Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

What It’s Like To Stay In A Salt Hotel In Bolivia


by Muriel Rhone



Welcome to the enchanting world of salt hotels, where accommodation meets natural wonder. These unique establishments offer an extraordinary experience for travelers seeking an unforgettable stay. One such destination that stands out is Bolivia, home to some of the most renowned salt hotels in the world.


Imagine waking up in a hotel made entirely of salt, surrounded by stunning salt flats stretching as far as the eye can see. This surreal experience is what draws many visitors to Bolivia’s salt hotels, where they can immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes and indulge in the comfortable amenities.


These hotels are not just a place to rest your head; they are an opportunity to truly connect with nature and indulge in the beauty of the surroundings. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure enthusiast, or simply looking for a memorable escape, a stay in a salt hotel in Bolivia is sure to captivate your imagination.


In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating history behind salt hotels in Bolivia, their location and accessibility, the unique features they offer, the accommodations and facilities available, the cultural experiences and activities, and provide helpful tips for planning your stay. So buckle up and get ready to embark on a salt-filled adventure!


History of Salt Hotels in Bolivia

The history of salt hotels in Bolivia can be traced back to the ancient indigenous communities that once inhabited the region. For centuries, the Uyuni salt flats, also known as the Salar de Uyuni, have been a sacred and significant site for the indigenous people of Bolivia, namely the Aymara and Quechua tribes.


These communities recognized the natural resources of the salt flats and utilized them for various purposes, including building materials and traditional ceremonies. In the late 20th century, the idea of transforming the vast salt flats into unique accommodations began to take shape.


The first salt hotel in Bolivia, Hotel Playa Blanca, was established in the 1990s. Situated on the edge of the Salar de Uyuni, it offered a pioneering experience for travelers seeking a one-of-a-kind stay in the heart of the salt flats. The use of salt as the primary construction material not only added to the hotel’s uniqueness but also paid homage to the ancient traditions and cultural significance of the area.


Over the years, more salt hotels emerged as tourism in Bolivia grew. Each hotel showcased its own distinctive design, blending modern amenities with traditional elements. From salt brick walls to salt furniture, these establishments showcase the ingenuity of the architects and builders who created them.


Today, the salt hotels in Bolivia have become a symbol of the country’s rich cultural heritage and a popular attraction for travelers worldwide. They provide a sustainable way to experience the beauty of the salt flats while supporting the local communities and preserving the natural environment.


As you step into these salt hotels, you can’t help but feel a deep connection to the history and traditions that surround them. It’s a testament to the resilience and resourcefulness of the indigenous people and a reminder of the importance of preserving and appreciating their cultural heritage.


So, next time you find yourself in Bolivia, make sure to include a visit to one of these remarkable salt hotels. Not only will you be rewarded with breathtaking views and unparalleled experiences but also with a deeper understanding of the history and culture that shaped this extraordinary destination.


Location and Accessibility

The salt hotels in Bolivia are primarily located near the famous Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt flat in the world. Situated in the southwest region of the country, near the Andes Mountains, this expansive natural wonder is a sight to behold.


To reach the salt hotels, most travelers fly into the nearest major airport, Viru Viru International Airport in Santa Cruz. From there, they can take a domestic flight to the city of Uyuni, which serves as the starting point for many salt flat tours.


Uyuni is a small town located on the edge of the Salar de Uyuni, making it a convenient base for exploring the salt flats and staying in the nearby salt hotels. From Uyuni, travelers can join guided tours or hire private vehicles to venture into the heart of the salt flats.


The journey from Uyuni to the salt hotels involves traversing the mesmerizing landscape of the Salar de Uyuni. It’s an otherworldly experience as you pass through the blinding white expanse, with the feeling of walking on a vast sea of salt.


While some salt hotels are located directly on the salt flats, others are situated in nearby villages or on the outskirts of Uyuni. This allows travelers to enjoy the tranquility of the salt flats during the day and retreat to comfortable accommodations in the evening.


