Uyuni Salt Flats Tour Bolivia: a Practical Female Travelers Guide

Bolivia is a rough country to travel through and the Uyuni Salt Flats Tour is tough. The harsh conditions like the high altitude and the extreme weather might scare you at first. But when you see the stunning vistas and the white wonderland of the Salt Flats of Bolivia, nothing will hold you back as a true travellette! But how to survive the Salt Flats of Uyuni like a real queen without the drama? How to feel happy and still look decent when you take those epic Uyuni Salt Flats pictures? Read my practical female travel guide to the Uyuni Salt Flats and be prepared for the adventure of your Bolivia trip!

Uyuni Salt Flat Tour in Bolivia: a Practical Female Travel Guide. I share my packing tips for female travelers to survive the cold and be comfortable on this harsh tour across the Uyuni Salt Flats.

The Girlie Guide to Uyuni Salt Flats Bolivia

This guide to the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia basically consists of 5 practical tips for female travelers and some common information which can be useful for ladies and gentlemen alike. First I’ll tell a little bit about my tour of the Uyuni Salt Flats before I dish out those girlie guidelines.

Uyuni Salt Flat Tour in Bolivia: a Practical Female Travel Guide. I share my packing tips for female travelers to survive the cold and be comfortable on this harsh tour across the Uyuni Salt Flats.
Yoga pose on the Salt Flats of Uyuni

I paid for everything in full myself and all my opinions are my own. This post does contain affiliate links. If you decide to book something via one of my links, I’ll earn a small commission. This is at no extra costs to you.

The route around Uyuni Salt Flats

The Salt Flats of Uyuni was really high on my list of things to visit in South America. I was sure I wanted to do the 3-day tour. As I was coming from Arequipa in Peru, I traveled to Northern Chile where I went stargazing in San Pedro de Atacama. After seeing all the amazing things to do in Bolivia, I wanted to explore Bolivia after that, so it was logical to take the Uyuni Salt Flat Tour from San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. Other options for the tour are from Tupiza to Uyuni via Southern Bolivia.

I booked the tour in Chile and in the morning we were picked up and brought to the Chilean border. We stamped our passports and continued to the Bolivian border. Another few stamps and we were ready to start our Tour of the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia.

Uyuni Salt Flat Tour in Bolivia: a Practical Female Travel Guide. I share my packing tips for female travelers to survive the cold and be comfortable on this harsh tour across the Uyuni Salt Flats.
Laguna Verde in Bolivia

I was in a 4×4 with a Bolivian driver, an Australian couple, 2 Italian friends and 1 guy from Chile. For 3 days, we toured across the altiplano of Bolivia and on the final day, we arrived on the Salt Flats of Uyuni.

Uyuni Salt Flat Tour in Bolivia: a Practical Female Travel Guide. I share my packing tips for female travelers to survive the cold and be comfortable on this harsh tour across the Uyuni Salt Flats.
The amazing scenery at the Salt Flats

The accommodation was very basic, we spend most of our time in the 4×4 vehicle. Due to the long days of driving, lack of facilities, basic accommodation, and the harsh conditions, the tour is quite hard. During the tour, there were only 2 ladies in the car. Me and the Australian girl. We were talking how to be more comfortable as a female traveler and I came up with this Girlie Guide to Uyuni Salt Flat Tours.

5 Tips for female travelers on Uyuni Salt Flat Tour

Travel as a (solo) female traveler is different than it is for guys. As I’m a woman, I can only relate to my own experiences. This guide is geared towards my fellow female travels who want to explore Bolivia and do the Salt Flats tour but are uncertain what to expect and how to handle the tour.

#1. Wear a sports bra

This was actually the one thing that sparked this girlie guide for your Uyuni Salt Flat Tour. I was sitting in the back of the 4×4 with my new Australian girlfriend and we were bouncing up and down in the truck.

The roads were really rough and although our driver did his very best to keep the truck steady, our girls were jumping up and down. My advice to you: wear a sports bra! Big boobs or small ones; they need to be strapped in tight for this journey!

#2. Wear your swimsuit under your clothes

You have the opportunity to take a dip in the hot spring during the tour. We came from Chile, so it was on our first day. If you take the tour from Uyuni, it will be on your 3rd or last day. The facilities are very basic. There is a small shack where you can change your clothes but chances are, it is very crowded and space is limited.

Be a smart woman and already wear your swimsuit or bikini under your normal clothes. This saves you the hassle of changing your clothes in the cold wind with everyone watching you trying to undress as discrete as possible.

Of course, you might be the one person that doesn’t give a f*ck but I was too self-conscious to change and I missed out on the opportunity to dip in a hot spring in Bolivia.

Uyuni Salt Flat Tour in Bolivia: a Practical Female Travel Guide. I share my packing tips for female travelers to survive the cold and be comfortable on this harsh tour across the Uyuni Salt Flats.
Would you take a dip in the hot spring?

#3. Bring toilet paper. Bring a lot of toilet paper

I carried toilet paper with me everywhere I went around South America. I was happy to find toilets, but 9 out of 10 times there wasn’t (enough) toilet paper. As us ladies have to use it every time we visit the toilet, we need to have more than men.

When you travel on the Uyuni Salt Flats Tour, you need to drink a lot of water to avoid altitude sickness. Hence, many toilet visits. There are some small shops, depending on where you’ll stop during your tour, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and bring enough toilet paper when you start your Uyuni Salt Flat tour.

#4. Bring warm clothes. And wear them, all at once

Yes, you probably read about this already in every guide to Uyuni Salt Flats Tours. It gets cold around the Uyuni Salt Flats. Really, really cold. Unbelievable cold.

