When we first started planning our trip, one of the must-do’s on Brandon’s list was to go to the Salt Flat by Uyuni, Bolivia, which is the largest in the world. Originally, going to the salt flat was the only thing we were going to do in Bolivia – and then we ended up spending 6 weeks visiting La Paz, Cochabamba, Sucre, Potosí, Tupiza and then doing the jeep trip to the salt flat!
Our four day trip started in Tupiza. Besides Brandon and me, the Toyota Land Cruiser held our driver Roberto, our cook Julia and another tourist couple from Switzerland. As we drove out of town, there were some cool rock formations and canyons – it looked a bit like the U.S. southwest. We also saw a lot of llamas!
A few hours into the trip took us past San Vincente. Back in Brookings before leaving on the trip, my dad had us watch Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in preparation for our Bolivia visit. San Vincente is supposed to be the site of the final shootout with Butch Cassidy and where he is buried, so we asked Roberto if we could stop by the cemetery and see the grave. The cemetery was locked so we scrambled up a hill overlooking it and Roberto pointed out the location of the grave.
About 6 hours later we finally made it to the Salt Flat and it lived up to all our expectations!
The big thing to do when at the Salt Flat is to take “fotos locos”. Our guides had tons of ideas (most of which involved us “standing” on fruit and other items from the jeep) and here are just a few of our “crazy pictures”
That night we slept in a salt hotel – all the walls and bed frames where made of salt.
Very early the next morning we got up to see the sun rise over the salt flat and then traveled on to the Cactus Island in the middle. While we hiked around the cacti, Julia got some breakfast ready for us – including a cake!
After breakfast we took off to keep touring southern Bolivia. More on that soon!