Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is the largest salt flat in the world. It is a place where you will find dozens of photographers trying their best to capture this unique landscape. When visiting South West Bolivia, you will be landing at Salar de Uyuni during your 3 or 4 day vacation. At the center, the salt has a more than 10 meters thickness. During the dry hot season, salt planes on the flat are expanses of dry salt and a thin water sheet covers the area during the wet season.
A standard tour to the Salar de Uyuni is conducted in a 4×4 Toyota Land cruiser with about 7 people and the driver sometimes doubles up as a cook. Basic refuge centers are used for accommodation and weather can at times be very cold. Nevertheless, this amazing scenery is definitely worthy a visit. It is advisable that you avoid tours offering accommodation in any of the several salt hotels as they are illegal. They cause environmental pollution as they are not part of water grid. When getting ready for your Salar de Uyuni tour, you need to make some preparations to ensure that you have a fantastic tour.
For starters, carry a torch or flashlight as the generator regularly runs dry and lights go out completely. Bathrooms at Salar de Uyuni are not free and carrying some small bills or coins will be of great convenience to you. The salt flats can be blinding a sunglasses will really help. There is no other place you can take picture in Bolivia than in Salar de Uyuni and a camera, memory cards and extra battery will be of great usefulness. Extra water is essential as tour agencies provide in adequate water supply. Sun rays hit the flat directly and a sun block and hat will be of great help to you.
Sleeping in a sleeping bag is the order of a tour here and you should make sure that you have access to one. Also carry warm clothes, hot water bottle, flip flops and extra snacks, more so protein and fruit. There are many tour operators who package tours to Salar de Uyuni. However, before contacting any of them, you should look at their background by checking on their vehicles, food and drivers to ensure that you don’t get something short of your expectations.
Drunk drivers in Salar de Uyuni require that you be extra cautious as accidents on this salt desert are more common than you might think. Avoid risking your life unnecessarily by being ferried by a drunken driver. Also, carry some emergency supplies along with you as cars are known to break down in remote places. Altitude sickness has been a common challenge here especially when you travel to the slat flat directly from coast. There is a possibility of experiencing common systems such as breath shortness, headaches and dizziness. To avoid this, it is advisable that you adapt to the altitude gradually otherwise altitude sickness has been a cause of death at Salar de Uyuni.