When is the Best Time to Visit the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia?

Travel+Leisure World's Best Awards 2023 logo in white
Black and white illustration of David Corvacho Puente's headshot
Written by
David Corvacho Puente

Published on: May 31st, 2018

Last modified: March 8th, 2024

The best time to visit the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia is between December and April when the wet season creates a vast mirror effect. The dry season, between May and November, is best for seeing the stunning crystallised salt patterns.

Arguably Bolivia’s most breath-taking experience, the over 10,000 square kilometres (4000 square miles) of the shimmering Salar de Uyuni are a must-see. Formed from the drying up of vast prehistoric lakes, the salt flats stretch as far as the eye can see. The salt flats can be visited throughout the year, although the dry season is recommended for those not looking to experience the mirror-effect, as the surrounding attractions will be flooded and unavailable to visit during the rainy season.

The wet season

During the wet season, these salt flats flood and they transform into a vast mirror which reflects the sky and seems to defy reality. The lack of wind and clear skies create the perfect conditions for achieving images that appear to lose all perspective. As the surroundings do flood, this can cause some issues for visiting other nearby attractions.

Jacada Tribe member Roy Lamsam took this fun photo with his wife Sarah during his trip with Jacada Travel to the salt flats

The dry season

The dry season is the optimal time to see salt crystallised into polygonal patterns stretching across the horizon, creating a magical and stunning vista. It is also perfect timing to enjoy a stay in the Airstream Deluxe Camper van – a stylish choice for those seeking an adventurous experience. Stay right on the edge of the salt flats and watch the sunrise from the comfort of your own bed from the van’s location on the edge of the salt flats. Your own private chef and guide will take care of your every need.

The salt flats are often visited as part of a tour of the surrounding volcanic region which includes visits to hot springs, geysers, lagoons and hotels constructed from salt. Spend the rest of your time admiring elegant pink flamingoes, visiting multi-coloured lagoons and taking a soak in restorative volcanic springs.

Want to take your own horizon-defying photos? Talk to one of our experts today to start planning your trip