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Uyuni

Accommodation in Uyuni: luxury Airstream campers versus salt hotels

Published December 17, 2017 by SA Explorer

You’ve decided you have to experience the mind-blowing Uyuni salt pans for yourself, but you can’t choose between staying in a luxurious airstream camper or a hotel built entirely out of salt. Let us assist in making your mind up…

Situated just outside of Uyuni in Southern Bolivia, the world’s biggest salt pans are an almost otherworldly place. This remarkable region offers surreal photo opportunities and a chance to discover a fascinating ecosystem. Before you book, you’ll need to decide when to visit Uyuni. While Uyuni is an all-year destination, you can pick between the convenience of the dry season (April to September) and the spectacular beauty of the rainy season (December and April). Whenever you choose to travel, you’ll have the choice of staying in an exclusive airstream camper or a salt hotel.

Laguna Verde (Photo: Eder Fortunato)

Luxury Airstream Campers: Customizable comfort

The luxurious airstream camper offers you the opportunity to experience an adventure of a lifetime without compromising on comfort. The private guide and chef add to the exclusivity of this accommodation option. Travelling in a camper, you’ll have the chance to explore the salt pans at your own leisure and you’ll be able to stop for the night wherever you choose. Spending the night out on the salt flats, you’ll experience incredible sunsets and sunrises. The night skies are also mesmerizing from this vantage point.

Lay your head wherever you choose.

On your Uyuni airstream camper experience, you can expect to see the deserted mining town of Pulacayo and a locomotive graveyard which features a train that was robbed by Butch Cassidy. The highlight of the tour is the Salar de Uyuni – the largest and highest salt pan in the world. Along the way, you’ll spot a few islands which give life to giant cacti, small mammals, and birds. You’ll also spend time in Jirra, a tranquil respite from the more touristy regions of the Salar. Other fascinating features of this trip include the Aymara fortresses and local wildlife, which includes llamas and flamingos.

The very definition of glamping.

An advantage of staying in the airstream camper is that trips are limited to six guests and as such offer you a private and personalized experience away from the crowds. Another important consideration is price: the airstream campers are more expensive than the salt hotel. What’s more, while the airstream campers are available at any time of year, their movement is restricted during the rainy season. Not that this should put you off – in fact the airstream campers get booked up really quickly during this period, so you’d be well advised to reserve well in advance.

Hotels made entirely from salt: An unforgettable experience

Despite being built almost entirely from salt, these offer you all the amenities and services that you’d expect from a regular bricks and mortar establishment. The Hotel De Sal Luna Salada is decorated with distinctive art and furniture to create a style that is uniquely Andean. The on-site restaurant and the breakfast buffet come highly recommended, while the spectacular views of the salt pan are pretty hard to argue with.

The walls, floors and furniture in the Luna Salada are all made from salt.

There’s wi-fi in the common areas and a shared living room. Other highlights of this hotel include bike rental, a library, and a games room as well as a room service option and a laundry facility. After a day of exploring the salt pans, you can get a massage at the on-site spa or relax in the steam room. Another accommodation option is the Hotel Palacio de Sal, which features rooms with free wi-fi and private bathrooms. Guests can use the hotel’s bicycles for free and they’ll also have access to the shared lounge. Other amenities that this hotel offers include a sun terrace as well as an on-site restaurant and bar.

The Palacio de Sol was the world's first salt hotel.

The salt hotels are more affordable than the airstream campers and they’re also nifty because they’re made out of salt. Do be aware, however, that they offer simple, 3-star accommodation. Their location on the fringe of the pans also means that you’ll have to drive a ways for the guided tours each day which makes it more difficult to enjoy the spectacular sunrises and sunsets on the Salar itself.

Has this blog made your decision a little easier? Contact one of our spiffy Destination Experts to make your dream Uyuni salt flat tour a reality. And remember, all of our bespoke itineraries are 100% customizable.