The World’s Largest Salt Flat

Salar de UyuniLagoon near the Uyuni Salt Flat

Bolivia, a country famous for it’s beautiful nature and traditional South American lifestyles. Walk down any street in this country and you will see the Bolivian women with their to-the-ankles hair, their skirts and long socks, and their all too famous bowler hats. Bolivia has much to offer for those who brave the altitudes and challenging climates. By far the most awe-inspiring place for me is a 3 day trip to “La Salar de Uyuni” or the Uyuni Salt Flat. I say 3 day, as many tourists just visit for the day, but it is spectacular to go for the whole ride and see strange rock valleys, ranges overlooking the desert multicoloured because of their rich minerals, colourful lagoons and snowy peaks and natural hot springs watching the llamas at 5,000m above sea level. This is all on-top of the world’s largest salt flat that seems to have no end, and a fascinating train graveyard. On the way you will pass many beautiful quinoa fields that illuminate in the Bolivian countryside with colour. If you are there in the right season (March it was) you will see electric storms daily (usually minus the rain) and miniature dust tornadoes along the side of the road.

Uyuni perspective photoOne of the best parts of the salt flat is playing around with perspective photos. At first you may wonder why Southern Bolivia seems to sell toy dinosaurs in every corner shop, but you will soon realise once you reach the flat. The sheer scale of it and some crafty camera work will make it appear you are running from dinosaurs, standing on rum bottles, or eating people for breakfast, like I did:

I loved how the salt flat looks like it goes on forever, especially in this rainy picture below. The flat is 12,000km squared and some areas of the salt are 40m deep. The salt is the result of a previous ocean before the great Andes popped up.

My favourite spots on the trip however were the desert featured below with its beautiful hills, and the strange rock valley that I could have stayed at for hours, climbing, jumping, enjoying the peace and spectacle.

IMG_8691South of Uyuni

The whole trip cost just under $120 USD for an all-inclusive three-day tour (March 2015, a bit of haggling). Make sure you head to Bolivia if going to South America – it’s beautiful, dirt-cheap, traditional and basically safe (if not a little infrastructurally and politically challenging at times). Come and see the spectacular highlands for yourself!

Penny

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