My three-day Uyuni Salt Flat tour in Bolivia will be in my memory for a very long time. If you’re looking for an otherworldly destination that will take your breath away, look no further than the Salar de Uyuni. This natural wonder is unlike anywhere else on Earth and is a must-see for any traveler.
Despite its remote location, Salar de Uyuni is actually a pretty popular destination. Every year, thousands of people visit to admire the stunning scenery and experience the unique sensation of walking on salt. You have never been to Bolivia if you’ve never been to Uyuni Salt Flat. For me, this massive area of white nothingness is synonymous with Bolivia.
La Paz to Uyuni: Our bus arrived at 8 in the morning. The agent met us (with other travelers) at the bus station and whisked us to their office. They prepared a simple breakfast for five of us and told us to wait – which lasted for 2 hours. At 11:11 AM, we departed Uyuni.
Is it possible to see Salar de Uyuni in one day? Yes, it is possible. But if you have time and money, do the 3-day tour. I’d really recommend it, and you’ll see what Bolivia can offer beyond the salt flat. Read my experience in this post.
Day 1: The Train Cemetery, Cactus Island, and Salar de Uyuni
The Train Cemetery – 11:29 AM
Our first destination was the train cemetery or “cementerio de trenes.” Believe it or not, this is the place where the trains retire peacefully. Our guide said that about 30 are stacked here, some from the 19th century. Rumors had it one of the trains here was robbed by the infamous Butch Cassidy, a bank and train robber from the USA.
Colchani Community – 12:43 PM
In this community, we learned how the locals got the salt from the salt flats, processed, packed, and sold it. Of course, there are also shops selling local merchandise and souvenirs.
Dakar Rally Sculpture 1:15 PM
This is where we had our lunch in a cafeteria made entirely of salt.
As you can see in the photo below, there’s a vast Dakar Rally sculpture to memorialize the event held here in 2016!
Taking of Perspective Photo 2:22 PM
Our driver didn’t want us to be near other tourists when taking perspective photos, so we drove for minutes when no one else was there. He also volunteered to take photos for everybody since he knows what and how to do it. He even took out some of his toys and combined them with mine.
I wanted to have a reflection photo somewhere,e but apparently, the salt flat runs dry in July. January and February are the best months to get those reflection photos that look like a mirror. In these months, the salt flat got its name as the “world’s largest mirror.”
Cactus Island 4:13 PM
The name says it all – the island is infested with giant cacti. Don’t just go around but hike to the top of the island and see the views of whiteness all around you. It feels like you are floating in the clouds.
Salt Flat Sunset 5:41 PM
We stopped at the area where there was a pile of raked salt to watch the sunset. Our drivers brought out the red wine and some snacks. The wind, at this time, was a bit brutal, but the sunset was great!
After sunset, we packed and drove to our first night’s accommodation – in a hostel made of salt bricks. It was cold, but the hostel had no heater in our rooms. And worst of all, we woke up with no water, which really pissed me off. But, hey, it’s an adventure, right? 😜
Take a One Day or Multi-Day Tour?
If you decide to go on a tour, many companies offer both day trips and multi-day excursions. These tours typically include stops at nearby attractions, such as Laguna Colorada (a red lake with flamingos) and the Valley of the Rocks (lined with strange rock formations). Click the thumbnails below for the type of tour or excursion you want.