Salar de Uyuni

Uyuni Salt Flats

The Salar de Uyuni, Uyuni salt flats, is one of the most popular places to visit in Bolivia. In Uyuni, there are more than 60 companies offering three day tours to see the salt flats, as well as all of the nearby natural wonders. In three days and two nights you can see colourful lagoons, volcanoes, geysers and hot springs. After interviewing several companies and doing some online research, we signed on for the three day trip with Tito Tours. They seemed to have a focus on safety and were very willing to accommodate two vegans and one vegetarian.

Day 1

Our first day started at 10:30 a.m. We met our driver and got our first look at the 4×4 truck we’d be spending the next three days in. At first, we were disappointed. One of our conditions with the tour company was seat belts for everyone. We’d read about all of the fly by night tour operators who cram too many people in trucks and don’t have seat belts. We knew this was a recipe for disaster and swore we wouldn’t put ourselves at risk. The tour operator told us seat belts wouldn’t be a problem but, in the end, he couldn’t get in contact with the driver with the seat belts. We were livid. The tour operator insisted we would be fine. Eventually, we gave in and compromised on paying half the cost of the tour, a total of 600 Bolivian Bolivianos ($85.51 USD) each, after we returned safely. Despite all of our worries, everything did turn out fine. We had an awesome driver, Miguel, who, unlike many of his colleagues, didn’t have a single sip of alcohol and always put our safety first.

Lunch on the Salt Flats

Lunch out of the back of the truck

Lunch on the Salt Flats

Quinoa and Veggies

Lunch on the Salt Flats

Watermelon for Dessert

Our second condition for Tito Tours was vegan and vegetarian food options. They didn’t let us down. The meals were far from fancy but were healthy and different each day. On day one, we had lunch on the salt flats. Miguel prepared a pot of quinoa and salad. For dessert, we had watermelon. Not bad for a meal served out of the back of a 4×4.

The Great Train Graveyard

Train Gaveyard

Salar de Uyuni

Uyuni Salt Flats

After visiting a train grave yard, we spent most of our first day touring the salt flats, taking amazing pictures of the reflections and low skylines.

Cactus Field

Cactus Field

Salt Hotel

Salt Hostel

On our way to the hostel, which was entirely made of salt, we stopped for a few minutes to check out a cactus field.

Lasagna

Vegan and Vegetarian Lasagna

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup

For dinner, we had lasagna and soup. The lasagna was half vegan, half vegetarian. The soup was a traditional Bolivian vegetable soup, full of corn, cabbage, spices and other veggies.

Day 2

Sun rise on the Salt Flats

Sunrise on the Uyuni Salt Flats

On day two, we woke up very early, around 5:00 a.m. We made our way back towards the salt flats to watch the sunrise. The water on the salt flats made for a beautiful reflection. It was the start of a great day.

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Flamingos on the Lagoon

Vicunas

Vicunas

We saw several lagoons on day two, each one a different colour. There was also some beautiful wildlife. We saw flamingos and vicunas, a relative of the llama, which looks like a cross between a llama and deer.

Vegan Lunch

Pasta and Vegetables

Lunch was simple, salad with plain pasta and potato chips. The scenery was the highlight of the day.

Quinoa Field

Quinoa Field

Volcano

Volcano

Mountain of the Seven Colours

Rock of Seven Colours

Rock Tree

Rock Tree

We saw quinoa fields, volcanoes, the rock of seven colours and the rock tree.

Vegetable Soup

Vegetable Soup

Veggies and Bread

Vegetables and Bread

Dinner on day two was another round of Bolivian vegetable soup, but the vegetables did differ from those used the night before. There was a little mix up with the main course, which was prepared with meat and eggs. Luckily, our resourceful driver put together a plate of veggies and bread for us to make sandwiches.

Day 3

Geysers

Geysers

Day three started early, with us leaving the hostel before 5:30 a.m. We were off to see the geysers, where steam wafts from the ground due to local volcanic activity.

Hot Spring

Hot Springs

Our second stop was at a natural hot spring, where we sat in 35 degree water and enjoyed the surrounding views.

Breakfast

Breakfast

Once we managed to pull ourselves from the hot springs, breakfast was ready and waiting for us. The vegan option was some puffed grain cereal and toast. Sadly, there was no soy milk.

Rice and Veggies for Lunch

Vegetable Platter

Most of day three was spent driving back to Uyuni. We drove about seven hours in total. We did stop for lunch, where we had some vegetables and rice.

Coffee Cookies and Momento Coconut Bar

Gran Cereal Cookies and Momento Chocolate Bar

Pop Quin

Pop Quin Chocolate Cereal

Tito Tours did a great job with the vegan food but some meals left us wanting a bit more. We anticipated this might happen and, luckily, we packed some snacks. We were happy to find a good selection of vegan treats in Uyuni, including some Gran Cereal cookies by Costa, coconut chocolate bars by Momento and PopQuin chocolate quinoa cereal.

Food is usually the focus of our travels but the beauty of the Uyuni salt flats tour distracted us to the point where we barely cared about what we were eating. More than anything, we were happy to be experiencing the diverse landscapes of Bolivia.

Tito Tours

Tito Tours

Tito Tours Route

Tito Tours Route