Experience – Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.
- Address: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia (Google Maps)
- Hours: All Day
- Recommended Time: 4 hours
- How to Arrive: By car
- Distance from Uyuni: 78 km / 48.5 miles
- Ideal Month(s): November – March
Salar de Uyuni, located in southwest Bolivia, is the world’s largest salt flat at over 10,000 square kilometres (3,900 sq mi) in area. It is near the base of the Andes at an elevation of 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above sea level.
The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. The surface is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with an average elevation variation within one meter over the entire area of the Salar. During the rainy season, a thin layer of dead calm water transforms the flat into the world’s largest mirror, stretching 129 kilometres (80 miles) across.
The Salar serves as the major transport route across the Bolivian Altiplano (near the Chilean border and the Atacama Desert) and is a prime breeding ground for several species of flamingos, the Chilean, Andean, and rare James’s flamingos. No mining plant is currently at the site, and the Bolivian government does not want to allow exploitation by foreign corporations. Salar de Uyuni is estimated to contain 10 billion tonnes of salt, of which less than 25,000 t is extracted annually.