6 REASONS WHY THE SALAR DE UYUNI IS WORTH IT
Here are our 6 reasons why a Salar De Uyuni tour is worth it:
- You will experience a landscape and sights like no other place on Earth
- You can’t miss sitting in natural thermal baths and star gazing with a bottle of wine
- Getting the incredible perspective and reflection pictures you can take
- It’s great value for money and convenient as you get transport to Chile included
- Uyuni has one of the best sunsets in the world
- All the incredible and rare animals you can see
1. A Landscape and Sights Like No Other
But Bolivia’s salt flats really are on another level.
The flat white expanse is unlike anything you’ve come across before, and this isn’t even the best part.
On the second day of the tour, you enter the Altiplano, the high-altitude plateau set between two Andean mountain ranges. The surreal, other-worldly landscapes of this area will leave you questioning whether you’ve left the planet.
We could have written separate paragraphs for some of these sights on this list as they were so impressive.
Brightly coloured, high-altitude lakes, the strange rock formations eroded by winds over millions of years, powerful geysers firing grey sulphuric smoke into the sky, and the weirdly wonderful Salvador Dali Valley that needs to be seen to be believed.
The sights on this trip will stay with you forever.
Highlights include Licancabur Volcano, the Stone Tree in the Dali Valley and deep red colour of Laguna Colorada. Our photo-guide of the best natural monuments wonders and sights on tour will give you a better idea of what to expect.
2. Sitting In The Thermal Baths And Star Gazing
On day two of the tour you will arrive at your accommodation, a small hotel set on the edge of a high-altitude lake, with uniquely yellow and orange coloured hills and mountains off in the distance.
Whilst the views here are incredible, this isn’t the best part. After dinner, all the different tours grab themselves a bottle of wine, head out in the cold and jump into the natural hot baths next to the lake.
The baths are fed from the mountains and heated by the volcanic activity in the region.
Being miles away from any big city and light pollution, the view of the night sky is unreal. We’d never seen the night sky so clearly before.
We could see every star in the sky, including the curve of the Milky Way and we even caught a few shooting stars. Floating carelessly in the warm baths with a bottle of wine is another fantastic experience that adds to the many you have on the salt flats tour.
3. The Perspective And Reflection Shots
Yes, we’ve all seen them on Instagram, and there’s nothing original about them, but it’s still fun to do!
Your guide will be an expert at taking the perspective shot, so all you need to do is think up a unique idea. We think our magic carpet style drone shot was pretty original, but we would say that. They also take some cool videos and time-lapses on your phone for you to keep as a memory.
Perspective shots are possible all year round on the salt flats as all you need is a flat dry part, which isn’t hard to find. If you want the sought-after reflection shot then you will have to get lucky.
To get a reflection shot you, it must have rained the day before.
This will leave a layer of water over the salt and create the mirror effect making it seem like you’re walking on the clouds. The likelihood of rain is small in the dry season. Your chances are better during the rainy season (Nov-April).
Check out our guide here for the best times to visit Salar de Uyuni for the mirror effect along with some photography tips for getting the perfect reflection shot.
4. Great Value For Money And Convenient
Even though Uyuni is fast becoming a popular tourist destination, the cost for the salt flat tour is still reasonable compared to other tours in South America.
For two night’s accommodation, three meals a day and a jeep tour across one a unique landscape, for around $100-$150 – its great value for money.
If you are on an extended South America trip, then it is also an efficient way of travelling to Chile. Salt flat tours can either take you back to Uyuni on the last day or drop you at the border of Chile where you can cross ant take a 45-minute bus to San Pedro De Atacama.
So along with an incredible tour, you also get transport to your next destination included in the price.
It makes sense to travel from La Paz to Uyuni, and then into Chile where you can either book a cheap flight to your next destination in South America or elsewhere.
Check out our Atacama Desert guide to see all the incredible activities awaiting you once you cross the border:
5. One Of The Best Sunsets In The World
This simple formula will always create the best sunsets: mountains + the salt flat + a layer of water.
Whilst the sunsets in the dry season will still be amazing, if you can make it in the rainy season to catch Salar de Uyuni covered in water then even better. Here you can get even more fantastic reflection shots along with the beautiful glow of the sun as it disappears. The pictures speak for themselves.
On the second day of the tour you will also see some incredible scenes as the sun sets over the high-altitude lakes and volcanos across the Altiplano.
6. Vicuñas, Viscachas And Flamingoes
Whilst the animals of the Altiplano are rare; when you do eventually catch sight of it, it will be a special moment.
The cousins of Llamas, Vicñuas, you will have seen across the country hopefully, but if not you will easily see them grazing away on quinoa dotted across the desert. Visachas are round chubby rabbit-like rodents that are cute as hell and won’t be hard to catch hiding amongst the boulders strewn across the Altiplano.
The best part will be the three species of flamingo you come across at the lakes with this being the only place in the world that to see the rare James’s Flamingo.
Be sure to check out our month-long Bolivia itinerary to see how the Salt Flats fits in with travelling through the rest of this amazing country:
To see how to fit in a Salt Flat tour with a wider Bolivia itinerary, check out our one-week, 10 days and three-week routes here.
For another incredible tour you can’t miss in Bolivia, read our guide for visiting the Amazon. It’s cheaper and easier here compared to other countries in South America!
And if you are using La Paz as your base, our 3-day itinerary has everything you need for a great time in the city.