The sun had just started to come up, and the famous hexagon shapes were starting to appear – we were finally here. The Uyuni Salt Flats themselves. It was stunning, but also so bitterly cold you could only stay outside for a few minutes before needing to get back into the jeep to warm up again.
We watched as the sun rose, the colours drenching the white of the salt flats in pinks and purples.
Our first stop of the day was a surprise, as I had no idea there was a cactus island in the middle of the salt flats. But there is, and it was here we stopped for breakfast. Called Fish Island because of its shape, this strange ‘island’ in the middle of the salt flats is covered in cacti. There were a lot of weird and wonderful cacti to see, but the best part was the never ending views of the salt flats from the top.
After breakfast we were back in the car for the all-important salt flats photo shoot. Call us spoilsports if you will, but I have to say it was the least exciting part of the tour for us and made the experience feel a bit tacky. After 3 days of some of the most amazing scenery I’ve ever seen – to have this entire trip represented by novelty photos on the salt flats seems crazy. There is so much more to this beautiful part of the world. But, the perspective here was really interesting – and so when in Rome, or on the salt flats…
After we’d had our photo-taking fun, we headed off to the last stop of the day, and last stop of the tour – the railway cemetery just outside of Uyuni. Another quirky novelty stop.
After lunch in Uyuni, we said goodbye to Wilfredo and Maria, and our young Swedish companions, and headed to our hostel for our first (and hopefully hot) shower in 4 days.
We’d been really impressed with the tour itself. Wilfredo was an incredibly safe driver whose knowledge and love of his country was obvious, and thanks to Maria, we’d eaten some of the best food we’d had during our time in South America (why don’t restaurant in South America serve vegetables?!).
While the altitude was high, there had been a lot of driving, and it might even have been colder than Antarctica, we’d been amazed by the icy wonderlands, the many coloured lakes, the crazy rocks and the loveable llamas. We’d had an incredible experience on our tour of the Salar de Uyuni.
When we visited: 3 nights end May 2014.
Other Information – Our Uyuni Salt Flats tour: We can’t actually tell you the name of our tour company, as it was booked for us by our hostel that run tours themselves, but didn’t have the numbers available the day we wanted to go. From all the reviews we read though, you can’t seem to go wrong with any of the tour companies that run the tours out of either Tupiza or San Pedro. Tours that run out of Uyuni seem to be a lot more hit and miss.