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HomeTravel articles & guidesSalar de Uyuni – a unique natural phenomenon

Salar de Uyuni – a unique natural phenomenon

25 October, 2018
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Salar de Uyuni

It’s white and blue as far as the eye can see.

Small salt pyramids stand side-by-side, reflected in each other.

For a moment,  the earth and sky are as one.

Salar de Uyuni is an incomprehensible fairy tale, which has suddenly become real life.

It is completely incredible that nature can produce such an extraordinary natural phenomenon.

What is Salar de Uyuni?


Salar de Uyuni is a huge salt flat located in the highlands of the south-western corner of the South American country, Bolivia.

Covering an area of 10,500 km2, Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat. It is located near the border with Chile at an altitude of 3,653 metres. And impressively, the height of the flat does not vary more than up to a metre across the entire area.

40,000 years ago, the salt flat was a lake. But over time, the lake dried out and turned into a salt flat. Salar de Uyuni was part of several lakes, including a salt lake named Lago Minchín, which covered most of south-west Bolivia. Minchin dried up, and part of the lake became Salar de Uyuni.

The flat contains a large number of minerals, including the metal lithium. In fact, Salar de Uyuni is the place in the world where the most lithium is found – between 50 and 70% of the world’s lithium reserves.

The effect of the seasons on the salt flat

salt flat

It is a very different sight that greets you, depending on what time of the year you visit Salar de Uyuni.

When it’s dry season in the South American country, between May and November, the surface of the salt flat is dry. The sight that greets you is a white crackled salt crust that creates incredibly beautiful formations.

However, during the rainy season, between December and April, the salt flat is covered in a layer of water that makes heaven and earth become one. The mirroring of the sky in the surface of the salt flat really is a sight to behold.

Nature and wildlife around Salar de Uyuni

In shades of reddish-brown, the mountains and volcanoes form a contrasting backdrop to the beautiful, white natural phenomenon. Due to the large deposits of minerals and algae, the lakes in the area are all manner of beautiful colours, which is also a fantastic sight.

There is not a lot of wildlife around Salar de Uyuni, but around 80 different bird species live in the area. The most spectacular bird is the flamingo, three different species of which are found in this part of Bolivia.

The beautiful flamingos visit Salar de Uyuni in November.

Want to see Salar de Uyuni with your own eyes?

If you’re into magnificent natural phenomena, Salar de Uyuni is an experience you should not miss.

If you’re in any doubt about which of our tours to beautiful Bolivia you should choose, please feel free to call our travel consultants who are on hand to help you choose the perfect holiday.

Pack your bags and enjoy the experience of a lifetime.

Llamatours.co.uk – The Latin American Experience!

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