Why everyone should visit Uyuni Salt Flats
Who hasn’t heard yet about the Salt Flats? If Bolivia is famous for one thing, it’s certainly for its Salt Flats, the largest in the world. Located in the South of the Bolivian Altiplano, in the department of Potosi, it is by far the main tourist attraction in Bolivia. The equivalent of the Machu Picchu in Peru or the Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro.
More than 10 000 square kilometers (4,086 sq miles) of Salt, sitting at 3650m above sea level (11,995 ft), will offer a unique experience and the perfect playground for your so-expected pictures, thanks to its legendary flatness.
Originally it was a prehistorical lake – the country’s 2nd largest lake – that dried up and got transformed into a salt desert some 40 000 years ago. And if you are wondering what is below, the Salt Flats contains 50-70% of the world’s lithium reserves.
Choosing your Uyuni Salt Flats tour should be taken seriously
The first question you will probably ask yourself is how to get there. The closest starting point to the Salt Flats tour is the city of Uyuni. Most of travel agencies propose standardized 3-day shared tours. They only interest is to fill in the vehicle as much as possible, up to 6 people in addition to the driver, to maximize the profit. We witness a real lack of professionalism, comfort and security within most of these agencies. It is very difficult to recommend any one, even the online reviews are contradictory. Security wise, we frequently hear accidents du to poorly maintained cars or none serious drivers. The only recommendation we can make is that you book a private tour, to be able to enjoy at your own rhythm without being rushed at every stop like most agencies do. With private tours, not only you have a very good level of comfort but the tour is personalized to your needs and the driver will be carefully chosen to comply with security rules.
A very professional travel agency renowned for the excellent quality of its services and its drivers and guides, is Thaki Travel. They customize the itinerary to avoid the touristy crowds and go against the flow to ensure a better experience.
Travel tips on when to visit Salt Flats
You will wonder as well what it is the best time to visit. There are 2 options, each of them provides a totally different experience. Which one is the best? There is no good answer.
During the rainy season – that goes from November to April – the salt flats gets flooded starting from February, as the rains keep on falling. It produces a mirror effect thanks to the layer of water that covers it, becoming the largest mirror in the world. The reflection effect is amazing. You will get some of your best photo shoots. A unique show that will make you feel on another planet. Be aware that crossing the Salt Flats during the rainy season is usually forbidden, as well as the access to the Cactus Island called Incahuasi.
During the dry season – that goes from May to October – you can as well get some of you best photo shoots, playing on the perspective effect. The infinite whiteness and flatness of these huge salt desert is fascinating. You can spend a whole day enjoying the Salt Flats experience, cross it to reach Incahuasi Island for a spectacular sunrise view or get to the Tunupa Volcano for an unforgettable hike, and finish with an incredible sunset.
Don’t need to choose, just visit the Salt Flats at both seasons. Bolivia has plenty to offer, from the Andes to the Amazon. Traveling twice to Bolivia is totally worth it, the richness of its nature and culture will captivate you.
Last but not least, to make your trip perfect, don’t forget to take with you:
- Warm cloths and a wind-breaker. Always choose layers. In the Altiplano, it can be quite warm during the day (especially in the car) and very cold when the wind blows or at night (especially between June and August, in which case gloves and a woolen cap are necessary).
- Solar cream with a full protection
- A hat or a cap
- Sunglasses with a minimum SPF 3 (on the Salar we even recommend SPF 4)
- Your personal aid kit
- Toiletries and cleaning wipes
Continue to see more photos of the Salar de Uyuni Bolivia: the world’s largest mirror of the sky