Back to Bolivia - Uyuni, Bolivia - One last adventure in Bolivia!! El Salar de Uyuni & El Sur Lípez

Uyuni Travel Blog

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Uyuni, Bolivia - Reloj de Uyuni

What a magical and surreal experience!

So glad we decided to come back to Bolivia for this final adventure at the world’s largest salt flats, El Salar de Uyuni!!  What you have here is truly spectacular . . . imagine 12000 sq km of blindingly white salt flats, interrupted only by small, cacti-covered islands . . . that’s what El Salar de Uyuni offers!  Amazingly beautiful!!

It was an experience of a lifetime, though, FAR from being hassle-free!!  Again, it took being patient and determined to reach our destination!  But hey, luckily we had time on our hands so that was perfect!  

Now, the only problem was getting there!!  We were WAAAAYYYYSSSS away from Bolivia’s southwestern volcanic region!  We had a long journey ahead of us, for sure!!

We started out in Viña del Mar, in central Chile, and had to make it to northern Chile.

Uyuni, Bolivia - Cementerio de Trenes - J&A Choo! Choo!
  A LOOOONNNNGGG ways away!

But we remained positive and decided to begin our journey anyway, because there was no way we were gonna leave the South American continent without visiting this wonder!

When we finally made it to San Pedro de Atacama, there was this feeling of relief to know we had practically made it to our destination . . . well, almost.

You see, our original plan was to do the tour from San Pedro to Uyuni . . . BIG mistake!!  We quickly changed our plans when we were turned off by the prices being quoted from there!!!  

There was NOOOOO way we could afford to pay the tour prices here!!

So, back on the road again for us!  Just a little bit further?!!  Yeah right!!  It was gonna be another long ways to Uyuni, but again, we had time on our side!!

Now we just had to figure out what was the best way of doing so .

Uyuni, Bolivia - Cementerio de Trenes
. .

The tour companies in San Pedro tried to discourage us from doing it on our own, saying it was gonna cost us just as much, saying it was dangerous, saying it was the desert with nothing around, saying it was gonna be TOOOOO difficult because of the travel conditions . . .

Did it work??!  No way!!  And were they right?  NOPE!!

Fortunately, we were able to prove them wrong, when we finally stepped foot in Uyuni!!  And though the adventure was a tough one, we hung in there!  

Through the harsh roads heading to the border, and the freezing weather, we overcame it!  A piece of cake!  :)

In Ollague, the border-town between Chile and Bolivia, we froze our butts off, because we were unable to continue onward, and so had to camp out in the desert for the night.

I think we experienced THE coldest night of our lives here!!  It was so cold our feet hurt!! 

Poor Arnaud, I think he experienced the worst of it all, considering his sleeping bag wasn’t made to withstand this sort of weather!  All we could really do was try to sleep and just wait for the sun to rise .

Uyuni, Bolivia - A&J en el Cementerio de Trenes
. . and boy, did it take it’s time doing so!!!  ¡¡Una locura!!

The following day, we went through immigration with no real problems, and were back on a mission to finally get to Uyuni that day.  

Just one little problem . . . there weren’t many vehicles or trucks going all the way there, considering it was the desert and frankly not much of anything around!!!  

Just a couple of buildings, and a few ladies who had set up their "stands" to sell food to travelers and the workers in this town, if we can even call it a town!!

Ok so, on top of being in the middle of nowhere, in desert-like conditions, all the vehicles that headed in this direction, only went so far . . . to a mining town just about 100 km before Uyuni, to be exact.

And apparently once there, it would have been nearly impossible to catch a ride or even a bus from this point.

Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at the Train Cemetery

And that’s NOT what we wanted . . . stranded again in nowhere land, in Bolivia . . . no thanks!!

So we had to find an alternative . . . hmmm?  How could we play our cards right?!  Think we made it or not?! . . . 

Of course we did!!  I ended up talking to this lady working on one of the buses heading to Uyuni, and she was sympathetic or more so desperate to fill up the bus completely, no matter what!!  So, we ended up getting to Uyuni for $5, for the both of us!!!  Beats the $40 that everyone else was paying!!  Crazy tourists!

Once in Uyuni, we were now on a mission to find a reasonably cheap hostel to stay in, because we weren’t about to spend another freezing night outdoors!!!  Mission accomplished!!

And on top of that, we also managed to score a cheap tour to the salt flats!!  Well, cheaper than what normal tourists usually pay!!  Yeah!!!  It was still a bit pricey, if you ask us, but it was all worth it!!

Like I said before, this experience was amazing!!!  Can’t really say we had many complaints, especially considering the price we paid.

Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud au cimetière des trains de Uyuni

Poor suckers who paid more!!  Our guide wasn’t the best; the food could’ve been better, but hey you get what you pay for sometimes, ey!!?  

Still, we were content, regardless; and the night at the salt hotel was COOOOOL!!!!!!!!!!  :)

Our tour consisted of a visit to the Train Cemetery, a neat place, really.  Got a chance to play around in the abandoned trains and take some fun photos . . . be sure to check them out!!

Then off we went for the highlight of the tour, El Salar de Uyuni!  Incredible!!!  This "desert" of salt is truly an interesting place!!  In some parts, salt production has created one meter high salt pyramids, aka montañitas de sal, that are ready to be transported away for further processing. 

In other places, water has made its way through the salt to the surface, creating Ojos del Salar (literally "Eyes of the Salt Flat.

Uyuni, Bolivia - Where's Juanny?!
")  NEAT!!!  All about, there was nothing but salt.  Just kilometers and kilometers of salt, everywhere!  

There was, "an island," Isla Incahuasi, that was in the middle of this salt paradise, which we also had the pleasure of visiting during this tour.  Another unique place, with nothing but huge cacti everywhere!!  So, of course, our cameras were snapping away like crazy!!!

And as previously mentioned we got to stay one night in a hotel nearby that was entirely built from salt.  Some would call it tacky . . . hmm?  Not me, I thought it was neat!!

Just imagine, the walls, the bed frames, the tables, the stools, the chandeliers . . . all made of salt!  I, personally, think it’s original!!!

A worthwhile tour, no doubt!! We just marveled at the natural beauty of this place: unbelievably blue, green, turquoise, yellow, red, orange, and white lakes with flamingos, alpacas and vicuñas.

Uyuni, Bolivia - Free-riding at the Train Cemetery

It was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve had thus far.  Sleeping at 4300m, facing a bitterly cold sunrise at the Sol de Mañana Geyser Basin at an altitude of 5000m, and warming up at the hot springs of Laguna Blanca, an unforgettable and unique experience.

The landscape was amazing whether it was the salar, the volcanoes, the lakes – Laguna Cañapa, Laguna Hedioda, Laguna Honda, Laguna Colorada, Laguna Blanca, Laguna Verde, Laguna Celeste, Laguna Amarilla, and Laguna Larga), the Desierto de Siloli with its Árbol de Piedra, or the Montaña de Siete Colores.  GOR-GEOUS!!

A GREAT way to end our adventure in Bolivia!!

Encore une fois, nous voilà de nouveau sur les routes, en direction du désert d’Uyuni.

Uyuni, Bolivia - Cementerio de Trenes

Après 2 jours 1/2, on nous dépose enfin devant l’entrée de la ville de San Pedro de Atacama.

On décida de s’arrêter dans cette ville car c’est ici apparemment que les tours sont les moins chers. Et ce ne fut pas le cas. On passa donc la nuit sous la tente et au levé du jour, l’objectif était d’aller à Uyuni par nos propres moyens.

Le stop marchait plutôt bien les premiers kilomètres, car jusque là il y a avait encore un peu de vie autour de nous.

Mais pour que vous compreniez bien, la route qu’on voulait emprunter était et est toujours une route déserte, au milieu de nulle part, en plein milieu du désert, sans eau, sans électricité, sans bus, sans voitures qui passent, sans station service, sans rien quoi !!

Si, il y a juste une chose que vous pouvez trouver au kilomètre 64, ma casquette noire.

Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud en el Cementerio de Trenes

J’ai un problème avec les déserts, j’ai perdu mon bob dans le désert du Pérou et voilà que ma casquette s’envole dans le désert du Chili.

J’étais à l’arrière du semi remorque quand elle décida de se faire la malle.

Après 8h de trajet, on arriva enfin à la frontière. Vu qu’il était trop tard et surtout que la frontière était fermée, on planta la tente et on essaya de dormir.

Je sais que tout ce que je vous raconte là, n’est pas forcement intéressant, mais c’est la seule manière que j’ai trouvé pour arriver au fait que cette nuit là, à la frontière de la Bolivie et du Chile fut la plus froide de ma vie.

Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at Colchani

Le thermomètre était descendu à -8 degrés et mon sac de couchage va jusqu’a +7 degrés...

Ça a été une sensation nouvelle pour moi, le froid.

Il était concentré uniquement dans les pieds, et c’est vraiment une horreur de dormir avec les pieds congelés. C’est presque impossible de dormir, tout ce que je voulais à ce moment là, c’est que le soleil se lève et je l’ai attendu longtemps ce foutu soleil !!!

