Family travel snap: visiting the famous Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

by Imogen Hall

This month’s family travel snap takes us to the incredible salt plains of Bolivia with family travel blogger Karen Edwards from travelmadmum.com and her young family.

What a big view for such a tiny person © Karen Edwards

What’s the story behind this photo?

We had been travelling the pan-American Highway with a toddler and a newborn. Salar de Uyuni was high up on my bucket list for the trip. Getting there was not easy and our budget was dwindling away after six months on the road. The previous day we attempted to walk to the salt flats from our hotel, but we ended up trudging through knee-deep mud with the baby in a carrier and the toddler on my husbands shoulders. It had looked so so close, but it was a complete optical illusion.

We turned back with our heads hanging low and decided to pay the US$300 for a tour guide to take us in a 4×4. It may have broken our travelling bank but it was worth it to see this incredible never-ending mirror.

I chose this photo as it signifies the end of an incredible trip and gives me a huge sense of achievement when I look at it. This was one of those places we needed to work extra hard to get to. With road barricades, bus cancellations and storms – but we made it!

Kids’ perspective

Our 4 year old remembers it as the ‘giant mirror’.

Karen’s tips for visiting Bolivia with kids:

At the time I would have said to avoid La Paz because of the political issues that interfered with our trip. Looking back now it wouldn’t be right to miss this amazing city. There’s not many places in the world where there are cable cars whizzing in all directions across a massive valley, taking you to altitudes you can’t imagine for some serious views! Just make sure you give yourself and your kids time to get used to the altitude.

If you are going to the Salar de Uyuni I would definitely suggest travelling as part of an organised tour to make sure you get to the salt flats in the least tiring way. Make sure you check it is a reputable organisation though, as some tour operators in Bolivia can have less stringent safety standards than you might want for your kids.

Where’s next on your family travel bucket list?

We are off to Jordan and Israel next

Lastly, complete the sentence:

When we shut the front door ready to go and travel as a family, we always….

….make sure we’ve got our camera!

There’s more useful information on visiting Bolivia with kids on lonelyplanet.com.

PUBLISHED April 2019