Covering 10,582 square kilometres (4,086 square miles), Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni is one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring natural wonders found on the continent. The Salar is remotely located in southwestern Altiplano of Bolivia, over 3,353 metres (11,000 feet) above sea level, and is the largest salt flat in the world. Formed around 40,000 years ago, in dry season it appears as a desert of white, while in rainy season it transforms into a mirror-like canvas that stretches as far as the eye can see. In close proximity are colorful lagoons, giant cactus forests and geological formations that add to its bizarre and otherworldly feel.
Salary de Uyuni Luxury Trips
A visit to the mesmerizing salar is a must-visit as part of your luxury bolivia travel. Stay overnight in salt hotels – made entirely from salt – or overnight in a luxury airstream camper with dedicated chef for a more initmate and luxurious experience. For those with a greater sense of adventure, head south to the Eduardo Avaro Reserve. Salar de Uyuni luxury trips can be taken as part of a visit to only Bolivia, or combined with San Pedro de Atacama in Chile, just over the border. Contact us today for a tailormade itinerary program as part of your luxury travel Bolivia.
8 Days / 7 Nights
The landscapes and vistas in Bolivia are truly matchless. This landlocked Andean nation boasts some of the most extreme, diverse topographies on the planet. At a dizzying 3,650 meters (11,975 feet) above sea level, La Paz is a city amongst the clouds, with snow-capped mountains… Click to learn more.
What to see and do In Salar de Uyuni
There are a variety of other natural phenomena close to the salt falts, well worth visiting as part of Salar de Uyuni luxury trips. The Altiplano on which the Salar lies consists of fresh and saltwater lakes, mountains, and volcanoes, one of which is the inactive Thunupa Volcano. Travelers in the area can hike to the summit of the latter, or they may visit the hilly and rocky outcrops located in the middle of the Salar. Two of these outcrops, Isla Inca Huasi and Isla Pescado, are covered with incredible, giant cacti and strange land formations. Isla Pescado is somewhat of a tourist trap, especially in the afternoon when many guides bring groups to the same point to lunch. Aracari tackle this by timing your itinerary differently, or offering a private picnic setup on the salar. Another hotspot is the Cementerio de Trenes (train cemetery), a graveyard for rusted steam locomotives and rail cars that were once used by mining companies to transport minerals to the ports on the coast. Salar de Uyuni Luxury trips can also include visits to local communities, as well as photographic tours led by world-renowned artist Gaston Ugalde, among others. Read more about travelling in this region on Conde Nast Traveler, with journalist Andrew Marant’s article Exploring Bolivia: From Salt Flats to a Salt Hotel, after he travelled with Aracari.
Eduardo Avaroa Reserve
An adventurous extension to salar de uyuni luxury trips is an excursion to the deserts and lagoons of the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve. Two days and approximately 550 kilometres (342 miles) of driving on unpaved, unmarked roads will take you through stunning, surreal landscapes: the drive is not to get you from A to B, but rather take in the spectacular scenic of the drive. Throughout the excursion, you will see a variety of wildly colored saline lagoons including the sulfur-rich Laguna Hedionda known for its sizeable and colorful pink flamingo population, the bright-blue hot springs of Laguna Verde, or Laguna Colorado, with white, borax islands sitting in stark contrast to its reddish water. Other natural wonders such as the Licancabur Volcano, the sulfur springs and boiling mud craters of Sol de Mañana, the Dalí Desert, and the Arbol de Piedra, are also highlights of this trip through the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve. Accommodation in Eduardo Avaroa Reserve is rustic, so for those looking for the ulimtate luxury travel Bolivia, it is better to stay in the salt hotels of Uyuni as a base to explore from or combine Eduardo Avaroa with Chile, to avoid the need to stay in the reserve.
When to Visit the Salar de Uyuni
During the drier seasons, from May to October is ideal. Travel from November to March can include heavy downpours that can impede transportation over the Salar de Uyuni although the salt flats have the remarkable appearance of a mirror during rainy season.
The Salar de Uyuni is comprised of a salt-crusted surface ranging from tens of centimeters to a few meters, with underlying brine composed of sodium, lithium, and magnesium chlorides. From May until October, this mineral-rich surface renders an expanse of land, a silent, motionless vastness that extends far into the horizon. However, during the rainy season, from November to March, the Salar becomes coated with a shallow layer of water, creating a mirror-like appearance. Both seasons yield breathtaking views of the land and many visitors are inspired by the Salar’s surreal characteristics. The landscape provides magnificent material for photographs–from the colorful and quirky to the pure and poetic.
How to get around the Salar de Uyuni
Although there have been more improvements to the infrastructure in the area, it is important to note that the remoteness of the Salar de Uyuni and proximate destinations make the quantity and quality of overnight accommodations somewhat limited. The roads to many of the outlying areas are unpaved, and it is imperative to use 4×4 vehicles to help combat the rocky terrain. For children, the distance covered and time necessary for the excursion can feel quite lengthy, and we strongly recommend that parents prepare for the journey with games or other car-friendly activities to help keep children occupied.
The Weather in Salar de Uyuni
Another consideration to take into account is the extremely chilling temperatures at night, ranging from -9 and 5 °C (16 and 41 °F). During the day, the temperature stays relatively stable, with a peak at 21 °C (70 °F) in November to January and a low of 13 °C (55 °F) in June. To prevent altitude sickness, every hotel is readily equipped with oxygen should guests need it.
How long do I need to visit the Salar de Uyuni?
We highly recommend dedicating 3 to 4 days to visit both the Salar de Uyuni and its neighboring deserts and lagoons in the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve. However, it is also possible to visit just the Salar in 2 days, 1 night, thanks to daily flights from Uyuni to La Paz. Alternatively, Salar de Uyuni luxury trips can be arranged to include the salar, Eduardo Avaro reserve and on to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile.
Interested in Salar de Uyuni luxury trips? Contact us now for a tailormade itinerary and quotation.
- Nature Lovers
Experiences to Consider
- Spend the night in a fully-equipped Airstream
- Visit to the Isla de Pescado and its giant cacti
- Golf on the Salar de Uyuni
- Visit the colorful lagoons in the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve
- Geysers and hot springs