Welcome to Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt Flats)! Located in the southwestern part of Bolivia, is one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world. It is a large salt flat that covers an area of 10,582 square kilometers and was discovered by a local Aymara people centuries ago.
This white landscape has become one of the top destinations for travelers looking to experience nature’s beauty at its finest. From its majestic mountains to its expansive desert terrain, it is no wonder why this destination has been touted as one of the best places to visit on Earth. With so much to see and do here, you will never be short on things to explore and discover while visiting Uyuni Salt Flats!
In the following paragraphs, we will provide a comprehensive guide to the Uyuni Salt Flats. Firstly, we will discuss how to get there and the best time to travel. Then, we will provide tips on choosing the right tour and offer a full photographic guide to help you capture the perfect shots. Additionally, we will share some essential tips such as where to stay, what to pack, and what to expect from the food. Prepare yourself for an adventure of a lifetime – get ready for an unforgettable journey!
Table of Contents
How to get to Uyuni Salt Flats
Choose wisely your destination, before visiting Uyuni. However Uyuni is the best destination and in this article, we will look at instructions on how to get to Uyuni from the most popular destinations: La Paz, San Pedro de Atacama, Santa Cruz, and Tupiza. When you’re ready, discover more by clicking each heading to find out how you can reach to the Uyuni Salt Flats. Get ready for an exciting adventure that awaits! [Read More about How to get to Uyuni]
From La Paz to Uyuni
Wondering how to get to Uyuni from La Paz, one of the most popular and easy destinations to reach the Bolivian salt flats? Should you go by bus, plane or maybe even train? Discover all the details here to begin your trip! You’ll have plenty of options to choose from: take a comfortable bus ride, hop on a plane for a quicker trip or board a train for an unforgettable journey, the choice is up to you!
From San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni
Uyuni is one of the main attractions for tourists visiting San Pedro de Atacama, considered one of the best options if you’re jumping from Chile to continue your expedition in Bolivia. Get ready for a unique and amazing trip! Journey through different terrains and explore otherworldly landscapes unlike anything else in South America. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and culture of this fascinating destination as you prepare for an incredible adventure!
From Santa Cruz to Uyuni
Being one of the main points of arrival in Bolivia, there are many people looking for the most efficient or economical way to get to Uyuni. Here we will describe a step-by-step guide on how to get to Uyuni through terrestrial, aerial or mixed alternatives.
When to go to Salar de Uyuni
We are one step ahead! Discover our detailed guide on the best time to visit Uyuni and the colorful lagoons. There are two main seasons, which one best suits your travel style? Explore the unsurpassed nature, breathtaking landscapes, and lasting memories with a unique experience in the amazing Uyuni Salt Flats.
Rainy season: December to March
✅ The best time to visit the incredible Salar de Uyuni, which is located in Bolivia is during the months of December to February. Because in these months, this place is transformed into a mesmerizing natural mirror, reflecting the sky and clouds above.
❌ Unfortunately, some places like Isla Incahuasi (the island of giant cacti) or Tunupa Volcano may become inaccessible due to water levels rising too high. Despite this limitation in your experience, there are still plenty of impressive circuits inside the salt flat that remain open and provide unique insight into one of nature’s greatest wonders.
Dry season: April to November
✅ Many of the roads around deserts and lagoons become much more accessible when the soil hardens due to the decrease in rainfall. This makes it easier and less dangerous to drive, as you won’t have to worry about getting stuck in sticky mud or water. Plus, trekking within the area is safer, which opens up many previously inaccessible locations such as Incachuasi Island, Tunupa Volcano or the mysterious Lake Qatal. All of these places offer a unique experience that will make your trip truly worthwhile!
❌ During the winter months of June to August, cold temperatures can cause some serious troubles for those traveling around deserts and lagoons. Snow is a real possibility during this time, and extreme weather can sometimes force cancellations or require changes in the itinerary. Furthermore, with temperatures being so low, sleeping in the desert can be an incredibly uncomfortable experience, and you may not even be able to visit 40% of the circuit.
