As The Who famously mentioned “I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles.”
That phrase rings clear if you find yourself out in the course of nowhere surrounded by miles and miles of salt. Literal SALT, so far as the attention can see.
By now it’s best to have realized that I’m speaking in regards to the largest deposit of salt on the earth, the Salt Flats in Uyuni, Bolivia.
Again in the summertime, my spouse (girlfriend on the time) and I made a decision to journey in her house nation of Bolivia. As soon as I arrived in La Paz, Bolivia and visited her household for a few weeks we determined to make the trek by bus and prepare all the way down to Uyuni.
We bused from La Paz to Oruro after which took a prepare from Oruro all the way down to Uyuni. In whole, touring from La Paz to Uyuni it value me round $550 Bolivianos (Bs) spherical journey which is about $80 within the American greenback. Additionally, that prepare was actually the slowest prepare experience I ever took. As my spouse would say “the llamas have been transferring quicker than us.” The journey from La Paz to Uyuni took the whole day.
As soon as we arrived in Uyuni it was freezing!
I imply freezing. My spouse was ready (I’m being sarcastic). She is a type of people who find themselves like “we’ll discover a place to remain after we arrive actually late to a location we now have by no means been to, the place it’s freezing outdoors.”
This brings me to lesson #1, plan out your journey.
Tip – Discovering lodging in Uyuni
Have at the least one place lined out to remain for the primary night time and let me inform you why.
Once we acquired off our bus my spouse selected a hostel at random. Let me remind you that it was freezing. On the journey we additionally took alongside her youthful brother and younger cousin.
I child you not, within the hostel they gave us a dinky little electrical heater that hardly generated any warmth. On prime of the heater state of affairs, in our room’s lavatory there was a gap within the wall that I might actually stick my hand by means of.
Once more it was freezing. We went throughout “our summer season”, however since Bolivia is on the south facet of the equator the seasons are switched in comparison with what I’m used to. Subsequently the lifeless of winter down there may be throughout June.
Because of our expertise from the primary night time, I booked a extremely rated resort the second night time with a pleasant scorching bathe and breakfast included.
Uyuni Salt Flats Tour
For the tour all through the salt flats we went with an area journey company, this value us round 550 Bs. Earlier than leaving La Paz my spouse bought this tour in downtown La Paz on Sagarnaga St. the place journey businesses line the road.
The primary cease of the tour was not even on the official salt flats, we stopped on the prepare graveyard. The identify fits the place: a bunch of deserted trains and prepare automobiles that have been left to rust. They have been used for exporting salt at one time. The trains have been neat to leap round on, like an enormous jungle health club, however in the end the flats was probably the most thrilling half for me.
The primary cease on the precise flats began by taking us to holes within the salt that supposedly had the clearest, most pure water within the area. We have been allowed to place our palms into it. The tour information instructed us that lots of people journey to those holes within the ice in different elements of the flats to take baths. In line with him, individuals imagine that the minerals from the water are very wholesome for his or her physique and would make them look youthful.
The baths must be freezing, I imply certainly they take these baths throughout the summer season when the water is hopefully hotter. In the course of the winter, the holes have been among the coldest but clearest water I ever felt.
After the openings within the salt we headed to what they known as an Island on the Salt!
An island filled with cactuses!
The story goes that again within the day when Incas roamed the flats they’d journey from island to island throughout the night time.
Why journey throughout the night time you would possibly ask?
In the course of the day the reflection of the solar towards the white as snow salt can be too vivid for them to journey throughout the day. Which leads me to lesson #2… Try additional beneath what to carry!
On our option to lunch, we took a brief cease on the Dakar Rally Monument. The Dakar Rally is an excessive automotive race. In line with efe.com, the Dakar Rally was hosted in South American from 2009 to 2019. You could find out extra in regards to the race at www.Dakar.com
After the island our tour information took us to the very first lodge on the flats the place we ate llama and quinoa for lunch! Sure Llama, I don’t need to say it “tastes like hen,” however sure it did, solely it was extra chewy and fairly lean. On the lodge a majority of the furnishings was made out of salt!
Try our lunch desk:
The situation was not solely neat due to the construction and historical past of the constructing, but additionally due to vacationers that you’d meet from throughout. This resort was a frequent cease by a number of vacationers from all around the world. To confirm this, proper outdoors of the resort have been flags from all around the world, I wish to assume they represented all who’ve traveled there.
Earlier than we headed to our resort for the night time, we took the everyday proportion photos. The place one individual appears to be like small and the others look big or vise versa. With the infinite background, you may have an enormous taking part in discipline to work with.