Bref, le lendemain on arriva enfin à destination et on commença les recherches. Non pas celles des tours du désert d’Uyuni mais celles d’un hôtel, car pour moi il était hors de question de dormir de nouveau dehors dans le froid.

Uyuni, Bolivia - Imágenes de Colchani - Cuidad hecho completamente de sal

Le tour commençait à 10h30, un 4x4, un chauffeur, 5 ou 6 touristes à bord, 3 jours de nourritures et 2 nuits d’hôtel. C’était le programme des 3 prochains jours.

La première chose à découvrir, un cimetière de train, bof bof. J’ai juste eu le temps d’emprunter un chapeau de cowboy a un américain et de sauter quelques trains. Juste histoire de sentir la sensation qu’éprouvaient les acteurs dans les vieux Far West.

Par la suite, le chauffeur nous conduira enfin vers ce fameux désert de sel. Nous posâmes nos premiers pas sur la lune, le désert d Uyuni, situé à 3700m d’altitude, une superficie de 12500m², un vieux lac d’eau de mer de 40000 ans.

Uyuni, Bolivia - Colchani - Let me shovel up some salt

On commença donc à prendre des milliers de photos, comme tout le monde. On joua avec l’effet d’optique, je vous laisse apprécier les différentes photos prises.

On débarqua un peu plus tard sur cette ile, si on peut appeler cela une ile, car elle est entourée de sel. C’est une ile avec plein de cactus. Ça parait un peu surréaliste cette ile au milieu de nulle part.

Le meilleur était à venir, on débarqua dans cette maison, avec une petite particularité. Tout est fait en sel, les lits, les murs, la table à manger, les chaises, même les chandeliers, et je vous laisse deviner…c’est ici que l’on a passé la nuit, cool !!

Je peux au moins dire qu’une fois dans ma vie, j’ai dormi dans un hôtel de sel.

Uyuni, Bolivia - Colchani - Sealing bags of salt

Le lendemain, c’était les lacs qui nous attendaient, tous avec une différente couleur. On passa aussi devant cet arbre de pierre, plutôt unique dans son genre. Et pour le dernier jour, on finit sur le site des geysers, tout simplement spectaculaire.

Vous avez juste à regarder les vidéos ou photos !!

