One of the most famous landmarks in Bolivia and the biggest salt flat in the world is located in the Southwest of the country. It is a frequently visited place because of its surrealistic views with the endless white and salty ground during dry season and the unique reflections after the rains.
In our case the salt desert was flooded and the best and only sane way to visit the place was by tours, so we were obligated to join one. We actually booked one that continued for two more days to see the altiplano desert south of Uyuni, but it’s also possible to only do the salt flat in one day. Tours start around 10 or 10:30 am so when we arrived in Uyuni with the night bus at 7 am we had enough time to eat some overpriced breakfast and choose our tour operator. Prices of tours vary tremendously so it’s definitely worth it to walk up to all offices and enquire their offer. In the end all tours take the same route and accommodation/food is the same.
Our first stop was a train cemetery – not equally interesting for everyone. The trains were imported from parts of Europe and North America after they have been in use there. After some years in Bolivia they have been banished and now linger around here. Even if I am not a big train expert, what is more fun than climbing around rusty trains and feeling like child again? :-)
Driving a little bit more out of town we reached a bumpy road that took us to the salt desert. Thank goodness we booked a tour with one of those SUVs because otherwise we wouldn’t have any chance to get through the deep water before reaching the salt plateau. The time we went there it had rained recently so 3-4cm of salty water covered the plateau. However, the more we got in, the clearer the water became so we were lucky to have those breathtaking reflections on the ground. Due to the water of the rains, the surface of the salt plateau was a little dirty though.
Like I said before, during dry season which is from May to October you are very likely to see endless white octagon shaped tiles of salt which enable you to take those credible “no-horizon” pictures that make objects seem smaller or bigger depending on how far they are located from the lens. Despite the inconvenient conditions we tried it anyway.
The landscapes are phenomenal. In the far distance you can see some mountains but other than that you don’t know where the sky ends and the reflections on the water begin. The numerous SUVs that pass by remind you that you are kind of still on earth even though your eyes tell you otherwise.
Spending too much time in the water barefoot lets the salt set on your hair, so your feet can look like this in the end.
Lunch was served in a building in the middle of the desert that completely consisted of salt as well.
We literally took so many pictures, so here are some more of them. :-)