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Best Time to visit Salar de Uyuni

The best time to visit Salar de Uyuni has to do with some facts of its characteriscts. It is located in the south-western part of Bolivia. It is the world’s largest salt flat, stretching approximately 4,086 square miles (10,582 sq. km), at an elevation of 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above sea level.

The salt flats are home to the South American pink flamingo, one of which, James Flamingos, can only be found here thanks to the high elevation and the mineral-rich waters.

Los Flamencos Rosa, pueden ser vistos durante el camino al Salar de Uyuni

The Pink Flamingos can be seen in Salar de Uyuni

Climate:

The climate of Uyuni is desert and virtually no rainfall during the year. The average annual temperature in Uyuni is 10.1 °C. 

Salar de Uyuni has two distinct seasons. The rainy season (December to April) is when visitors come to witness the Salar’s breathtaking mirror effect. During the dry season (May to October) temperatures are colder, the ground has hardened, and travelers can drive across the stark white landscape to places that aren’t accessible in the rainy season.

What is the best time to visit Salar de Uyuni?

Visiting Salar de Uyuni at any time of the year is an amazing experience; however, the rainy and dry seasons offer a vastly different visual experience. Deciding on when the best time to visit Salar de Uyuni is really up to you and your preference.

The dry season: From May to October

The weather during this period is predominantly dry especially in June, July and August. During these months you can expect less precipitation or rain as the summer months are approaching. If you are looking for the best climate then typically June to September is your window of time.

The rainy season: From November to April

Uyuni receives less than 5 inches of rain per year, but the vast majority of this falls between December and April. Because the salt is so darned hard, this water has nowhere to go and by February or March, the salar becomes one giant knee-deep puddle. In the rainy season, it is transformed into an enormous natural mirror which is every photographer’s dream.

Uyuni: El salar más grande del mundo es a su vez uno de los lugares más inhóspitos y desolados de la tierra

Uyuni salt flats: considered one of the most extreme and remarkable vistas in all of South America, if not Earth.

We can say that the best time to visit Salar de Uyuni depends on what you are looking for.

If you are specifically interested in seeing the mirror phenomenon, then January or the rainy season is usually the best time to visit.

In April, you have the opportunity to experience both the dry salt flats as well as the mirror effect with water. The scenery can be quite surreal especially on a clear day. 

However, Tour operators consider June through August their high period since temperatures are colder, the ground has hardened, and travelers can drive across the stark white landscape to places that aren’t accessible in the rainy season.

Salar de Uyuni is an endless horizon that allows photographers to play with perspective and depth of field. Set your imagination and creativity free!



How to deal with Altitude Sickness in Uyuni:

Because much of the country’s highlands are situated more than 3000 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level, travelers flying in from lower altitudes can experience Altitude sickness. Salar de Uyuni is at an elevation of 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above sea level. 

Whilst unpleasant, altitude sickness shouldn’t put you off from traveling to Bolivia. Fortunately for most people, they only feel sick for a couple of days until their body has acclimatised, making it more of an inconvenience than a serious concern. 

We recommend familiarising yourself with the facts, risks and symptoms associated with altitude sickness and what to do if you fall ill during your travels before heading to Bolivia.

Next,Inkayni Peru Tours will provide further information on how to deal with altitude sickness.

Uyuni es un lago prehistórico que se secó y dejó un paisaje desértico de aproximadamente 11,000 km cuadrados de sal blanca brillante, formaciones rocosas.

40,000 years ago, Uyuni was covered by Lake Minchin due to having no drainage. The water began to collect from the surrounding mountains. The high salinity water began to evaporate, leaving behind a thick salt crust.

What is Altitude sickness?

Altitude sickness is a group of symptoms that can strike if you walk or climb to a higher elevation, or altitude, too quickly.

The pressure of the air that surrounds you is called barometric pressure. When you go to higher altitudes, this pressure drops and there is less oxygen available.

If you live in a place that’s located at a moderately high altitude, you get used to the air pressure. But if you travel to a place at a higher altitude than you’re used to, your body will need time to adjust to the change in pressure.

Any time you go above 2,500 meters (8,000 ft), you can be at risk for altitude sickness.

Symptoms:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Problems with sleep
  • Loss of appetite

Symptoms usually come on within 12 to 24 hours of reaching a higher elevation and then get better within a day or two as your body adjusts to the change in altitude.  

Hojas de coca fresca

Fresh Coca Leaves

What to do to reduce the risk of getting altitude sickness:

Here are 4 useful tips that can help you:

  • Visit the doctor first: It is highly recommended that visitors with cardiac problems have a check-up prior to their trip.
  • Take things easy: It is advisable to take it really easy on the first day and, if possible, rest the first few hours to help the body acclimatize to the altitude.
  • Stay hydrated: The body gets dehydrated quickly in high altitudes. It is recommended you drink lots of water before and during your trip to Cusco.
  • Drink Coca Tea: Coca is the best natural medicine to cope with altitude sickness. It is completely safe to drink and a cup or two each day can ease altitude symptoms.

Inkayni Tips to enjoy the best time you visit Salar de Uyuni:

  • It is important you get informed with the money exchange rate  in the country to visit. You need to bring local currency cash when you get to Bolivia – Uyuni. You can go to any money exchange house and get the best deal.
  • Because of the high altitude, you should arrive 2 or 3 days in advance to acclimatize to the altitude. 
  • Bring your personal documents with you all the time in case authorities ask to see them.

Inkayni

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