I traveled in May and it was almost winter. During our first night, near Laguna Colorado, our room was just 5 degrees Celsius (41F). And that was inside!! The bed was cold, the sheets were frozen. The pillow felt like a lump of ice and there were 5 blankets on top of the bed.

What I wore during my nights at the Uyuni Salt Flat Tour:

You get the picture. Basically all the clothes I had with me! For more packing tips for South America, check out this post by Practical Wanderlust about the subject.

Uyuni Salt Flat Tour in Bolivia: a Practical Female Travel Guide. I share my packing tips for female travelers to survive the cold and be comfortable on this harsh tour across the Uyuni Salt Flats.
Don’t let the sunshine fool you: it was bloody cold!

I laid myself down on 1 thick blanket and managed to crawl under the other 4 blankets. And….It worked! Yes, it was cold, but as soon as I relaxed, I was able to fall asleep and not freeze to death! Yeah for layers!! What do you wear in bed when you’re cold?

Uyuni Salt Flat Tour in Bolivia: a Practical Female Travel Guide. I share my packing tips for female travelers to survive the cold and be comfortable on this harsh tour across the Uyuni Salt Flats.
The basic accommodation near Laguna Colorado

5. Use lip balm. Generously

The Uyuni Salt Flats is a dramatic place. The sun shines down on you fiercely. The winds blow non-stop from left, right and center. The air is dry because of the altitude and you’re in a desert. And last but not least, there is a lot of salt, duh!

These 4 things cause for your lips to dry out. They burst, they bleed. It hurts. It doesn’t look good. Apply lip balm generously. Even if that means you have to take off your gloves all the time. Do it as often as you can.

I swear on my cacao butter lip balm from Vaseline. This is pure fat, so it makes your lips shine and you only need very little to go a long way.

Other tips for the Uyuni Salt Flat Tour

No ladies don’t stop reading yet! These tips are useful for men and women so I include them in this practical guide to the Uyuni Salt Flat Tour. Just so you’re aware and come prepared.

  • All tours advice you to bring 8 liters of water with you. Buy it and drink it. Take 1 smaller bottle with you in the car so you can easily hydrate yourself during the tour.
  • Bring enough money with you. The tours will advise you how much to bring but take a little extra. The banks in Uyuni and San Pedro are not really reliable, so once the tour is over, you might be stranded for cash. Obviously, there is no ATM during the Uyuni Salt Flats tour. I arrived in Uyuni with my last Bolivianos and I wasn’t able to get any money from the ATM’s in town. I used my emergency stash of USD to get out of the town.
  • Do your homework before you set out on the Salt Flat tour. There are so many fun pictures to take but you have to come up with ideas yourself. Bring props and experiment as much as you like. Check the UyuniSaltPics-Instagram account for inspiration.
Uyuni Salt Flat Tour in Bolivia: a Practical Female Travel Guide. I share my packing tips for female travelers to survive the cold and be comfortable on this harsh tour across the Uyuni Salt Flats.
Amazing but freezing Laguna Colorado

And probably most importantly: book with a reputable company. I didn’t know my exact dates for the Salar de Uyuni tour, so I booked my tour in San Pedro de Atacama. But if you’re short on time or just want peace of mind, I advise to book ahead and lock in those travel dates for the Uyuni Salt Flats tour.

Check for the most reputable tours of the Uyuni Salt Flats here.

Helpful tips and tools for your trip in South America.
  • It’s a good idea to have travel insurance in case something goes wrong during your trip to South America. You can purchase travel insurance from World Nomads here.
  • Read more about my adventures in South America here.
  • Catch up on your reading before you go with this Lonely Planet South America travel guide.

Have you ever done the Uyuni Salt Flat Tour in Bolivia? Do you have any other tips to survive the trip like a queen? Let me know!

Uyuni Salt Flat Tour in Bolivia: a Practical Female Travel Guide. I share my packing tips for female travelers to survive the cold and be comfortable on this harsh tour across the Uyuni Salt Flats.
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Uyuni Salt Flat Tour in Bolivia: a Practical Female Travel Guide. I share my packing tips for female travelers to survive the cold and be comfortable on this harsh tour across the Uyuni Salt Flats.
Uyuni Salt Flat Tour in Bolivia: a Practical Female Travel Guide. I share my packing tips for female travelers to survive the cold and be comfortable on this harsh tour across the Uyuni Salt Flats.
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37 Comments

  1. I have always been a little frighten to go to Bolivia ever since I was 19. I met a woman at the Burn Hospital I grew up at who was from there. He son was taken from her by a druglord or something and thrown into a fire pit, a man near by jumped in and rescued the boy but ended up dying from his wounds. The boy was at my hospital(Shriners takes burn victims from around the world) and was luckily doing better after getting the initial care he needed. She was so frightened to have to return to Bolivia, that is kind of stuck with me. Granted that was years ago, and times do change. But I still have not quite gained the courage to go.. this tour does peek my interest though. 😀

  2. Supergoede tips! Wc papier meenemen is sowieso aan te raden, waar je ook gaat hier in Bolivia want het is er echt never ever. Mocht je last hebben van de hoogte, dan kun je tsorochi pillen (weet even niet hoe je het schrijft) meenemen, die kalmeren verschijnselen van hoogteziekte.

    Ik heb ooit de tour gemaakt en had net daarvoor iets verkeerds gegeten. Dat was dus ook een kwestie van af en toe stoppen in the middle of nowhere en veel wc papier 🙂

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