This photography expedition to the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia is a deep exploration of this otherworldly expanse that takes us to one of the most remote places on the planet, where few image-makers have ventured. We travel at the end of summer to take advantage of the water-laden salt flats, optimal for photographs of stunning reflections. Our journey takes us through countless lagoons, volcanoes, dramatic desert scenery and magnificent displays of wildlife.
There is no way of describing the beauty of these vast expanses. Glaciers of green grass flow from the most barren of lands, strings of dormant volcanoes robed in endless color adorn the horizon, lakes of red flourish as thousands of flamingos paint the water with brushes of pink, endless meadows of Llamas come alive and mirrors of magnificence reflect the vastness of the sky. This is a timeless land where the sounds of ancient flutes and the whispers of Quechua reveal secrets of beauty.
1 – 8 Guests
Experience | Difficulty
- Beginner, amateur, enthusiast and semi-pro photographers
- DSLR, mirrorless, compact or iPhone cameras
- Moderate schedule
- Travel by car or minibus
- Moderate elevation changes and lots of walking and hiking (none of our adventures have difficult hikes)
- (non-photographers also welcome)
Weather | Sun
May – Temps 70/40 F 20/2 C Sunrise 5:24 | Sunset 7:23 (19:23)
September – Temps 75/42 F 24/5 C Sunrise 6:10 | Sunset 6:35 (18:35)
- 6 Days
- Travel, landscape, nature, wildlife and people photography
- Professional photographer | guide
- Photo walks & discussions
- Small group size (1-8 guests)
- Lodges- hotels
- All Meals
- National Park Permits
- Local transportation
Arrival Airport:La Paz – Transfer time to hotel 30min
Departure Airport:La Paz – Transfer time to hotel 30min
Our adventure begins in the morning on the first day and ends at and of the last day.
Travel Visa: Visa required
ITINERARY Uyuni Salt Flats Expedition
Arrive in La Paz early in the AM. The altitude at El Alto International Airport is 13,200 ft (4.02 km) and is on the Altiplano, so it’s common to feel symptoms of light-headedness, shortness of breath and slight nausea upon arrival. After doing immigration and customs you’ll be met by us at the general passenger meeting point where you will board our private vehicle and head down into La Paz, loosing altitude quickly, and likely feeling much better. We suggest you have a basic photo kit easily accessible, so you can take photos along the way. The hotel is located in the Valley of the Moon sector at the lowest level of La Paz (approximately around 10,500ft (3.2 km)) where you will check in and rest, relax or sleep for the rest of the morning. Lunch at the hotel. At 2 PM we begin a 3-hour city tour of this fascinating city deep in the heart of the Andes; visiting the busy downtown, the open air markets, and the colonial neighborhoods with great views of the city. Dinner is on your own tonight and we recommend a light dinner at the hotel. Avoid alcohol and caffeine tonight and drink plenty of water and mate de coca during the day.
Our destination today is Uyuni, the gateway city to the Salar de Uyuni (approximately a 9-hour drive, depending on road conditions) with a great variety of Altiplano terrain to enjoy en-route. After climbing out of the canyon of La Paz we head south on the paved road towards Oruro (a mining city and famous Carnaval venue) in order to gas up and have lunch. We continue south (in between Lake Poopo to the west and the Andes mountains to the east) along the Altiplano with ever-changing interesting vistas until the paved road ends. From here a few more hours on dirt roads will get us to Colchani, the entryway to the Salar de Uyuni, and 30 more minutes puts us in Uyuni. After a refresh and rest, we head out for dinner in Uyuni.
The tour starts at 15:00pm. From First you go to a small town called (COLCHANI) located close to the shore of salt flats, people in this town are all salt miners so we go to visit them and see the salt production (table salt) that they make in rustic refineries… (Factories).After that you go in to salt flats to enjoy the biggest salt flats in the world and the first thing to visit in there is the salt hostel (MUSIUM HOTEL PLAYA BLANCA) time for pictures.Later you go deep inside in the salt flats and enjoy the mirror effects because of the water on top of it, this effect makes the horizon disappears and you feel like flying.Then you will relax enjoying a glass of wine watching the spectacular sunset in the salts. Once this gets totally dark you will see the countless of star that can be watched from this big opened area.
The tour returns back to Uyuni at 22:00 pm.
From your hotel, leaving at 11:00 am. in a Toyota land cruiser 4×4 drive you will see………..
The train’s graveyard to see the first locomotives in Bolivia. afterwards you go to the small village of Colchani (Salt miners workshop next to the salt flats) visit the factories and see the rustic way of table salt production…… after this you will be taken to the great salt flat of Uyuni (salar de Uyuni) where you first will see the salt mining and the piles of salt (pyramids of salt) after this you go to see the eyes of the salt ( big holes in the salt flat where the water from underneath of this death lake still comes out by high pressure) later you go straight to the hotel made out of salt (the only hotel allowed inside of the salt flats) where you take your time for pictures taking a look of the rooms, salt sculptures and the lobby of the hotel (Playa Blanca) and having Lunch in the same place…….. after lunch you will go forward to the central point of the salt which is the Incahuasy island (fish island) where you see the giant cactus and the coral Rock formations ……… There will be always time to stop in the middle of the salt to see how big is it the unusual formations in the salt flat that look like (hexagons and pentagons) on top of it……. And something that you definitely have to do here are the pictures with the huge perspective (where people looks so tiny and funny). After some fun you go west direction to the small Village of Santiago de Agencha to spend the first night. Arriving in there you will enjoy some hot coffee or chocolate at the tee time and later a delicious supper for dinner.
This day starts at 7:00 am. Waking up for breakfast and then get ready to begin an amazing day (check out the rooms when packing up don’t leave anything).
The second day after 1 hour you left Santiago de Agencha villages you got to be in the small desert of Chiguana south side of Uyuni salt flat. This desert is surrounded for many volcanoes…like dormant ones, extinct ones and one Semi active called Ollague (5840 high) which you see from the lookout and enjoy the steam that still comes out from the top of it. Afterwards taking the way south direction you will get the Andean lagoons where flamingos are hanging around in hundreds (along the year three spices of flamingos can be seen) after this nice landscapes, going farther south you will get the big desert of Siloli at 4550 high (highest and driest in the world)…ones you crossed this desert in the other side of it you will see the Rock tree (lava cooled- rock formation). Later that day the last stop will be in the amazing Red Lagoon to see some pink flamingos and the redness of the water from the view point. Afterwards the car will take you to the top of a big volcano called Sol de Mañana 5000 high where you get in to the crater and will see the fumaroles and boiling mad pots (volcanic activity 100 Cº hot)…after the volcano you go down the hill to our shelter point (basic accommodation, big dorms for 5 or 6 people) to spend the second night (hot coffee, or chocolate at the tee time and a delicious supper) will be waiting for you when arriving there. We recommend after dinner in order to relax and drink a glass of wine in darkness watching the stars to go TO the hot springs we have 100 meters next to the shelter. Nice clean water 35 Cº hot so don’t forget you swimming suit for this
This day starts around 7:00 am. Taking a good breakfast (some pancakes, yogurt, milk, corn flakes etc….) to get energy for the rest of the day. This day starts visiting first the Salvador Dali Desert (small colourful nice desert). And then forward to the Green Lake (toxic copper water at the foot of the big volcano Licancahur 6000 high) from green lake you take the way back to uyuni 7 hours ride. Stops in the way for legs stretching, toilets, and lunch. 6:00 pm. Around you will be back In Uyuni.