It’s important to note that due to the remote location of the salt flats, facilities and services may be limited. However, the salt hotels are equipped with basic amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. It’s advisable to check in advance and make necessary arrangements for transportation, meals, and any additional requirements you may have.


Keep in mind that weather conditions in the region can be extreme, with hot days and cold nights. It’s recommended to pack appropriate clothing and accessories to protect yourself from the sun, wind, and cold temperatures.


Overall, though reaching the salt hotels may require some effort, the journey is undoubtedly worth it. The unparalleled beauty and unique experience of staying in a salt hotel in Bolivia make it a destination unlike any other, leaving a lasting impression on every traveler who ventures there.


Unique Features of Salt Hotels

One of the most captivating aspects of staying in a salt hotel in Bolivia is the unique features and design that sets them apart from traditional accommodations. These establishments have taken full advantage of their natural surroundings and incorporated salt in various ways, creating a truly remarkable experience for guests.


First and foremost, the primary material used in the construction of these hotels is salt. From the walls to the floors, and even the furniture, everything is made from salt. This distinctive feature not only adds to the aesthetic appeal but also serves as a nod to the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the indigenous people of Bolivia.


The unique usage of salt extends beyond the structural elements of the hotels. Some salt hotels offer salt-heated rooms, where the walls are warmed by radiant heat generated by salt bricks. This provides a cozy and soothing ambiance, especially during the chilly nights of the Bolivian highlands.


Another notable feature of salt hotels is their eco-friendly nature. The use of sustainable materials like salt minimizes the impact on the environment. Additionally, some hotels employ solar power and other renewable energy sources to reduce their carbon footprint.


Each salt hotel showcases its individuality through its interior design and décor. Many hotels feature intricate salt sculptures and ornate salt artwork, making every room a unique work of art. The combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern amenities creates an atmosphere that is both rustic and luxurious.


The stunning views from the salt hotels are unparalleled. The panoramic vistas of the Salar de Uyuni, with its vast white expanse stretching to the horizon, offer a surreal backdrop for the accommodations. Guests can gaze out onto the endless salt flats, observing the mesmerizing play of light during sunrise and sunset.


Furthermore, some salt hotels include open-air dining areas or terraces, allowing guests to savor their meals while enjoying the breathtaking surroundings. This immersive dining experience enhances the connection to nature and creates lasting memories.


Staying in a salt hotel also offers a unique opportunity for stargazing. The remote location, minimal light pollution, and clear skies of the Bolivian highlands provide an ideal setting for witnessing the brilliance of the night sky. Gazing up at the twinkling stars from the comfort of a salt hotel is an experience that will leave you in awe.


Overall, the unique features of salt hotels in Bolivia provide a once-in-a-lifetime experience for visitors. From the innovative use of salt in construction to the blend of traditional and modern design, every aspect of these hotels is thoughtfully curated to immerse guests in the magic of the salt flats and create lasting memories.


Accommodations and Facilities

Despite their remote and unique setting, salt hotels in Bolivia offer comfortable and well-equipped accommodations to ensure a pleasant stay for guests. From cozy rooms to modern amenities, these establishments provide all the necessary facilities for a memorable salt flat experience.


The rooms in salt hotels are designed to offer a comfortable and relaxing environment amidst the rugged beauty of the salt flats. The walls made of salt bricks create a rustic yet charming atmosphere, while providing insulation to keep the rooms warm during the cold nights.


The beds are often adorned with warm blankets and plush pillows, ensuring a restful night’s sleep. The salt hotels offer a range of room options, from double or twin rooms to larger suites, catering to different group sizes and preferences.


Although the accommodations may be humble in their design, they do not compromise on modern amenities. Most salt hotels provide private bathrooms with hot showers and flush toilets, allowing guests to freshen up after a long day of exploring the salt flats.