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Uyuni, Bolivia - Reloj de Uyuni
Uyuni, Bolivia - Reloj de Uyuni
Uyuni, Bolivia - Cementerio de Tre…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Cementerio de Tr…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Cementerio de Tre…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Cementerio de Tr…
Uyuni, Bolivia - A&J en el Cemente…
Uyuni, Bolivia - A&J en el Cement…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at the Tra…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at the Tr…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud au cimeti…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud au cimeti…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Wheres Juanny?!
Uyuni, Bolivia - Where's Juanny?!
Uyuni, Bolivia - Free-riding at th…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Free-riding at t…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Cementerio de Tre…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Cementerio de Tr…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud en el Ceme…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud en el Cem…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at Colchani
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at Colchani
Uyuni, Bolivia - Imágenes de Colc…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Imágenes de Col…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Colchani - Let me…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Colchani - Let m…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Colchani - Sealin…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Colchani - Seali…
Uyuni, Bolivia - DANGER!! This lit…
Uyuni, Bolivia - DANGER!! This li…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Hotel de Sal
Uyuni, Bolivia - Hotel de Sal
Uyuni, Bolivia - Salt Hotel
Uyuni, Bolivia - Salt Hotel
Uyuni, Bolivia - Even the tables &…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Even the tables …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Seul au monde dan…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Seul au monde da…
Uyuni, Bolivia - El Salar de Uyuni
Uyuni, Bolivia - El Salar de Uyuni
Uyuni, Bolivia - Montones de sal
Uyuni, Bolivia - Montones de sal
Uyuni, Bolivia - Les tas de sel de…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Les tas de sel d…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud tasting th…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud tasting t…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny en los mon…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny en los mo…
Uyuni, Bolivia - J&A au désert de…
Uyuni, Bolivia - J&A au désert d…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Chillin on the s…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Chillin' on the …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Having fun at the…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Having fun at th…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Divirtiendose en …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Divirtiendose en…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Sil te plaît, n…
Uyuni, Bolivia - S'il te plaît, …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Wonderwoman!
Uyuni, Bolivia - Wonderwoman!
Uyuni, Bolivia - Air Arnaud
Uyuni, Bolivia - Air Arnaud
Uyuni, Bolivia - Ouaihhh!!!
Uyuni, Bolivia - Ouaihhh!!!
Uyuni, Bolivia - Super Arnaud
Uyuni, Bolivia - Super Arnaud
Uyuni, Bolivia - Samusant au Sala…
Uyuni, Bolivia - S'amusant au Sal…
Uyuni, Bolivia - El Salar de Uyuni
Uyuni, Bolivia - El Salar de Uyuni
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla Incahuasi, a…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla Incahuasi, …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla Incahuasi, a…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla Incahuasi, …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at Incahua…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at Incahu…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Imágenes de Isla…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Imágenes de Isl…
Uyuni, Bolivia - View of Salar de …
Uyuni, Bolivia - View of Salar de…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Vista del salar d…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Vista del salar …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla del Pescado …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla del Pescado…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Vue du désert de…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Vue du désert d…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Uyuni Salt flat &…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Uyuni Salt flat …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla Incahuasi - …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla Incahuasi -…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla Incahuasi - …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla Incahuasi -…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Le désert de sel…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Le désert de se…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla Incahuasi - …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla Incahuasi -…
Uyuni, Bolivia - J & Arco de Coral…
Uyuni, Bolivia - J & Arco de Cora…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla Incahuasi - …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla Incahuasi -…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Voici notre hotel…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Voici notre hote…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud dans lhot…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud dans l'ho…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Salt Hotel
Uyuni, Bolivia - Salt Hotel
Uyuni, Bolivia - Our room for the …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Our room for the…
Uyuni, Bolivia - J&A at the Uyuni …
Uyuni, Bolivia - J&A at the Uyuni…
Uyuni, Bolivia - El Salar de Uyuni
Uyuni, Bolivia - El Salar de Uyuni
Uyuni, Bolivia - Le couché du sol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Le couché du so…
Uyuni, Bolivia - El Zorro!
Uyuni, Bolivia - El Zorro!
Uyuni, Bolivia - Las vicuñitas de…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Las vicuñitas d…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Le paysage du sud…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Le paysage du su…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud en el Desi…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud en el Des…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at Siloli …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at Siloli…
Uyuni, Bolivia - J&A au désert de…
Uyuni, Bolivia - J&A au désert d…
Uyuni, Bolivia - El Árbol de Pied…
Uyuni, Bolivia - El Árbol de Pie…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny & Arnaud y…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny & Arnaud …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud en el desi…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud en el des…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny en el desi…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny en el des…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Desierto de Silol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Desierto de Silo…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Desierto de Silol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Desierto de Silo…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Viens petit renar…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Viens petit rena…
Uyuni, Bolivia - El Paisaje de Bol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - El Paisaje de Bo…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Cañapa
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Cañapa
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Cañapa
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Cañapa
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Cañapa
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Cañapa
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at Laguna …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at Laguna…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Hedionda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Hedionda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Hedionda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Hedionda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Hedionda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Hedionda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Hedionda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Hedionda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Hedionda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Hedionda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Onda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Onda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Onda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Onda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Onda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Onda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Onda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Onda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Onda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Onda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Onda
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Onda
Uyuni, Bolivia - J&A en la Laguna …
Uyuni, Bolivia - J&A en la Laguna…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Colorada
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Colorada
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Colorada
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Colorada
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Colorada
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Colorada
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Colorada
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Colorada
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Colorada
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Colorada
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres Sol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres So…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud aux geyser…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud aux geyse…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at Sol de …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny at Sol de…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud & los géi…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud & los gé…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres Sol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres So…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud & les geys…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud & les gey…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres Sol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres So…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny & los Géi…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny & los Gé…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud at Sol de …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Arnaud at Sol de…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres Sol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres So…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres Sol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres So…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres Sol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres So…
Uyuni, Bolivia - What a smell at t…
Uyuni, Bolivia - What a smell at …
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres Sol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres So…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres Sol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres So…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres Sol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres So…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres Sol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres So…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres Sol…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres So…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Las aguas termale…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Las aguas termal…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny & Léa aux…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanny & Léa au…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanita & las agu…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanita & las ag…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Warming up my han…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Warming up my ha…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Blanca
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Blanca
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Verde
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Verde
Uyuni, Bolivia - J&A at Laguna Ver…
Uyuni, Bolivia - J&A at Laguna Ve…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Verde
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Verde
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanita en la Lag…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Juanita en la La…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Verde
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Verde
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Verde
Uyuni, Bolivia - Laguna Verde
Uyuni, Bolivia - Le Désert
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla Incahuasi
Uyuni, Bolivia - Isla del Pescado…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres So…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Los Géiseres So…
Uyuni, Bolivia - Llamitas en Lagu…
Uyuni
photo by: razorriome