Holidays to Uyuni, Bolivia

The small, dusty town of Uyuni sits in the south-east of Bolivia’s Altiplano, a high altitude plateau in the Andes. At first, you might not think much is happening in this colonial-era mining town, yet thousands of visitors pass through each year, drawn here to witness one of the most bizarre and mesmerising landscapes in the world: the Salar de Uyuni.

Sitting at an altitude of 3,653 metres and spanning an area of over 12,000 square kilometres, the Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat. The legacy of a huge lake, Lago Tauca, which dried up thousands of years ago, it’s a surreal environment. If you visit in the dry season between May to November, the thick, crusty surface is hardened by the sun. Its salty topping dazzles an intense white, broken with geometric patterns. But come during wet season, between December and April, and a thin layer of water covers the surface, reflecting the blue sky and the distant snow-capped mountains.

The harsh beauty of the landscape is a photographer’s dream. Over the years a trend has developed, with people bringing toy dinosaurs, action figurines and various culinary items, and using the expansive landscape to play with depth of field and perspective to compose surreal, arty pictures.

The best way to experience this vast, inhospitable landscape is by touring it in a 4x4 vehicle, an experience that can feel a little like you’re floating on air. Along the way, stop off to explore one of the region's salt hotels, which are built entirely from salt, or watch locals salt-mining at Colchani.

While the Salar de Uyuni is the main attraction, the surrounding landscape begs to be explored. Many people combine their trip here with a visit to the Reserva de Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa, 160 kilometres south, which also has an ethereal beauty. Here, high altitude desert is dotted with volcanic peaks, hissing geysers and strange rock formations, while two of the region’s glacial lakes are stained bright red and vivid green thanks to their high mineral content. Wildlife lovers should keep their eyes peeled for rare Andean wildlife, including the Andean fox, herds of vicunas, cute viscachas and three species of flamingo.

Highlights

  • Experience the ethereal beauty of the Salar de Uyuni

  • Visit the one of the region's unique salt hotels

  • Tour the dramatic landscape in a 4x4

  • Play with perspective and compose surreal photos

Uyuni Trip Ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include Uyuni. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 01483 319 333

Map of Uyuni