There are many highlights in South America think about Macchu Pichu in Peru, Christ Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador and the Amazon Rainforest that spreads out over all countries in the North of the continent. But what a lot of people tend to overlook is the Bolivian Altiplano.
Tour Salar de Uyuni highlights
The Altiplano in the South of Bolivia is a unique region on an average altitude above 4,000m. Its remote location makes it hard to visit and that is definitely the reason why you wont see any mass tourism here. Development is pretty much impossible isn’t that great?
When we talk about Uyuni tours the first thing that comes to our minds is the Uyuni salt lake, which is definitely one of the highlights of the Uyuni Tours, but there is way more! What about a green lake or a red lake? Or multiple perfectly shaped volcanoes, indigenous nomads, active geysers, stone trees, hot springs or a train cemetery? This trip is not only about the Uyuni salt lake! You will be amazed by the multi colored lakes that due to minerals and algae’s turn into spectacular colors.
Travelers that tour Salar de Uyuni are definitely the adventurous types as there are no facilities around. The amazing sights of the Salar de Uyuni tours are spread over the Altiplano desert and an experienced local Bolivian guide will bring you from one highlight to the other. At the beginning of the trip you will be assigned to a pretty spacious jeep, which will be filled up to a maximum of 7 random travellers. You can opt for your private trip but then of course you will pay more. There are no roads, just dirt tracks and the journey can be bumpy at times. Also be aware that altitude levels reach above 4,500m at some point so altitude sickness is common. As Salar de Uynui Tours are a massive favourite to add to many travellers itinerary it is completely normal to bring all your stuff. Your driver, who also is your cook and guide will store all the luggage and makes sure it is covered to keep out the dust! Afraid your luggage get wet? You are in the desert! LOL
Salar de Uyuni Tours are extreme
Uyuni tours are not for the fainthearted as a lot of things are extreme. Expect very basic facilities regarding to where you stay overnight. Over the years they build some more sheds, but I think Jesus Christ was born in a nicer place. As there is no water up here or whatsoever I don’t think there are any facilities to wash the bed sheets either. Bring your sleeping bag or just like me wear that many clothes that no piece of skin is touching the bed. LOL! Weather is of course also extreme in this desert. In November 2008 when I did tour Salar de Uyuni for the first time temperatures at night dropped to -15 degrees and reached 35 degrees during the day. Click here for more stories from my Altiplano Tour in 2013.
Although extreme the popularity of the Uyuni tours has seen an incredible rise in the last years. I blame social media and people like me trying to convince you that this is one of the most unique trips to take. ;) My first time I literally saw a couple other jeeps during my 3-day trip, 5 years later I counted 23 jeeps only at one stop. But don’t worry the Bolivian Altiplano is huge and you will still get pictures without anyone walking into your shot.
How to get to Uyuni
This is an easy question as there are only two answers: plane or bus! Interested what the worlds worst bus ride is like then read my blog La Paz to Uyuni | Flight Or Bus?
Get the best deals for Uyuni at Agoda.
Bolivia is more than Uyuni Tours
A traveller visiting this country should tour Salar de Uyuni but there is more than the Uyuni tours in Bolivia. It is one of the most underestimated countries for travel as there are many amazing things to do that are all totally different from each other: mountain bike tours, La Paz, the craziest and highest capital in the world, visit San Pedro prison, dug deep into the earth in the notorious Potosi mines, chill at Lake Titicaca, fish for piranhas in the Amazon rainforest, summit +6,000m mountains or tour the jungle on a multi day boat trip.