Salar de Uyuni – The largest salt desert in the world (Bolivia)

Categories: Travel reports, South America, Bolivia

After a visit to the railway cemetery in Uyuni, the next stop on our tour was the salt desert “Salar de Uyuni”, which we had been looking forward to in advance 🙂



Salar de Uyuni’s history

The Salar de Uyuni is the largest and highest (over 3,600 meters) salt pan on earth, with more than 10,000 km2, and we had already seen parts of it when we approached from La Paz. The salt crust was formed more than 10,000 years ago by the drying of a lake and today has a length of 160 kilometers and a width of 135 kilometers.

From about the end of June until the beginning of the rainy season, the Salar is completely dry. At this time, the salt crust, which is up to 30 metres thick, can be used by buses and trucks.

Map, Salt Desert, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, South America, Tour, TravelReport

The Salar de Uyuni in Google Maps

Our photo stops in the salt desert

During the rainy season, which begins in December, however, the salt crust may be covered with a layer of water that is centimetre-thick. That was the case with us, because it had rained in the days before. The sight was really fantastic: you had a huge endless-looking natural mirror in front of you, in which the sky and the clouds were mirrored.

In some places, however, the salt lake was dried out and the typical hexagonal patterns form in the soil. In 2014, the Paris-Dakar Rally also led through the salt desert in Bolivia. As a souvenir you will find a large monument here… naturally made of salt.

Photographing with perspective in the salt desert

If it is windless and the shallow water is reflected on the salt lake, it is best to take the typical pictures with the play of perspectives and reflections.

Overall, we really liked the salt desert!

Our accommodation for the night

After several stops in the salt desert we went from there by car about 2 hours south to our accommodation for the night. At certain times you can cross the entire salt desert by car. Now in the rainy season this is not possible, because water is too deep in some places.

The accommodation was very simple, but at least we had our own room and there was a shower. After dinner we sat with the other four a bit and then went to bed early, because we had a long ride in front of us the next day and had to leave early.

Hotel, Salt Desert, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, South America, Tour, Travel Report

Our accommodation

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No matter if La Paz, the salt desert Salar de Uyuni with the railway cemetery or the magnificent mountain world of the Andes in the national park "Eduardo Avaroa" - our trip through Bolivia really inspired us and we could collect many new impressions!

Reiseberichte Bolivien » La Paz – Things to Do & the Valle de la Luna (Bolivia)
» Uyuni – The old railway cemetery in the desert (Bolivia)
» Salar de Uyuni – The largest salt desert in the world (Bolivia)
» Eduardo Avaroa National Park – Rock Valley & Laguna Colorada (Bolivia)
» Eduardo Avaroa National Park – Sol de Manana Geyser Field (Bolivia)