Additionally, some salt hotels offer communal areas where guests can relax, socialize, or enjoy a quiet moment. These spaces often feature comfortable seating, cozy fireplaces, and stunning views of the surrounding salt flats for a truly immersive experience.


Most salt hotels serve meals on-site, providing guests with a convenient dining option. The meals showcase local flavors and ingredients, allowing visitors to savor the traditional cuisine of Bolivia. From hearty breakfasts to delicious dinners, the culinary offerings are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.


Due to the remote location, Wi-Fi and internet connectivity may be limited in salt hotels. However, this allows guests to disconnect from the digital world and embrace the tranquility of their surroundings fully. It’s a chance to unwind and immerse oneself in the natural beauty of the salt flats.


Some of the larger salt hotels may also offer additional facilities such as spa services, sauna rooms, or even swimming pools. These amenities provide guests with opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation after a day of adventure in the mesmerizing salt flats.


Overall, salt hotels in Bolivia provide comfortable accommodations and essential amenities to ensure a pleasant stay in this unique destination. From cozy rooms to delicious meals, guests are well-catered to, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the extraordinary experience of staying in a salt hotel.


Cultural Experiences and Activities

Staying in a salt hotel in Bolivia not only offers a chance to immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes but also provides an opportunity to engage in enriching cultural experiences and activities. Here are some highlights of the cultural offerings surrounding the salt hotels:


Local Community Interaction: Many salt hotels collaborate with nearby indigenous communities, allowing guests to interact with and learn from the locals. From traditional music and dance performances to workshops on craft-making or cooking, these interactions provide a deeper understanding of the local culture and traditions.


Exploring Local Markets: Take a trip to the colorful markets in nearby towns like Uyuni or Potosi. These bustling markets are a treasure trove of local handicrafts, textiles, and traditional products. It’s an excellent opportunity to support local artisans and take home unique souvenirs.


Salt Flat Excursions: Embark on guided tours of the Salar de Uyuni, led by knowledgeable local guides. Explore the ethereal landscape, walk on the vast salt flats, marvel at the towering cacti islands, and witness the stunning reflection of the sky in the mirror-like surface after rain. Don’t forget to capture some unforgettable photographs!


Visit Incahuasi Island: Located within the Salar de Uyuni, Incahuasi Island is known for its towering cacti and breathtaking panoramic views. Take a hike on the island’s trails, learn about the unique flora and fauna, and enjoy a picnic surrounded by the stunning salt flat scenery.


Photography Workshops: Salt hotels often offer photography workshops where you can learn to capture the beauty of the salt flats through the lens of your camera. Professional photographers provide guidance on composition, lighting, and techniques to help you take stunning shots of this otherworldly landscape.


Visit Colchani Village: Take a trip to the nearby village of Colchani, where you can learn about the traditional salt extraction processes and witness local salt artisans at work. You’ll gain insight into the long-standing traditions of salt production in the region.


Stargazing: The clear skies and minimal light pollution make the salt flats an excellent spot for stargazing. Enjoy an evening under a blanket of stars, guided by an expert astronomer who will help you observe constellations, planets, and other celestial wonders.


These cultural experiences and activities allow travelers to engage with the rich heritage and traditions of Bolivia while adding a deeper layer of appreciation to their stay in a salt hotel. Whether it’s through interacting with the local community, exploring the salt flats, or immersing oneself in the natural wonders, these experiences create lasting memories and deepen the connection to the captivating culture of Bolivia.


Tips for Staying in a Salt Hotel

Staying in a salt hotel in Bolivia is a unique and unforgettable experience. To make the most of your stay and ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip, here are some useful tips:


1. Pack Appropriate Clothing: The weather in the highlands can be unpredictable, with hot days and cold nights. Pack layers of clothing to adjust to the changing temperatures. Don’t forget to include a warm jacket, hat, gloves, and sturdy shoes for exploring the salt flats.


