Salar de Uyuni – world’s largest salt flat

Uyuni – the small town in the middle of nowhere

We got to the small town of Uyuni at around 6:00 am.  The nights on the Altipiano plateau are incredibly cold so we felt very happy we could check in to our hostel that early in the morning. We even got to eat breakfast altough we had a reservation only for one night. That day we decided to rest and look for the best agency to set off with on a 3-day tour around Salar de Uyuni and to the Eduardo Avaroa National Park.

Andes Salt Expeditions

We checked every agency that was well-rated on tripadvisor. All of them had the availability to join the tour the very next day. You could always ask for an English-guided tour, but the cost was automatically much higher, by 80-100USD, so we decided to take a tour with a Spanish guide. After careful consideration, we booked our tour with the Andes Salt Expeditions for 700 BOB which would be around 100$.

We made sure our agency had a guide that would be willing to help us take some really good photographs with the forced perspective. It was also important that he would have some funny items with him in the car, like a dinosaur or a pringles box. We checked if we could finish the tour by the border with Chile, next to the Atamaca desert. The price was an important aspect, as well.

Salt Expeditions Tour
Salt Expeditions Tour

Just a few tips

Don’t forget to take with you:

  • some warm layers of clothing,
  • sunglasses,
  • lip balm.

Although the sun is very strong, shining not only from the top but also reflecting from the salt, the temperature drops drastically at night, below 0° C. Your lips get dry very quickly and you’re more likely to get sunburnt.

Bolivian Sun
Bolivian Sun

Let the bolivian adventure begin

The next day, at 11:00 am, we met the rest of our group in front of the agency we chose. We had a really lovely team, a couple from England and Denmark and two ladies, one from France and the other from Switzerland. Our luggage was put on the roof of the car and we were ready to set off for a new adventure. We were pleasantly surprised how spacious our jeep was. Very comfortable!

The visit to the train cemetery

The train cemetery was the first stop of our escapade. This region was an important mining area in the past but nowadays it’s mostly living off the tourist industry so the rusting trains are now useless. We were able to climb to the top of the locomotives and the wagons and we felt like we were on a set of an postapocalyptic movie. Quite an interesting place!

World’s biggest salt flat

Next, we drove towards Salar the Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat located at 3653m asl with the acreage of 10,582 square kilometers. Undoubtedly, it’s the most popular tourist attraction in Bolivia. We felt extremely excited about visitig this white, salty paradise and having the possibility to play with some interesting photohraphs.

The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average elevation variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar.

Salar the Uyuni, in the wet season, changes into one big water pond that creates an amazing mirror-effect. In dry season, for a change, you can notice the hexagonal pattern covering the whole area. Bolivia is also a place where the Dakar Race takes place. Because of that, there’s a huge logo of the race carved in the stone just outside of the Hotel made from salt, where we stopped for a lunch break.

Foreced perspective Photoshoot

Finally, our driver took us to the remote area where we could take some fun photos with the forced perspective. Fortunately, our driver not only had a plastic dinosaur with him in the car, but also many more items we could use in our shots. He was our main Photographer and he took some group shots, as well. One of our favourite idea was to use a pot, so it looks like Wiola is ready to do some serious cooking. We also had to escape from the huge dinosaur or keep the pringles box so it would’t smash us. Later on, we still had some time to use our own imagination to create some intersting snaps. The optical illusion was also used on the set of Lord of the Rings Movie and we could learn about it while visiting Hobbiton. It’s a bit easier to take such pictures with the wide angle cameras, then you don’t have to walk away so far to have the same effect. We were happy with the results of our GoPro 5 yet our guide said the best photos come with the use of Iphones, because you can put the lense really close to the ground.

Cactus Island

Our next stop and a scheduled destination was the island full of cactus. We had about an hour there so we decided to use it for some more Photography fun. The landscape was truly breathtaking. It was hard to say if we were still on earth! At least the one we knew so well before visiting the world’s largest salt flat!

Goodbye Salar de Uyuni

At the end of the day, we stopped to marvel at a sunset, somewhere on the egde of the desert. Then, we checked in a hotel that was made entirely from the salt. The beds, chairs, tables were all salt blocks. After waiting for our dinner we could feel we are sitting on a rock. We all fell asleep pretty fast, ready for some more adventures in the next 2 days.

 

31 Replies to “Salar de Uyuni – world’s largest salt flat”

  1. What an interesting spot! We had never heard of this prior to reading your blog post and what fun photos! We’ll have to check this out if we ever get to Bolivia- Thanks for sharing.

  2. Your post has made me want to travel to Bolivia lol! I can’t believe how beautiful the salt flats are, and was really interested in some of the sites you visited- specifically like the train cemetery.

