Uyuni, You Are So Salty! Tips to Survive the Salt in South America

In our previous feature of Joyce and Reuben, we featured the young Singaporean couple and their plan for a year-long trip around South America and Europe.

Here’s their journey to Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia!

The Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world. Famous for being massive and beautiful, many have listed it down this location in their bucket list. Tourists and photographers also flock there to capture the unique landscape.

In their blogpost “Uyuni, you are so Salty”, Joyce and Reuben talked about their 3-day trip in this salt desert.

Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure:


Laguna Verde ( Green Lake ) – One thing that the picture can’t show is how cold this place was. It is about 8 degrees and the wind was very strong. 

Hot Spring at 4000m above sea level. The couple  decided not to strip down into their swimming attire because its just too cold!

tumblr_inline_n5frtuGJAG1qmnw3xLaguna Colorada ( Red Lagoon )

tumblr_inline_n5fsbmFfpm1qmnw3xAlpacas looking at joyce. ^^

Day 2

tumblr_inline_n5fyo5m2WF1qmnw3xTree of rock

tumblr_inline_n5hrxtqnAT1qmnw3xThis is how we been travelling throughout the salt flats. Every 4×4 carries about 5 to 6 person with our backpacks attached on the roof. 

tumblr_inline_n5hsawD1Tx1qmnw3xHotel del Sal ( Salt Hotel ) The whole hotel is built with salt! The whole region doesn’t rain hence the building doesn’t collapse.

Day 3

tumblr_inline_n5htcjiwaw1qmnw3xWaking up at 5:30am in the morning to watch the sun rise on the salt flats 

tumblr_inline_n5hu6cWycO1qmnw3xPerspective shot 1

tumblr_inline_n5htxrZwa21qmnw3xPerspective shot 2

tumblr_inline_n5htg3izo81qmnw3xThe couple’s trusted Lexus 4×4 car with their friendly driver 

Top 5 Tips when travelling to the Uyuni Salt Flats

While GoBeyond.SG has not been to this salt desert, we have done considerable amount of research on this place (it’s at the top of our bucketlist). Here are some tips before you go:

1. Essentials


Coins and small bills  are must-brings for the trip. Remember, there will be no ATMs for the next 3 to 4 days. While food and lodging are covered by the tour agencies, many essentials, such as hot water and charging points are chargeable.

Sunglasses are very important as well – the salt is like snow! Also, the shades will come in useful as a creative props for your photos!

 2. Water


Don’t be alarmed, all tour agencies provide bottled water. But bring along a hot water bottle  as well. Learn a lesson from Joyce and Reuben’s trip – their plastic bottled water froze overnight!

3. Pictures

We cannot emphasize how important extra chargers and memory sticks are!

We read countless of reviews, and seen so many who ‘suffered’ (from not being able to take more pictures) after their camera runs flat due to constant use.

Not all of us are photographers who know what to do… so here are some tricks!

  • Take a few props such as stuffed toy, hats, sunglasses and even action figures to take tricky perspective shots. Be creative!
  •  If a shot isn’t working, just get everyone to jump! Jump shots always work
  • As amateurish as it may sound, take lots of shots just in case! It is not easy to see your camera screen in the glare, so be on the safe side, not on the dark side.
  • Lie down and position your camera on the ground to take perspective shots – like this one here:photo2photo1photo3

 4. Attire

warm clothes

Pack sufficient warm clothes. It will be about 8 degree celsius in the day (with plenty of wind), and even colder at night. Bring enough warm clothes and layer up.
Slippers are essential, especially during rainy seasons (which last from January to April), the Salar de Uyuni has plenty of water for you to walk on. The salty water may ruin your footwear, so bring both sneakers and flipflops.

5. Stay Safe!


Do note that altitude sickness is a real possibility.

It you are arriving directly from the coast, you will need a couple of days to acclimatize at about 4000m. Dizziness, shortness of breath and headaches are common symptoms, but extended bouts of nausea and vomiting are not unheard of. Try to stick to the officially recommended altitude to climb per day (300m). If not, drink some coca leaf tea with a pop of sugar to feel better instantly.

That’s it! We hope you have benefitted from these tips.  Read more tips regarding your travel to Latin America here.

  • I would recommend bringing a bunch of extra water anyhow. We brought 4-6 litres per person average in our group, and those who didn’t were buying extra, if they could, from the meagre supplies at the salt hotels along the way.

    On a glass or two with meals you’ll survive (what our guides provided), but you’ll be much more comfortable out there (and up there!) with plenty of hydration. Just buy some when you’re waiting to leave Uyuni’s downtown from a store nearby and put it on the roofrack of your guide’s vehicle. They won’t mind.