A Uyuni Salt Flats Tour is a must-do on everyone’s Bolivia itinerary!
Uyuni Salt Flats (also known as Salar de Uyuni) is the world’s largest salt flat, stretching for more than 11,000km². It truly is one of the most remarkable vistas on planet earth!
I spent one full day exploring the incredible Bolivia Salt Flats and have put together this detailed guide with everything you need to know about the Uyuni Salt Flats Tour including where to book and what to expect.
WHERE IS SALAR DE UYUNI?
The Uyuni Salt Flats are so massive that it actually crosses the borders of three countries in South America – Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
Click here to see the location on Google maps.
Most Salar de Uyuni tours operate out of Uyuni in Bolivia, a small dusty town approximately 540kms south of La Paz.
HOW TO GET TO SALAR DE UYUNI
There are two options to consider when looking at how to get to Salar de Uyuni and they are by bus or plane.
Bus from La Paz to Uyuni:
The cheapest and most common way of reaching Uyuni is by taking an overnight bus from La Paz to Uyuni and the journey takes around 8 hours.
You can book your bus ticket online in advance for just $30 USD and the bus leaves from Terminal De Buses Lapaz.
You can then travel back from Uyuni to La Paz by bus after the one-day Salt Flats Tour.
La Paz to Uyuni flights:
A faster and more convenient way of reaching Salar de Uyuni is by taking a 50-minute flight from La Paz to Joya Andina Airport in Uyuni.
La Paz to Uyuni flights operates on a daily basis.
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WHERE TO BOOK A UYUNI SALT FLATS TOUR?
There are dozens of tour operators and offices located in both Uyuni and La Paz to book a Uyuni Tour, but in my experience, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which operator to book a tour through without being ripped off.
Alternatively, you can book your tour online in advance to avoid the hassle of having to organize a trip once you have arrived.
I recommend finding a tour that best suits you on the Get Your Guide website. They have thousands of travel deals worldwide that are affordable and reliable!
Click Here to search for all Salar Uyuni Tours and book online ahead of time.
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WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE TOUR
A one-day Uyuni Salt Flat Tour not only includes a 4×4 trip out onto the world’s largest salt flat but also a visit to the Uyuni Train Cemetery, lunch at a local restaurant, salt museum and village markets, Hotel de Sal (the world’s first salt hotel), giant cacti at Incahuasi island and an unforgettable sunset at the largest mirror in the world!
The tour begins at 10 am and finishes after sunset at around 6 pm.
Book Now → Uyuni Salt Flats Tour
BEST TIME TO VISIT BOLIVIA SALT FLATS
The best time to visit Bolivia Salt Flats, funnily enough, is in the rainy season which is December to April in order to witness the reflective mirror effect on the salt flats.
During the dry season, from May to November, temperatures are much cooler and the ground hardens.
The peak season is typically from June to August and prices are known to rise during this time.
SALAR DE UYUNI FACTS
Before visiting, here are some Salar de Uyuni facts you may find interesting:
- Uyuni altitude is 3,700m above sea level
- The salt flats measure 11,000km² making it the world’s largest salt flat
- 11 billion tonnes of salt are believed to be within Salar de Uyuni
- NASA uses Uyuni Salt Flats to figure out the positioning of its satellites
- Formed by prehistoric lakes that evaporated long ago
- Pink flamingos have been spotted at Uyuni
WHERE TO STAY IN LA PAZ
La Paz has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of my favorite places to stay in La Paz to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Ritz Apart Hotel
Ritz Apart Hotel, a modern 5-star hotel centrally located in La Paz, provides air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen TVs and private bathrooms, a fitness center, hot tub, sauna, in-house restaurant, room service, and free WiFi.
Perfect for travelers with a larger budget.
Mid Range: Selina La Paz
Selina La Paz is a 3-star property that is perfect for families, couples, and solo travelers!
Great location in La Paz offering double, triple, and dormitory rooms at an affordable price. Selina also features a billiards table, an in-house restaurant, and a bar for all guests.
Budget: The Rooftop Bolivia
The Rooftop Bolivia is rated one of the best accommodations in La Paz for budget travelers.
Featuring a bar, shared lounge, city views, restaurant, shared kitchen, free wifi, and a nightclub!
The Rooftop has dorms and private rooms available and breakfast is included.
For all other La Paz accommodations, Search on Booking.com
WHAT TO PACK FOR BOLIVIA
When visiting Bolivia, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you;
Must-Have Travel Essentials
Hidden Money Wallet
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Reusable Water Bottle
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The Nomatic Travel Backpack has 20+ innovative features, perfect for everyday use!
Quick-Dry Travel Towel
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Keep your phone, laptop, and accessories charged while you’re on the go with the Anker PowerBank!
MORE CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA TRAVEL GUIDES
- Mexico: 4 Week Mexico Itinerary
- Cuba: 10 Day Cuba Itinerary
- Peru: Backpacking Peru – 3 Week Itinerary
- Bolivia: Things To Do In Bolivia
- Brazil: 2 Day Rio De Janeiro Itinerary
- Argentina: Things To Do In Argentina
- Chile: Things To Do In Chile
FINAL THOUGHTS – SALAR DE UYUNI TOUR
If you have any questions about Salar de Uyuni, please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
Search and book accommodation worldwide.
Compare and book cheap flights to anywhere.
Find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world.
Book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance.
Search all rental cars in your next destination.
Need travel insurance for your next trip?
THANKS FOR READING
Hey friend, thanks for reading this guide!
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4 thoughts on “Uyuni Salt Flats Tour In Bolivia – A Complete Guide”
Thank you for the insightful blog.
I am not sure if they are still running the 50-minute flight from La Paz to Joya Andina Airport in Uyuni or if they still operate on a daily basis as I am unable to find any direct flight from La Paz airport to Uyuni. I understand you took the overnight bus but do you know by any chance the name of the airline that goes directly there and how to find it online?
Hey Ali, unfortunately I am not sure about this flight, perhaps since the pandemic things may have changed. I hope you can find your way and have a safe trip!
We are planning our South America trip for next year. A question about using the overnight bus to and from La Paz to Uyuni Salt Flats with the 1 day tour like you did. Did you travel with only a day pack? And if so where did you leave your main bag? Or did you travel with your main bag as well and then what did you do with it during the tour?
Hi Natalie, great question, I traveled with just an overnight bag and left my main luggage in storage at my hotel in La Paz, they had no issues holding it for me so this is something that I’m sure you could do also! Have a great trip!