Photography Travel: Bolivia Salt Flats (Salar De Uyuni)

Country flag in Salar De Uyuni

I’m a photography traveller. No, not a travel photographer (though I would love to get into that more seriously someday). I’m a photography traveller. When I see a photograph of a place that is beautiful, unusual, or awe-inspiring; I add it onto my list of places to travel to.

It’s actually worked out really well for me so far. More often than not, when I see a photo of these types of places, I won’t even know where the photo was taken. I might be flipping through a magazine or see the photograph on a wall, so I’ll have no idea where the place is. All I’ll know is that I’ll have to go there one day. It’s led me to discover beautiful places like Plitvice Lakes in Croatia and Halong Bay in Vietnam.

Salar de Uyuni is one of those place. I stumbled across a picture of it a few years ago and, I have to admit, it’s the main reason why Bolivia is one of our stops in South America.

Salar De Uyuni (Bolivia salt flats)

Salar de Uyuni (or Salt Flat of Uyuni) is the world’s largest salt flat, near the southwestern region of Bolivia, standing at 3,600 metres above sea level. On a side note: at this time, we’ve been travelling through high-altitude cities for almost 3 weeks. We missed being able to climb up a flight of stairs (or do jumping photos) without getting winded.

Salar De Uyuni (Bolivia salt flats)

My signature jumping shot!

It’s an incredibly flat expanse of salt (I would describe it as a salt desert) that looks other-worldly. During the wet season, it makes for fascinating photographs, as the salt flat gets flooded over with a thin layer of water. It produces a mirror-like surface that allows for perfect reflections of the sky. Looks like something out of a space-travel movie.

Even though we’re visiting during the dry season, the landscape is still incredible – making for some surreal photographs.

Salar De Uyuni (Bolivia salt flats)

We were lucky enough spend the day with a great tour group: a fun Kiwi couple and a well-travelled Japanese lady who was learning Spanish in Ecuador.

Our tour group for Salar De Uyuni

Our fun tour group!

One of the popular things to do on the salt flat is to take funny perspective shots. Like doing yoga poses on a can of Pringles.

Perspective shots on Salar De Uyuni

It’s actually quite funny to watch people pose for these perspective shots:

Perspective shots on Salar De Uyuni

There are a lot of poses where one person stands on another person’s palm:

Perspective shots on Salar De Uyuni

Jason being ironic:

Ironic perspective shot on Salar De Uyuni

Some Tips for Travelling to the Bolivia Salt Flats

Psst! Come closer, I’ll whisper them in your ear:

Perspective shots on Salar De Uyuni

Tip #1: Wear comfortable shoes, as you might be doing some hiking up some of the “islands” in the middle of the salt flat.

Perspective shots on Salar De Uyuni

We visited the Incahausi “island” that’s in the middle of the salar. It’s home to the funny-looking ‘giant cactus’ – some 1000 years old. They grow at a rate of 1cm/year.

Incahausi Island in Salar De Uyuni

Incahausi Island

Tip #2: Bring extra water (2L.per day) since you’ll want to stay hydrated under the intense sun. Also, bring along a few snacks for the road. Or you might find yourself having to outrun your tour group for the last Pringles chip.

Perspective shots on Salar De Uyuni

It was such a beautiful day – perfect sunny weather and clear skies. I didn’t want to leave. Jason had to carry me kicking and screaming from the salt flat.

Perspective shots on Salar De Uyuni

After a long day of sightseeing and picture-taking, I was pretty exhausted. Time for a nap – goodnight!

Perspective shots on Salar De Uyuni