamingos’ dance, and Llamas and alpacas on the way. As we were driving, there were many alpacas on the way and Vicunas.
So, we spend the first night in the salt desert, disconnected from wifi, playing Uno. The salt hotel is made from salt:) you will be having dinner and breakfast on salt tables and sleeping on salt made beds. It is definitely quite a special experience, but there are buts. Be prepared to pay for hot showers, don’t expect too much from Bolivian cuisine, it is not a luxury hotel, yet you will enjoy soup, main meal, tea & coffee for dinner and basic breakfast. Come prepared with power banks, it will be much more convenient, as there is a charging station only in the communal area and on the second night, there is electricity for 3-4 hours only.
Laguna colorada – It was freezing cold!
More from the national reserve
Traveling to Uyuni and visiting the salt flats is really easy as a solo traveler, because you go with a tour, of course! A guide, you and 6 other guys, with everything planned and scheduled by the guide, so it is safe, easy and all-inclusive (except the entrance fee to the national reserve). I actually continued traveling for 2 weeks more with a couple of friends from this group tour, continuing to Copacabana and lake Titicaca, Isla del Sol, Machu Pichu and later on we also met in Lima.
Read & Save Tips
Salar de Uyuni – if you are visiting at the end of the wet season to admire the mirror effect, bring flip flops to change into for the pics and videos. You don’t want wet and salty hiking boots or sneakers.
To and from Uyuni – I arrived with a night bus from Sucre and continued to La Paz. On the last day of the tour we arrived back to Uyuni at around 4pm, bought our tickets for the night bus to La Paz, left at 8pm and were in La Paz at around 5am. It is also possible to cross to Chile, the tour driver will drop you off at the border. You can definitely book a tour in the Salar in advance and get picked up by the agency right from the bus terminal on the same morning. However, from personal experience, you don’t want to go on a tour sleepy and straight from a night bus, better to book a night in a hostel in town, get acclimatized, rest and refresh before embarking on 4 days’ tour.
Uyuni – Is a very small and poor town. One night is beyond enough. Don’t count on ATMs arrive prepared with cash.
Tour guides- A tour with an English speaking guide costs more, double the price of tours with Spanish tour guides, around 1500 Bolivianos. It is completely up to your budget.