With the recent run of cold weather we had and more to come in the months ahead, I wanted to feature a warm destination this month. As we head into winter, South America moves into summer. So if like me, you’re ready to lose your frozen mind by February, then this would be a great trip to start planning. As well, the best time to visit is rainy season from December to March when the rain turns the flats into a giant mirror, allowing you to snap incredible reflection photos. Dry season from April to October is also great – I visited the first week of April – it just means the flats are drier with less reflective pools of water. Still spectacular as the expanse of white stretches forever.

It’s the world’s largest salt flat and is truly an amazing sight to behold. No other singular place besides the vast and endless icebergs of Antarctica has floored me as much as the salt flats of Bolivia.

Getting here can be a little complicated and will differ depending on your plans before/after (are you only going to Bolivia or will you also be visiting Chile?) and your budget (this will dictate if you should take train, bus, or plane). I started my tour in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile (definitely worth a visit!) but there are several other routes you can take so I won’t bombard you all with the many details of that. Give me a call and I am happy to talk you through the options to see what is best for you or I can even connect you to a travel advisor who can plan it for you. This goes for all trips. I never get sick of talking about travel so definitely do not hesitate!

Top 5 Things to See in the Salar de Uyuni

Most of the tours are 3 days and cover the below sights but just make sure they are on the itinerary – these are can’t miss spots.

Salt Flats: Obviously this is the main draw but there is much more to it than I expected and it’s important to make sure your tour visits them at sunrise or sunset to see how the flats change with the light. The pyramid shaped salt piles, pictured below, are also a super cool sight.

Laguna Colorada: This bright red lagoon filled with flamingoes and surrounded by llamas and alpacas was probably the most interesting thing on the tour, aside from the Salt Flats themselves. The various colors of the water are caused by minerals and algae, contrasting with the white islands made of borax. The resulting imagery reminds me of the layered sand art that was so popular decades ago.

Laguna Verde: This high-altitude salt lake sits at the foot of 2 volcanoes – Licancabur and Juriques. As its name indicates, Laguna Verde is a brilliant green color (ranging from turquoise to emerald depending on the wind’s effects on the mineral sediment inside the lake), contrasted by the white of neighboring Laguna Blanca. Don’t take a dip though! With high concentrations of lead, sulfur, and arsenic, Laguna Verde is toxic, which is why you won’t see any flamingoes here.

Isla Incahuasi (Cactus Island): In the middle of the salt flats, this island of giant cacti and coral rock formations stands out against the vast white. This piece of land is the top of the remains of an ancient volcano, which was submerged when the area was part of a giant prehistoric lake, about 40,000 years ago.

Uyuni: There are so many things to see in the village, from the colorful clothing and textiles to the Train Graveyard. This locomotive ghost town isn’t talked about as much but I found it to be incredibly fascinating – it’s a really cool step back into the past. Visit in the evening when the tour buses are gone.