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Salar de Uyuni Tour – full journey information

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Salar de Uyuni Tour – Select the perfect one!

The Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia is without doubt one of the most extraordinary locations we now have ever been. Salar de Uyuni is the placement the place vacationers in South America take these superior perspective and reflective images, go and take a look at #uyuni on Instagram! This was considered one of our highlights touring by means of South America for a yr. With so many distinctive and distinctive websites this can be a photographers dream. Exploring the most important salt flats in world we noticed coloured lagoons, pink flamingos, superior geysers, swam in sizzling springs and extra on this superb journey. Very troublesome to do unbiased, a Three day tour is the preferred strategy to discover the most important salt flats on the earth. A journey throughout the Uyuni Salt desert is a tremendous strategy to cross from Bolivia to Chile. On this entry I’ll let you know about completely different excursions, costs, websites and ideas, all that you must know to have an superior time exploring the world’s most outstanding salt dessert.

Our 4×Four on a Three day tour exploring Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni Info

These spectacular salt flats are the biggest on the earth spreading over 10,582 sq. kilometers (4,085 sq. miles). Salar de Uyuni is positioned at an elevation of three,656 meters (11,995 ft) above sea degree! Sure that’s excessive sufficient to get altitude illness when you arrive with out acclimatizing. The Bolivian Salt Flats have been fashioned about 40 000 years in the past when a large prehistoric lake tried up. The salt layer left behind within the heart  is over 10 meters thick within the heart and it’s estimated to be stuffed with 10 billion tons of salt!

How you can Go to Salar de Uyuni

The most typical strategy to discover El Salar de Uyuni is by taking a 4×Four tour from the city Uyuni, a small remoted vacationer city positioned in Potosi, Bolivia, that is how we did it.

You can too do excursions to Salar de Uyuni from Tupiza, Sucre or La Paz

Sucre and La Paz are positioned removed from Salar de Uyuni and is an extended drive, however it’s potential and pretty simple to reach by evening bus, stroll round and discover a tour when the companies begin to open and immediately kick off exploring the salt flats. Tupiza is within the south of Bolivia, this tour additionally explores some completely different formations and the value is alleged to be related, these excursions often finish in Uyuni.

The Uyuni Salt Desert can be visited by principally the identical tour in reverse beginning in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile and is the one strategy to get from San Pedro de Atacama to Bolivia.

salar-de-uyuni-red-lake
Spectacular landscapes driving round Salar de Uyuni.

Attending to Uyuni from Sucre

We arrived in Uyuni from Sucre by evening bus. There are 2 buses doing the journey in the course of the day through Potosi. The direct evening bus takes 9 hours arriving at about 5 am. Our bus arrived a bit eary at about 4am, it was freezing chilly after we received off the bus and we have been a bit fearful pondering, ‘ What the hell are we going to do on this chilly till one thing opens?’

Fortunately there are some espresso retailers open that early! we had espresso, breakfast and wifi and a few touters even got here in that early to promote excursions to us. 

Attending to Uyuni from La Paz

From La Paz you may get to Uyuni purchase airplane, prepare or bus. There’s a evening bus going from La Paz arriving at Uyuni at about 5am, the evening bus takes about 11 hours. 

From La Paz you may get Uyuni with a bus prepare mixture, first take a bus to Oruro (3h 15 min) adopted by taking a prepare to Uyuni, 7 extra hours, it’s a 20 minute stroll to the prepare station.  You can too fly from La Paz to the small airport in Uyuni, Airline Amazonas and Boliviano de Aviacion are the principle airways providing these flights. The flights  take about an hour and is clearly a lot faster and extra comfy than the bus. Flight costs vary from $100 to $200.

We were taking some fun photos in the dry salt desert.
We have been taking some enjoyable images within the dry salt desert, yip Alya is tiny and have a look at the superior patterns on the salt pans.

Lodging in Uyni

Greatest rated and priced lodging in numerous worth ranges, try these wonderful lodging choices all with nice opinions and placement.

Greatest Time to Go to Salar de Uyuni

The very best time to go to Salar de Uyuni is determined by you want to see most in the course of the journey, the huge expanses of the white salt pans or the unimaginable water mirror surfaces? July to October the local weather is unbelievable and might be probably the most nice climate for the expertise.  

