During our entire Andes adventure in South America, a top highlight was most definitely the 3-day Salar de Uyuni Bolivian Salt Flat tour we embarked on. The landscapes crossed during this off-road journey now stand as the most surreal places we’ve ever roamed around.
When visiting the salt flats, you encounter a dramatic vastness unlike anywhere else in the world. In the middle of Salar de Uyuni, it’s 360-degrees of nothingness. You see flat white ground and blue skies in all directions, while a fierce sun beats down onto this high-altitude salt desert. It all makes for an environment that is so serene, yet very intense all at the same time. It’s like nowhere else on planet earth.
Yet it’s not only the salt flats themselves that make this adventure so astonishing. The Salar de Uyuni is the opening act for several otherworldly landscapes that follow. While traversing the rugged terrain of Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve in a 4×4, there seemed to be jaw-dropping scenery around every corner.
We had some idea of what to expect with the salt flats, but it was the red lakes, Dali-like deserts, volcanic backdrops, and the Andean wildlife that truly surprised us. It was these unreal sights that turned this journey into most epic off-road trip we could have ever dreamed up!
In this blog, we want to attempt to show just how special this Bolivia salt flats 4×4 trip is. But words and photos don’t do it justice. It’s one of those places you have to experience. So we’ve also dished out all the info for you to plan your own Uyuni Salt Flats adventure. The first part of this post recounts our journey, but you can skip to any of the info-oriented sections if you came to this webpage looking for more of a Salar de Uyuni travel guide with tips and advice:
Salar de Uyuni Bolivia Salt Flat Tour Video
First here’s a video to give you a taste of what this awesome trip is like!
Background About the Salar de Uyuni
The Bolivian Salt Flat known as “Salar de Uyuni” is the largest salt flat in the world, measuring in at a massive 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi). For perspective, that’s roughly the same size as the entire country of Lebanon (4,036 sq mi) or Jamaica (4,243 sq mi)! The Salar de Uyuni is so enormous that it can be seen from space and on satellite maps.
The huge salt deposit of Salar de Uyuni covers much of Southwestern Bolivia, high in the Altiplano of the Andes Mountains. At an elevation of 3,656 meters (or 2.27 miles high), Salar de Uyuni boasts some serious altitude. Despite being high in the rugged Andes, the Salar de Uyuni is one of the consistently flat places in the world.
The Salar de Uyuni is a remnant of a giant prehistoric lake that once covered this area some tens of thousands of years ago. Once that ancient saltwater lake dried up, it left the thick salt crust that remains here today. Yet the Bolivia Salt Flats still become lake-like throughout the year during seasonal rainfalls that flood the Salar, adding a completely different dynamic to the stark landscape. Under calm wind conditions, a thin sheet of water forms an giant reflective mirror!
Today the salt is mined and harvested, not only for consumption, but also to be used as a building material. Yet tourism is becoming another major draw for the Salar de Uyuni. And rightfully so – it’s an incredible place to visit!
The 3-Day Salar de Uyuni Salt Flat Tour
While you can tour Salar de Uyuni from three different starting points (more on that later), our adventure began in the dusty streets of Uyuni. It’s the closest hub to Salar and the most common place in Bolivia to begin a salt flat tour.
The Salt Flat Tour Adventure Begins
By mid-morning our bags were packed and thrown on top of the 4×4 taking us across the rugged terrain over the next three days. We met our travel mates, now rolling six-deep in the Land Rover, and it was time to begin the adventure! But we wouldn’t be traveling too far. The first stop was just outside of town.
The Uyuni Train Cemetery
Uyuni’s train cemetery is where trains have come to die. In the 1940’s when Bolivia’s mining industry collapsed, old steamers began to pile up just outside of this trading post town, where they still remain today.
Now this train cemetery has become a bizarre attraction in this vast desert in Southern Bolivia. It feels like some sort of post apocalyptic wasteland as you can climb atop and crawl through these old abandoned train cars. It’s both strange and fascinating!
A Llama & Salt Museum?
Next on the agenda is a brief stop in the tiny town of Cochani, where you can shop for handicrafts or last-minute supplies. Cochani is also where you can pop into the “Museo de la Llama y la Sal.”
Yes, it’s a museum dedicated to salt and llamas. How could you not go in? The museum isn’t much, but the “exhibits” of what amounts to Bolivian Barbie dolls recreating salt mining scenes is worth a good laugh. But there is actually some good information too and it’s presented in multiple languages. Plus your modest 5 BOB (~$0.70) entrance fee includes use of the toilets. So go check out some salt & llamas before relieving your bladder!
