Salar de Uyuni

The world’s largest salt flats are a natural wonder. Salar de Uyuni’s other-worldly appearance has often been put to effective use as a film location.

  • Salar de Uyuni (salt flats), Bolivia © Shutterstock

    Salar de Uyuni (salt flats), Bolivia

  • Salar de Uyuni (salt flats), Bolivia © Shutterstock

    Salar de Uyuni (salt flats), Bolivia

  • The stone tree, Bolivia © RMareel,Shutterstock

    The stone tree, Bolivia

  • Cactus Island (Isla Incahuasi), Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia © Hakat,Shutterstock

    Cactus Island (Isla Incahuasi), Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

  • High peaks at Laguna Colorada in southern Bolivian altiplano © Shutterstock

    High peaks at Laguna Colorada in southern Bolivian altiplano

  • Flamingos on Laguna Colorado, Bolivia © Curioso,Shutterstock

    Flamingos on Laguna Colorado, Bolivia

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A vast expanse of white in the dry season and the world’s biggest mirror after rain, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is one of the most extreme landscapes on the planet. It's desolate yet harshly beautiful and stretches seemingly endlessly into the horizon. It is composed of a salt crust a few metres thick which covers a massive brine pool which contains about 10 billion tons of salt. It needs to be seen to be believed.

  • Isla Incahuasi:  Cactus Island, one of several, rises from its flat surroundings, a profile of tall cactus spines which make a superb photographic subject contrasting with the endless flats. Follow the walking trail to the highest point on the island to gaze over the vista.
  • An eerie cemetery:  In the late 19th century Uyuni was a hub on the mine railway network. When the mines closed the locomotives and carriages were abandoned, left to rust on the salt flats. They have become a popular site, a poignant reminder that even the apparently strong can prove fragile.
  • A salt hotel:  Built using salt blocks Palacio de Sal is a well-known landmark on the edge of Salar de Uyuni. The novelty of its construction has made it popular with guests seeking the true ambience of the area. It’s sure to be a talking point when you get home!
  • Take a tour:  Single and multi-day trips are offered, enabling you to spend as much time as you wish on the entrancing salt flats. You explore in a 4x4 stopping off at selected points with your guide to gain an insight into this unique location.
  • Colour:  After an endless expanse of white you may long for a glimpse of colour. Laguna Colorado and Laguna Verde near the flats are red and green lakes coloured be sediment and minerals respectively and starkly beautiful against the mountains. Laguna Colorado offers further colour in the form of flocks of flamingos.
  • The Stone Tree:  Not far from Salar de Uyuni in the Siloli Desert are a number of strangely shaped rock formations, the best known being the Arbol de Piedra (the stone tree). You can see the arboreal resemblance in the narrow trunk-like base and the broad canopy, created through wind and sand erosion. At seven metres high the Stone Tree can be seen from a long way off and is much photographed.
Salar de Uyuni map pin

Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni (salt flats), Bolivia

Visit the world’s largest salt flats. Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni is an other-worldly natural wonder.

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