19 Epic Photos of Bolivia's Jaw-Dropping Salt Flats - Travel Lemming
Reflection on the Uyuni Salt Flats

19 Epic Photos of Bolivia’s Jaw-Dropping Salt Flats

One of the most epic travel experiences I’ve ever had was taking a tour of the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.

Despite getting trapped by protesters before I could even begin the tour, it’s still one of my favorite travel memories to this day.

Why?

There are just so many gorgeous things to see on a tour of Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni.

And it’s not just the famous salt flats: the typical Uyuni tour lasts three days and only one of them is spent on the iconic salt flats. The rest is spent a ton of other nearby natural sites that are equally out of this world.

If you’re interested in taking this epic adventure yourself, I suggest checking out my Ultimate Guide to Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni Tours. And if you’re going to Bolivia, be sure to check out my list of 11  amazing things to do there.

But, in the meantime, here’s 19 of my favorite Salar de Uyuni pictures to inspire your wanderlust:

19 Incredible Photos of Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni

The Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat, covering an area twice the size of Delaware. The flats are covered with these naturally occurring hexagonal formations made by the salt crystals:

Hexagons on Bolivia's Salt Flats

The famous salt flats

Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

Our jeep – one of many that ply the famous Salar de Uyuni roadtrip

Me and a jeep on the Uyuni salt flats

Me staring out pensively over the salt flats, totally unaware that I’m being photographed : )

At night, the flats become one of the coolest places on the planet for seeing the Milky Way:

The Milky Way over the Uyuni Salt Flats

This photo doesn’t do it justice (wish I’d had a tripod!)

And in the wet months of the year, the salt flats can turn into the world’s largest mirror, making it hard to distinguish up from down. I visited just before this time of the year, but still was able to get a taste for what the salt flat mirror looks like:

Reflection on the Uyuni Salt Flats

Because the salt flats seem to stretch out endless into the horizon, with little variation in color or texture, the flats are famous for throwing off human’s sense of perspective.

That can make for an interesting playground for a skilled photographer.

Drivers who ply the route almost universally carry plastic dinosaurs in their glove boxes so that they can take photos like this:

Dinosaurs on Bolivian salt flats tours

Touring the Salar de Uyuni has become something of a right of passage for those backpacking South America, and at any given time you can see dozens of tiny jeeps criss-crossing the salt plains in the distance.

Each is filled with a hardy group of travelers from around the world.

At the entrance to the Uyuni salt flats is a stop where some plant their country’s flag:

Flags on Bolivian salt flats

Flags from various countries fly over the first stop on the salt flats tour.

There is also an interesting monument to the Dakar Rally, an annual off-road endurance event that started from Paris to Dakar, Senegal, but has since expanded to include a South America route that runs straight through Bolivia.

Dakar Rally Sign on Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

The Dakar Rally’s sign on the salt flats.

You don’t need to join the Dakar rally to experience the Bolivian salt plains, however, as dozens of Uyuni tour companies offer multi-day adventure road trips through the Salar de Uyuni.

Car driving a tour on Uyuni's salt flats

You’ll be spending a lot of time doing this!

But the classic tour of the Salar de Uyuni takes in a lot more than just the incredible salt flats! You’ll see a ton of jaw-dropping sites, such as this funky rock, which they call the “Rock Tree”:

The "Rock Tree" on the Uyuni Tour

“The Rock Tree”

And colorful high Andean peaks that look like they should be on another world:

Colorful Andean peaks in the Bolivian desert

Is this another planet?

Plus several high-altitude lagoons whose unique mineral make up create some truly awesome colors (and also color the flocks of flamingos that live there):

The colorful lagoons in Bolivia

One of several colorful lagoons near Uyuni

Not to mention geysers that spew steam from the ground:

Geysers on Bolivian Salt Flats Tour

These things will wake you up!

And, of course, it wouldn’t feel like the Wild West if there weren’t a bunch of abandoned trains everywhere:

Abandoned train in Bolivian desert near Uyuni

Looks like something from Westworld right?

Train tracks in Bolivian salt flats

There totally wasn’t a line to get this shot. I just thought of it myself.

Oh, and llamas!!

Llamas in Bolivia near Uyuni Salt Flats

Or are these alpacas? I can’t tell the difference…

And, if you’re willing to shell out the Bolivianos, you can even stay at a luxury hotel made entirely out of salt! I was stuck there for several days while waiting out a blockade of protesters and it was quite the experience!

The Salt Hotel near the Uyuni Salt Flats

This hotel is made of salt!

Bolivia’s salt flats are so cool that they just may make you want to jump for joy:

Jumping on the Bolivian Salt Flats

Not pictured: me slipping on the damp salt

***

If you want to learn more about how you can visit the Salar de Uyuni, check out my Ultimate Guide to the Bolivian Salt Flats. It’s packed with practical information on how to make the most out of a trip to this incredible natural wonder!

And, if you’re need some help falling asleep, read the true story of how I got trapped in the Uyuni desert by a blockade.

Before you go, if you’re on Pinterest, be sure to pin this post here:

These 19 amazing photos of the Bolivian salt flats will have you wanting to book tickets to Bolivia. Check out these epic pics from one of the world's greatest road trips. #bolivia #uyuni #travelpics

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About the Author Nate Hake

Nate Hake has traveled to 65+ countries across six continents around the world and blogs about his travels at TravelLemming.com. He is from Denver, Colorado, recently concluded a six month stint living in Mexico, and is now currently traveling in Thailand.

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