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Train Cemetery

A graveyard strewn with the remains of historic locomotives is one of the most striking and haunting sights in the deserts of southwest Bolivia.

In the town of Uyuni, on the edge of the world’s largest salt flats, discover the Train Cemetery. This curious landmark is the final resting place of several rusting engines and it tells part of the story of Uyuni’s history. Bring your camera for dramatic shots of these historic machines framed against the spectacular backdrop of the Bolivian salt desert.

Toward the end of the 19th century, British engineers and the Bolivia Railway Company planned to turn Uyuni into a transport hub for this corner of the country. A boom in mining brought significant industry to the area. Visit the Train Cemetery to see engines from the era that were abandoned here once those industries began to decline in the 1940s.

Walk among dozens of engines that have been subjected to decades of salt-heavy winds as well as deconstruction by opportunists looking to sell parts. The trains have still retained their original shape, making the engines a haunting tribute to a bygone era.

Some visitors climb on the trains for views of the surrounding desert and mountains. Take care, however, as not all of the structures are safe.

Step back from the cemetery for wide-angled photos of the surreal sight. The trains lie at the edge of Salar de Uyuni, a vast salt flat that turns into a shallow lake after rainfall. Take shots of the rusted-out engines against this mirror-like lake. Travel here in the wet season, November through April, for the highest chance of seeing this natural phenomenon.

Visit the Train Cemetery as part of a four-wheel drive tour out onto Salar de Uyuni. See hotels carved from salt and browse the museum in Colchani to see how the natural resource ends up as a table condiment.

The landmark is located directly south of the town of Uyuni, just a 20-minute walk from the modern train station. Explore the Train Cemetery, which has no entrance gate or security, for free and at any time of day. Come at sunset for the most impressive images of the trains.


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See all 20 properties near Train Cemetery
Hotel Jardines de Uyuni £74
Reviewed on 19 Apr 2019
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Hotel Jardines de Uyuni

Hotel Jardines de Uyuni

Av. Potosi 113, Uyuni
     
    4.4 of 5
    3.0 out of 5.0

    Clean, friendly and great breakfast. Only downside is no air conditioner in rooms.

    Las Tholas Hotel £72
    Reviewed on 21 Nov 2018
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    Las Tholas Hotel

    Las Tholas Hotel

    Ferroviaria entre loa y Colombia, Uyuni, Departamento de Potosí
       
      3.0 of 5
      3.5 out of 5.0

      The hotel staff were very friendly and informative. The location was minutes away from the center. My room was always warm & there was hot water available.

      Hostal la Magia de Uyuni £54
      Reviewed on 1 Feb 2019
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      Hostal la Magia de Uyuni

      Hostal la Magia de Uyuni

      Calle Colon 432, Emtre Sucre y Camacho, Uyuni
         
        4.1 of 5
        2.5 out of 5.0

        The decor is kind of old. Updating the bedroom would make it a better place to stay

        Oasis Blanco
        Reviewed on 8 Aug 2018
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        Oasis Blanco

        Oasis Blanco

        Plaza Campero # 27, Entre calle Litoral y Av. Avaroa, Uyuni, Potosi
           
          3.4 of 5
          2.5 out of 5.0

          Lovely hotel, friendly staff who answered my messages about taxi prices. I was allowed an early check in and breakfast was provided for me. My room was spacious and the heating was in constantly keeping the room lovely and warm. Shower was hot, shops nearby and close to all the salt flat your agencies. ...

          Le Ciel d Uyuni £19
          Reviewed on 8 Aug 2018
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          Le Ciel d Uyuni

          Le Ciel d Uyuni

          Calle Sucre esq. Avenida Potosi, Uyuni
             
            3.5 of 5
            2.5 out of 5.0

            Nice hotel in the center of uyuni. Lots of stairs to get to room but the room is simple and comfortable. Showers are hot and bathrooms are clean. The ppl that work there are very nice. Close walk to food and town square. Highly recommended

            Tonito Hotel £58
            Reviewed on 29 Dec 2018
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            Tonito Hotel

            Tonito Hotel

            Avenida Ferroviaria 60, Uyuni
               
              3.6 of 5
              2.5 out of 5.0

              The owner and staff are very friendly and helpful.They provided us the oxi shot, spoon, scissor, and helped us to book the taxi. They also guild us to overcome the altitude sickness. The breakfast is excellent. The fruit are fresh and great to have in the morning. WE WILL COME BACK AGAIN

              Reina del Salar £18
              Reviewed on 30 Oct 2018
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              Reina del Salar

              Reina del Salar

              Avenida Potosi entre Bolivar y Arce, Uyuni
                 
                3.6 of 5
                2.0 out of 5.0

                I must accept their conditions due to price

                Hotel Salcay
                Reviewed on 5 Dec 2018
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                Hotel Salcay

                Hotel Salcay

                Bolivar Entre Potosi y Colon, Uyuni
                   
                  3.2 of 5
                  2.5 out of 5.0

                  Location was good, but everything is really close in Uyuni. Allowed a late check in after coming in on a late bus. Rooms were clean but the bed had a lot of long dark hairs in the sheets. Rooms were quite noisy but nothing earplugs couldn’t fix. Breakfast was better than expected: buns, queso, mortadella, ...