Uyuni

Uyuni is the land of the endless horizon, home to the largest salt flat in the world (Salar de Uyuni), and as you may have heard ‘the photo’s don’t do it justice’. The region is haunting and breath-taking all at the same time and is one of the most mystical places you could ever hope to visit. 

This natural wonder was formed when Lago Minchin dried up, a prehistoric lake that once covered the majority of southwest Bolivia.The Salt Flats cover a ginormous area and getting around can be a little difficult if you're not accompanied by a savvy guide, so it's always good practice to do you research - you can have a flick through our reviews 'here'. 

Check out the information below on the things you can do, how to get there, the climate and handy tips to remember.

Skip to: What to do | Climate | How to get there | Things to remember  


What to do in Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni

The salt flats will bring out two things in you, the imagination to create incredible photos and an inner zen you didn’t know existed. The stillness of the horizon and the undeniability of feeling so small in something so big will humble you. If you’re able to visit the flats at night time, you’ll be blown away by the starry sky and spoilt for choice over whether sunset was better than sunrise.

In the wet months the flats become the world’s largest mirror, a vast landscape 129 kilometres wide almost indescribable and incomparable to anything you will have seen before. In total it is 10,582 square kilometres, in the centre the salt is over 10 metres thick and during wet season it is covered in a thin drivable sheet of water that reflects everything above it.

The salt is extraordinarily flat with less than 1 meter of elevation variance across the entire area. It’s also a treasure trove on a more practical scale, the salt crust covers a pool of brine which is extremely rich in lithium (50-70% of the world’s known lithium reserves and found there), this is a key element for the emerging market of electric cars.

salt flats Uyuni

 

Train Cemetery

Just 3km outside of Uyuni you’ll find an antique train cemetery. These trains we’re a part of a wider plan for a transport network but after multiple technical difficulties and tension with the native communities, they we’re left behind and have since fell victim to the harsh salt winds.

They’re unregulated and unfenced so you can climb on top, inside or whatever you’d like for a photo opportunity. There are over 100 train cars, so even if you find yourself there with other tourists, you should be able to grab a spot for yourself.

the train cemetery in Uyuni

 

Incahuasi island

The name ‘Incahuasi’ translates to ‘Home of the Incas’ and before the days of Jeeps, it was used as a refuge for those crossing the flats for some much-needed shelter.

This insanely photogenic spot is a rocky hill covered in gigantic cacti, the little area that you'll see is the remains of an ancient volcano which was submerged by a lake around 40,000 years ago.

Giant cacti on Incahuasi island


 

Getting here

To get to Uyuni the easiest way is to fly from La Paz, this saves a great deal of time and the vast areas in between are somewhat desolate. There are three flights daily with prices between $150-$200 US and it takes roughly an hour.

If you’re on a budget you can take the bus but be prepared for a long, bumpy (and dusty) ride, it’ll take around 10 hours from La Paz. It is also worth noting that during wet season (December-March) the transit can be difficult as a portion of the way is along a dirt road and the bus travels through the night so that tourists can join a salt flats tour in the morning. If you are watching your pennies, it'd still be good practice to choose a reputable company and higher priced transit, you'll appreciate the good nights sleep once you jump off! 


The climate

Uyuni is 3,700 meters above sea level so you should be prepared for cooler temperatures and bear in mind that the high altitude could have an impact on your health. 

The coldest and driest months are May – September with the average temperatures ranging from -13°C to 18°C and a big 0 on the average rainfall. From October – April there is an average temperate range of -8°C to 20°C with December – March being the rainy months (although there isn’t a great deal of rainfall). It is these rainy months that create the mirage looking photos on the salt flats.

It can get very cold during the night throughout the year and if you’re staying in basic accommodation, you’ll be wanting some extra thick layers to stay warm. If you travel with us, you’ll be in the Luna Salada Salt hotel, the building is entirely made from salt!


Things to remember

• Bring warm layers, you’ll want to shed some in the middle of the day, and you’ll want them all at night time. 
• If you’re concerned about altitude, you can speak with you doctor about using Diamox and spend a few days acclimatising – if you’re on our tour we will have already spent some time at high altitude so you'll be nicely adjusted. 
• Bring extra batteries for your camera, you won’t want to run out of juice here. 
• The glare from the sun and the salt can be strong so bring sunglasses and a hat for protection.
• Make sure you have plenty of water and sunblock throughout your trip. 


