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Trip Report

Bolivia Vacation

Traveling to Bolivia we visited two great destinations. We explored Uyuni salt flats, vitited Potosi mine, drank Bolivian chocolate and experienced many more things!

  • Uyuni Salt Flat+ 6
  • Potosi
  • Potosi
  • Bolivia Vacation
About Me:Traveling through South America and enjoying life! I live in London and have worked for various tech start-ups. In my free time, I enjoy reading, meditating, baking and am always up for a good party!! read more

South AmericaBolivia3 days / April 2022

Highs & Lows

Visit the mine in Potosi. While controversial, I am thankful to have learned about the life and working conditions of miners.

Coldest night I have every experienced while staying in the desert.

Itinerary Overview

We wanted to travel to Bolivia after deciding to leave my life in London. I wanted to travel around South America a bit, this was a destination that was on my list, so I was very excited for this day to come. Many travelers that I met on the route gave me their recommendations, and I was sure that this would be an unforgettable experience.

We start our day super early!

We took the bus from Sucre to Potosí, which took around 3 hours. Once we arrived in Potosí, we went straight to the mine for a tour. It was an active mine, and it is eye-opening to see the life and working conditions of miners. After our mining tour, we took the bus to Salar de Uyuni, where we spend 3 days exploring the salt flats and the desert. After that, we took a bus to La Paz, where we had a couple of fun-filled days. 

  • 1 Night: Potosi
    Visit to the mines
  • 2 Nights: Uyuni Salt Flat
    Visiting Salar de Uyuni
Potosi - Visit to the mines

Potosi Visit to the mines

Potosi - Visit to the mines - null
Potosi - Visit to the mines - null
Potosi - Visit to the mines - null1+

On Traveling to Bolivia, we arrived late morning in Potosi and had booked the famous tour through the mine. It is a unique way to experience life and work within an active mine, but also to understand the conditions under which mines these days have to work.  

Before you go into the mines you are fitted with clothes, boots, and safety equipment such as helmets & head torch. Once ready, you drive up to the hill to enter the mine. As we went to see the mine on the weekend, the mine was empty, but we were still allowed to enter, and the guide explained the work that is being carried out by the miners as well as the history of the mines. Visiting the mine was eye-opening. It is a low-ceiling tunnel and often requires you to crawl through some tiny tunnels. You are reliant on your head torch as there is no bit of lighting and the air is filled with dust. 

You learn that the miners enter the mine in the morning and don't come out until they leave at night. To avoid the feeling of fatigue, hunger etc the miners chew cocoa leaves all day long and don't stop for lunch. They at times drink pure alcohol to counter the dust they inhale all day long. And we learned a lot more than just this. 

It certainly is a controversial tour to take as you go into the mines to watch these miners work under these terrible conditions - almost like you are going to the zoo.  That said, I'm glad I went on the weekend as the mines were empty.

Overall, I'm glad I went as I learned so much about the way of life for miners, the conditions under which they work for very little pay, and the general system. If you go, I recommend you choose a tour company which works with and supports the miners.

Uyuni Salt Flat - Visiting Salar de Uyuni

Uyuni Salt Flat Visiting Salar de Uyuni

Uyuni Salt Flat - Visiting Salar de Uyuni - null
Uyuni Salt Flat - Visiting Salar de Uyuni - null
Uyuni Salt Flat - Visiting Salar de Uyuni - null2+

We were picked up in the morning by our tour guide to start our 3-day trip. 

On the first day, we visited the amazing salt flats. On the way there we stopped at the Train Cementry, a salt factory, and to have lunch. After a delicious lunch, we spend a few hours admiring the salt flats and taking SO MANY funny pictures!  Afterward, we experienced the sunset at the salt flats. while enjoying a cold beer. We brought some local honey and chocolate-flavored beer with us which was a great addition to enjoying the sunset. 

On our second we started right after breakfast and spend a lot of time in the car but it was worth it. We visited some beautiful lakes, saw, and observed flamingos, trees made out of stone, and a lot more. We spend the night in the desert and it was probably the coldest night I had every experienced. It was -10 degrees celsius and I barely slept 5 minutes all along wishing I had brought my sleeping bag. 

The next morning we woke up at 5:30am and walked to the nearby hot springs to witness the sunrise. It was extremely cold but the natural hot spring was +39 degrees celsius and we sat there watching the sunrise. It was one of the most magical experiences I have had. Afterward, we made our way back to Uyuni. 

It has been a great trip, we had an amazing tour guide, a fun group, and lots of good music. I would recommend a 3-day trip to Salar de Uyuni and the desert to anyone. 

Q & A

  • Restaurant recommendations?

    Eat local food
  • Tips you would give a friend?

    Bus schedules can't be find online (and if they are online, they are often incorrect). Just go to the bus terminal and ask for the next bus to your destination.
  • Packing tips?

    When traveling to Bolivia, if you are spending a night in the desert, bring a sleeping bag!
  • Transportation Tips?

    Uber is not expensive , but in general buses
  • Booking details?

    We used Salty Desert Aventours and were really happy!