The most popular multi-day tour available for visiting the Uyuni Salt Flats is driving a 4×4 between Tupiza and Uyuni, Bolivia. This photo essay will take you through our 4-day tour beginning in Southwest Bolivia and ending with a sunrise over the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flats in the world.
Tupiza to Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia Tour: Day 1
We booked our tour through Tupiza Tours, the oldest, highly recommended agency out of Tupiza. Tours from San Pedro de Atacama, Chile and La Paz, Bolivia are also availabe. With our fuel, food, and backpacks secured on top of the Toyota Land Cruisers, we began our tour.
All meals are served everyday by a personal cook that accompanies the tour group. They will meet vegetarian needs.
Be conscious of Bolivia’s indigenous and their absolute desire to not have their pictures taken.
Tupiza to Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia Tour: Day 2
We continue to climb in altitude reaching Bolivia’s unique and varying highlands. The majority of these tours is spent driving in the 4×4 vehicles. Consider yourself lucky if you drive with people you get along with. Each night we arrived to our destination just before dark, so the schedule is tight. Remember you are in the highlands and night time can be extremely cold. All accommodations will provide the bare minimum with no amenities.
A hot spring in the middle of the Bolivia highlands was an incredible surprise. Bring your bathing suit and hop in the hot water and enjoy one of the best bath views in the world. During day 2 the varying landscapes are exposed. Strange deserts, salt flats, snow capped mountains, unique rock formations and geothermal fields.
If the weather cooperates, a blue sky can make the scenery captivating. We were lucky to have cloud formations that resembled alien spaceships.
Smell the humid air of the Sol de Manana Geysers. Get as close as possible without gagging or falling into the steaming pits.
Tupiza to Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia Tour: Day 3
During day 3 of the tour we became immune to the excitement surrounding colorful lagoons. After getting out of the truck for 6 different lakes, you can get a little bored, especially if it’s windy and cool out. Our weather was not ideal for glowing lake pictures. Expect a few vehicle breakdowns during your off-road tour. We experienced 2 flat tires and a failed fuel pump, which the tour guides were able to fix, evidence of their mechanical skills.
Just as the sun was setting over the Salar de Uyuni, we arrive to our Salt accommodations. It was a hostel made completely of salt, including the furniture.
Tupiza to Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia Tour: Day 4
We awoke before sunrise and drove out to the center of the Uyuni Salt flats for the first time to enjoy the spectacular Uyuni de Salar sunrise. This is a sunrise like nothing else you have seen before.
Much of the time on the salt flats is spent taking fun pictures. Each guide will have their own creative poses for you to try. The all white background of the salt flats provide the unique opportunity to take photos that create illusions, or fool the human eye.
All tours eventually make a stop on the unique Incahuasi Island. This island is easily identified as a reef and you can climb up through the ancient cacti for incredible panoramic views of the salt flats. We ate our last lunch here.
At the end of the tour, just like the end of a ride at an amusement park, we are courted through an area where salt souvenirs are being sold.