10 Reasons to Visit the Uyuni Desert

Salar de Uyuni is one of the most famous places in Bolivia and everyone’s favorite destination while traveling through South America. If you had any doubts, here you’ll find all the reasons why to visit this natural wonder, everything you need to know about how to get there, and tips for travelers!

what to do in uyuni

This region offers a variety of places worth visiting, make sure to know everything about them and make the most of this adventure.

Among all the things to do in Uyuni, some may have gone unnoticed, but here you’ll find all the details you need to know. We have gathered ten reasons and tips that will teach you how to Uyuni in a real way!

  1. Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat. Being one of the famous places in South America and receiving more than 90,000 visitors per year, this region is as impressive as you can imagine! The salt flats have an extension of 10,582 kilometers and an altitude of 3,660 meters above sea level. But, what makes this place so unique is the mirror effect caused after a rainfall, which fades away the limits between the sky and the land, making it look as if you were walking on the clouds.

  2. Imagine all the jaw-dropping pictures you could take here! Whether you are visiting during the rainy or dry season, the Uyuni salt flats give you an esplanade to experiment with your creative side. Make sure to bring your camera and photo props, which are essential to take interesting perspective photos.

    Show off your artistic side with these tips that will surely help you level up your photography skills!

  3. Isla Incahuasi is the main attraction for most tourists, located in the heart of Salar de Uyuni. The entire place is covered by a native species of cactus, which are hundreds of years old. This island is the top of the remaining part of a volcano that existed when Uyuni was still Lake Minchin, about 40,000 years ago. Isla Incahuasi extends to almost 25 hectares, and it has the perfect spot for a great view of the salt flats.

  4. Visit the lakes! Near the Uyuni salt flats, you’ll find different water bodies that will blow your mind. The most recognized is Laguna Colorada, a breeding place to thousands of Andean Flamingos that you don’t want to miss.

    It was named Laguna Colorada because of its particular water coloration, caused by the concentration of red sediments and algae, which make the water go from blue to intense red colors. This natural lagoon was nominated to the Seven Natural Wonders of the World but couldn’t make it through the selection.

    Other lakes you won’t like to miss are Laguna Blanca and Laguna Verde. These twin water bodies will amaze you because of their surroundings and particular colors.

  5. Don’t miss the Train Graveyard! Near the small town of Uyuni, you will find a group of abandoned trains that date back to the 1940s. These trains were left here to rot after the collapse of the mining industry. You will be able to explore the Train Cemetery and take awesome pictures as if you were coming out from the Mad Max world!

  6. If we tell you that the Uyuni salt flats appeared in the Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi movie, would you believe it? You may recognize this place from the final epic battle on the Crait planet.

    Rian Johnson, director of this Star Wars movie, was so captivated by the beauty of this white wonderland that decided to include it in the film.

    Don’t worry, we won’t spoil you if you haven’t watched the movie, but what we can tell you is that this scene did not disappoint! Salar de Uyuni became an essential asset to the Crait planet’s set creation, and if you are a Star Wars fan like us, you won’t like to miss the opportunity to walk on the lands that gave life to this monumental scene.

  7. Other fascinating attractions near Salar de Uyuni are the Salt Hotels. Locals have managed to build houses, hotels, and furniture made out entirely of Salt Blocks. The idea may sound crazy to you, but it works! One of the most iconic salt hotels is the Palacio de Sal, near the Colchani town, about 20 kilometers away south of Uyuni.

  8. You may recognize Arbol de Piedra, a tree-shaped rock that has captured the attention of many tourists, but there’s a place called The Polques Hot Springs after a long day of walking and driving through the desert. The water’s temperature may vary between 25°C and 30°C if you are paying a visit to this natural wonder, we recommend bringing warm clothes and your towel. Keep in mind that although you’ll be relaxing in these warm waters, the weather will still be cold. Most of the 3 and 4 days tours to Salar de Uyuni make a stop here!

  9. There’s nothing better than visiting The Polques Hot Springs after a long day of walking and driving through the desert. The water’s temperature may vary between 25°C and 30°C if you are paying a visit to this natural wonder, we recommend bringing warm clothes and your towel. Keep in mind that although you’ll be relaxing in these warm waters, the weather will still be cold. Most of the 3 and 4 days tours to Salar de Uyuni make a stop here!

  10. Last but not least, near the National Park, you’ll find the ghost towns of San Antonio de Lípez and San Cristobal de Lípez.

    The first one has a very spooky history; locals say that the inhabitants of San Antonio de Lipez lost everything due to a pact they made with the devil, which purpose was to grant wealth to the miners. Instead, it caused the death of all the workers. Although the tour operators don’t include the visit to these ghost towns, you can request it when booking a tour to the salt flats.

Tips for Travelers

Without a doubt, Bolivia is home to many natural wonders. It also gathers the most exciting activities to do in South America.

But how to make the most of these places in a fun and safe way? Here you’ll find some useful tips that will help you optimize your experience, whether you are visiting the Uyuni salt flats or maybe any other of the glorious places within this South American gem.

What to bring to Salar de Uyuni?

Make sure to plan your backpack before starting the trip. Luckily for you, we have a complete guide on what to pack for the Uyuni salt flats!

How to get to Salar de Uyuni?

You may probably be wondering about how to visit the Uyuni salt flats without missing any of the locations mentioned above. Well, there are different ways to get to Uyuni town, but after that, how to get to the salt flats? We got you covered!

Different tour operators can get you to the salt flats, but how to know which one is the best for you? We have an entire guide dedicated to helping you choose the best tour to the Uyuni salt flats make sure to check it while you are here.

Remember that the places included in the tours to Uyuni could vary depending on the duration of them. You can easily visit Salar de Uyuni on a day trip, but if you want to experience most of the attraction within this National Park, we recommend taking 3 or 4 days tours!

top 10 reasons to visit uyuni

We hope these details will help you choose Salar de Uyuni as your next travel destination. Undoubtedly, this place gathers lots of different attractions and activities that will make your trip through Bolivia and South America even more exciting!

-->