Arrival in Uyuni
You’ll usually arrive in Uyuni either by air or by bus – we’ll help you arrange whichever option you prefer – and once you’ve checked into your hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to do as you please. Uyuni is a small, dusty salt-mining town at 3700m altitude – like one of those sleepy desert towns straight out of a western. It isn’t much to look at, but there are a few bars and restaurants to keep you entertained for the evening, before tomorrow’s adventure.
Uyuni - Salar - Uyuni
You’ll be met early in the morning for a jeep tour of the world’s largest salt lake: the Salar de Uyuni. You’ll be joined by a few other travellers and your English speaking guide. As you drive out of Uyuni, you’ll pay a short visit to the train cemetery just outside the village, where old disused steam engines and demolished carriages are slowly rusting away. From here you’ll drive on to the salt mine village, Colchani, where you can see how the salt extracted from the plains is utilised.
During the dry months the lake is literally dazzling, even with sunglasses and a sun cap, as the brightness of the sun reflects on the white plain. During wet season (December-March) the thin layer of water on top creates a spectacular mirror effect. Slap bang in the middle of the white expanse lies the Isla de Pescadores, an odd rocky outcrop no more than 500m in length covered in giant cacti. The jeeps all meet here for an outdoor lunch on the island.
In the afternoon you’ll continue north across the Salar where you might even spot the animals that live on and around the salt plains; flamingos, llamas, pumas and Andean foxes. You’ll be back in Uyuni at the end of the day where you can wash off all the salt under a nice hot shower. It’s worth bearing in mind that due to unpredictable weather circumstances the itinerary to the salt plains can be changed without prior notice, so a certain amount of flexibility in your travel plans may be needed.
You’ll begin day four of your Uyuni tour with a leisurely breakfast, before continuing to the next stop on your Bolivian adventure.
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Stay in a Salt Hotel
For something a little bit special, you can choose to stay in a hotel situated outside of the town, on the edge of the Salar de Uyuni. The hotel has all the amenities and comfort of a normal hotel, but has been built using blocks of salt, and boasts views across the empty expanse of the Salt Flats.
Prices from: £ 398 - per person - Special Stay accommodation