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Uyuni Salt Flats

Uyuni is the gateway to the unique, stunning and magical Bolivian salt flats (Salar de Uyuni). You can do day trips to the salt flats or explore the amazing coloured lagoons and incredible rock formations that will leave you with a different perspective of our planet. We decided to do a 4 day tour from Tupiza to Uyuni with Torre Tours.

We reached Tupiza with an overnight bus from Sucre and explored the little town the next day. Tupiza is a town surrounded by barren hills of red rocks. There are various tours you can do including horseback tours to the alleged site of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’s final stand.

We started the tour the next day and winded our way through rock canyons and narrow mountain passes in our 4×4. We stopped for lunch along the way in a small village carried on to the hostel.

Over the next few days we made our way towards Uyuni, passing beautiful coloured lagoons full of pink flamingos, we saw geysers, incredible rock landscapes and ate lunch on a cliff perched high above Horseshoe Canyon. We drove past quinoa fields, saw hundreds of llamas, some vicuñas and a fox.

We had two flat tyres which delayed us at some points but we finally arrived at Uyuni where we set up camp in a hostel made of salt. Later in the evening we drove down the road to the Bolivian salt flats and found a decent spot to watch the sunset. Unfortunately it was pretty cloudy but we had a nice time on the salt.

Uyuni salt flats - Cactus Island

The next morning we work up really early to get to the Isla Incahuasi or ‘Cactus Island’ for the sunrise. It’s a wee drive across the salt and worth getting there as early as possible. Then you need to get a pass and walk up to the viewpoint about 15 mins away. The island is full of cacti and makes for incredible photo opportunities, especially around sunrise.

Later that day we took the strange looking photos of giant items and small people, or vice versa. Fortunately my mate Oscar had purchased a range of toy dinosaurs on the way there so we had plenty of great scenes to shoot. In hindsight I think a larger toy dinosaur would have worked better so the ‘depth of field’ of the camera didn’t have to be so large in order for me and the dinosaur to be in focus. Having a decent SLR will help and using a small aperture like f/16 or higher will increase your depth of field.

The city of Uyuni is pretty simple. There are a bunch of restaurants and bars but as far as I could see there wasn’t much to do there. There was no actual bus station but different offices on the same stretch of road. We booked our bus tickets to La Paz and left our bags in the bus office. We meandered through the city for the afternoon and then went on our way.

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