2. Stay Hydrated: The high altitude of the salt flats can cause dehydration. Drink plenty of water and avoid excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeinated beverages. It’s important to take care of your body and stay hydrated throughout your trip.


3. Protect Yourself from the Sun: The reflective nature of the salt flats can intensify the sun’s rays. Apply sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF), wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and consider carrying a lip balm with SPF to protect your skin from sunburn.


4. Bring Cash: Some remote areas may not have access to ATMs or card payment facilities. It’s advisable to carry enough cash for your stay, including meals, souvenirs, and any additional activities you plan to participate in.


5. Respect the Environment: The salt flats are an ecological marvel, so it’s essential to be mindful of your impact on the environment. Follow the instructions of your guides, dispose of waste responsibly, and avoid damaging the delicate salt crust.


6. Pack a Good Camera: The salt flats provide incredible photo opportunities, so be sure to bring a camera with extra batteries and memory cards. Capture the vastness and beauty of the landscape, and don’t forget to photograph the stunning reflection of the sky in the salt flats!


7. Embrace the Remote Location: Salt hotels in Bolivia are situated in remote areas, away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Embrace the tranquility and disconnect from the digital world. Take this opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty surrounding you and enjoy the unique experience of staying in a salt hotel.


8. Book in Advance: Due to their popularity, salt hotels can be fully booked during peak travel seasons. To secure your preferred dates and accommodations, it’s advisable to book in advance. Research and choose a reputable salt hotel that meets your preferences and budget.


9. Be Prepared for Basic Amenities: While the salt hotels provide comfortable accommodations, it’s important to note that due to their remote locations, some amenities may be limited. Wi-Fi, for example, may not be available or may have restricted access. Be prepared for a more rustic experience and embrace the simplicity of your surroundings.


10. Immerse Yourself in the Experience: Finally, let go of any expectations and fully immerse yourself in the experience of staying in a salt hotel. Enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, embrace the culture and traditions, and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Following these tips will help you make the most of your stay in a salt hotel in Bolivia. From being prepared for the unique environment to embracing the remote location, you’ll be well-equipped to enjoy the beauty and wonder of the salt flats to the fullest!



Staying in a salt hotel in Bolivia is an extraordinary experience that combines unparalleled natural beauty with rich cultural heritage. From the unique design and construction of the hotels to the breathtaking landscapes of the Salar de Uyuni, every aspect of this adventure is designed to create lasting memories.


The history of salt hotels in Bolivia is rooted in the traditions of the indigenous communities that have inhabited the region for centuries. The use of salt as the primary construction material pays homage to their cultural significance and adds a distinctive touch to the accommodations.


Located in the southwest region of Bolivia, near the Andes Mountains, the salt hotels are easily accessible from the town of Uyuni. The journey to these remote locations is well worth it, as it allows you to immerse yourself in the mesmerizing beauty of the salt flats.


What truly sets salt hotels apart is their unique features. The incorporation of salt in every aspect, from the walls to the furniture, creates a truly surreal atmosphere. The eco-friendly practices and stunning views further enhance the allure of these accommodations.


Throughout your stay, you have the opportunity to engage in cultural experiences and activities that deepen your understanding of Bolivia’s rich heritage. Interacting with the local community, exploring local markets, and embarking on guided tours of the salt flats provide a deeper appreciation for the region’s traditions and natural wonders.


As you plan your stay in a salt hotel, remember to pack appropriate clothing for the fluctuating temperatures, respect the environment, and embrace the remote location. Book your accommodations in advance to secure your preferred dates and be prepared for a more rustic experience.


In conclusion, a stay in a salt hotel in Bolivia offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with nature, immerse yourself in culture, and create lasting memories. It’s a chance to escape the ordinary and embark on a truly extraordinary adventure in the heart of the salt flats.


So, pack your bags and get ready to experience the magic of staying in a salt hotel in Bolivia. The awe-inspiring landscapes, unique accommodations, and rich cultural experiences await your arrival!