The dry season from June till November – Huge utterly flat dry salt plains, the gorgeous white pans with intricate patterns created by dry salt. Nice time of the yr to take these cool images enjoying with perspective with all kinds of  toys and different props.  Additionally, you will not get caught within the mud and will likely be assured of visiting the ‘islands’ (outcrops of cacti), caves and volcanoes. 

uyuni-reflection-photo
Excellent mirror reflection taken at Uyuni within the wet season. (thanks for the picture Otsuka!)

Uyuni receives lower than 130 mm (5 inches) of rain per yr, the best rainfall is between December and April. The water dams up on the salt pan and by February or March varieties an enormous ankle deep puddle leading to a reflective floor that’s nonetheless drivable. The mirror impact shouldn’t be there all yr and to see them the perfect season is March and April. Breakdowns occur anytime of the yr, however getting caught within the mud solely when there may be mud. 

Choices for Salar de Uyuni Excursions

The most well-liked strategy to go to the Salar de Uyuni is by taking a 4×Four tour throughout the salt flats. The one strategy to do the journey by means of the salt flats unbiased is by bicycle, bike or by renting a Jeep. To Discover the salt flats you will have the selection of a at some point or three day tour.

Full Day Tour of the Salt Flats, begin and end in Uyuni on identical day

The at some point tour is the most cost effective strategy to go to Salar de Uyuni. Excursions begin and end in Uyuni, most excursions run from 10am to 5pm so it’s potential to reach in Uyuni by bus, take a at some point tour and depart once more by bus on the identical day.

Typical excursions go to the prepare cemetery,  adopted by a cease within the small city Colchani. That is the one salt making facility on Salar de Uyuni, the pyramid formed mounds you typically see on images is salt scraped into piles to be transported to the salt manufacturing facility in Colchani for processing. Assist the locals right here by shopping for a shawl or another memorabilia.  You’ll spend the remainder of the day exploring the salt flats go to the salt accommodations, and a few islands akin to ‘Fish Island’, these are salt mounds remoted lined in cacti and have loads of alternatives to take superior images on the salt flats! Excursions ought to embrace lunch. An enormous spotlight is stopping on the salt flats to take images enjoying with perspective and funky props and toys.

fish island uyuni
Campbell strolling round on ‘the fish island’.

Three Day Tour of Salar de Uyuni

A Three day tour is the preferred strategy to discover the Salt Flats and is what we did. On the three day excursions you solely spend at some point on the actual salt flats, the remainder of the time exploring desert-like panorama, it’s distinctive, various and easily spectacular!

Day 1 – precisely the identical because the at some point tour we simply stayed on the Salt Flats in a Salt Resort the place the at some point tour turns round and goes again to Uyuni. It was superior every thing was made out of salt, even the mattress! Dinner was wonderful, we even had some wine! (pack your individual if you would like a few glasses). It was chilly in the course of the evening. Bathe was out there (not made out of salt), we gave it a skip since we didn’t really feel soiled after an entire day of sitting and it price about 2 bucks every.

Taking some photos at the train cemetery.
Taking some images of Alya on the prepare cemetery.

Day 2 – We began early there may be a variety of driving on this fascinating day. Stopped at Gruta De Las Galaxaxias a small cave stuffed with petrified algae; a number of superb Andian lagoons of various colours purple, inexperienced and blue with many flamingos in a few of them. Unreal to seek out flamingos at this altitude in a salt desert! Arbol de Piedra (the rock tree) within the wild and great Siloli desert. You enter Eduardo Avaroa Nationwide Park, entrance payment not included, deliver sufficient money and your passport with you.

Day 3 – We didn’t return to Uyuni on the third day, however continued to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, half of our group went again to Uyuni. All of us went to the “Sol de Mañana” geysers, lookout to view steamy volcanoes, Dali desert, swimming within the Aguas Thermales (Sizzling spring), Laguna Verde (the inexperienced lake). The group going again to Uyuni spent a lot of the day Uyuni city, we transferred to a distinct Jeep and continued to San Pedro de Atacama the place we arrived at 13:00.

dali-desert stingy nomads
The Dali desert appears like a panorama painted by the well-known artist although he was by no means right here.

