Imagine walking across an entire landscape of shallow water that directly reflects the clear sky and its subtle clouds. As you stand there, you bask in a moment with Mother Nature’s majestic aura and take in the sea of barren white and clear blue.
This is the Salar de Uyuni, or the Uyuni Salt Flats. One of South America’s most unique natural wonders, it is situated in the Altiplano terrain of South America and is shared between the countries of Bolivia, Chile, and Argentina.
The salt flats were once part of a prehistoric lake that took place millions of years ago. As the water evaporated, an accumulation of salt and lithium began to take place, thus creating a layer of salt “crust” that stretches over 10,000 square kilometers.
Two types of “seasons” dictate the climate of the Salar de Uyuni: the wet and dry season. During the wet season (between December and April), much of the rainfall results in a vast but shallow puddle of water across the entire salt strip, which results in an incredible “mirror” of the sky and the surrounding hills. Dry periods consist of colder temperatures, but allow better conditions for 4×4 vehicles to explore territories that are usually closed during the wet period.
While Salar de Uyuni does boast incredible views, its beauty comes at a price for its visitors. Like continental deserts in North America, weather conditions are extreme as it can get roasting hot during the day and freezing cold at night (all of which have great effect on battery performance for cameras and other electric equipment). And with no signs of urban living for hundreds of miles across the salt flats, travelers must be equipped with all necessary equipment for their trip – or face the worst of a traveler’s ordeal.
It is recommended that you plan your trip well in advance to avoid scamming by locals when it comes to booking tours and other accommodations. You can find more information on tours and suggested day trip itineraries here.
Traveling precautions aside, however, the Uyuni Salt Flats are not to be missed for anyone in search of an ethereal Latin American wanderlust.
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We didn’t plan to visit Salar de Uyuni while it’s wet, but nature had different plans for us. And we’re glad how things turned out 🙏 #salardeuyuni #bolivia #milkyway #milkywaychasers #astrophotography #overlanding #southamerica #discoversouthamerica #oponeo #szpilkinamapie