For more information read our complete blog Best time to visit Uyuni Salt Flats 2023
Choosing a Tour & budgets
First, understand that the Uyuni Salt Flats are only a small part of the Potosí deserts, so consider tours with multiple destinations for a more rewarding experience. Make sure that the car used is an old 4WD model, as modern cars won’t be able to withstand the chemical components in the salt flats. Look for tours run by responsible companies, and consider traveling with a group of 4-6 people for better prices and quality service.
You also have two main tour options: private or shared ones. Private tours offer more personalized itineraries but tend to be more expensive, while shared ones usually cost less but are not as customizable. Whichever you choose, make sure it meets your budget and preferences!
Read our detailed blog post about Salar de Uyuni cost: tours, hotels, restaurants & more
Visit Uyuni salt flats for 1 day
Are you looking for a short tour of one day or something longer? If you are considering a one-day tour, some of the spots you can visit include the Train Cemetery, Colchani, Dakar Monument, Flag Beach, the Stairway to Heaven, and Incahuasi island. Visit Uyuni Salt Flats Bolivia, all in 1 Day. Don’t miss it! Our private or small group tour and discover the beauty of the world’s largest salt flat.
Our recommendations for visiting Uyuni for 1 day are:
- Uyuni Salt Flats full-day tour from $115 per person
- Sunset + Toast from $85 per person
- Sunrise + Breakfast from $85 per person
- Stargazing from $75 per person
Visit Uyuni salt flats for 2 days, alternatives
This Salar de Uyuni 2 Day tour is one of the most wonderful scenic adventures on the planet! Join us on our expedition in 4WD through Salar de Uyuni an impressive Rainbow Volcano, Explore Tahua, where you can marvel at some of the planet’s quirkiest cacti species Mummies in perfect condition, and the best viewpoints in Uyuni Salt Flats!
Our recommendation for visiting Uyuni for 2 days is:
Visit Uyuni salt flats for 3 days: Recommended tours
Our Salar de Uyuni 3-Day Tour is a favorite! On this 3 day tour, you will go from miles of endless salt flats and colored lagoons to beautiful deserts and volcanic hot springs. You will embark on a fun-filled adventure that will have you taking photos at every stop and staring in awe at the wonderful sights.
Our recommendations for visiting Uyuni for 3 days are:
- Private Salar de Uyuni 3 days from $495 per person
- Salar de Uyuni 3-Day Tour (Shared & English) from $175 per person
- San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni 3-day tour (Shared) from $245 per person
Visit Uyuni salt flats for 4 days – The best option
Take a 4 days tour of the mystical Salar de Uyuni and its surrounding landscapes. On day 1, take on a classic tour of this immense salt flat that reveals everything from breathtaking landscapes to diverse wildlife. Day 2, take time to relax and see the incredible stargazing, sunrise, and sunset or go to Tunupa. On day 3, explore the best lagoons, shaped by wind and water. Marvel at its vast expanse where you can find traces of civilizations long gone. Finally, on day 4 watch the incredible surface of the desert as you relax before heading back home with an experience like no other.
