Uyuni Salt Flat Bolivia Salar de Uyuni

Karen Torres

Uyuni Salt Flat Bolivia Salar de Uyuni

4 November, 2014

10,000 km² of salt flat spread out across Bolivia’s remote southwest. Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world, an endless sheet of hexagonal tiles (created by the crystalline nature of the salt), dotted with pyramids of salt. Despite the desert dryness, freezing night temperatures, and fierce desert sun, this landscape is not devoid of life. Pink flamingos, ancient cacti, and rare hummingbirds all live in the  Uyuni salt flat.

During the wet season, the salt desert is transformed into a enormous salt lake, albeit one  that is only six to twenty inches deep, traversable by both boat and truck. During this time,  the shallow salt lake perfectly mirrors the sky, creating bizarre illusions of infinity. In the  middle of this seemingly infinite salty lake is a hotel built entirely out of—naturally—salt;  we recommend a visti  if your time permits.

Also worth traveling to are the nearby Laguna Colorado and Laguna Verde. Laguna  Colorado is a red-hued lake filled with thousands of pink flamingos, while Laguna Verde is  a blue-green salt lake found at the foot of the volcano Licancabur. Its shifting aqua color is  caused by copper sediments and microorganisms living within the lake.

Normally, the tour is conducted in 4×4 vehicles (usually Toyota Landcruisers) with 6 or 7 people, with the driver often times cooking.  Most 3- and 4- day tours have the same itinerary for the first 2 1/2 days, a day on the salt plains, then heading south to the southwest corner of Bolivia, and then splitting off from there.  The specific sites that are seen can be dependent on the tour, but group input can define which sites are visited and how much time will be spent at each.

Below a tour to Uyuni:
Day 1: Uyuni  town – Palacio de Sal hotel – Colchani

Departure from Uyuni to The Great Salt Flats. We are going to visit the cementery of trains where you can see the remains of 19th and 20th century steam locomotives. Arrival at Colchani. It is the best place to observe the methods of salt extraction from the salar, continuation to the Incahuasi Island(better known as Fish Island) this is the main destination for most salt-desert tours. Fish Island is an oasis with a unique and isolated ecosystem that is populated by giant cacti up to 10 meters high; the lunch will be served in the middle of the Salt Flat. Continuation up north to the foothills of Thunupa Volcano to visit Pucara Ayque and admire the pre-colonial ruins and ancient mummies. After the amazing sunset, arrive and accommodation at our exclusive Hotel PALACIO DE SAL, the first hotel entirely made of salt. After dinner, night walk by the surroundings of the hotel. Includes: Lunch / Dinner.

Day 2: Colchani – Jardines de Mallku Hotel

Breakfast. Departure from Palacio de Sal to Villa Mar village, on the way you shall visit the colonial church of San Cristobal (the one that has been moved from its original location), also we will go through the villages of Culpina K and Alota, you will visit The Stone Valley, this is a famous rock formation due to the wind erosion. Visit to Cave Painting and Fort of Tomas Lakjas. Arrive and accommodation at our Jardines de MallkuCueva Hotel.
Includes: Lunch / Dinner.

Day 3: Jardines de Mallku Hotel – Hito Cajon

Breakfast. Departure to Laguna Colorada. There you shall see the famous “flamencos James” unique in the world, the eternal ices, also, we can see the different colors of the lake till get its red one. The rich red coloration is derived from algae and plankton, which thrive in its minerals. Continuation to Laguna Verde.On the way you are going to see the Geysers Sol de Mañana (Morning Sun) the Chalviri thermal waters and Valle de Dalí (Dali’s Valley). This is a site of intense volcanic activity. Arrive at Laguna Verde. Behind the lake rises the cone of the Licancahur Volcano, with an altitude of 5960meters. After Lunch, transfer to Hito Cajón. (Transfer to San Pedro de Atacama – Chile).
Includes: Lunch.

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