If you are traveling to Bolivia, a day trip to the Salar de Uyuni is something that can’t be missed!
The world’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni sits at a lofty 3653m (11,985ft) and blankets an amazing 12,000 sq km (4633 sq mi). It was part of a prehistoric salt lake, Lago Minchín, which once covered most of southwest Bolivia. When it dried up, it left a couple of seasonal puddles and several salt pans, including the Salar de Uyuni. The savage beauty of this vast salt desert makes it one of South America’s most awe-inspiring spectacles.
From strange islands in a sea of blindingly bright salt to delicately colored mineral lakes in the Andean mountains, this is an unforgettable Bolivian landscape.
The area has a relatively stable average temperature with a peak at 21 °C (70 °F) in November to January and a low of 13 °C (55 °F) in June. The nights are cold all through the year, with temperatures between −9 and 5 °C (16 and 41 °F). The relative humidity is rather low and constant throughout the year at 30 to 45%.
The salt is over 10 meters thick in the center. In the dry season, the salt plains are a completely flat expanse of dry salt, but in the wet season, it is covered with a thin sheet of water that is still drivable.
However, travelers should take great care in choosing which tour operator to go with when visiting the salt flats. Fatal accidents due to unsafe vehicles and drivers are not unheard of. Make sure your vehicles have seat-belts, emergency radio transmitters and first aid equipment, and don’t shy from asking about guides’ levels of training and experience. Of course, there are also many reputable tour operators in the area who will ensure your experience of this natural wonder is both memorable and safe.