Our recommendations for visiting Uyuni for 4 days are:
- San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni 4 day tour (Shared) from 265$ per person
- Salar de Uyuni 4 Day Tour from 605$ per person
Uyuni Tour comparison table (Private vs. Shared Tours)
Table of prices for a private tours in Uyuni and the Lagoons:
|150$ – 300$
|Sunset / Sunrise
|220$ – 400$
|Salt Flats only
|390$ – 700$
|Salt Flats + Tunupa
|680$ – 1200$
|Salt Flats + Laguna Colorada + Laguna Verde + Geysers + Hot Springs
|890$ – 1450$
|Salt Flats + Laguna Colorada + Laguna Verde + Geysers + Hot Springs
Table of prices for a shared tour in Uyuni and the Lagoons:
|Bs. per person
|22$ – 50$
|5-6 per person
|Sunset / Sunrise
|27$ – 65$
|5-6 per person
|Salt Flats only
|70$ – 145$
|5-6 per person
|Sal Flats + Tunupa
|150$ – 290$
|5-6 per person
|Salt Flats + Laguna Colorada + Laguna Verde +Geysers + Hotsprings
Photography Guide for Salar de Uyuni
Visiting Uyuni Bolivia gives you the opportunity to take iconic perspective photos that look almost too good to be true! Take advantage of Salar de Uyuni’s perfectly flat surface and unique color for some truly remarkable images. The best time to capture these shots is when the salt flats is dry, which occur most of the year, from April through November. Get creative and have fun with your photos. With a little planning and extra effort, you can get stunning perspective photos that will look amazing on Instagram!
If you’re looking for remarkable reflection photos, the best time to visit Uyuni Salt Flats is between December and March. During this period, the salt flats reflect an incredible light due to the rain that renders them smooth and glass-like. Make sure to take a Salar de Uyuni tour during this special window, any other time of year will offer a dry salt without giving you any reflection opportunities. And don’t forget to witness the surreal sunsets too!
Night Photos: Light Painting, Stargazing
Take a night tour of Uyuni Salt Flats between March and May! With no city lights to interfere, the starry sky will be a photographer’s dream come true. The salt flats reflecting the stars above and below you will make for stunning shots with the right camera settings and tripod. Enjoy learning about constellations and planets with your guide while you capture mesmerizing photos that can’t be found anywhere else. This night will definitely be one to remember!
Places to Visit in Uyuni and the Deserts
Uyuni and its deserts are a paradise for adventurers and nature lovers. Discover the incredible beauty of Bolivia’s largest salt flat, take an off-road jeep tour to explore lagoons surrounded by colorful flamingos, witness the sun setting over Salar de Uyuni, and admire otherworldly landscapes. Enjoy experiences like tasting traditional dishes in local restaurants. With so much to do in Uyuni’s stunning deserts, come explore this region with us!
Salt Hotels: Unique ones in the World!
The Salt Hotel in Uyuni, Bolivia is a luxurious destination that combines modern amenities with traditional Andean architecture and design. Located in a Salar (a large expanse of salt ground) in the Altiplano region, the hotel offers an experience unlike any other.
The Salt Hotel was built on the edge of this magnificent place, providing visitors with all modern conveniences like hot showers and comfortable beds. Each room has been designed to offer a different experience depending on needs, ranging from small apartments ideal for couples or families that are connected directly to the Salar de Uyuni. Salt Hotels gives travelers a chance to explore one of South America’s most spectacular landscapes without sacrificing comfort or safety, allowing guests to take full advantage of every minute they spend there!
For more information read: Uyuni Salt Hotels: Where to Stay, Service, Prices & Comparison Tables
Color Lagoons, dozens of them
The Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia is home for many of colorful lagoons. Each lagoon is distinct in size and color, depending on the mineral content in its water. Particularly stunning is Laguna Colorada, with its red hue caused by high amounts of iron oxide. Discover this and other attractions that the destination has to offer!
For more information read: Color Lagoons, dozens of them
Active Geyser, Hot Springs & Volcanoes
Within Uyuni Salt Flats, expanse is several other geological treasures that visitors should not miss. One of these is the active geysers, hot springs, and volcanoes found both on the edge of and within the salt flats. These features come alive as steam and boiling water escape from them and create a stunningly majestic landscape of blues, greys, and whites. From a distance they look like small patches of snow on the land, but up close you can feel the powerful heat emanating from inside them.
For more information read: Active Geyser, Hot Springs & Volcanoes
Incahuasi Island: Giant Cacti
Incahuasi Island, is located within the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. This incredible destination is full of giant cacti, rock formations, and a variety of flora and fauna that you won’t find anywhere else. Once you reach Incahuasi Island, you will be admiring the unusual rock formations, keep an eye out for some of the local wildlife that inhabits this special sanctuary. It’s an incredibly diverse natural environment perfect for photographers and nature lovers!
