If Peru is most associated with Machu Picchu, Bolivia is perhaps best associated with the Salt Flats (or Salar d’Uyuni). This huge expanse of salt in Southern Bolivia makes for great traveller pictures and is a pretty unique sight.
We arrived from our overnight bus at about 3 am, although we didn’t know this until later on. Around 3 am we stopped somewhere unknown, the driver went to the back of the bus and fell asleep. We had no idea where we were, and tried to sleep believing the driver was simply having a quick snooze before carrying on to Uyuni. At 7 am we were awakened by the engine being turned on and everyone leaving the bus. We’d been in Uyuni for the last four hours! At least we hadn’t had to track down a hostel in the freezing cold!
Trip Advisor reviews warn of drunk drivers and poorly maintained Jeeps – hardly any companies have a clean record when it comes to either if these.
We booked with “Full Aventure”, who I’d not come across before during my research, on the morning of our arrival. In Bolivia, and likely elsewhere, booking on the day and direct with the company is likely to save you money. While we paid 650 bolivianos for the whole three days others in our group booked in La Paz and paid at least 800, plus 150 extra each for a private room which comes included anyway.
Maybe we got lucky with “Full Aventure”, our driver wasn’t drunk, and only had one minor incident when driving where I hit my head on the roof pretty hard.
I’d read somewhere that the tours should be renamed “Tour of South West Bolivia”, and I definitely agree. Only the first day is spent in the salt flats. The second is views of lagunas (mainly iced over when we were there), flamingos (who knew they lived 4000m above sea level in Bolivia?!), volcanoes, and cool shaped rocks.
If it’s only the salt flat pictures you’re after then maybe a one day tour is better, but the three day tour gives you some amazing scenery you won’t see elsewhere.