The Best Time to visit Bolivia's Uyuni Salt Flats

Posted by Richard Leonardi 2nd May 2024
Share this post:

The Best Time to visit Bolivia's Uyuni Salt Flats

One might say "before it’s too late” since it is no longer a secret… 

The fame of this uniquely beautiful freak of nature grows with every month but, that said, the Salar de Uyuni or Uyuni Salt Flats at 10,582 square km is more than enough to handle Bolivia's trickle of visitors year-round. 

There are sweet spots, which means the best salt hotels can be full, so certain times of year require booking further in advance than most would expect for such an off-the-beaten-track destination as Bolivia.

Here is a quick guide for planning your salt flat escape dates

Best reflections


Photography lovers will need to choose perhaps, between complete and total access to the Salar de Uyuni and ideal reflections. Climate change has effectively thrown once reliable weather patterns into the meteorological dumpster. El Niño weather patterns mean more rain for the Uyuni Salt Flats, whereas La Niña can spell drought. 

There is no foolproof guide, but the best chance for having that dream ride in the clouds captured on camera is April when the rains have normally stopped, but sheets of water still exist. 

From January to March the water can be too deep, barring access to the flats even in 4x4 and from June to October the flats are normally dry.

Playing with perspective


What has driven Uyuni viral in Asia and around the world are the fun games of perspective you can play. 

Many clever Bolivian drivers keep a set of props in their 4x4 for just that. Using the lack of visual references for depth and the flat white surface Instagram pros have been turning the Salar of Uyuni into a perpetual photo studio for fun shots of all imaginable themes. 

Many wish to see themselves under attack from a T-Rex and it only takes a small toy and the salt flats to make Spielberg-sized budgets unnecessary. 

The dry season is best for these fun and games, think late May to early October.

Ideal access


The dry season means we can take you out in a 4x4 to the most remote parts of the flats, escaping any follies of photo shoots from fellow travelers. 

This dry time is also best for camping in an old-school, but very comfy, Airstream camper with your own chef and some mountain bikes, converting the world's largest salt flats into the world's largest playground and highly effective work-internet-stress-detox. 

The shots I took for this blog were all made in late April 2024, which, though tight on space at best salt hotels (we need to plan well in advance), is ideal for a bit of the best of both seasons, wet and dry. 

There are no reflections without some risk of it being too wet to explore the salt flats, or a bad rainy season and no reflections at all. The dry season is very reliable from June to October in most cases. 

Get in touch and we will work on your ideal trip to Uyuni that also takes you to some of the other spectacular landscapes of Bolivia, which are truly astonishing in their diversity and beauty, and not yet famous at all.

Salt flats seen from Tunupa volcano
Salt flats seen from Tunupa volcano
Share this post:

Related tours