For more information read: Incahuasi Island: Giant Cacti
Wildlife in Uyuni: Flamingoes, Llamas, Vicuñas and more!
Uyuni, Bolivia is home to a unique and diverse range of wildlife, including llamas, vicuñas, foxes, and more. These animals make their homes in the expansive desert stone fields of Uyuni. Visitors to Uyuni have the opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures up close while learning about their behavior ecology and conservation efforts. This is an experience that no one should miss, one that will provide unforgettable memories!
For more information visit: Wildlife in Uyuni: A Guide to the Magnificent Animals of Bolivia
Tips & Advice
Packing List for a trip to Uyuni Salt Flats
Visiting the immense salt flats of Uyuni will be an unforgettable experience. Before you set off on your trip, make sure that you are properly prepared with everything you need in your packing list. Include items such as sun protection like sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat; comfortable clothing (think t-shirts and shorts); waterproof shoes; a first aid kit; rehydration packets; etc. Planning ahead will help to ensure that you make the most out of your time in Uyuni and enjoy every moment of your adventure!
For more information read: Packing list for a trip to Uyuni Salt Flats
Where to stay in Uyuni & Deserts
When choosing accommodation in Uyuni and Colchani, there are a variety of options available to you. Keep in mind that hotel ratings are not always consistent, so it’s important to read reviews and do some research before selecting an accommodation.
The best accommodations we visited and would recommend include: hotels, hostels, guesthouses and camping sites. Hotels tend to be more expensive, but they offer all the modern comforts such as private bathrooms, stunning views and 24-hour security. Hostels provide a great balance of affordability and cleanliness, while guesthouses are places for travelers seeking a unique experience. Finally, some people prefer to camp under the starry sky of Uyuni, just make sure you bring the right gear!
Where to eat in Uyuni town
Let’s start with the fact that we love to eat! So you can understand that our travel style involves eating well. I’m sorry to tell you that you’ll be disappointed time to time with the food. In Uyuni, the options are limited and if you extend your stay it’s likely you’ll end up repeating menus. However in the link below you will know the best restaurants that Uyuni has to offer!
You will not be disappointed
Requirements to enter Bolivia
All travelers must present a valid passport and fill out an immigration form. Depending on the country of origin, visas may be required prior to arrival. All visitors can stay in the country for up to 90 days visa-free. Additionally, all individuals must show proof of no Covid-19 related symptoms before boarding their flight and provide evidence of medical insurance covering illnesses associated with Covid-19.
For more information please click below:
The Uyuni Salt Flats, also known as Salar de Uyuni, is the world’s largest salt flat located in Bolivia, South America. The flats are over 10,000 square kilometers in size and were formed when a prehistoric lake dried up leaving behind a large salt desert.
The best time to visit the Uyuni Salt Flats is during the dry season, which runs from May to November. During this time, the weather is sunny and clear, and the salt flats are dry, making it easier to explore the area.
The easiest way to get to the Uyuni Salt Flats is by flying to the city of Uyuni, which has a small airport. Alternatively, you can take a bus or train from La Paz or other nearby cities.
There are many things to do at the Uyuni Salt Flats, including taking a tour of the salt flats, visiting the nearby Isla Incahuasi (a cactus-covered island), stargazing, and visiting the nearby hot springs.
Yes, it is generally safe to visit the Uyuni Salt Flats. However, it’s important to be cautious when exploring the area, as the terrain can be rough and the weather can be extreme.
It’s recommended to plan to stay at least two days to fully explore the Uyuni Salt Flats and nearby attractions. Most tours of the salt flats will last between one and three days.
While it’s technically possible to visit the Uyuni Salt Flats on your own, it’s highly recommended to hire a guide. The terrain can be rough, and it’s easy to get lost or stuck in the salt flats without proper guidance.
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