Welcome to the Bolivia Salt Flats!
Now the journey into the salt flats begins! Excitement grows as the Land Rover starts to plow over the thick white crust. It wasn’t long until we were able to stretch our legs at the “ojos de agua”. That’s the “eyes of the water,” which is a bubbling spring in the middle of the salt flats.
Next, it’s off to the original Salt Hotel for lunch. The hotel is constructed entirely of salt. Sure, it’s impressive, but it’s the barren surroundings of the salt flats themselves that really wows.
Our chicken, veggie, and pasta lunch was decent, albeit a little bland. Surprisingly, it needed… salt. We asked our guide for some “sal” and he just pointed to the ground. So we scraped up some salt off the floor and that did the trick. I guess it doesn’t get much more fresh than that!
Back in the Land Rover, it’s a long journey out into wide expanse of the Salar de Uyuni. There’s nothing but blue and white in every direction. It’s disorienting at times and makes you wonder how the drivers are able to navigate this massive stretch of nothingness.
Eventually we stopped at a point where we literally felt like we were in the middle nowhere. The stark landscape was void of anything as far as the eye could see. The tall Andes peaks that were once looming in the distance had vanished.
This is where you also have an opportunity to stop and take funny photos using forced perspective.
Given the flat expanse of vast whiteness that meets the horizon here in the world's largest salt flats, you can have…
Then the journey continues across the plains until you reach …an island?
Incahuasi: The “Fish Island” in a Salt Desert
Indeed you do eventually reach an island, Incahuasi or Fish Island, named as such because of its shape. We were traveling firmly on land the entire time, yet this hill sprouting out from the salt flats, still very much felt like a true island in this sea of salt. After nothing but white ground, it’s a strange sight to see emerge from nowhere.
The “island” is formed from petrified coral. After all, this area had been the top of an ancient volcano sitting in a prehistoric lake. Today huge cactuses have taken over the rocky terrain. As we hiked all around the island admiring the cacti, our lungs were soon reminded about the high altitude.
Sunset on the Bolivian Salt Flats
Next it’s off to see the sunset. If you happen to be traveling through the Salar de Uyuni during the wet season, you may be in for a particularly incredible display. If the winds are calm, the thin sheet of water covering the salt flat can act like a giant mirror. This can produce a sunset above and below!
As darkness takes over the night sky and the air chills, the driver turns on the high beams and navigates to yet another one-of-a-kind experience: sleeping in a salt hotel!
What It’s Like To Sleep in a Salt Hotel
Aside for some doors and wooden beams, the entire hotel is made from salt! The walls are salt. The chairs and table in the dining hall are salt. Everything is salt!
It is a different grade of salt that is used for construction than what you’re accustomed to shaking from a saltshaker. The building is a very solid structure. It’s not crumbling at all, and rather more like hardened cement.
The hotel rooms are completely barren, but the beds are comfortable enough. It certainly wasn’t our best night sleep, but we were able to doze off just fine.
Day 2 Off-Roading Into the Andes
The second day of this grand adventure leaves the salt flats entirely and travels high into the Andes of Southern Bolivia. For most people, the Salar de Uyuni itself is the highlight of the three days. We would argue that some of the surreal landscapes that followed were equally as impressive.
The high Andes peaks begin to come into view as the morning drive commences. We visited a local town way out here and stretched our legs at some train tracks leading into Chile.
As the journey continued, we began to understand how the day would flow. We would drive around gawking at the scenery and then come to sudden stops to get out and explore. Our next chance to do so was around Mars-like rock formations that littered the ground.
Wildlife in the High Andes
Throughout the drive herds of llamas would come and go, as would the occasional alpaca.
But llamas aren’t the only animals you can find out here. We were a bit shocked to see flamingos – yes, flamingos – way up here among snow covered mountaintops. The last time we saw flamingos was while roaming around the Galapagos, in a characteristically tropical environment. But apparently there is a rare breed of Andean flamingos that flock to these lakes in Southern Bolivia!
After lunch with our flamingo friends, we began to see more wildlife that we hadn’t expected. We almost couldn’t believe our eyes when we quickly passed what looked like an ostrich on the side of the road. Were we having flashbacks to our game drives during last year’s big African safari? Turns out it wasn’t an ostrich, but close. We had spotted a rhea, which is another big flightless bird related to the ostrich and emu, but rheas are native to South America.
