TIPS FOR AN ENJOYABLE EXPERIENCE AT SALAR DE UYUNI

I’ve literally been dreaming of this place for years. It’s freezing cold and there is believe it or not snow on the ground, but I don’t mind, this place looks like heaven.

When you arrive in Uyuni you are instantly accosted by everyone and anyone trying to sell you a tour. You don’t know who you are going to end up with on your tour and what kind of driver you’re going to have. You’re basically playing a game of luck and unfortunately for us, the recommended company didn’t have any space left so we had to roll the dice. We ended up getting stuck with a driver who didn’t speak english, was constantly in a rush and by passing many of the things we wanted to see. It was almost like a game of which tour could keep up with the other. The Finnish girl I was travelling with became ill and our driver got angry when we asked him to stop for medicine, which really didn’t get things off to a good start. Although the views were mind blowing, the experience certainly wasn’t what I was dreaming of.I had decided I needed to do this trip again, and with more careful planning. Learn from my mistakes!

Here are my top 10 Uyuni recommendations.

  1. Book with Red planet expedition 
  2. Choose the season which you want to go in, the reflective photos are taken in the rainy season
  3. If your going for photography like me, research on how to take the photos beforehand and bring props (the bigger the better, think shoe, sunglasses, hat or water bottle)
  4. We were fed quite well on the tour, maybe pack a few light snacks for the road
  5. Pack warm clothes! If you go in the winter, you will absolutely freeze especially in the ‘salt hotel’. There is electricity only for a few hours and you have to pay for the only ‘hot’ shower which is shared with everyone.
  6. Bring power bank sticks and an extra camera battery. There is only electricity for a few hours in the salt hotel and one power bar for everyone staying there.
  7. Bring a small game, whenever I travel I always bring Spot it. It’s always a crowd pleaser and brings everyone together.
  8. No matter which tour you book they nearly all go in the same direction and to the same places. So if you don’t care if your driver speaks english or not or your fellow companions or the condition of your car just go for the best price. 
  9. You will be getting up early everyday, but when it’s dark  and there is no electricity going to sleep isn’t much for a problem
  10. If you are going to continue to Chile your driver can let you off at the San Pedro border so you can continue your journey.

As for the overnight bus  ride from LaPaz, the bus was quite comfortable by Bolivian standards, there is wifi onboard but it didn’t work 90% of the time as we were in the middle of no where. I recommend taking something to fall asleep on the bus because your tour will most likely start within a couple of hours of your arrival. I would recommend spending a night to relax in Uyuni and shop around for tours beforehand. I was pressed for time so unfortunately I didn’t have that luxury.

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