Salar de Uyuni is one of the top natural tourist destinations in the world. As the largest salt flat in the world, it creates an unbelievable view that almost seems like another planet. Salt flats are essentially huge expanses of ground that are covered with a thick layer of minerals and salt. This makes the ground appear bright white and become reflective when wet. Salar de Uyuni is found in a rural area of Bolivia and is flat as far as the eye can see. This makes for a jaw-dropping panoramic view. Not to mention, the sight is different depending on the time of year. In the dry season, cracks in the minerals appear as stunning geometric shapes. In the wet season, the ground becomes so reflective that it seems like a mirror. No matter what time of year, Salar de Uyuni is absolutely a destination to put on the top of your bucket list.
Salar de Uyuni is a massive natural formation, and as such, it is not in the middle of a city or an easily accessed town. The salt flats should be considered as a day trip, branching out from a city like La Paz or Uyuni. La Paz is Bolivia’s largest city, and it is a perfect place to start your adventure to Salar de Uyuni. Most international travelers arrive in La Paz and then take smaller local flights to get to the town of Uyuni. Both of these places are full of culture and opportunities for exploration before you venture out to the salt flats. Since Salar de Uyuni is a prominent tourist destination, it’s easy to find bus tours and cheap transportation options going from La Paz or Uyuni.
Before visiting Salar de Uyuni, it’s valuable to know some of the interesting history behind the incredible vista. The flats were developed out of prehistoric lakes, which gained an accumulation of salt and minerals. Although it’s found at a high altitude, right at the edge of the Andes, all of Salar de Uyuni is perfectly flat. Mountains surround the salt flats, making for a beautiful panoramic view. Although hotels have attempted to set up shop right near the flats, it’s almost impossible due to the lack of building materials. Most attempts have been made completely out of salt building blocks- even the furniture and walls were made totally out of salt. Plus, the unique climate makes it a breeding ground for several animals like llamas and pink flamingos.
Salar de Uyuni is distinctly different in the wet season and the dry season. Dry season leaves the layer of salt cracked and covered in thick lines. The result is a bright white canvas that almost looks like an icy lake or a wide expanse of snow. The wet season covers all the salt with a thin layer of water and reflects the sky like a mirror. The result makes the whole area look like it’s up in the sky. Both times of year, Salar de Uyuni looks like a picture from another planet and is absolutely ethereal. The rainy season lasts from December to April while the dry season extends all summer and fall.
In conclusion, Salar de Uyuni is off the beaten path, and it’s not your average destination. However, it’s absolutely worth the visit to see the incredible natural formation of the world’s most extensive salt flats. Salar de Uyuni is a unique spot on the planet, with several unbelievable features. It’s certain that any visitor to the salt flats is not disappointed and leaves with a renewed sense of pride in Planet Earth.