Hello everybody, today I will take you for some trip to one of the most iconic places in Bolivia – Salar de Uyuni.
Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest and the highest-located salt flat. It covers an area of over 10,000 km, a large part of which is open to the public. Tourists from all over the world come here to admire the magnificent views, take unforgettable photos, often having fun with the perspective and discovering Bolivian culture. This place is definitely worth recommending, you can easily spend here even a whole week without being bored for a moment.
|Location||Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni|
|Language||Spanish + 36 local languages|
City Uyuni was marked with the red circle, although as the article will describe whole Salar de Uyuni with it’s attractions, I aditionally marked it with orange circle.
How to get to Uyuni
The fastest, but also the most expensive option is air travel. The flight from La Paz is offered by the airlines AMAZONAS. There used to be low-cost airlines TAM, but it seems that flights have been suspended for some time.
If you like beautiful scenery you can go to Uyuni by train from Oruro city. The timetable and ticket prices can be found on https://www.ticketsbolivia.com.bo
The cheapest, but also the longest and most dangerous way to reach Uyuni is by bus. You can travel directly to Uyuni from all major cities in Bolivia - from the south from Villazon, from the north from La Paz, and from the east from Potosi.
Most of Bolivia's bus connections are operated at night.
- Make sure you have a blanket and warm clothes with you as temperatures at altitude are very low and buses often have air conditioning on, which cannot be turned off.
- Take all valuables in your hand luggage to avoid possible theft
- unfortunately, a huge problem in Bolivia is driving under the influence of alcohol. Before getting on the bus, make sure the driver is not drinking, for example by having a short chat with him. If you smell alcohol from the driver, think about whether you really want to get on the bus. Usually a refund for the ticket is not an option, so the choice is yours. But remember that Bolivian roads are one of the most dangerous in the world, often leading along huge gaps and landslides
- It is a good practice to arrive at the bus station a few hours before departure. If more than one bus line offers a trip to Uyuni, sit somewhere to the side and watch the ticket offices of the companies. Usually, if a driver drinks alcohol, he does not hide it too much and will do it at the station itself. When you see similar behavior, choose a competitor's company.
What to watch out for
Crime in the city is not particularly high, however caution is advised. Remember not to take out your wallet or phone if it is not necessary and not to walk around the city alone at late hours.
Although the town is extremely touristic, not many people speak English here. It will certainly be possible to find an English-speaking guide, but may incur additional costs. Conversation in English can be difficult in most restaurants and hostels.
By far the biggest problem on Uyuni is altitude sickness. There are several ways to deal with it:
a) remember not to overexert yourself, rest - allow yourself to stay in bed for a day if you feel very bad.
b) Drink as much water as possible. At this height, you need four times more than usual.
c) eat easily digestible meals
d) You can buy coca leaves and chew them like a local. Relax, coca leaves are not addictive and are perfectly legal in this part of the world. Keep the spilled leaves between your lip and teeth. The taste of coca is reminiscent of bitter herbs, and a side effect of chewing can be lip numbness resembling a local anesthetic.
e) drink tea with Boldo - this is another variety of herbs that support adaptation at heights. You can easily find Boldo in any restaurant and most stores.
- Remember that Uyuni is cold, especially at night. Prepare yourself by packing warm clothes.
That would be all. I hope you liked my post. If you want to talk about anything related to the things I've described above, feel free to leave the comment.
All the photos included in the post belongs to me.
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Thank you for reading,