Salar de Uyuni offers an unforgettable experience at any time of year. The landscape can completely vary depending on the season, meaning that the Salar de Uyuni best time to go depends on the experience you’re looking for.
Most people visit Salar de Uyuni in the hope of seeing the mirror effect on the Salar. This is most likely to occur from November to April (rainy season) because a layer of rain is needed on top of the salt flat to create this unique effect in which you feel as if you are walking on the sky. This natural wonder makes it difficult to distinguish where the sky ends and land begins as it looks like you are walking on the clouds and seeing the same scenery above you.
However, it is worth noting that too much rain will melt the salt and force tours to divert their routes because parts of the salt flat become inaccessible. Popular spots such as Isla Inchuasi – the top of the remains of an ancient volcano which was submerged by a huge prehistoric lake 40,000 years ago and now home to giant cacti (up to 40 ft) – can become impossible to visit when it rains too much.
If you are planning to travel around New Year’s Eve make sure to check that tours are running before you arrive as many of them don’t leave for a period after New Year’s Eve.
On the other hand, May to November offers the dry season. This time of year consists of sunshine but can be very cold. Don’t be fooled into thinking that Salar de Uyuni is any less special at this time of year. The octagonal salt formations, bubbling cauldron of the geysers, pools of boiling mud, crazy rock formations and the gold and yellow shrubs surrounding Canapa Lagoon look like something out of another planet. Everywhere is open at this time of year, making for some spectacular hikes around Isla Inchuassi and the surrounding volcanoes in the area. Snow falls during the dry season also create beautiful sights of the snow-capped mountains.
It is during this season that the endless horizon gives visitors the chance to take crazy perspective photos. The horizon makes objects nearer the camera appear larger than objects that are further away, creating the perfect opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime photo shoot.
Late April is probably the best time to visit as it gives you the best opportunity of seeing both the salt desert and the incredible mirror effect. It isn’t too cold at this time and rainfall is also limited, making it ideal for tourists who want to see everything Salar de Uyuni has to offer. Furthermore, there are fewer tourists in April, meaning tours and hotels are cheaper at this time of year.
Finally, it is recommended that you get in contact with a local just before you plan to go to ensure the weather won’t be a factor that takes away from your experience in Salar the Uyuni. For more information on visiting the Salar de Uyuni, check out our informational tours page.