Uyuni Salt Flats...
Magical realism in the Bolivian Altiplano

Salar de Uyuni. Bolivia
Salar de Uyuni. Bolivia

World's largest salt lake known as Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni salt flat) is a visually captivating place, one of the most stunningly beautiful places you will ever come across in Bolivia and South America.

A surreal vision in the Bolivian Altiplano created by amazing geological formations, geothermal springs and brine lakes.

Covering an area of over 10,000 square km. in the departments of Oruro and Potosi (SW Bolivia), Salar de Uyuni is estimated to have a reserve of 10 billion tons of salt.

Some 40,000 years ago the region was covered by the giant salt lake Minchin.

At some point the lake dried, leaving behind two small lakes (Poopó and Uri Uri) plus two salt lakes: Coipasa and Uyuni.

Your exploration will begin at the town of Uyuni, that seats on the edge of the salt desert near the border with Chile, at an altitude of 3,670 m. (12,040 f.) above sea level.

A four-day tour will cost you around U$D 100, plus park's entrance fee and tips to the guide.
You are better off by carrying some cash with you, small denominations, either Bolivars or Dollars, and, of course, your camera or filming gear by any means.

And talking about photography, see how both Bolivia and Chile look like from Space at South America through Astronaut Photography.

Salar de Uyuni has an average annual temperature between 20 degrees Celsius and -25 C. in winter.
From July to November the salt bed is very dry while in summer (November to March), being the rainy season, you might find it inundated, which makes the whole experience even more surreal.

A very unique South America vacation...

Salar de Uyuni Attractions:

Salar de Uyuni is a fantasy world of its own you shouldn't miss.

As much as no tour to Peru would be complete without a visit to Cuzco and Machu Picchu, your Bolivia travel experience should include a visit to Salar de Uyuni, one of the greatest natural wonders in the heart of South America.

How to Get There:

By Air:

From Cochabamba (Bolivia) there are a couple of weekly flights with Líneas Aereas Canedo- around U$250 return. Check before as the Uyuni air strip was under remodeling last year.

Update (11-2011): The new international airstrip is operational, (in the first phase of construction) with a length of 4km. TAM and Amaszonas airlines will soon fly to/from Uyuni.

By Bus:

From La Paz: around 12 hours ride.
From Potosi: 7 hours.
From Oruro: 4 hours.
There are also buses from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile.

By Train:

Uyuni town is an important transport hub in the region and several lines cross it.
If coming from Argentina, take a train at Villazon, border with Bolivia. Around four times a week at the price of U$D8.00. There is also a train connection from/to Calama, Chile. See some other train travel options in the region.

Where to Stay:

Find and compare best hotel rates in Uyuni.


Return from Uyuni Salt Flats to Bolivia
Unique South America Travel Experience Home