Photo Essay: Salar de Uyuni

You've most likely seen the silly pictures people usually take when visiting the salt flats in Bolivia (see our own gallery below) but what makes this tour so incredible is how beautiful the landscape is all around...

Cementerio de trenes (train cemetery) 3 km outside of Uyuni where a collection of abandoned 19th century trains still live

Salt is scraped off and piled into mounds ready to be transported and processed in Colchani, Bolivia

Colchani, Bolivia

World flags outside Hotel de Sal, the original salt hotel

Vive la France!

Our collection of silly salt flat pictures made possible by our awesome guide. We would have never thought of all these on our own!

The world's largest salt flat in all its glory at 3,600 meters above sea level

Even on a cloudy day the scenery is awe-inspiring

Pictures above from a hotel made entirely of salt: the walls, the tables, the beds, the floor... everything!

Chiguana desert

Abandoned railroad tracks in the Chiguana desert

Ollague Volcano in Northern Chile, on the border with Bolivia

Flamingos on Laguna Cañapa

More Flamingos on Laguna Cañapa

I told you there were Flamingos on Laguna Cañapa, right?

Siloli desert

Arbol de Piedra, a rock formation shaped like a giant tree by erosion in the middle of the Siloli desert

Yours truly :)

Laguna Colorada, a shallow lagoon with an average depth of 45 cm. The bright red color changes throughout the day due to the pigments of a microscopic algae species

Laguna Colorada

The Laguna Colorada is the main nesting site of the three species of Andean flamingos: Chilean Flamingo, Andean Flamingo and James's Flamingo

Sol de Mañana vents

Sol de Mañana vents

Salvador Dalí Desert

The Salvador Dalí Desert displays a set of volcanic rocks of different colors and shapes that gives the appearance of lunar landscapes

A "secret" stop on the way back to Uyuni

The rocks all around have fantastic shapes such as this one. Doesn't it look like a giant, cuddly bear?

Valley of Rocks, eroded rock formations with strange shapes: a bear eating an animal, a parrot, an old man and two dogs looking to the left? Tyler swears the first one is a mountain lion eating a seahorse...

A perfect end to our salt flat tour: a quinoa and alpaca pizza

Note: We booked our tour with Quechua Connections. After talking with a few of the operators, we felt they offered the best value for our money. It was one of the more expensive options, but the company is family owned and operated, which is something we really liked. They also take very good care of their vehicles. In the end, all tours do the same thing and go to the same places so talking to the operators and booking the one you feel the most comfortable with is worthwhile.

A few tips we can offer:
-If you are completing a car, you can usually bargain for a better price or get something included for free (e.g. sleeping bags in our case).
-Make sure there are no more than 6 people in a car. You spend about 70% of your days in the jeep so any more than that and your personal space will be nonexistent.
-If you're coming from San Pedro de Atacama, give yourself a few extra days there exploring the high altitude attractions (Tatio Geysers, Lagunas Altiplanicos, etc.) to adjust before the tour.