17 Essential Things to Bring on your Bolivia Salt Flats Tour

Exploring Bolivia’s salt flats – Salar de Uyuni is on many travelers’ bucket lists, and for a good reason. But if you forget the essential things to bring on your Bolivia salt flats tour, it may ruin your visit. The geometrical shapes of dried salt and the magical water mirror created during the wet season make this journey well worth a visit. These are the essential things to bring on your Boliva salt flats tour to ensure your trip is more enjoyable. On our visit we packed most of the essentials but certainly not all on this list! So now you get to learn from our mistakes!


17 Essential Things to Bring on your Bolivia Salt Flats Tour

1. Sunblock

Even when it’s freezing and windy out, the sun is still blaring down hard on you. The sun reflects off the salt flats and will surely burn your skin if you don’t have sunscreen on. This brings me to the next item.


Exploring Bolivia's salt flats - Salar de Uyuni is on many travelers' bucket lists, and for a good reason. But if you forget the essential things to bring on your Bolivia salt flats tour, it may ruin your visit. The geometrical shapes of dried salt and the magical water mirror created during the wet season make this journey well worth a visit.

2. Warm Layered clothing

It is cold during the night on Salt Flats tours but warm during the day so you will need to take suitable clothing.  I suggest dressing in layers, such as a cotton shirt, sweatshirt/sweater, and a tri-climate jacket. That way you can adjust your temperature based on the rapidly changing weather conditions. I would go a step further and recommend you take the following items. Because yes, it does get that cold.

3. Hat

4. Scarf

5. Gloves


Exploring Bolivia's salt flats - Salar de Uyuni is on many travelers' bucket lists, and for a good reason. But if you forget the essential things to bring on your Bolivia salt flats tour, it may ruin your visit. The geometrical shapes of dried salt and the magical water mirror created during the wet season make this journey well worth a visit.

6. Cash Money

Cash Only. Grab some extra if you are doing the 3 day tour to Salar de Uyuni or the 4 day tour to the salt flats. ATMs don’t work in Uyuni and there are entry fees for Isla Incahuuasi 30 Bs ($4 USD), Cuevas Galaxia 20 Bs ($3 USD), and the National Park Eduardo Avaroa 150 Bs ($22 USD). You can also rent a sleeping bag at the office for 50 Bs ($7 USD) if you want one for the trip there/back.


Exploring Bolivia's salt flats - Salar de Uyuni is on many travelers' bucket lists, and for a good reason. But if you forget the essential things to bring on your Bolivia salt flats tour, it may ruin your visit. The geometrical shapes of dried salt and the magical water mirror created during the wet season make this journey well worth a visit.

7. Toilet Paper

Yes, I am serious. Toilet paper should be kept on hand at all times when visiting Bolivia. Usually, you will need to pay a small fee as well. The 3 squares you get aren’t enough sometimes, so make sure you don’t forget to bring the TP. Another reason you should always carry cash.


8. Medications (headache tablets, etc.)

The altitude at the salt flats is 100 ft higher than La Paz (11,893 ft) so keep anti-nausea medications, and headache medications on hand.


9. Extra Snacks

They serve a small meal if you’re on the one-day tour. But you’ll want to pack extra snacks and drinks because it’s a long drive and the day can get busy. There is a small cafe in Uyuni, but I recommend stocking up while you’re in La Paz.


10. Water

Your tour guide will provide your group with water but I recommend bringing extra for the ride there and back and while on the salt flats. Keep hydrated because the air is dry and dusty in the cities and areas around the flats.

Exploring Bolivia's salt flats - Salar de Uyuni is on many travelers' bucket lists, and for a good reason. But if you forget the essential things to bring on your Bolivia salt flats tour, it may ruin your visit. The geometrical shapes of dried salt and the magical water mirror created during the wet season make this journey well worth a visit.

11. Passport

You’ll need your passport for buses/trains/planes etc. Never leave your passport behind and have it on you at all times.


12. Props for the salt flats

We didn’t come properly prepared when it came to camera props. Thankfully we had Lucy the llama to help us out. So if you end up forgetting, get creative and use the things that you have with you.


Exploring Bolivia's salt flats - Salar de Uyuni is on many travelers' bucket lists, and for a good reason. But if you forget the essential things to bring on your Bolivia salt flats tour, it may ruin your visit. The geometrical shapes of dried salt and the magical water mirror created during the wet season make this journey well worth a visit.

13. Good quality sunglasses

Good ol’ fashion sunglasses. Something often forgotten but almost always needed. The sun reflects off the bright white of the salts making it extremely difficult to see and painful to keep your eyes open. So be sure to remember to take your sunglasses for a much better experience.


Exploring Bolivia's salt flats - Salar de Uyuni is on many travelers' bucket lists, and for a good reason. But if you forget the essential things to bring on your Bolivia salt flats tour, it may ruin your visit. The geometrical shapes of dried salt and the magical water mirror created during the wet season make this journey well worth a visit.

14. Chapstick

15. Lotion

16. Eyedrops

This is Uyuni, and man it is DRY. Each of these things is essential to bring on your Bolivia salt flats tour. I’ve mentioned before the dryness in the air – there is no humidity. Now usually I’m sitting at 44% humidity here in Michigan, and I’m sensitive to the level of water in the air (and how thin it is, yeah it’s annoying) so I chapped up immediately. I didn’t have any of these things on me and I regretted it severely.


17. Backpack Lock

On our bus, the storage location for all the bags was up above our heads. There was also a pocket on the seat to hold smaller items. You won’t be able to keep an eye on your items the entire time you’re sleeping, so I highly recommend a backpack lock and taking special care of your belongings. Unfortunately, the cell phone of one of the girls in our group was stolen on our bus ride back home. That was the only form of criminal activity we witnessed our whole trip. Bolivia is overall a very safe country for travelers.


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17 Essential Things to Bring on your Bolivia Salt Flats Tour
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18 comments

  1. I’ve always wanted to visit the salt flats! Such a great list of what to bring. Thank you!

  2. What a fun post. Looks like a great time. Salt flats are so pretty. I love the pastel colors of the flats and the sparkle of the sun’s reflection from the crystals.

  3. Completely agree with everything on this list! I noticed that my lips got super chapped because of the altitude in La Paz and they didn’t really improve until I got to a lower altitude. Sunscreen and TP are also essential.

  4. This is actually a very helpful and useful guide! I really couldn’t imagine you had to plan a visit to the salt pan so meticulously! Thanks for the tips! I will definitely save it for my next trip to Bolivia!

    1. I didn’t know either until after the trip 😂 It would’ve been a much more enjoyable trip had we brought everything I listed. Especially the backpack lock/lotion/chapstick.

  5. Great list of things to bring when visiting the Bolivia salt flats. I always pack toilet paper while day hiking, so good to know that is an essential item here.

  6. Super helpful list. Especially about things like eye drops – I wouldn’t have thought of bringing them, but my eyes do get really dry in that kind of environment.

    I loved your photos on the previous post, so it was great that you ladies brought props to pose with. 😀

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