Situated in the south-western Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat is one of the most mesmerizing places to visit on earth. It spans for over 4086 miles. It can best be described as a vast expanse of glistening white salt.
Salar de Uyuni is flat in its entirety except for some islands like Isla Incahuasi that add to the beauty of this place. Beneath the vast salt expanse are reservoirs of lithium-rich brine. The rich lithium reserves account Salar de Uyuni for 70% of the world’s lithium.
Salar de Uyuni is one of the most extraordinarily alluring places with surreal beauty that is meant to take your breath away.
FORMATION OF SALAR DE UYUNI
- Salar de Uyuni contains almost 10 billion tones of salt. Here’s how this enormous salt flat came to exist.
- An Altiplano (high plateau) was situated here. It had no drainage outlets.
- As a result water from the surrounding mountains collected to form a giant lake with high salinity content.
- Over the years the lake evaporated under the Andean sun causing a thick crust of salt to remain behind.
- The Aymaran legend however states an alternative explanation for the formation of Salar de Uyuni.
- According to the legend the three mountains surrounding salt flat, Kusina, Kusku and Tunupa were once giant people.
- Tunupa and Kusku were married but when Kusku betrayed his wife for Kusina, Tunupa’s tears formed the salt flats.
EXPERIENCING SALAR DE UYUNI
Salar de Uyuni offers you a great experience if you visit it in summers but to experience its raw beauty it is advisable to come here in the rainy season.
To have a once in a lifetime experience in this splendid place you must take a 4X4 tour across the salt flat. A 4X4 tour basically accommodates 6 people, at the most. For a better experience you must get a private tour arranged.
- The tour offers a minimum of one night’s stay with basic amenities. It is therefore recommended to pack plenty of warm clothing.
- For more adventurous travelers staying at hotels is the best option. They have nominal rent.
- The hotels are constructed with nothing but salt bricks from scratch. From beds to tables to toilet seats everything is made up of salt bricks.
BEST TIME TO VISIT SALAR DE UYUNI
The time you choose to visit Salar de Uyuni depends upon the experience you are looking for.
July and October are the best time to visit if you are looking for a great climate.
For more reflective surfaces you must consider coming to Salar de Uyuni between March and April.
HOW TO GET TO SALAR DE UYUNI
To reach Salar de Uyuni you must first reach Uyuni, a small town from where the trips to Salar de Uyuni start.
To reach Uyuni you can take any of the following options:
- Take a 7 hour train or 8 hour bus from Ororo. Book at least 1 day in advance.
- Take a 12-15 hour bus from La Paz
- Take a 6-7 hour bus from Potosi.
- Rent a car or take a flight to Uyuni from La Paz.