Selecting a Salar de Uyuni Tour

We booked our tour the morning after we arrived in Uyuni, many vacationers do it this manner and that is the most cost effective strategy to do it. You arrive at about 5am and other people attempt to promote excursions to you from early morning, we began strolling round within the city to discover a tour at about 7am. All of the excursions go to related websites with small variations in itineraries, meals and lodging. Few excursions have guides that talk good English, these excursions may be a bit extra dear, good time to apply your Spanish whereas exploring the salt flats! I’ve heard tales about drunk drivers and horrible automobiles. We went into one or 2 companies asking costs and rapidly discovered an company we favored with some like minded vacationers asking related questions. If you wish to go together with a selected firm guide earlier than hand, learn TripAdvisor opinions. We had a really good group and a enjoyable information (no English). This tour has good opinions on Get Your Information Uyuni Tour, it finished by means of Joker Expeditions with a combined bag of opinions on TripAdvisor (some corporations have very dangerous opinions). You will get excursions in Uyuni ranging from about $180. 

Most excursions provide the choice to return to Uyuni, Bolivia or head straight to San Pedro Atacama, Chile, when you select a tour ending in Chile verify if the bus to San Pedro is included in any other case you’ll have to purchase a bus ticket after going by means of immigration. 

shoe photo uyuni
We had a very enjoyable group and our information additionally had some enjoyable concepts, all of us on our shoe laces!

Greatest Tour Corporations for Salar de Uyuni tour in Uyuni

Some corporations with good opinions  value trying up:

  • Quechua Connections
  • Purple Planet
  • Salty Desert Adventours

Convey additional money

The next prices will not be included by most excursions

  • Fish Island entrance payment: 30 BOB ($4.50)
  • Eduardo Avaroa Nationwide Park 150 BOB ($22)
  • Sizzling Springs entrance: 6 BOB ($1)
  • Bathe 15 ($3)
  • Convey some additional money for water, snax and so forth.

Discover probably the most iconic websites in Bolivia and Peru

Preserve your digicam prepared! Three of probably the most iconic and most Instagramable locations in South America on this 11 day journey; Uyuni, Machu Picchu and the Rainbow Mountain with G- Adventures Highlights!

Some cool websites on the Uyuni Salt Desert tour

The Prepare Cemetery

Uyuni’s lovely prepare graveyard, the Cementerio de Trenes (Prepare Cemetery) is an open-air museum of rusted stays of trains from the 19th century. A railroad was constructed right here to attach the native mines, La Paz and the seaports of Chile. Within the 1940s, the mining trade collapsed when minerals have been depleted. In a distinct local weather the trains would have been in a significantly better situation 100 years after being deserted, however in Uyuni salt considerably accelerates corrosion making the trains appear to be they might be centuries outdated. You may climb on the wrecks making for excellent images.The prepare cemetery is included in nearly all salt flat excursions. To go to it with out the crowds get there by taxi for 10 BOB (US$1.50) within the early morning or late afternoon from Uyuni. For picture concepts try the hastag #traincemetery on Instagram

Stingy Nomads playing around on a swing in Uyuni's train graveyard.
Stingy Nomads enjoying round on a swing in Uyuni’s prepare graveyard.

Fish Island

Isla del Pescado (“Island of the Fish”) also referred to as Isla Incahuasi is a hilly and rocky outcrop of land in the midst of Salar de Uyuni. It’s known as Fish Island as a result of some say it appears like a fish when considered from distant.

Salar de Uyuni Resort made from Salt

The salt accommodations of Bolivia have been created by setting up total accommodations every thing from the beds to the partitions and flooring are from salt blocks. On the primary evening on a tour exploring Salar de Uyuni most excursions keep at a salt lodge, there are a number of of those lodge close to Uyuni.

Essentially the most iconic of those salt accommodations in Bolivia is the Palacio de Sal, positioned simply outdoors Colchani, you received’t keep right here on a finances tour! This luxurious lodge was constructed from a million blocks of compressed salt grains it’s fascinating that workers must repeatedly shave down the salt partitions to maintain the place trying sculpted and recent. The lodge even has a spa, swimming pool, on-site restaurant and even a salty golf course!

Salar de Uyuni Sundown

Sundown and dawn is spectacular on the salt flats and a fantastic picture alternative Solely the primary day of most Three day excursions are spent on the salt flats, affirm together with your tour firm that you may be spending a few hours on the salt flats and can have the chance to see solar set and dawn. 

Galaxia Caves (Gruta De Las Galaxaxias)

Attention-grabbing caves to discover on the southern shore of the Salar de Uyuni, fossilised algae, stromalites and marine deposits relationship from when the Salar was lined by the massive prehistoric Lakes Minchin and Tauca. Appears to be like like an underwater panorama.

Coloured Andian Lagoons

Salar de Uyuni is known for the world’s greatest salt flats and the spectacular coloured lakes, completely different colours because of the minerals and algae they host. 

