Salar de Uyuni
Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt desert on our planet. It is the most comprehensive and high altitude such nature area. It is unbelievable how a place that is "called" a desert could have such beautiful scenery and natural phenomena. Salar de Uyuni is definitely one of the most unique places on earth.
Views of crystal clear waters reflecting the clouds of the heavens, create the feeling that you can see a huge mirror. This picture makes you lose your boundaries and wonder what actually is land and what - heaven.
Natural attractions in Salar de Uyuni are located on the territory of Bolivia, as part of the Altiplano desert valley. Altiplano plateau is an outstanding landscape of great geological formations, geometric cracks and salt lakes.
This largest salt desert in the world occupies a vast territory in the southern South American country. It is very close to the border of Bolivia with Chile and Argentina.
Salar de Uyuni is considered the highest desert, because it is located a record 3700 meters above sea level. The very name of the area is surrounded by salt transfer plates - solar (salt flat) and uyuni, which translates to a fence enclosure. Adjacent to the Salar de Uyuni, the town of Uyuni is located, which has a a population of about 11, 000 people and is the starting point to visiting this unique natural site.
Salar de Uyuni has dimensions of 116 and 96 km, with a salt layer, thick 90-10 m in places. Salar de Uyuni is the largest reservoir of salt in the world, containing over 10 billion tons. Of these, 25, 000 are extracted each year for the internal needs of Bolivia. When dry, the plateau is a wonderful and enchanting landscape of great geological formations.
With an area of 10, 000 sq. km. Salar de Uyuni contains 10 billion tons of salt. Salt is literally scooped out of the water and packed into stacks. The whole lake is surrounded by mountains and the water does not drain out of nowhere. When salt is piled up into heaps, water evaporates more easily and facilitates transport.
40 000 years ago the region was covered by the vast salt lake Michi. After the lake dried up, there remained two smaller lakes (Poopo Yuri and Yuri) and two saltwater lakes - Koipasa and Uyuni. Despite being the largest salt lake, it is not salt that has made it so well known. When rains fall, the lake becomes the largest natural mirror in the world. The water is shallow and very calm.
In Salar de Uyuni is a cemetery for locomotives, complete with rusty remnants of the trains. These old vehicles have ended up here because Uyuni is an important transport link in Bolivia. Here is where 4 railroads link. Scrap pieces perfectly complement the unique landscape. South of Uyuni are the other two lakes, where you can see three types of flamingos. They are among the few animals in this area. Interestingly, Salar de Uyuni is used by astronauts for calibration and testing of satellite systems in orbit.
As one of the most beautiful places in Bolivia and South America, Salar de Uyuni is among the main tourist destinations of the country and in this part of the continent. Although it is far, Salar de Uyuni attracts many tourists, who often stay in the salt hotel. It is made entirely of salt, both outside and inside. The hotel has a sort of salty park with benches and tables made of salt as well.