Imagine 10,582 sq kilometers (4,986 sq miles) of nothing. That’s basically what the world’s largest salt flat is – a massive flat surface covered in pure, white salt. It’s hard to imagine or appreciate the size of this place until you see it for yourself.
Three Day Salar de Uyuni Tour
The best way to see Bolivia is by taking one of these tours, which is basically a 500 km off-roading road trip across the southwestern part of the country. It takes you through the salt flats, endless dessert, and the national park (Eduardo Abaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve). Summarized in the caption of these pictures.
We got to Uyuni the night before our tour. There is absolutely no need to stay in this town. I would much rather have stayed an extra night in La Paz.
We did get the opportunity to try their interpretation of Mexican food though. Marc ordered a burrito and he basically got three tacos with meat and salad inside and rice and guacamole on the side. I actually ordered tacos and got heaps of salsa and the smallest pieces of minced chicken inside. It was so awful and expensive!
If you are going to be stuck in a car for 3 days, you want to make sure it’s a fun (and safe) ride all the way. That’s why I recommend Red Planet Expedition!
Before the tour, we had met a few travelers telling people that all the tours were exactly the same and it doesn’t matter which group you pick. Well, they’re wrong. Red Planet actually is a little different than the rest. It’s a company that’s been around forever and has a reputation for safety (that’s the only reason I picked them at first).
But the tour itself is actually different too! Unlike most of the other tours, on the second day, we got to go to the top of a volcano and saw this:
Uhm yeah, that’s mud boiling! It’s really crazy. Probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
And then, we ended day 2 in the national park in very very basic accommodations by the hot springs. We were the only tour group in the hot pool and we got to enjoy it while stargazing and seeing some of the biggest shooting stars of our lives! Then we slept in and started the next day at 7am. All the other tours started the next day at 5:30am and arrived at the hot springs with all 50+ other groups. It gets so crowded, they call it “gringo soup”. (We witnessed this when we were driving away, it looked terrible.)
Red Planet also provided us an awesome tour guide and driver. He answered all our questiosn, gave us tons of information, let us pick the music for the car ride. And best of all, our guide basically set up a photoshoot at the salt flats and helped us take amazing perspective pictures (it is a lot harder than it looks! A bunch of people came with ideas but couldn’t execute them.) The ONLY good pictures everyone had were taken by our guide. He even helped us make group videos and pictures throughout our tour. We heard from people in other tours that their guides didn’t help them at all and they would actually fall asleep when they arrived at each site!
If you plan to do this 3 day tour, book with Red Planet! Also, if you’re not going with at least a group of 4, make sure to reserve in advance because they book up.