Salar de Uyuni (the salt flat) is a ‘must-do’ activity in Bolivia. After seeing all the spectacular pictures & hearing so many wonderful stories about it (not to mention it was also featured in Star Wars!), we knew we had to plan a weekend trip to see it for ourselves. Prior to going, so many of our Bolivian coworkers discouraged us from visiting. “Why would you go when its flooded?”
No one really quite understood our decision....since its the rainy season. For those wanting to visit, December-March is considered the off season, but its also when the salt flat has that amazing mirror effect. How could we not?
Bus from La Paz to Ororo (~4 hours)
Train from Ororo to Uyuni (~7 hours)
Total cost: $12 US dollars
We took the combination of the bus/ train from La Paz to Uyuni for a couple different reasons:
Two days in paradise:
You absolutely need a guide, don’t think you can go without one. We decided on the two-day tour, which gave us a view of the Salar and other neat spots along the way.
Day 1: Salar de Uyuni
Is this real life? The salt flat was absolutely stunning. It turns out it was slightly flooded (haha), but it made for just the right amount of reflection.
Can I just say it again...it was absolutely breathtaking! Just looking at these pictures makes me want to go back. We had lunch and spent our time enjoying the view. After a couple hours on the salt flat, we drove to our hostel for the night.
I had never stayed in a hostel, but after reading a lot of reviews I wasn't expecting too much! The room was small but clean, and the beds were comfortable enough for us to have good night's rest. We weren't looking for fancy accommodations, so it worked well for us. Just an FYI: There wasn't any hot water..there were communal bathrooms with no toilet paper..and there were no electric plugs to charge phones/cameras. Just know that this is common in hostels in Uyuni, so prepare! :)
Day 2: Valle de las Rocas (Valley of Rocks), Flamingo Lagoons, Llama land ( I actually don't know if this was what it was called, but that's what I named it!)
The second day was filled with lots of little stops and lots of info from our tour guide about the surrounding animals we encountered. The llamas were perhaps my favorite part of the day, including one youngling who was so friendly & even let us snap a picture.
The flamingos were such a beautiful sight, but unfortunately didn't photograph well. You just have to see them for yourself.
Our school has a rule on night buses—strictly forbidden! Understandable. The only buses leaving Salar de Uyuni are night buses, so we had to clench our wallets for the $93 flight back. It was only ~50 minute flight, so after a long day it was nice to get home quickly. On our return, we heard one of the night buses that weekend crashed (no fatalities we think & hope), but we were happy to not have to deal with any of that. Safety first!
Are you planning to visit Salar de Uyuni? I'd love to know!