We also came across a charming Andean fox, who approached our Land Rover. Given the fox’s strange behavior, we fear that other drivers may be feeding him. Not good!
Yet perhaps the cutest animal we spotted was a little “viscancha” that looks like a giant rabbit with a longer tail. Apparently it is a type of the chinchilla.
Bolivia May Hold the Most Surreal Landscapes in the World
The journey continued into Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve as the mountains surrounding us seemed to grow higher and higher. This is when things really began to take a turn for the otherworldly, as Bolivia served us up a 3-course afternoon of surrealism.
The appetizer course began with a green-ish lake, appropriately named “Laguna Verde” or “Green Lagoon.” Arsenic and other minerals give the lake its green appearance, which changes colors based upon winds and sediment levels. And while the lake is pretty, you can’t help but also admire the looming volcanoes that act as a backdrop.
The main course was a stone forest that appeared to be something right out of a Dali painting. The Arbol de Piedra or “Stone Tree” makes for some great photo ops. Years of erosion from sand and wind have created its peculiar shape that stands 7 meters (23 feet) tall.
For dessert, Bolivia treated us to a red lake! Laguna Colorada has reddish hues due to algae pigmentations mixing with natural sediments. It makes for an incredible sight if you’re lucky enough to catch the lake when the red colors are showing heavily. We were fortunate to arrive to Laguna Colorada on what was apparently a great day. The lake was not only in full display, but even more flamingos were wading in the waters and flying above!
Winding Down the Adventure
The second day ended in a tiny little village in the middle of nowhere that seems to cater to the few car loads of people that turn up here each night. And by that, I mean every building was either a hostel or a beer store. Even in the middle of nowhere, there was certainly no shortage of places to find booze.
We almost couldn’t believe it when we even found a billiard with a super friendly owner who was rocking out to 60’s music. It was irresistible to wander onto his gravel floor to kick back a few cervezas while the moon rose and dinner was prepared.
A Concluding Day of Intrigue Off-Roading Across Southern Bolivia
The last day of the 3-day Salt Flats tour is long on driving, but still packs a few surprises.
A Mini-Yellowstone in Southern Bolivia
It’s a predawn start to the day in the freezing early morning hours. With the skies still pitch black, we arrived at a geyser field. Vents in the ground sprayed steam and hot water into the air. It’s a mystical sight under the moonlight, although it left us yearning for what it looks like during the day.
Not far from all the geyser action is a hot pool. Temperatures at this high altitude are literally below freezing. Disrobing in the frigid environment is unnerving, but inevitable if you want to take a dip in the naturally warm waters. But it was worth it to be able to have a nice soak after a few salty and dusty days on the road.
Some Final Surreal Scenes on the Way Back to Uyuni
Upon drying off, we were whisked away to what is known as the Salvador Dali Desert. It’s named as such since the valley resembles works from the famous surreal artist.
And thus begins a 6-hour drive from the southern reaches of Bolivia back up to Uyuni. The day winds down by stopping at a few peculiar towns while passing many llamas & alpacas.
A final unexpected stunner was the steep edges of the Alota Canyon. Standing atop the vertigo-inducing cliffs were a perfect sendoff from this astounding three-day adventure.
How to Visit the Salar de Uyuni
Most people tend to visit Bolivia’s Salt Flats as part of a tour as we did. Salt flat tours usually span 1, 3, or 4 days, depending on where you start your tour and what you prefer.
Where To Start a Salar de Uynui Tour?
Where to start a salt flat tour is the most often asked Uyuni-related question we see come up in travel forums. And we’re always surprised to see this topic constantly being debated, because the answer is pretty simple. Yet it seems that everyone who went from Tupiza will claim that’s the best way to go. Those who departed from San Pedro de Atacama will profess that’s the best place to begin a salt flat tour. So who do you trust?
The truth is that the best location to start a salt flats tour is entirely dependent on where you’re coming from and where you’re traveling to.
Understand, there are three locations in which you can book a Salar de Uyuni tour:
- Uyuni, Bolivia: Best for those traveling southbound. Typically 1-day or 3-day tours.
- Tupiza, Bolivia: Best for those traveling northbound from Argentina. Typically 4-day tours from Tupiza to Uyuni.
- San Pedro de Atacama, Chile: Best for those traveling from Chile into Bolivia. Typically 3-day tours to Uyuni.
If you’re traveling from North to South, it only makes sense to depart from Uyuni. Otherwise you’ll spend a ton of additional time and money backtracking. If you’re traveling South to North, the opposite is true and you should begin a salt flat tour in San Pedro de Atacama if coming from Chile, or start in Tupiza if coming from Argentina.
