10,000 km² of salt flat spread out across Bolivia’s remote southwest. Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world, an endless sheet of hexagonal tiles (created by the crystalline nature of the salt), dotted with pyramids of salt. Despite the desert dryness, freezing night temperatures, and fierce desert sun, this landscape is not devoid of life. Pink flamingos, ancient cacti, and rare hummingbirds all live in the Uyuni salt flat.
During the wet season, the salt desert is transformed into a enormous salt lake, albeit one that is only six to twenty inches deep, traversable by both boat and truck. During this time, the shallow salt lake perfectly mirrors the sky, creating bizarre illusions of infinity. In the middle of this seemingly infinite salty lake is a hotel built entirely out of—naturally—salt; we recommend a visti if your time permits.
Also worth traveling to are the nearby Laguna Colorado and Laguna Verde. LagunaColorado is a red-hued lake filled with thousands of pink flamingos, while Laguna Verde is a blue-green salt lake found at the foot of the volcano Licancabur. Its shifting aqua color is caused by copper sediments and microorganisms living within the lake.
Normally, the tour is conducted in 4×4 vehicles (usually Toyota Landcruisers) with 6 or 7 people, with the driver often times cooking. Most 3- and 4- day tours have the same itinerary for the first 2 1/2 days, a day on the salt plains, then heading south to the southwest corner of Bolivia, and then splitting off from there. The specific sites that are seen can be dependent on the tour, but group input can define which sites are visited and how much time will be spent at each.
Spanish and/or English speaking driver guide
01 bottle of water
First aid kit
Duration: 7 1/2 hours
Schedule: 09:30 – 17:00
We will visit the Train Cemetery, then continue to the indigenous community of Colchani to see the production of iodised salt in its rustic form. We enter the vast white deserts with typical scenes of salt extraction as mounds of salt, salt eyes and the first salt hotel, now a museum. We visit Sajchilla Island with millenary cactus, a site still unexplored where we will take a walk of about 20 minutes. We continue to Coquesa, located at the foot of Tunupa Volcano, and explore the surroundings where we can see the famous pink flamingos. Lunch. In the afternoon we return to Uyuni visiting Incahuasi Island, a typical place where we can find giant cactus in a habitat of volcanic rock.