Traveling to Uyuni on an overnight bus was a little bit uncozy because I felt very sick with all the moving from side to side. The plan was to arrive in Uyuni in the morning and just turn up at the well-known/famous travel agency Red Planet Expenditures to join a travelgroup for the Salar de Uyuni tour; but it didn’t work out so well so then I joined a different tour (3D/2N; expediciones cordillera; 120 USD) with a troubling Spanish guide and ended up having one of the best trips I’ve ever experienced. Here are the highlights that made Salar de Uyuni so great for me !
Cementario de trenes
The old train cemetery was an amazing place to see and take pictures but there were just so many people, which annoyed me because people kept getting into my pictures and didn’t even care. We spent about 25 minutes there and headed back to the office because I forgot my power bank in the computer – important ha ha.
Salar de Uyuni mirror effect
There was nothing I was waiting more to see and excited about than the mirror effect (during wet season between December -March; dry season between May – October) in Salar de Uyuni. On the first day cruising around in a Jeep, it seemed that the salt was very dry and I was already wondering what happened. We continued and all of the sudden everything was just like a mirror – wow, so beautiful and unbelievable. I had to play the song by Justin Timberlake – Mirror, which my group all sang together and danced around happy and amazed. It’s incredible to see how the sky is eflected on the water and the salt flats are endless – I absolutely loved it; it made the trip already worth it. February seemed obviously like a good timing to visit or was it just luck ?
Relaxing in the natural hot springs
On our way to the thermal hot spring, there was unfortunately no opportunity to open the window because it was too cold and dusty, but it was beautiful with a constant changing landscape. The entrance to the hot springs was just BS. 6 (1 USD) and it was more than worth it. It was a pity that we only had 30 minutes to stay and bathe in the natural hot springs, and enjoy the sunshine and the mountains around us.
Lamas, salt flats, ginormous cacti, the planet Mars, lava remains, a landscape that changed into rocks, then a desert style: I had never seen anything like this before. The landscape changed again and again. We had sun, then it suddenly started hailing, big round balls that hurt my skin and feet. I was wearing shorts and flip flops (as always). The landscape really looked like a different planet – incredible – for about 5 minutes because it was really cold – really, really cold and raining. We visited several lagoons with flamingos and volcanic lava, all very impressive to see – all of us enjoyed it very much. It was sometimes desert, sometimes mountains, sometimes rain, then sun – the landscape diversity didn’t stop.
The places where we stayed during the Salar de Uyuni tour was very simple with single beds, but I liked it this way because it was in a very traditional style and surrounded by a lot of salt. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were always prepared and organised by our guide. Sometimes, I had the feeling that it wasn’t enough for all of us, but it always worked out fine except that you had to pay for a warm shower.
The first evening, we were dropped off in a random location to watch the sunset while our driver, Max, went to book a hotel. A French girl brought her laptop and played some Salsa music. I really had no idea what to do or how to dance, but being in a group of five and the only guy allowed me to have a lot of fun. The Argentinian girls showed me some salsa moves and we were all dancing now – ha ha – so much fun during sunset: unforgettable.
During the trip, we visited a lot of lagoons (lagunes): some of them were nicer than the other. They all had a unique something with mountains or volcanos in the background, or flamingos. At some, we were quite unlucky with the weather; in any case, the best two are the Laguna Hedionda(so beautiful if the weather is nice) with pink flamingos and the Laguna Colorado, a classic red lagoon with more flamingos. The best time to go to the lagoon is when it’s sunny between 3:30-4:00pm to see the red color effect.
Of course, there were a couple of opportunities to be crazy, to be me again, and so I went running through a steaming hot geyser, went to beat a dinosaur and managed to hitchhike randomly in the desert for a short moment on top of a 4×4, and it actually worked – it made me so happy and the passengers inside were curious to take selfies. Have a look at the pictures – ha ha.
I TRAVEL FOREVER’s VIEW & RECOMMENDATION
The Highlights of the Salar de Uyuni trip were definitely the salt flats with the mirror effect, the giant cactus, running through the geyser and relaxing at the natural hot spring surrounded by beautiful mountains. In general, I was very impressed by the diverse landscape with incredible flora and fauna that the tour/Bolivia offered me during three days. They are absolutely mind blowing and I totally recommend everyone to travel there.
A couple of things weren’t that good; but it was totally okay that we stopped in touristy villages. Oh well, I guess nowadays this is pretty typical. We stopped at an office to pay an extra BS.150 (22 USD) for park entrance fees for Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa, which is pretty expensive and nobody told me/us about it beforehand. I would therefore recommend that you ask the agency if there are additional fees coming during the tour. The girls also had a little argument with our driver/”tour guide” because he just didn’t care much about us. In addition, when I asked him about the name of a volcano, he said, “you don’t remember?” – quite rude.
Last but not least, I was really lucky to be in a great international group. It only consisted, apart from me, of just some girls from Argentina (Milena and Lucia), France (Irene), New Zealand (Ashleigh) and England (Henrietta). Very good times that made a tour without the best review, like expediciones cordillera, incredible – happy days. This shows that sometimes, even if you don’t go with the most recommended tour agency, you can have the best trip because of the people ! And apparently the Kiwi girl Ashleigh has got the tour for 95 USD.
On my way to San Pedro de Atacama, crossing the border to Chile, I felt so good and was very happy.
Salar de Uyuni offers a unique beautiful diverse landscape.