Of those three starting points, the salt flats themselves are closest to Uyuni. As such, Uyuni is the only place possible to embark on a one-day salt flats tour. A one-day tour follows closely to our first day itinerary, but then returns to Uyuni rather than staying in a salt hotel and continuing Southbound through the Andes.
Although it is possible to tour the salt flats from Uyuni in a single day, we instead highly recommend the 3-day journey. We think it is so worth it to experience the incredible landscapes all throughout the Andes of Southern Bolivia, making for what we now believe to be one of the best off road adventures in the world!
You can choose to ravel roundtrip back to Uyuni. But for an added twist on the typical 3-day salt flat tour from Uyuni, you have the option to transfer to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, instead of returning to Uyuni. This definitely makes logical sense for southbound travelers heading towards Chile and will save you from a lengthy drive back to Uyuni. Plus it’s a fun way to cross a rural border.
Meanwhile, Salar de Uyuni salt flat tours departing from San Pedro de Atacama and Tupiza are typically one-way tours covering multiple days, which ultimately end in Uyuni. In those instances, you tour the actual salt flats on the last day instead of the first day.
For anyone searching for a salt flat tour that goes from Uyuni to Tupiza, this is only possible for a more costly custom tour. We were heading onward to Argentina and so an Uyuni to Tupiza route across the salt flats would have been a logical track. This is not a standard offering, so only is only available for very high prices.
Salar de Uyuni Bolivia Salt Flat Tour Costs, Prices, and How to Book for Cheap
So how much does a Salar de Uyuni Salt Flat tour cost?
For a three-day Salar de Uyuni Salt Flat tour, expect to pay as little as 600 BOB (~$86) for a really good deal and well into the several hundreds of dollars for a premium tour booked in advance. Most 3-day tours from Uyuni are priced between $100-$200 USD. Prices tend to vary based upon factors such as the quality of the guide. English-speaking guides tend to run over $150, while Spanish-speaking guides are under. We paid 700 BOB (~$100) for our three-day, two night Bolivia salt flat tour. We thought it was fantastic value for everything that was covered.
Transport, driver/guide, accommodation, and all meals should be included in the price of your tour. But be sure to verify this with the tour operator before departure.
Admissions fees typically are NOT included and you must budget extra for them. You can expect to pay nearly 200 BOB (~$29) for entrance fees in total, based on prices in 2017. Here is the budget breakdown:
- Museum of salt and llamas entrance fee: 5 BOB
- Fish Island entrance fee: 30 BOB
- Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve entrance fee: 150 BOB
- Hot Springs entrance: 6 BOB
Here are some additional expenses you may encounter along the way:
- Use of toilets: free at hotels, 5-10 BOB elsewhere
- Hot shower at hotel: 15 BOB
- Snacks and drinks: prices vary; a 1-liter beers cost 30 BOB each
- Souvenirs: Prices vary
- Godzilla for perspective photos: 15 BOB
- Tips for the driver: at your discretion
Choosing a Salar de Uyuni Salt Flat Tour Company
You can find horror stories online about deadly accidents on the salt flats and careless drivers. While traveling through Bolivia, we spoke to other travelers who told us firsthand accounts of their driver getting drunk and leaving them without dinner, only to reemerge midday the next day. This actually happens and your safety is at risk. As such, it is important to use a trusted company and not necessarily go with the guy who offers you the best deal.
Whoever you book with, be certain to vet them out. Read their latest tripadvisor reviews to check for any incidents. Ensure the vehicle is in good condition and has seat belts for everyone. Before booking, have them review the itinerary to confirm the locations that will be visited.
3-Day Salar de Uyuni Tour Prices of the 3 Top Rated Operators:
To save you some researching, we examined the three top-rated companies on tripadvisor and walked around Uyuni to get price quotes and itineraries from all of them. Each of the tour routes went to all the same highlights, with only minor differences. Here are the prices that we found in April 2017, per person:
- Salty Desert Aventours price: 700 BOB (~$100 USD)
- Andes Salt Express price: 800 BOB (~$116 USD)
- Quechua Connection price: 1,250 BOB (~$181 USD)
Quechua Connection has a much higher price, so we asked them what makes it worth it. They claim that they use newer vehicles, provide better meals, a guaranteed-English speaking guide, 20-minutes of mountain biking around the salt flats, private hotels, and “little extras.” For us, it didn’t seem worth the added expense. But Quechua Connection does receive rave reviews, so you may want to consider the splurge if you’re looking for a more premium experience.