  3. I speak Spanish, so it’s good to know that if I go, I could find a cheaper tour. Those pictures with the dinosaur are fun. I’m sure I would fall asleep fast as well after a crazy long day like that.

  4. The pictures that have you guys taken during the Bolivia entourage is really amazing and they are the proof of all fun and frolic. I loved the picture of Bolivian Sun .. I can also name the world’s biggest salt flat now that was not known to me before..

  5. Grace | Impulsive Adventures says: Reply

    Love all the pictures! Fun photoshoots are absolutely a consideration of choosing a guide. How did you figure out which one had the necessary skills? Did you just directly ask them about what types of pictures they could take? I’d love to make it down there some day. Such a fun location. Great tip about looking for a Spanish guide!

    1. We just asked in the agency, will the guide help us with some funny shots out there? The owner said: yes! And she said they have funny items in their cars too 🙂

  6. Cool article and great shots! Good to know that speaking Spanish will come in handy at some point 🙂 the one shot with the cooking pot is my favourite – haven’t seen that one before…

  7. This is awesome! I’ve never heard about the area until last year and you’re the first post I’ve seen about it. The photos are amazing and the optical illusions created are fun and creative! Did you guys experiment with your phones or only the go pro? How long did it take to get these shots?

    1. We took photos with GoPro, Nikon, iPhone. We had about 2 hours to play with the photoshoots out on a desert!

      1. Wow and you can’t tell the difference. That’s amazing! Definitely want to go check this place out. Thank you!

  8. You seem to had great time there. I never knew Bolivia has world’s largest salt flats. Though I have visited huge salt flats in India.

  9. WOW!!! One reason of reading other blogs is discovering new places. This is totally new to me…. thanks for sharing:)

  10. This looks like it was such a fun and interesting place to go to! Very different than normal vacation spots but I’m sure still very meaningful. Great pictures as well.

  11. I definitely want to visit the Uyuni salt flat, I’ve heard good things about it, and your post confirms that it’s worth the trip. Regarding the price I guess it’s like everywhere in South America – you have to check it out beforehand and then possibly haggle a bit.
    The pictures are super-funny…but they distracted me a bit from the wonderful background 😉

  12. Really! This is awesome. Never knew there was a place like this in the world. Goes to show that there’s a lot of places to visit when you want to get out of the beaten path. Thanks for sharing this fabulous photos.👍👍

  13. That looked like a lot of fun.

    The Friends also love goofing off with the forced perspective photography, but are rarely as successful as you were. We generally end up laughing too much a ruining the shots.

    The train graveyard really interests me. I really like seeing “out of place things”. It made me think of the abandoned plane in Iceland.

    It might be a silly question, but was it dehydrating staying at the Salt hotel? I expect I would drink gallons of water during the night!

    Thanks for sharing. Keep travel blogging. Adventure is better shared with friends!

    1. That’s an interesting question and to be honest, we usually drink plenty of water, and that night was the same, nothing special. So I would say it wasn’t dehydrating to be sleeping in a salt hotel 🙂

  14. That looks like an amazing place to visit! Good thinking requesting a guide that would help you get those great photos. Super fun!!

  15. This would be such a neat place to experience. I’d have to go for the English tour guide tho. The train cemetery looks very apocalyptic. Love your fun shots!

  16. It seems like a perfect spot for a get together with friends or cousins. I will definitely recommend this to my friend. Such a great pictures.

  17. Aww what an absolutely fun spot to be able to visit !!! I totally loved all your super cute pictures!

  18. Stunning photos! Uyuni has been on my bucket list for a long time, and I’m hoping to finally make it there on a S. America trip this summer… and I’ll definitely remember to pack a little dinosaur!! Thanks for the tips 🙂

  19. These are such cool pictures. So funny! And the place makes such an incredible photo spot.

  20. Sweet! I bet you guys had a great time taking those photos! Looks so fun!

  21. Fun dinosaur pics! 😀 That aside, I’ve only known a salt mountain (in Austria) but haven’t seen a salt flat (even in photos) until now. That sunset in all the white landscape is a must-see!

  22. The train graveyard is fascinating; I had no idea that was there! Definitely a bonus on the trip to the salt flats. I like the fun you had with the pictures, and I bet it’s an absolutely fascinating place to visit.

  23. Wow! That looked like fun! Uyuni is high on my bucket list whenever I’m heading down to South American. I can’t wait.

  24. I wasn’t very familiar with Uyuni. I did drive by the Bonneville Salt Flats but definitely didn’t get the kinds of cool photos you did. You nailed forced perspective!

  25. I got a little shock with that T-Rex. I like the fun shots you guys took~ make me want to do some myself too! It’s nice to know about this little unknown place!

  26. Such a fun photos and lovely read .

  27. This tour looks amazing – I want to go! What awesome pics you got too!

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