La Paz: Uyuni Salt Flats Tour
Cost: $343USD, including buses to and from La Paz.
Get There: Set yourself up online at http://www.greentoadbus.com and get your hobo derriere to the La Paz bus stop.
If you’ve seen photos of your friends blowing each other over or perhaps even eating each other, chances are they’ve jumped on a salt flats tour in Bolivia (get your head out of the gutter – this isn’t one of those articles). The salt flats are famous for their lack of depth perception, which allows tourists to create ridiculous photos with mini humans to justify an otherwise boring Instagram existence of food, cats and selfies which don’t at all relate to their captions.
We arranged our return trip from La Paz to Uyuni to include three days of travelling around the Salar de Uyuni and taking in all its natural beauty. Green Toad Bus set everything up for us, including our bus transfers, meaning all we had to do was rock up to the bus stop in La Paz. After days of trying to navigate through strikes and broken-down buses and a Spanish vocabulary consisting only of the word “salut”, we were pretty thankful for how easy these bad boys made the whole trip.
The bus to Uyuni had us living like kings, despite our prior reservations based on the poor reputation of Bolivian buses. The bus had movies (in English!), hot dinner and drinks, a breakfast largely made up of Oreos and the holy grail – WiFi, not to mention comfortable seating that we could actually sleep in without having to pop a xany.
We arrived in Uyuni and changed straight from our bus into the jeep which would be bouncing us around to our destinations (touristy stops included) for the next few days.
The salt flats were otherworldly; everyone on the tour commented on feeling as if they were on a different planet. The dry part of the flats is perfect for having fun with photos. Our driver even provided us with a few props to have fun with, as well as a bona fide photographer for the whole group who had mastered the angles way better than we could.
I would definitely recommend trying to visit Bolivia in the rainy season so that you can also experience the wet part of the salt flats. The thin layer of water over the salt creates a stunning reflection of the sky and mountains surrounding. But be aware that whatever you are wearing at this point is going to end up more covered in salt than your body after a huge night doing tequila slammers in Mexico.
Like all other meals on the tour, dinner that night was a delicious ending to the day, with cake and some drinks included, which definitely is not the case on most tightass tours. The next day was a huge day of driving from one amazing sight to the next. Our driver was fantastic. A lot of complaints about tours of the salt flats online are regarding the poor quality of driving, with drink-driving common enough to basically be considered a past time in Bolivia. Our driver. thankfully, was never drinking, which made us all feel super comfortable as we bounced up and down the sand dunes in our jeep. There was plenty to see on the second day, highlights being lakes swarming with flamingos; Lake Colorada – a stunning pink mass of water; heaps of volcanoes; and smelly geysers around 5000 metres above sea level. It ended perfectly with us soaking in natural hot springs with a complimentary bottle of wine.
On the final day, we visited Laguna Verde before dropping off a few passangers at the Chilean border. You have the option to either use the tour as a much more entertaining bus ride to get into Chile (which is slightly cheaper at $316USD), or you can head back to Uyuni and on from there.
The Bolivian salt flats are unmissable, and organising the tour through Green Toad Bus made things as easy as hooking up at a hostel.