SOUTH BOLIVIA. SECOND PART: SALAR DE UYUNI AND 

EDUARDO AVAROA ANDEAN FAUNA NATIONAL RESERVE

We are facing one of the most famous attractions in the country/continent. Nobody wants to miss this unique salt desert in the middle of the Bolivian altiplano. There are two ways to know the biggest and highest salt desert on the planet: with a tour, or on your own. Although the clear majority choose the first, some adventurers decide to travel this peculiar area in their own car, by bicycle or even on foot. If you are one of these guys inform yourself as much as possible and go well prepared, with compass, map and warm clothes, because the extension of the territory is vast (it is not difficult to get lost) and at night the temperature drops sharply. Also take plenty of coca leaves for altitude sickness (sometimes you will exceed 5500 meters elevation). Despite adversity, undertaking this adventure independently must be brutal amazing, enjoying each place as long as you want and sleeping wherever you want, under the stars.

If you do it through an agency it will be easier. Arriving in Uyuni you will see a hundred different companies offering the same services. That is, excursion to the salar and the Wildlife Reserve in jeep (usually includes meals and accommodation). Take your time to negotiate/bargain and see which one is best for you. The tours range from one day (round trip to the salar) to one week, even going into Chilean territory (you can go as far as San Pedro de Atacama and stay there if your next step is to travel through Chile). Surely all you can see in a week will be worth it, but you should also take your budget into account. On the other hand, the day trip means losing many remote treasures. It is worth investing in this wonder of nature, even if you travel with little money. I recommend a trip of three or four days. So, hop on the jeep and let yourself go!

 

What you see and do in those three days in the Salar de Uyuni and the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve:

 

· The Salar de Uyuni and its small green oasis (islands) of cactus. Incahuasi Island is the most famous

· Hellish landscapes, with geysers and fumaroles

· Beautiful lagoons, highlighting Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde (full of flamingos)

· Deserts, highlighting the Salvador Dalí Desert

· Mountains and volcanoes

· Interesting rock formations (such as the Stone Tree)

· The Train Cemetery (near Uyuni village)

· Andean fauna sighting: flamingos (lagoons), vicuñas, foxes, vizcachas, llamas

· Stays in hotels/hostels of salt

· Bath in hot springs

· And last but no least: take pictures of yourself playing the fool in the salar

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