To book the lowest price, just show up to Uyuni. Tours are almost always available departing every day. You may want to book your tour the day before, but it is even possible to take an overnight bus into Uyuni and depart the very same day. In fact, we saw many people who came directly from the bus station and joined a tour the same day with no advanced reservations.
Alternatively, you can certainly book in advance, but you tend to pay more if doing so.
Based on the low price and a track record of good reviews, we chose to go with Salty Desert Aventours and booked it the same morning that we departed.
Review of Salty Desert Aventours
So how was it?
Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our journey with Salty Desert Aventours, but it was not without its shortcomings.
On the positive side:
- Perhaps most importantly, we visited all the locations that were promised, which were incredible.
- Our driver was safe and handled the vehicle well – very important!
- Aside from some small cracks in the windshield, the Land Rover was in good condition and had seat belts.
- Our driver was timely, yet we never felt rushed.
- The meals were basic but decent, and we never went hungry. There was even wine provided with dinner one night.
- The rustic accommodation was very basic. But it was adequate and as we expected. The Salt Hotel was a fun novelty.
- At 700 BOB (~$100 USD) for the entire 3-day tour, it was fantastic value!
Yet there was definitely room for improvement. The biggest way our tour could have been better was our driver. He was just that: a “driver,” and not much of a true “guide.” He was your classic C-student. He did just enough to pass (drove safe, was timely) but never went above & beyond like some of the other great guides we had been spoiled with during other tours throughout South America. (Our guides during our recent Death Road tour and the Machu Picchu Jungle Trek were excellent!)
The driver only spoke Spanish, which we knew in advance, and that was fine (particularly for the price paid). But he didn’t speak much at all. Typically when we would arrive somewhere, he would tell us the name of the place and how much time we would spend there. And that was it. We didn’t learn anything. And some places, we would just wander around on our own, not really knowing where to go.
Meanwhile we overheard other guides, even from this very same company – Salty Desert Aventours, who filled their passengers with interesting facts and were energetic. They helped to take fun photos of their passengers and always had smiles on their faces. Our guy not only lacked information but he also completely lacked even the tiniest ounce of enthusiasm. It was as if he hated his job. But mostly we were disappointed that we didn’t learn much during our adventure.
That said, with horror stories of skipping sites, a dire lack of safety, and even drunken drivers – we never had any concerns at all with our driver on those fronts. He met all of those expectations, but just never exceeded them.
Things could have been much worse, but they also could have been better. We figured out that if you really want a great guide, you need to pay more. We got a great deal, which got us a mediocre guide. Ultimately, we’re okay with that.
So overall we still wholeheartedly recommend Salty Desert Aventours for the price of 700 BOB. If you want an enthusiastic English-speaking guide, simply expect to pay more whether booking through Salty Desert Aventours or elsewhere. For us, we felt it was worth the cost savings to have a good & safe “driver” who was a not-so-good “guide.” You’ll have to decide whether it is worth paying more for a great guide.
Tips for the Salar de Uyuni Salt Flat Tour
Here are some more tips and advice for things to know before you go:
- Charge: Fully charge your camera/phone and bring a back-up battery. There was electricity at the hostels we stayed but it was on for only limited hours and all the outlets became full with everybody wanting to charge their devices at the same time. To be able to capture the awesome scenery during the tour, be sure to have a full charge and a bring portable charger to keep your battery life at 100%.
- Disconnect: Expect to go on a digital detox during the Bolivia salt flat tour. We never encountered wifi nor had data on our phone throughout the entire three days. Be prepared to log off.
- Showering: There are showers at the hotels but they are not reliable and may be cold. Mentally prepare yourself for the possibility of not showering for 3 days. That way if you come across a good shower, it will be a pleasant surprise. We got lucky with a great hot shower during our second night, but not the first night.
- Choose wisely: While this has already been mentioned, we can’t reiterate the importance of thoroughly vetting out the tour company that you choose to go with. Doing so will not only ensure you see these amazing sights, but will also keep you safe on this tour route that has become notorious for bad operators.
- Acclimate: After leaving the salt flats you climb to elevations of about 4,500 meters. We had been at high altitude for the past several weeks, so we only felt a shortness of breath while walking around. But we saw a few others suffering pretty severely from altitude sickness. We actually saw one girl collapse and the guides had to scramble to find oxygen tanks. It was scary! So be sure to give yourself a few days to acclimatize to the high elevation. Take it easy. Drink the coca tea – it really helps. If you are particularly prone to altitude sickness, consider taking this natural medication. It’s a bit pricey, but seems to be well worth it from all the great reviews. It’s worth considering to avoid that throbbing headache so you can instead enjoy your trip.
