When to visit the Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats of Bolivia?

When to visit the Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats of Bolivia?

It has been a while since we could tout this, but one of Earth’s greatest natural spectacles occurs every year in Bolivia from December until March when the Uyuni salt flats are flooded by seasonal rains to form the worlds largest mirror.

Want to experience it? You can! 

The Desaguadero and the Kasani border crossing with Peru are open again. That means travelers can once again do the Cusco – Puno – Titicaca – La Paz – Uyuni route.

This trip doesn’t just feel like you’re in another world, but in another dimension.

A pair of flip-flops is a good item to bring for your tour to Salar de Uyuni during the rainy season

The Salar de Uyuni altiplano, at 11,890 feet (3,625m) above sea level, is one of the world’s most sought after photo ops of optical illusions — a lost horizon — set against the vast reflection of sky and clouds.

Rain gear, rubber boots and warm clothes are a must for the afternoon, when wind kicks up and temperature drops.

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Protective gear for your camera against the wet salty conditions is highly recommended. For you see, the flooded salt flats kick up a corrosive, mineral laden spray that wreaks havoc on the transmissions and electrical systems of the 4×4 vehicles. That means traveling at a slow to snail’s pace, making much of the 7,500 square miles (12,000 km²) of surreal landscape impassable.

Access to amazing sites like the dormant, multicolored Thunupa Volcano, the Chiquili Cavern and the giant cactus-covered “island” of Incahuasi is greatly limited, if not completely inaccessible.

During the dry season, from May to October, the surface hardens, and the salt forms pentagonal geometric figures.

The wide-open, luminescent white expanse of salt is ‘otherworldly’ — so much so that Salar de Uyuni was a key location for Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.  Filming took place in June 2016, to depict a Rebel Alliance base on the planet Crait.

Salar de Uyuni was a key location for Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi

Strong sunblock and good UV protective sunglasses are a must during the dry season. Caps and safari hats can be purchased for 30 Bolivianos, around $4.30 (usd), as well as excellent, inexpensive alpaca sweaters in Colchani, main entrance point into Salar de Uyuni.

Bring some toys for funny salt flat pictures
Bring some toys… Once you’re out on the altiplano, you will have a riot setting up quirky forced perspective photographs.
The Train Graveyard in Uyuni Bolivia
The Train Cemetery is a mainstay early morning stopover before setting out to the Uyuni salt flats.
Situated in the middle of Salar de Uyuni, the Isla Incahuasi is an cactus oasis with amazing panoramic views of the Bolivian altiplano.
Isla Incahuasi, an volcanic formed “island” covered with huge cactus, some as high as 26 feet, offers tremendous panoramic views of the Uyuni salt flats.
Hotel Luna Salada, remarkably constructed entirely of salt blocks from the Salar de Uyuni.
Unique boutique hotels, like Luna Salada, have been built with salt blocks quarried from Uyuni.
Ojos de Solar, mineral rich natural spring believed to have curative properties — but definitely NOT fit for drinking
Possibly the most important item to bring to Salar de Uyuni is your digital camera, with an extra battery and a very large-capacity SD card.

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Authored by: PeruTravelTrends

A Peru Tour Operator and Travel Agency: Since 1994 creating wonderful vacation experiences for adventure travelers and holidaymakers in Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Lake Titicaca, and all around the Andean region.

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