Did you know that Bolivia’s salt flats, the Salar de Uyuni, are the largest in the world? This awe-inspiring place is undoubtedly one of the top places to visit when you’re in Bolivia.

You might recognize the image of a sparkling white landscape contrasted with a brilliant blue sky. Or perhaps the sight of a mirror-like reflection is familiar to you. Frankly, all photos of the Uyuni salt flats are impressive, so imagine what it’s like to see this natural wonder in real life.

But when is the best time to visit Bolivia’s salt flats? Read on to find out when to go to the Salar de Uyuni to make sure you get the most out of your trip.

Discover these tailormade vacations in Bolivia.

When should you visit Bolivia’s salt flats?

The important thing you should know about the Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia is that there are two distinct seasons: the wet season and the dry season. You can visit the salt flats during both periods, as they offer different but very special experiences.

1. The wet season in Uyuni

The rainy season in Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni is between December to April. This is an amazing time to visit because the rainwater floods the salt flats, which creates a mirror-like effect, reflecting the vast sky and clouds above.

If you’re a keen photographer, you will particularly love Bolivia’s salt flats at this time of year. The shimmering water makes for an optical illusion, where the sky seems to be endless.

Of course, it’s important to bear in mind that it might be more challenging to visit other local highlights during the wet season, due to the rain. For example, it would be unlikely that you could visit the nearby Incahuasi island.

That said, for many, it’s still worth it to visit Bolivia’s salt flats at this time of year.

2. The dry season in Uyuni

In contrast, the dry season in the Uyuni salt flats takes place from May to November.

Visit at this time of year and you can look forward to striking blue skies and dry salt flats, as it doesn’t really rain at all. On average, the Salar de Uyuni sees 1mm of rain per month during this season.

Of course, due to the lack of flood water, you won’t witness the reflection effect over Uyuni. But the bright white expanse of salt flats, unfolding for mile upon mile, is still a stunning sight to behold.

Uyuni salt flats FAQ

Now you know the best times to visit Bolivia’s salt flats. Want to find out more about this beautiful attraction? Read on for answers to key questions about the Salar de Uyuni.

What is the Salar de Uyuni?

The Salar de Uyuni is made up of prehistoric lakes that dried up 40,000 years ago. Now they are expansive salt flats that you can walk on, dotted with cacti islands. They really are a magical sight to behold!

Where is the Salar de Uyuni?

The Uyuni salt flats are located in the Altiplano region of Bolivia. They are in the southwest of the country, close to Chile and Argentina.

How big is the Salar de Uyuni?

These Bolivian salt flats are huge, covering an area of more than 4,000 square miles.

Is it cold in Salar de Uyuni?

Yes, it does get cold in the Uyuni salt flats of Bolivia. This region has a cold desert climate, with temperatures dropping to -10 degrees centigrade at nighttime in the dry season. Be sure to bring plenty of warm clothing with you.

Plus, the salt flats lie at an altitude of over 3,600 meters. This means that you should prepare to acclimatize to avoid altitude sickness.

How do I get to the Salar de Uyuni?

You can reach the salt flats by flying direct to Uyuni Airport from La Paz. Or you could travel overland from other destinations in Bolivia, such as Potosi and Sucre.

Another option is to arrive at Uyuni from neighboring Argentina or Chile. You could combine your Uyuni adventure with a trip to Salta, Jujuy and Purmamarca in northwest Argentina, or the otherworldly Atacama Desert in northern Chile.

Learn more about the salt flats with this Salar de Uyuni travel tips and guide.

Ready to start making your Uyuni trip a reality? Get in touch with the Bolivia travel specialists at Atelier and they will tailor-make a magical, bespoke tour for you.

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