Salar de Uyuni: moon landscapes and dinosaur attacks

I didn’t know much about those salt flats in Uyuni where I was going. Of course I’ve seen all the silly pictures and I couldn’t wait till I got attacked by a dinosaur or two, but that was about it. Maybe it was actually for the best, because I got blown away by the beauty of nature once again.

car view desert road uyuni tour
Let the road trip begin
orange rocks volcano desert uyuni tour
Volcanos and desert views

Four day desert road trip

I did a four day tour starting in Tupiza in the south of Bolivia which I can highly recommend. It’s been said that the tours starting from Tupiza are safer and less touristy than the ones from Uyuni, plus you get to see more! I found myself an Israeli crew once again, so it’s still only my Hebrew that’s improving instead of my Spanish. We have been driving around in 4×4’s through insane landscapes, with the sweetest guide/driver we could wish for, going mental on Israeli and Spanish songs (got seriously overruled here on the dj-part).

colored mountains tupiza uyuni salt flats tour
Quebrada de Palala

4x4's tupiza uyuni de salar tour village

colored mountains tupiza uyuni tour

Keep those eyes wide open

The scenery we drove through was insane. Constantly changing from open fields filled with lamas, to strangely formed mountains, to moon landscapes, to lakes with very strange colors, and so on. Dipping into natural hot springs (that view… OMG), visiting geysers at 5200m and mingling with a thousand flamingo’s was just day to day business. I normally fall asleep in driving vehicles, but I simply couldn’t close my eyes with all this beauty surrounding me.

hotsprings uyuni tour
Relaxing with a view
arbol piedra rock formations uyuni de salar tour
Arbol de piedra… spot the moon!
view lamas uyuni tour
Llamas everywhere
geisers uyuni tour 5200 meter
Geisers at 5200 meters
lake colorado bolivia flamingos
Flamingos having diner

Coco leave tea diet

I do have to say it wasn’t all rosy. Tough as I thought I was, I told my doctor in Holland I didn’t need altitude pills. Wow, what a failure was that. As soon as we got above 4000m I turned into this little bundle of misery, with the altitude kicking my ass big time. Since we spend about 70% of those four days above 4000m, you can do the math. I was on a coco leave tea diet four days straight. And yes, those are the leaves they use for making coke, and yes they are completely legal in Bolivia (and Peru). They did magic.

laguna verde uyuni de salar tour bolivia
Laguna verde

high altitude uyuni tour view

Dinosaurs and Bolivian mamas at Salar de Uyuni

We ended our four day tour with a sunrise at the Uyuni Salt flats (almost getting used to getting up at 4am), and of course… game time! We had been collecting Surprise easter eggs, pink dinosaurs, superman dolls and baby llamas, that all ended up being some sort of artifact. Even our poor cook, a proper Bolivian mama, ended up being a prop in our pictures and movies.

sunrise salt flats uyuni
Good morning world
dinosaur attack uyuni desert
Getting chased by pink dinosaurs

I really enjoy Bolivia so far. It is so different to Chile and Argentina, and really has it’s own identity. It feels a bit more like the ‘real’ South America with a lot of people wearing characteristic clothes, little rural villages and crappy local buses. I can’t wait to see more of this place and discover all the crazy things it has to offer (and apparently it has a lot…)! Bring it on Bolivia…


tour group salt flats uyuni bolivia
Ponytail squad

reflection flamingo mountain view lake

mountain sunset view uyuni tour

view mokum surf club shirt uyuni de salar
Mokum Surf Club T-shirt for sale in our shopuyuni_tour_mountains_mirror_lake

geisers high altitude uyuni tour

flamigos lake colorado view
Thousands of flamingos at Lake Colorado

flamingo lake colorado uyuni tour

reflection mountains lake uyuni tour

town uyuni tour bolivian woman and child

woman baby colorful bolivian village

colored mountains nearby tupiza
Quebrada de Palala

train rails through uyuni tour

flamingo reflection lake uyunii
Perfect mirrors

herd of llamas uyuni tour

hostel uyuni cars mountains

Salt hotel beds made of salt Uyuni
Hotel entirely made of salt
sunrise cactus uyuni de salar
Mornings on the salt flats
salt flats tour uyuni cars
Salar de Uyuni

bolivian woman cook uyuni tour

dakar rally bolivia salt flats

Photos by: M. Barends ©

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