Additionally, there’s a well-known photograph that lots of people who go to the salt flats take. The photograph makes it appear to be individuals are strolling on water. This solely occurs throughout the summer season when it rains and elements of the flats are lined in water to be able to give the phantasm that individuals are strolling on water. The water photos additionally present an ideal reflection of the night time sky. Google picture search “Salt Flats Bolivia,” and also you’ll know what I imply.
While you go it’s a should to take the basic proportional photos! I like to recommend bringing a plastic toy or two, just like the T-Rex you see chasing us within the image beneath. Perform a little research and assume outdoors the field to give you a cool image!
Subsequent cease, Hotel De Sal Luna Salada; the resort of SALT. Your entire resort is made out of salt. Keep in mind how I instructed you that we booked an evening in a distinct resort since we basically froze to loss of life throughout our first night time. Little did I do know that I booked one of the crucial well-known inns within the space, the whole place was made out of salt! Additionally it had a free breakfast which I used to be fairly enthusiastic about.
Try this neat video by Nationwide Geographic, highlighting the resort:
The subsequent day we acquired to hike a portion of the Tunupa Volcano. We additionally acquired to see mummies in a small cave on the hike up. The mummies give an thought of the historical past and tradition of the realm. One other neat facet of the volcano was the rock partitions. As you hike greater up the mountain, you will note rock partitions that the Incas constructed again within the day, that divide parts of the land surrounding the volcano. For all you historical past buffs, you’ll get pleasure from this little portion of the tour.
After the hike, we made one final cease earlier than we headed house; the present store. Properly not likely one store, however a number of tiny outlets arrange in a single space. That is the place you may get your memento made out of salt. I purchased my mother just a little cup with cube made out of salt.
What to carry to the Uyuni Salt Flats
Deliver sun shades! The reflection of the solar off the salt is so vivid! You recognize once you go outdoors on a snowy day the place the whole lot is roofed in snow? Think about that, however in all places you flip for miles and miles. After I first arrived on the flats I did really feel like I used to be surrounded by snow, nevertheless it’s simply chilly grainy salt. I even licked some.
For those who neglect to pack your sun shades, don’t fear you should purchase some foakleys (pretend oakleys) in an area store in Uyuni earlier than you head out to the flats. A pair of sun shades are pretty low-cost, they are going to most likely run you 20 Bs.
Legend of the Salt.
Milk from mother. Now, there are just a few tales on-line behind how the salt flats got here to be. Together with serving to us take photos, the tour information instructed us of the legend. So, the “queen of the flats,” Tunupa Volcano, gave start to a smaller volcano, however throughout the night time the kid volcano was stolen from her by the gods. Since she was locked in place and couldn’t transfer to seek for her youngster she cried all night time and let her milk into the valley since she by no means discovered her youngster.
BOOM the salt flats have been born.
Suggestions for the journey & conclusion!
In case you are eager to take a budget route, journey by way of bus and prepare. When you arrive I’d advocate reserving a tour if you happen to have no idea the realm. Trying again on our stays, I’d not keep in that hostel and doubtless would e-book a room on the salt resort. Sometimes I like to save cash by reserving a mid vary value on the subject of inns, however trying again on it I’m glad I selected the salt resort due to the expertise it offered.
When in Rome dine just like the Romans proper? By staying on the salt resort it gave me an expertise that I’ll always remember, principally as a result of it’s a stand alone constructing out in the course of nowhere and it’s utterly made out of salt! Additionally the recent bathe was a lot wanted after freezing our butts off all day.
All in all, I’d very a lot go once more. This time round I’d hike the whole Tunupa Volcano and I’d most likely spend each nights within the Lodge De Sal Luna Salada. I’d carry my very own sun shades and higher climbing gear to succeed in the highest of the volcano. A budget sun shades did the job for certain, however they have been low-cost. I’d carry my very own higher high quality sun shades. The tour information was fairly good at his job, entertaining, took us to the very best areas on the flats, and took our proportional pictures with the T-Rex toy he offered. The journey was properly well worth the value and offered a priceless expertise.
Lodging in Uyuni
Just a few choices for the place to remain when visiting the Uyuni Salt Flats.
Lodge de Sal Luna Salada
Lodge Palacio de Sal
Casa de Sal – Salt Lodge
Excursions of Uyuni Salt Flats
Searching for a tour of the Uyuni Salt Flats? Right here’s just a few choices.
Uyuni Salt Flats Day Tour
Uyuni Salt Flats Night time Tour
Uyuni Salt Flats Starlight and Dawn Tour