Across the Bolivian desert in pictures

One of the most spectacular trips we have embarked upon in our year away was a three day jeep tour across the high altitude Bolivian deserts and Salt Flats. We endured freezing nights (-18 degrees C) with no heating or electricity and altitudes of 5,000m but the incredible scenery and company of our fellow travellers made it all worthwhile!

Having heard horror stories of tour guides getting so drunk the travellers had to navigate the jeep through the wilderness with the intoxicated driver sleeping it off in the back, terrible food and overnight stays in illegal structures we were careful to chose a reputable company – Cordillera Travel – who did not disappoint. Our lovely guide, helpfully called Guido (although James still could not remember his name!) obligingly filled my hot water bottle at night and helped us with photos on the Salt Flats (see below).

The bitterly cold evenings at hostels were spent huddled with our new friends learning to play Scopa, an Italian card game, photographing the stars and feeding rehydration salts to the poor Germans who were sick as dogs with the altitude. James even found a shop selling beer which must be the highest place in the world you can buy it!

Please enjoy the photos!



Laguna Verde 4300m


Wild vicunas racing across the desert


Sol de Manana Geysers


Dining room at 4278m


Alpacas we met on the way to the shop

Laguna Colorada 4278m. The lake is 60km sq    Native James flamingoes

with an average depth of 35 cm.


James touching the milky way!


Our jeep crew!


Dali’s desert – the artist’s inspiration


Desert fox


Downhill race


Living dangerously on the Bolivia to Chile railway line


Our hostel – made from salt. Hanging on the washing line to the left is a combination of meat and baby clothes…


Another James flamingo


Sunrise on the Salar de Uyuni. 3656 m altitude and 1o,582 km sq – the largest salt flat in the world


Salt crystals


A study of salt crystals


Yummy salt crystals


Isla Incahuasi – the only island surrounded by salt rather than water


First he shrank her…


Then he ate her…


But they all lived happily ever after!


Muscle man at the Train Graveyard, Uyuni. The trains were used by the mining industry in the 1940s until the industry collapsed and the trains were left to rust.


Thank you for taking the time to read this, we certainly enjoyed putting it together!

James and Juliette




5 Comments Add yours

  1. Gmail says:

    Super to have your news again. It has seemed ages! I hope you are quite OK now, having endured such cold nights, you must b e. thank you for the amazing photos. Why do animals or people want to live there? I wonder!? Good travelling! G.

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Marilyn Byrnes says:

    Love reading your stories. So good to hear you are having such a great time. Fabulous adventure. Mx >


  3. Juliet Jensen says:

    Your photography skills are amazing or is Juliette really balancing on your hand??! That is incredible scenery, a very harsh landscape. It so wrong … it looks like you’re in a desert with snow jackets on!!


  4. Russ says:

    Looks awesome! Why are the salt formations in hexagons? Did James go to McDonalds to get those green sunglasses? Not so chilly (like you) in Henley this week…there’s a heat-wave coming 🙂 Have a great time over there x


  5. Philip Beauvais says:

    These have to be the most extraordinary photos of your trip. Worthy of the best I have seen in the National Geographic!

    Philip Beauvais

    Bowdens Skilgate TA4 2DJ UK – home +44 1398 331 415 wk +44 1392 884722


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