Salar de Uyuni is the worlds largest salt flat, spanning a vast 4086 square miles in south-western Bolivia. Unlike traditional deserts, which have sand as far as the eye can see, the Salar de Uyuni features vast amounts of glistening white salt. The landscape is entirely flat, apart from a small ‘islands’ which only adds to the flats surreal beauty. Underneath the cemented salt are large reservoirs of lithium-rich brine. In fact, approximately 70% of the world’s lithium reserves are found in Salar de Uyuni. Unlike any other place on earth, the Salar de Uyuni is breathtakingly beautiful and provides an extraordinary experience that will not be quickly forgotten. In the dry season, Salar de Uyuni is a surreal experience not to be missed. However, when it rains it transforms the flats and takes them to a whole new level. As a thin sheet of water covers the flats, it reflects a perfect representation of the sky above so that it is impossible to tell where sky ends and the land begins which gives it the name of the worlds largest mirror.
For thousands of tourists a year who head to the flats, the “standard” tour is a must. The tours are conducted using 4×4 vehicles with 6 or 7 people in each tour. The tours normally last 3 or 4 days tours, accommodation is usually provided but be suer to wrap up warm as the weather can be very cold, however dont let this put you off as it is well worth it for the amazing scenery alone.
If you get the opportunity to visit the salt flats there are certain items that are essential to take with you in order to maximise the experience, we have complied a list for you and these are listed below:
- Water (and lots of it) – The tour guides are use to the flats and don’t supply enough water for someone who isn’t used to the weather of the salt flats!
- Money (Coins only) – The toilets are not free
- Lip Balm – Your lips in the Sun, wind and dry air will crack
- Sun cream and a hat – At roughly 2 miles above sea level there is significantly less atmosphere to absorb the sun’s radiation.
- Warm clothes (lots of them) – Make sure you layer up as it gets cold.
- Sleeping bag – You can rent one but I would advise to buy your own.
- Camera, with extra batteries + memory cards – There is no better place to take pics than here.
- Sunglasses – When the sun hits water on the salt flats they are blinding.
- Snacks, fruit and protein – You will need a hearty energy snack after a hard day out on the flats
- Torch – the lights go out when the generator goes off