When I stepped outside the jeep on the last day of our Bolivian Salt Flats tour I couldn’t believe that the landscape that unfolded itself in front of me was real. The vistas I was lucky enough to witness rather looked like a painting coloured in soft shades of green, blue and brown, all framed perfectly with stunning mountain backdrops. We came across some amazing landscapes during the three-day tour, including surreal deserts and volcanoes, as well as the largest salt flats in the world, but the further we drove the more beautiful the landscape got.bolivian salt flats tour lagoonOur third day of the Bolivian salt flats tour started very early at 4:30 to visit some geysers. You can best see them in the dark, so that’s why we went so early. The geysers stream out eggy-smelling sulphur gases and that smell together with the piercing ice-cold winds quickly made us move on to the beautiful natural hot springs nearby. Submerging ourselves into the hot waters felt like heaven after our freezing start to the day and it was so stunning being in the hot springs at sunrise that I could hardly believe my luck. As we still wanted to see the Uyuni lagoons nearby and also didn’t want to miss our bus into Chile later that day we could only stay for one hour or so. I could have easily spent all day in the Uyuni hot springs looking out onto the dreamy landscape though.

bolivian salt flats tour geyser

It was so freezing that morning

Bolivian salt flats tour geyser 2

bolivian salt flats tour hot springs

Pure bliss at the hot springs

bolivian salt flats tour hot springs 2Our next stop of our Bolivian salt flats tour was the Cañapa lagoon which was home to dozens of flamingos. Each lagoon in this area is actually inhabited by a different species of flamingos and they all have a slightly different colour that is thought to be caused by the different coloured algae in the Uyuni lagoons. The Cañapa lagoon was surrounded by one of the most stunning looking mountain range I have ever seen (and I have seen some very stunning mountain ranges during my travels so far).bolivian salt flats tour canapa lagoonbolivian salt flats tour green lagoonbolivian salt flats tour mountainsThe next lagoon we visited was the green lagoon. The green colour is caused by sediments, containing copper minerals. This lagoon was home to many more flamingos and it was surrounded by yet more beautiful mountains and volcanoes. I still can’t believe that such a place exists. I have never seen anything like it.

bolivian salt flats tour flamingo sign

I wonder what kind of punishment flamingos get if they get caught flying…

bolivian salt flats tour green lagoonbolivian salt flats tour flamingosbolivian salt flats tour flamingoes closeThe last lagoon we saw was the Laguna Colorada, a red coloured lagoon. Out of the three lagoons it was definitely by far the most surreal looking one. When I first published photos of this lagoon on our facebook page some people asked me if I was on Mars.bolivian salt flats tour laguna coloradabolivian salt flats tour red lagoonAfter visiting the red lagoon it was sadly time to say goodbye to Bolivia. We loved our three months in this small but beautiful country and will definitely return one day.

Going to the Uyuni Salt Flats has been a lifelong dream of mine and my visit certainly didn’t disappoint. It was everything I expected it to be and more. What do you think about the Bolivian salt flats tour? Do you like the look of it? Tell me in the comments section below.

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About Tammyonthemove

Tammy & Chris are a couple hailing from Germany and England, meaning between them they are efficient and polite, but unable to talk about football. Find out why they stopped pushing pens around the British civil service to travel the world on their blog.

72 Thoughts on “Bolivian Salt Flats Tour Part 3: Stepping onto Mars

  1. The colors in these shots are incredible! I especially like the ones of the Cañapa lagoon, because the rocks in the middle of the yellow grassy stuff almost look like giant sunflowers.

    And the red lagoon totally looks like Mars!

  2. I agree, it does look like Mars. How amazing, I have never been here or seen photos from Uyuni Flats. Reading through reminded of the sulphur smells when we visited the geysers and hot springs of New Zealand recently.
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    • Tammyonthemove on June 30, 2014 at 12:57 pm said:

      The smells are awful aren’t they? Would love to visit NZ one day. I think the landscapes there are just as beautiful!