  • Titicaca and Bolivia Adventure - Chinchilla

    10 Days  | 

    Peru  | 

    US$3999

    ACTIVE 2 - 3
    • ACTIVE 1

      What's The Rush?

      I’m not a triathlete, but I’m in decent shape and I’m not looking to experience a place just through a bus window. I’m happy to slow down on the trail, soak it in and breathe in the fresh air.


    • ACTIVE 2

      Leg Stretcher

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they’re even worn in, but they don’t go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.


    • ACTIVE 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation so that I can eat and drink what I like without feeling guilty. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.


    • ACTIVE 4

      Challenge Accepted

      I’ll let my trusty guides sweat the small things, so I can focus on my goal. Getting to the top, reaching the end, achieving my dreams! Sure, it’ll be tough, but the views will be worth it.


    • ACTIVE 5

      The Ultimate

      I’ve put in the hard yards and now I get to reap the rewards. I’m a seasoned adventurer, not afraid to get my boots wet.


    • Read more about the Active Range

    4.45 out of 5 (from 22 reviews)

    There's so much more to Peru than Machu Picchu - the Chinchilla is our multi-activity, cultural immersion of Peru and its beautiful neighbour - Bolivia.

 

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Condor - incredible Patagonia with great guides

    Patagonia, both Chile and Argentina are absolutely breathtaking. The itinierary of the trip ensured that we saw all the major sights, and experienced the hiking, food and culture of both countries. Our main guide Jait, was very knowledgeable and worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone on the trip were included, whilst keeping the mood light, and everyone's spirits high. This is the way to see and experience Patagonia with Active Adventures it is an excellent trip.
    Varina Nissen Review Image
    – Queensland, Australia
    Condor, January 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    "Make it happen and you absolutely will not be disappointed"

    The Galapagos Islands turned out to be everything you hear about and more! My style of travel has never been geared towards tours or trips (EQ Type: Authentic Experiencer), however I signed up for the Tortuga trip last minute to join my parents and couldn't have been more pleased! Being a land-based tour vs. boat tour we were able to support the local economies on the various islands we visited while experiencing the authentic and incredible wildlife and landscapes the Galapagos has to offer. We got to enjoy a variety of local restaurants rather than eating the same buffet meal similar with other tours and stay in a range of different accommodations along the way. Our tour guide Pablo however, really made the trip and I am not sure if it would be quite as amazing without him. The passion, knowledge and love he has for the Galapagos Islands glimmered through every day we were with him and his smile shared with each new experience was priceless. The only disappointment of the trip was that it would have been good to know extra activities such as diving, are non-refundable if a illness or anything else comes up last minute as they often do and it may have affected our choice to opt out earlier. Saying this, I would very strongly recommend the Tortuga trip to everyone. If you every have the chance to visit the Galapagos Islands, make it happen and you absolutely will not be disappointed. Each day we were left amazed and utterly shocked at how much we were able to see and do with each activity. I have traveled to some pretty spectacular places around the world but this trip is a once in a lifetime experience. - Myla xo
    Myla Yeomans-Routledge Review Image
    – British Columbia, Canada
    Tortuga, December 2016
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    Truely an Amazing Vacation

    We really enjoyed this beautiful land. Cynthia and Paula (local guide) did an outstanding job of organizing and taking care of our group. They really enjoyed explaining the geology as well as the flora and fauna we were looking at. There was always time for pictures or views as we moved along this picture perfect land.
    Stephen Tatham Review Image
    – Washington, United States
    Condor, March 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    2017 Iguana Trip

    The Peru portion of the trip was spectacular. Erick truly cares about the overall experience of his clients. He paid attention to all the details of the trip from the experiences of the country, the restaurants and the excursions. He didn't leave any stone unturned when it came to having fun and caring about his clients. I highly recommend Erick to anyone wanting to have a fabulous time in Peru.
    Will Tadich Review Image
    – Florida, United States
    Iguana, September 2017
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 16211 reviews)

    It rocked!

    Awesome group trip, especially from someone who likes to do it on their own. Guides, travel arrangements, ease of it all was incredible-- perfect.
    Harold Johnson Review Image
    – Florida, United States
    Condor, January 2017

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