Today we publish our trip to Uyuni, a beautiful place, a destination of those that we usually have pending, until one day without much thought we decided to go to know it.
We started mentioning the route we took: LIMA-JULIACA-PUNO-UYUNI. This route allowed us to know two destinations: Puno and Uyuni; Although there are also other ways to get there, whether you are in Bolivia or Chile.
Arrive to salt flat of Uyuni
We arrived at night to the airport of Juliaca, in the high Andean plateau. We took our bags and began to feel the tiredness (soroche in the Quechua language) of a height of almost 4,000 meters above sea level. As in Juliaca there is not much to see, we continued the route to Puno by van, which we were offered when leaving the airport (4 euros).
After an hour we arrived at our destination. The van left us in our lodging, where they offered us mate of coca, perfect to support the height and the cold. To our pleasant surprise, the lodging was located in Jr. Lima, where we could find restaurants, bars and tour companies.
In Puno the shops close before 11 pm, so we left the suitcases in the room, we put on the coats and, still overwhelmed by the height, we went out to dinner. Hot wines and some baked pizzas were more than enough. The next morning, we got up before the roosters crowed and with sleep we continued our route to Bolivia. See you later Puno, now we’re back.
And we started our journey of almost 2 hours to Desaguadero (border with Bolivia).
As on every border, we sealed the passport and, by the way, we used to change soles for Bolivians. Already with the money in our bag, we hired a car (30 Bolivianos) a few blocks from the Bolivian border heading to El Alto de La Paz. That was our next destination on our way to Uyuni.
El Alto, one hour from Desaguadero, is the second highest city in the world with an average height of 4,050 meters above sea level. From here we were able to travel to Uyuni by car via the La Paz-Oruro-Uyuni road (80 Bolivians and 6 hours). So we were able to get to Uyuni at night and rest after a long journey.
The great adventure of go all over the Uyuni salt flats requires a minimum of three days and about 550 bolivianos (including transportation, lodging, and meals). But it is also possible to go all over part of the salt flats in one day for 150 Bolivians (including transport and food).
Uyuni Train Cemetery
This three-day adventure began in a jeep, which usually leaves at 10:30 am, heading towards the train cemetery. A forgotten place that comes alive with the laughter and joys of every tourist that passes.
Salt flat of Uyuni
Then we went to the salt flat of Uyuni, the largest in the world, with almost 11,000 square km of area. The Bolivians say that it is a very energetic place and that if we were lost in it neither the compass saves us. And there are no signs in the salar. The guides lead only by reference to certain points and mountains, in addition to their experience.
We went into the salt flat while we marveled. We walked carefully to avoid slipping or literally squatting in one eye of the salt flat.
What incredible landscapes! What beautiful sensations! If we had to say something we would say that it is like being in heaven. That intense blue against the bright white salt. It left us amazed because it made us feel lost in that huge white sea. With that effect, we create photos where we let our imagination fly playing with distances and sizes.
Spending the night there in the rainy season (October – April), where everything is reflected, is a dream. We had the stars at our feet and although we could not touch them at least we could marvel. Then wake up watching the dawn, with that explosion of colors, is priceless.
Mountains colonized by huge cacti, surrounded by incredible miles of salt flats that create at night a vision of island in the sea.
Lagoons that turn pink by the presence of microorganisms that feed beautiful flamingos that rest in its waters.
The hours run and we continue walking the path where nature is the protagonist and where it originates natural monuments such as the famous stone tree.
Geysers and volcanic hot springs
And continue to go all over, visiting its volcanic thermal baths, its rocky formations, that we go back to times where the earth was formed, and its spectacular geysers make of this place a revolution of natural beauty.
But no matter what we tell you, you have to find out for yourself. Or, if you already lived it just like us, leave us a comment to know how it was.
Goodbye Uyuni, we continue the way back to Puno to visit the famous Lake Titicaca.
Recommendations for travel to Uyuni:
- It is preferable to seal the passport early in the morning because there are not many people. Later than 10 am the queues can be very long (Bolivia migrations).
- It is better to change money on the border of the Bolivian side (1sol = 2.07 Bolivians). Do not do it in Uyuni as it is lousy.
- Bring warm clothing and sunscreen.
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Kiss and hugs.