Part of Bolivia’s vast altiplano, the Salar de Uyuni salt flats can be found south of the town of Uyuni, stretching from Bolivia and into northern Chile.
Rarely a travel guide to Latin America is published without at least one prominent photograph of the salt flats, such is their worldwide acclaim. Covering around 12,000 square kilometres the salt flats are located high up in the Andes, and the salt crust creates incredible reflections of the sky in its shimmering expanse.
On Salar de Uyuni holidays, tours of the salt flats are usually done in a four-wheel drive, travelling across the salt crust past the cacti-studded Isla del Pescado to the red desert, where flocks of rare James’ flamingo live on vivid lakes. You’ll need sunglasses and sun cream to enjoy the experience to the full, as the sunlight reflecting off the salt emits quite a glare. Budding photographers will relish the chance to take their own incredible snaps of the landscape.
In recent years alternative accommodation options have sprung up around the salt flats, enhancing the otherworldly experience even further.
Shiny Airstream campervans offer a different way to experience the region, with room for two and the included services of a personal driver-guide. Two or three nights is ample time for Salar de Uyuni holidays, and there are a handful of unique hotels to stay in to accompany your Airstream.
The best time to visit Salar de Uyuni is generally from April to November, as during the peak winter months of July and August the night-time temperatures on the altiplano can plummet.
Holidays to Salar de Uyuni are now even easier thanks to a direct flight from La Paz. If you’re coming from Potosi it’s a three-hour drive, and the salt flats can also be reached overland from San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. If you’re looking to combine the two destinations in one trip, Salar de Uyuni is an ideal place to cross.