Getting Here and Around in Salar de Uyuni

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Getting Here and Around

It takes four to five hours of travel on very rough roads to reach Uyuni from Potosí and twice that from La Paz, but there is a new road, which makes this more viable, and takes you right to the edge of the Salar at Tahua. Most people choose to make arrangements with a travel agency, such as Fremen Tours or Zig Zag Eco Tours and Treks. Another option is to get a bus to Oruro and take the train from there to Uyuni, which takes about seven hours for the train portion alone. Buses from La Paz to Oruro take three hours, or you could book an overnight bus leaving La Paz at 9 pm and arriving in Uyuni at 7 am. Although traveling by railway is cheaper, faster and more comfortable than traveling by bus, the schedules are limited to 3:30 on Tuesday and Friday with Expreso del Sur and 7 pm Wednesday and Sunday with Wara Wara.

The site of Uyuni is remote, and can be extremely cold, with night temperatures falling to -25°C (-13°F). While the area is accessible year-round, the most popular time to go is from March to December, when the Salar should be dry. If you battle through during the rainy season, you will be rewarded with an extraordinarily vivid mirror effect from the shallow water covering the flats. Whenever you go, take plenty of sunblock, sunglasses (with side panels if possible), and lots of warm clothing. In addition, if you are sleeping on the Salar in the salt hotel, take a good sleeping bag.

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