The salt flats was a day we had really been looking forward to all trip, how couldn't you be from all those incredible photos out there? To do the excursion, we opted for the cheapest option which was the simple one day tour, although there are package options for 2 or 3 day tours which include staying in a Salt Hotel and seeing flamingos pass by. The simple option all together costs the equivalent of £25, plus £30 for transport return from La Paz. The transfer was a 10 hour night bus, before arriving into Uyuni town at around 5am. We were taken to a cafe where we were to wait until the tour started at 9am. After a quick snooze, some fuel for the road and a coffee sat outside in the sun, we felt a lot more human. We hopped into the Jeeps ready for the day.. And what a day it was! The sun was beaming down, so although we thought it may get cold out in the expansive salt flats, it was boiling hot from start to finish!
The first stop in the Jeep’s was an old abandoned train, where our inner child was certainly released. After 20 mins of playing around jumping on top of the huge train we jumped back in, and purchased a few cold cervezas for the road. Next stop was at a Bolivian market, before getting out onto the flats. Driving across the 10,582km expanse of salt was magical, it’s literally only salt as far as the eye can see. The only other thing you can see is a few other cars and the odd motorbike speeding by, appearing to be driving into what looks like nothingness ahead.
We did a few stops at different parts of the flats, but the second to last was by far our favourite, as it was just us. We had so much fun using the depth effect to create funny pictures, trying to think up original ideas we hadn’t seen done before. Lunch was at midday, as we pulled into what used to be a salt hotel but is now converted into a restaurant. We all sat round tables inside and tried the local food - alpaca steak! It was surprisingly pretty yummy, it tasted like very salty, slightly more chewy beef. Though we did feel a bit guilty having just taken a selfie with an alpaca outside! The very last stop was also pretty cool, as the sun set across the flats, the sky had an almost pinky tinge and it looked beautiful. We got back absolutely knackered, a full day in that much sun exposure reflecting off the white salt was intense.
WHAT TO BRING: clothes for the hot weather, PLENTY of suncream, lip salve (the dryness kills!), snacks, water, some fun photo props, a little extra cash for souvenirs and loo stops!
We decided to stay in Uyuni that night as we couldn’t quite face two back-to-back night buses, so we checked into Bunker hostel, which was perfect for what we needed. We ate at a restaurant called Tika that night, which was incredible. The town of Uyuni is tiny, so there really isn’t much to do bar the tour and wander around for maybe a couple of hours. We headed back to La Paz the next day, set for a weekend of relaxing prior to Christmas, so that we would be fully rested and excited for our flight to Rio to meet Charlotte’s family!