- Travel insurance: This is one of those activities in which you definitely need to have travel insurance for. There have been horrific accidents on the salt flats with vehicles overturning. What ever travel insurance you have, be absolutely certain that your policy includes emergency medical evacuation in case any serious mishaps arise. We use World Nomads which does carry this evac coverage and much more. You’ll want a travel insurance policy for any trip to South America that will further protect you from theft, lost luggage, sickness, trip cancelation, natural disasters, and much more. And if you’re reading this from South America and your trip has already started, World Nomads is one of the few travel insurance agencies that will allow you to begin a policy after your trip has begun. So it’s not too late. Enter your dates here to get a quick quote.
If you are taking a roundtrip tour, returning to Uyuni, you can store your bags with the tour operator or your hotel/hostel. If so, only pack the essentials.
- Clothes for 3 days – Temperatures change vastly, as it is very hot during the day and freezing at at night. Have clothing for both extremes.
- Bathing suit: You’ll need something to wear into the hot springs.
- Bottled water: Water is served with meals, but otherwise you need your own. There are opportunities to purchase bottled water along the way but you’ll pay about double the price for it in these remote locations compared to in Uyuni. Instead, we recommend picking up a few bottles before the tour departs. Plan for a minimum of a 1.5-liter bottle each day.
- Sunscreen: It is easy to get fried in the high altitude under the beaming sun. While you can find it in Uyini, it’s best to stock up on sunscreen and lip balm before your adventure.
- More sun protection: Don’t forget to pack a good hat and sunglasses.
- Camera: There are plenty of instagramable moments to capture throughout the journey, so don’t forget your camera or phone, and keep it charged.
- Backup battery: We found it tough to keep our devices charged during the 3-day tour due to a lack of electricity and power outlets. But we use this powerful yet small backup battery which recharges our phone and camera many times over.
- Flashlight (torch): You need a flashlight in the mornings to be able to see. Electricity isn’t running during this time, so you’ll need to pack up in the dark with the aid of a flashlight. It’s also nice to have for any wandering around outside at night for stargazing and during the predawn visit to the geyser field. We like this strong little travel flashlight.
- Towel: You’ll need a towel to dry off from any showers and after a dip in the hot springs. We love this lightweight, quick-drying, travel towel.
- Toilet paper: Some of the toilets are BYO-TP. Be prepared.
- Baby wipes: In the realistic instance that you’re not able to shower, baby wipes can be an invaluable luxury to help freshen up after a dusty day on the road.
- Lotion: As you might imagine, it’s pretty dry out here.
- Toiletries: You know what you need, so just don’t forget to pack it. Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, medicine, tampons, etc.
- Deck of cards: You may have some downtime at the end of each day. We had fun playing card games with our travel mates, so you may want to bring a deck too. These non-tear cards are perfect for travel.
- Props for funny photos: Think about packing a small prop or two. Godzilla is a popular option and can be purchased along the way. Or just use whatever happens to be lying around. Wine bottles and Pringle canisters seem to work well.
- Cash money: You’ll need a minimum of 200 BOB for entrance fees alone, but we suggest bring at least double that for toilets, showers, beers, snacks, or any unexpected expenses that may arise.
For more packing tips and a complete pack list of what we used throughout our entire South America trip, check out our Ultimate Travel Packing Checklist.
Salt Flat Tour packing tip:
When packing, keep a small bag in the car with you that includes things you’ll be using throughout the day like your camera, drinking water, and sunscreen. It is difficult to access bags that are thrown on top of the vehicle.
Where to Stay in Uyuni Before/After the Tour
We stayed at and recommend Hotel Salcay, as what we think to be the best value option in Uyuni. It’s only about $20 USD per night, which includes a good breakfast with made-to-order eggs. Rooms were fairly basic but clean and comfy. The bathroom had a consistently great hot shower. The wifi worked pretty well too. Check recent reviews and search you dates here.
The Bolivian Salt Flats Adventure
We hope this travel guide and tips have proven helpful to planning your own tour of Salar de Uyuni and the surrounding area. It makes for an adventure of a lifetime! Feel free to chime in below in the comments to let us know if you have any questions and we’ll try to answer as best as we can. And if you’ve recently been down to the salt flats, stop back by here and let us know how your experience was. Bien viaje!