Many years ago, my friend and I traveled to Bolivia to see the salt lakes at Salar de Uyuni. But we also ended up visiting the train cemetery, an interesting place for sure. Train cemetery is a rusted cemetery of abandoned trains and is one of the amazing tourist attractions in Bolivia.
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Where to find the train cemetery?
Uyuni is a city in Bolivia which serves as a gateway to the world’s largest salt flats. The city is also home to the largest antique train cemetery. Also known as Great Train Graveyard and Cemeterio de Trenes in Spanish, the rustic texture of the trains give an amazing backdrop to view the sunsets and to star gaze.
During the 1940s, the mining industry in Uyuni declined and the whole area was deserted. This region was soon converted where the steam trains were dumped and scattered all around. The trains were also exported from Britain and they date back to the 20th century. There are more than 100 train cars to explore. The cemetery is around 3 kilometres from the city on the outskirts of the city.
Trains that are deemed too difficult to move or run are usually abandoned in a location and that is how the train cemetery comes into existence.
How to get to Uyuni from La Paz?
- The best and quickest way to get to Uyuni is by flight. Uyuni is around one hour flight journey from La Paz and Bolivian de Aviacion is the best provider.
- There are buses between La Paz and Uyuni and the bus journey takes about 8 hours. The best is to take an overnight bus so you can be at Uyuni in the morning. One can book the bus ticket on Tickets Bolivia website.
Note: Bolivia is at a height of 3656 metres and one needs to get acclimatised to that altitude before exhausting oneself. The seriousness of not getting acclimatised can be fatal.
How to get to Train cemetery?
The train cemetery is just about 3 kilometres from Uyuni city and it takes only 10 minutes to walk. Visit to train cemetery can easily be done without a tour agency as there is no entrance fee or it is also not too far from the city.
The train cemetery is a very popular place in Uyuni so be prepared for lot of people. The best time to visit is either early morning or during the sunset as that is when there are less crowd.
Even though train cemetery can be done by yourself without any agency, I took a tour to see the train cemetery from the Uyuni city. The tour included the transportation from my hotel, wine, national park fees and local guide.
- Provider: Plan your trip. Unfortunately, they do not have the website.
- Phone number: +59173336307.
- Cost: AUD 26.84 per person.
- I booked the tour on Viator website.
Sunset and star gazing at train cemetery
The train cemetery is a perfect place for watching the spectacular sunset. The sky lights up and the sun puts up an amazing show. It is also a great place to star gaze as there is zero light pollution. The place is also great for capturing some of the astro shots.
Even though Uyuni is relatively safe, but be careful if you are traveling alone, as the place gets really isolated and can be scary, especially at nights.
I was in love with this place. It is a great place for some great photographs during the sunsets. The sky is so dramatic and makes a perfect backdrop. I visited this place twice while I was in Uyuni and I still wish I had more time. During your visit to Bolivia, do not forget to visit this pretty place. I highly recommend it.
Have you visited the train cemetery? Let me know in the comments below.
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