Last update 09/18/2023

Uyuni Salt Flats

The Salar de Uyuni is today one of the destinations with the highest influx of tourists and one of the most sought after in South America. People from all over the world travel to Bolivia to visit the city of Uyuni and visit the largest and highest salt desert in the world. Definitely one of the first places on our recommended travel list.

Let’s talk a little about the Salar’s history

A few decades ago, the Salar was a place with few visits and it was not tourist developed as it is today, its original name was Salar de Tunupa, attributed by the Aymara culture and by the volcano that is on the edge of the Salar with the same name. One of the stories tells that the astronaut Neil Armstrong in his trip to the Moon, could see in a part of South America a kind of reflection, like a mirror and that he did not know what it was, once on Earth, he started to find out where was the place he had seen and traveled to Bolivia to visit the Salar. Thus, from that moment tourism development increased and by the beginning of the 80’s’ it predominated as one of the most important destinations in South America. Due to this it became known as Salar de Uyuni, because all the tours started from that city as it was closest to the salar.

How to get there:

– First stop: Train Cemetery

A captivatingly desolate place, wagons, junk, twisted irons left in the middle of the desert make one travel back in time and go back to the late nineteenth century, at which time the first train line that transported silver circulated in the country and that united Uyuni with Antofagasta.

– Salar de Uyuni: the salt desert

Just to emphasize to clarify that one place is the city of Uyuni and another is the Salar de Uyuni and that the main income to the salt is about half an hour from the city through the town of Colchani, you can make a stop and visit this town that lives only from the salt, you will find some refineries, and you will see the whole process from the salt extraction to the packaging, of course you can also see many craft stalls all made of salt.

After passing through several salt hotels that are located at the entrance, you will enter the largest salt desert in the world. The Salar is at 3680 meters above sea level and has an area of 10,582 km2, which can vary as a result of the rains and which, after evaporation, leave more salt on the surface, that is, it can expand according to rainfall.

There are 2 seasons to visit the Salar de Uyuni, in Dry Season and Rain Season. In both cases we recommend you take advantage of the most beautiful photos you can get from this beautiful natural landscape.

It is worth mentioning that the Asian tourists have a lot of preference for the rain season that occurs in summer in January and February and that could extend until the first week of March, at this time there is the famous Mirror effect, where the soil merges with the sky, it’s like floating in the open space! We recommend the nights where the starry sky reflects on your feet.

It is also important to mention that the whole route of the Salar is done in a 4 x 4 all-terrain because, by the state of the roads, typical of the changing climatic conditions, they are the only vehicles that are capable of resisting this off-road road.

A stop for lunch is recommended to recover strength, and one of our favorite places is the Hotel de Sal, which is entirely made of salt and is the only one that is within the Salar.

-The Island of Incahuasi

After lunch, we continue through the white immensity of the salt flat and another important destination is La Isla Incahuasi … An island in the middle of the desert? … In reality, it is a volcanic rock over the salt flat, that in the middle of nowhere It is well named Isla. The entire surface is full of petrified coral, meaning that there is no doubt that this part was full of water at some time. When we go up to the island in a walk of about 20 minutes, we will find thousands of cacti that contrast very well between the white of the ground and the blue of the sky, having at the top a spectacular 360-degree view of the Salar.
Finally, something obligatory is to see the sunset in the salt flat, the changes of color are almost indescribable, the immensity and tranquility of the place welcome the night.

Mava Travel as an inbound Latin American tour operator is ready to help you fulfill this dream, of visiting UYUSI SALAR, also known as Uyuni Salt Flats. Just contact us directly at [email protected] and we will be happy to create an amazing travel experience for you!

The Author
The Mavatravel team

Welcome to Mavatavel, your gateway to unforgettable travel experiences in Peru. Discover a world of adventure and culture with our premier tour agency.

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Your Adventure Starts Now! Book Your Perfect Trip with Mava Travel

With just one click, you’ll be one step closer to exploring the world with comfort and style. Embark on your journey with Mava Travel!

With just one click, you’ll be one step closer to exploring the world with comfort and style. Embark on your journey with Mava Travel!