I am pleased to present a new Solo Travel Destination Post from Ekta, a member of the Solo Travel Society on Facebook. Ekta is from India, and submitted the following report about her trip to Salar de Uyuni. Do you have a solo travel destination that you would like to recommend? Submit your description here, along with a few photos, and share it with fellow travelers!
Solo travel rating: 2 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult. Please see chart below)
Languages spoken: Spanish
Costs at Destination: Cheap (local transportation, dining, tours, events, and attractions)
Reasons to Visit Salar de Uyuni
Believe me when I say this: there is no place like Bolivia.
All my experiences in North America, Europe, and South America combined, don't match up even halfway to the three days I spent in the Salar de Uyuni region. Three days spent off-road driving through salt deserts, amid flamingos and the Andean Antiplano, exploring caves full of bones and skulls, as well as geysers and hot springs–in regions of no network, no WiFi, no communication with the rest of the world–were the highlight of my almost 26 years on this planet.
Some of the most fascinating experiences for me included:
Watching lawyers and engineers in the capital city of La Paz sacrificing dehydrated llama fetus' in the fire to satisfy Pachamama [nature God].
Walking in the literal streets of the dead in the oldest cemetery in Bolivia.
Learning about Ñatitas: skulls which ‘appear' to locals in Bolivia and then generations upon generations of the families take care of them and treat the skull as an actual human who is part of their family.
Watching hordes of witch doctors carrying out the rituals to make Pachamama happy.
Feeling perplexed in the never-ending sketchy streets of the never-ending El Alto Flea Market.
Bolivia is a land which is part of the boring regular world, but it has an identity which you can't find anywhere else. Unique in every way, you gotta see it to believe it.
Solo Travel Destination Rating System
Safety – 2 (1 very safe, 2 safe in most areas, 3 be cautious at all times.)
Language – 2 (1 English is first language, 2 English speakers easy to find, 3 English speakers rare)
Navigation – 2 (1 easy to navigate by transit or car, 2 poor transit, car necessary, 3 not easy to get around)
Culture – 2 (1 Similar to North America or Western Europe, 2 Different from above but relaxed and easy, 3 Challenging)
Average Rating – 2 (1 is easiest, 3 is most difficult)