  3. I can’t get enough of these pictures – it looks so amazing! The colors are just so bright, I can’t imagine how awesome it must be in person. I probably never would have left those hot springs.
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    • Tammyonthemove on June 30, 2014 at 12:58 pm said:

      Thanks so much Amy! Glad you like the pictures. I agree though, it is much more impressive in person, so you should visit if you get the chance.

  4. Out of all the photos I’ve seen of this place, not once have I seen flamingos! I had no idea. This place looks so incredible. *swoon*
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  5. Wow, these photos are breathtaking. It’s amazing that each lagoon is home to a different species of flamingo. How cool that the algae causes them to have different colors! I hope that I’m lucky enough to travel here one day 🙂
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    • Tammyonthemove on June 30, 2014 at 8:34 pm said:

      Thank you Justine. Yes, nature sometimes is incredible. They really do look different at the different lagoons. Incredible!

  6. Mars indeed Tammy! LOL on the flamingo pic too. What a special spot. I’ve read about the salt flats but have never visited. I dig the bright blue skies too. Really special area, quite exciting to visit somewhere which looks and feels out of this world.

    Thanks for the share.
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    • Tammyonthemove on June 30, 2014 at 8:35 pm said:

      It was a very special place, Ryan. Literally out of this world. Try and visit it if you get the chance. You won’t regret it.

  7. Here is part 3! 🙂
    Those lagoons look incredible ! You’re really making me feel like visiting Bolivia. Can’t believe you were just then for 1 hour because of a bus to Chile ! I would have ditched it 😛
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    • Tammyonthemove on June 30, 2014 at 8:37 pm said:

      Thank you for the lovely compliment Joao! Mission accomplished then. 😉 Yes, it was a shame about the bus, but you are in the middle of nowhere and there is nowhere to sleep near the border. 🙁

  8. Stunning photos! I especially loved seeing the variety of flamingos. The hot springs too look breathtaking.
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  9. I thought your last post was amazing guys but this one really trumps it. The landscape is just incredible and your photos couldn’t be better. Thanks for share, I feel inspired!
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  10. geysers are so cool! i loved seeing the ones in Iceland…it’s too bad they are so stinky. And I have to say, that flamingo sign made me laugh!
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  11. Extraordinary colours and landscapes!! It looks very diverse as well!
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    • Tammyonthemove on July 2, 2014 at 9:09 pm said:

      Yes it is really diverse, Els! With every hour you drive the landscape completely changes again.

  12. It’s an astonishing place, isn’t it?

    I swept through there in 1997…it hasn’t changed a bit!

    ; )

    Happy travels
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    • Tammyonthemove on July 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm said:

      I am glad it hasn’t changed Ben. There were quite a lot of tourists and I was worried that they may have changed the place over the years. Glad it is not the case! 🙂

  13. This place’s so unreal. How it expensive to get there?

    • Tammyonthemove on July 3, 2014 at 9:02 pm said:

      The 3-day tour is roughly between USD80 and 130, depending on the tour operator, if you book it locally or online, and if you return to Uyuni or go into Chile etc. It includes lodging and food. In my opinion it is worth every Penny! 🙂

  14. I love your photos! The layers of colors is so fantastic, and the hot springs.. my eyes love them!
    The flamingos’ sign though, what does it even mean? 🙂

  15. Totally gorgeous pictures. I can just imagine how good the hot springs felt after such a cold and early start.
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    • Tammyonthemove on July 7, 2014 at 8:45 pm said:

      Oh it was the best feeling ever! Even once I got out into the cold again I actually didn’t feel the cold because I was warmed up through to the bones. 🙂 Heavenly!

  16. We didn’t get to do the last day of the tour because of a blockade, but we got to see that amazing red lagoon before turning around. Isn’t the whole tour amazing?!! I got dropped off in San Pedro in Chile and visited the geysers there to make up for missing these ones. It was freezing cold there too!
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    • Tammyonthemove on July 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm said:

      It was an incredible tour. Glad you saw the red lagoon. Out of the three it was my favourite. We literally just spend 2 minutes at the geysers because it was so viciously cold, so you didn’t miss out on much.

