The multi-hued cone of Tunupa Volcano rises 17,457 feet (5,321 meters) above an expanse of white salt. Though reaching the frigid summit requires some mountaineering, a more accessible viewpoint at 15,500 feet (4,724 meters) offers sweeping views of Uyuni Salt Flat (Salar de Uyuni). The Basics
Set in the Bolivian highlands, Tunupa Volcano is a dormant and often snow-covered peak on the northern side of Uyuni Salt Flat. In addition to lofty viewpoints, the colorful mountain boasts a rich geological and archaeological history, including a cave full of ancient mummies.
Day trips and multi-day excursions to the salt pans often include an ascent of the volcano, along with visits to nearby attractions such as the Train Cemetery and Incahuasi Island. While most guided trips leave from Uyuni-area hotels, some options include transportation from accommodations in La Paz. Multi-day tours typically offer an an overnight stay in the town of Coqueza, at the base of the volcano. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Climbing Tunupa Volcano is a must-do for outdoor enthusiasts.
- Give yourself time to acclimate to the high altitude, and take it slow when hiking.
- Pack sun protection and plenty of water, and bring warm layers of clothing.
- The best time to photograph the volcano is just before sunset, when the colors are often most vibrant.
Guided excursions to Uyuni Salt Flats typically include round-trip transportation and hotel pickup, whether you opt for a single- or multi-day tour. If you prefer to travel independently, there’s public bus service from Uyuni to Coqueza. When to Get There
Tunupa Volcano is safe to climb year-round and is rarely crowded. The best time to visit is from May to November, when the weather is generally dry, clear, and mild with average temperatures around 50°F (12°C). Get an early start, as it can take several hours to hike up to the viewpoint. Uyuni Salt Flat
Bolivia’s Uyuni Salt Flat is the world’s largest salt plain. Here, everything you think you know about landscapes is completely turned upside down, as the massive salt flat plays tricks on your eyes. A haven for pink flamingos, the area’s surreal terrain includes bubbling geysers, hot springs, high plateau mountains, and multicolored lagoons. Towering above it all is Tunupa Volcano.