Laguna Blanca, the white lake
Laguna Blanca, the white lake

Laguna Hedionda at 4186m above sea ranges is a well-liked spot for lunch with many flamingos.

Laguna Colorada (4278m) – additionally a preferred spot with many flamingos is coloured purple by algae within the lake.

Laguna Verde (4400m) the inexperienced colour of this lagoon may be seen when the wind blows, it’s coloured by Arsenic, Lead, Copper and extra heavy metals, when there isn’t any wind you see the reflection of Volcán Lincacabur (5960m). 

Laguna Blanca – this lake is coloured white by the presence of borax.

The Red Lake
The Purple Lake

Arbol de Piedra (the rock tree)

The Rock Tree (Árbol de Piedra) within the Siloli Desert desert is a tree-like rock formation with a skinny stem and large rock branches fashioned by robust winds carrying sand that erodes the delicate sandstone. Cool picture spot! Checkout #arbolpiedra

Sol de Mañana geysers

Superb place with a great deal of geothermal exercise. This geyser and assortment of effervescent sulfur swimming pools is often visited at solar rise, positioned at 4850m above sea degree with effervescent mud pots the geysers hase a really robust acrid odor of sulfur. Watch out when taking images, you may get as shut as you need there aren’t any obstacles between you and the openings. Consider the steaming effervescent mud can erupt at anytime.

Steaming thermal vents
Steaming thermal vents at Sol de Manana Geysers

Salvador Dali desert

The surreal Salvador Dali desert with barren landscapes really feel like you’re driving on one other planet, some extra wonderful picture alternatives. Dalí himself by no means visited the realm, the colours and shapes resemble a lot of his work. Checkout #dalidesert on Insta

Aguas Thermales

The Polques Sizzling springs visited by Three excursions to Salar de Uyuni have been fashioned because of volcanic exercise from the close by Polques Volcano.Whereas hotsprings may be boiling, Polques stays round a snug 29°C, superior in distinction to the chilly climate outdoors the pool that may be as chilly as -5°C. Hovering within the pool taking a look at lakes, volcanoes and flamingos is an unreal expertise! When you stick with an operator that overnights on the sizzling springs you may tub with out the crowds at evening whereas doing stargazing!

thermal-baths
Our group chilling within the sizzling springs.

Animals on the Salar de Uyuni

Regardless of the acute situations, some animals do dwell at these altitudes and excessive surroundings. Three of the world’s six species of flamingos may be seen right here, along with 77 different fowl species! Some fascinating mammals discovered within the salt desert embrace Puma, the Andean fox, Viscacha (just like rabbits), and Vicuña (deer).

Salar de Uyuni Images 

The 2 most well-known images are the attitude images and the reflective images.

1. Perspective Picture on Salar de Uyuni

Greatest Time to Go: Anytime is sweet however the wet season December to March. Salar de Uyuni may be very flat and one uniform colour, so you may play with perspective and optical illusions the shortage of horizon causes. Be inventive and by shifting objects and other people various distances from the photographer make them appear completely different sizes from actuality e.g. somebody standing on high of a wine bottle or being attacked by a toy dinosaur. #salaruyuni on instagram have loads of examples

2. Reflection images on Salar de Uyuni

In the course of the wet season (November to March) the water accumulates on the floor of the Salar de Uyuni and creates a large mirror that completely displays the sky. Superb images the place the reflection is so excellent you can’t see what’s up and what’s down on the image. Evening reflective images displaying the milky approach above and under are really spectacular! Affirm together with your operator you’ll have the chance to take these reflective images at evening. 

Issues to pack for Uyuni tour

Do you will have insurance coverage?

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Nice issues about World Nomads for Vacationers

  • Covers lengthy journeys
  • Can prolong whereas touring.
  • Applicable coverage covers ‘harmful actions’ like diving and climbing

Journey Insurance coverage for Mountain climbing Diving Backpacking and extra

Associated article – 29 Locations to not miss in South America

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Hey! A bit about us - we’re John & Maria and we're a couple that loves to travel the world and document our adventures! We enjoy writing, blogging, exploring and sharing our adventures. We’re always embarking on new journeys and here you’ll find articles covering many travel destinations, and topics, such as culture, history, art and cuisine. Our goal and mission is to present compelling stories, photography and personal opinions, as well as serve as an online resource for anyone who wishes to plan their own trips and visit the destinations we've been to. We genuinely love meeting new people, mingling with locals, listening to their amazing stories and trying new travel experiences.

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