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The Sparkling Salar De Uyuni

By Nicole Samkange

Posted: 24th October 2014 12:11

A whole new world; is the only way to describe the jaw dropping views that are witnessed on the world’s largest salt flat.  Over 11,000 feet long, this wonderland is a unique insight into natural beauty.  Located in South West Bolivia, it is covered with 10 meters of deep salt filled with sparkling mineral lakes and numerous spectacular islands.  The dazzling sun against the blindingly bright white salt will introduce you to an unimaginable part of our planet.

Where did it come from?

The history of Salar De Uyuni goes back over three million years ago.  Whilst specific dates are unclear, the spectacular salt flats began with the rise of the magnificent Andes Mountain range.  As it rose, a vast amount of sea water stayed at the top, creating the ancient Minchin Lake.  Due to the warm climate, it began to slowly dry out and eventually was separated into four sections.  Part of the Altiplano highland, Salar de Uyuni was the biggest lake and as the climate evaporated the remaining water, the magic of the vast salt flats was born.  The area is now known to contain roughly 10 billion tons of salt!

Best place to see

Mystical in the sheer beauty that is exhibited on the salt flats, there are key areas to explore.  Laguna Colorada is a must see whilst visiting this spectacular landscape.  A vibrant red lake, due to the various species living within it, you will not see anything else like it.  With the reflection of the sun and the majestic mountains from the glistening waters, this truly is a sight to behold.  During the months of November, visitors can find themselves joined by the delicate flamingos that use this lake as their main watering hole.

Staying Safe

May to October is known as the dry season where the picturesque views and dry plains can be enjoyed most safely.  November to April is the wet season, where the flats can be covered by small layers of water from the downpour but are still accessible.  At this time, it is advised to visit Salar de Uyuni via car or any other vehicle.

To make sure you have the best trip possible without anything to spoil this exciting adventure full of endless discovery, make sure that you are extra cautious.  Before arriving on the trip you should have lots of rest and bring plenty of fluids to avoid Altitude sickness.  Locals also advise visitors to eat Coca leaves to reduce any symptoms that may exist, though you should be careful as the properties within it can make you fail a drugs test!

Lastly make sure that you research your tour operators before booking with them.  Some of the guides out there may promise things that they can’t deliver, so it’s best to stick with the ones that have been advised by your travel advisor or at the airport. 

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