We want you to have a great stay and bring home the best memories of a wonderful adventure. So here’s what you need to know: Salar de Uyuni has very distinct weather conditions, a rather particular environment, and other defining characteristics that may significantly influence how you access the salt flats, experience your visit and enjoy your overall stay. Our aim is to ensure you’re aware of all of these conditions before you book this part of your adventure, so here it goes.
Seasons and temperatures:
Salar de Uyuni is known for its two distinct seasons: the dry and the wet/rainy season. What you need to know:
The dry season begins the last days of April and runs until early December. It never rains during this time of the year, so you can enjoy full mobility around the salt flats. From May to September, the average temperature is 5°C, and it can easily drop below 0, especially at night. During the months of October, November and December, temperatures will increase, getting as high as 14°C. If you’re planning to visit Salar de Uyuni in winter, though (May through September), we’d recommend you pack very warm clothes—preferably thermal wear, such as windbreakers, gloves, and winter hats.
The wet months run from late December till mid-April. This period is also known as the “Water Reflection” season (in Spanish, Reflejo de Agua), due to the mirror effect created by the flooded salt flats. In order to keep visitors safe, and as per Potosí’s specific regulations, during this time of the year travelers are prohibited from entering Salar de Uyuni farther than 15 km. The average temperature throughout this period is usually 14°C. Some days the weather may be very cloudy, or it may rain a lot. It’s recommended to wear light clothing, waterproof boots, sandals, a raincoat, and a hat for sun protection.
Uyuni is located at an elevation of over 3,600 meters above sea level. Travelers who aren’t used to such altitude are strongly encouraged to drink plenty of water before and during their visit to the site. Additionally, we recommend eating in moderation, given that, under certain circumstances, digestion may be affected by high altitude. Similarly, visitors should avoid taking part in vigorous physical activity—such as long walks—, unless they alternate it with rest breaks.
Although many people choose to travel with children, Uyuni is the prelude to a myriad of 100% natural destinations that don’t really offer many attractions for youngsters. However, if your kids are used to taking part in long drives, don’t hesitate to bring them with you.
Spanish is the official language of Bolivia, but English is widely spoken in the main tourist areas.
The most frequently used payment method in the city of Uyuni is cash; you’ll also find several ATMs. While the local stores don’t use any card payment system, US dollars are widely accepted at all shops.
HOW TO GET TO US
You can use Amazonas or Boliviana de Aviación (BOA) airlines, as they both offer flights from the city of La Paz.
You can take the train from the city of Oruro to Villazón or vice versa, and get off at Uyuni.
• From Potosí – a 5-hour bus ride on paved road straight to Uyuni.
• From Oruro – a 7-hour direct bus drive on paved road to Uyuni.
• From La Paz – a 12-14 hour bus ride.
If driving your own vehicle:
• A 4WD is highly recommended, since the only roads that are paved run from Oruro and Potosí to Uyuni. Please note the salt flats are particularly difficult to access during the rainy season.
• Finally, you may need to fill up your car in the larger cities, as there are no gas stations on the outskirts of Uyuni.