  17. Your photos are absolutely incredible! I love the flamingo sign, too.
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  18. Wow!!!! This is simply amazing, there really are some wondrous places on our planet. I love your photos, so detailed and bursting with colour – I think my favourite is of the hot springs with the sun shining – The sun casts a beautiful glow on the landscape

    • Tammyonthemove on July 14, 2014 at 3:31 pm said:

      I think this was one of the most special places I have ever visited Paul. I have never seen such a beautiful landscape in my life!

  19. Really love looking at your photos guys and I’ve loved all of your Uyuni posts recently. Hoe to make it there myself someday.
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  20. Such a surreal place, no wonder your friends/followers asked if you were in Mars. The gas filled atmosphere does make a great photography, and those hot springs should be great to dip after the freezing moment. Thanks for transporting us to Uyuni lagoons. They do give me ichy feet!
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    • Tammyonthemove on July 14, 2014 at 3:33 pm said:

      The hot springs were just amazing Anu. What I loved most was that they had a natural pool. A lt of other hot springs I have been to in South America had concrete pools, which didn`t make for a nice setting actually.

  21. What an amazing place between the hot springs and the beautiful scenery. It really is of another world.
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  22. Now, that looks really freezing! 🙂 But I bet you forget about the cold when such beautiful landscapes unfold right in front of your eyes!
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    • Tammyonthemove on July 14, 2014 at 3:35 pm said:

      When we were in the jeep on the way to the hot springs we were all shaking so badly because of the cold. The hot springs were such a relief!

  23. Nice shots – the entire Uyuni flats area was amazing. Truly one of my favorite spots on the planet.
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  24. Incredible photos! I used to sell Bolivia but I never got to visit. Again its a place on my very very long to do list! I think at this rate I need to take a few years sabbatical! It looks like a truly amazing place – Mars indeed!
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    • Tammyonthemove on July 14, 2014 at 3:36 pm said:

      Ha ha, I know what you mean. The more I trvel the more I want to see other sights. My list is endless!

  25. lorrie on July 11, 2014 at 10:25 am said:

    I like the bird photos the best

  26. These pictures are fantastic. I love the hot springs shots.
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    • Tammyonthemove on July 14, 2014 at 3:38 pm said:

      Thanks Zof. I was so glad to have gotten to the hot springs for sunrise. It was such a beautiful backdrop.

  27. It looks like you’re in another planet. Love all the pictures.
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  28. What beautiful landscapes…makes me regret I haven’t ventured to much out of city breaks. I will try and change that for next year.
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  29. Oh my goodness! These landscapes are otherworldly. I love the colours and the bright blue skies. A dip in the hot springs sounds inviting!
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  30. That rely does look like what I picture Mars to look like!

  31. Tha tlooks so unreal. I never see something as beautifull as that. I just got one worth for is AMAZING!
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  32. It’s an amazing place. Feels like another planet.
    Luckily we have so many diverse landscapes and so many types of natural beauty on out planet… I don’t know which other planet could rival with ours.

  33. We missed Bolivia when we were in South America last year, really kicking ourselves…South America is a most go back to soon place!
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    • Tammyonthemove on February 21, 2015 at 11:21 am said:

      We didn’t manage to see a lot of places either, but it is good really, as it gives you a good reason to return to this stunning continent!

  34. Hi, I have just found your blog online whilst researching for my own salt flats tour. I was just wondering which company you used? Really excited after reading your posts!

    • Tammyonthemove on December 15, 2015 at 1:11 pm said:

      How exciting. We went with Paula tours, but to be honest it doesn’t matter too much who you are booking with as all agencies in Uyuni work together. If one agency doesn’t fill up a whole car they will put different tour groups together. We went with guests from two other tour agencies and our driver wasn’t from Paula tours for example. I hope this helps. Have fun!

  35. Greetings from California!

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