Of all the salt flats in Bolivia, without a doubt, that of the Salar de Uyuni is the most famous of all. Not surprisingly, it is the largest salt flat on the entire planet. However, as we say, it is not the only one, there are others scattered around the area.
It is an area of the South American country without a sea that, paradoxically, originated from the presence of a large inland sea, called Menchín. We talk about a unique and exceptional territory which today forms the Intersalar Route of Bolivia.
Bolivia's salt flats, not fit for human lifeSalar de Uyuni
Anyone contemplating these large salt marshes in Bolivia proves that we are talking about a landscape as beautiful as inhuman. They are places, undoubtedly fascinating to the eye, photogenic as few territories of the globe, with wonderful optical effects, but not suitable for the lives of men.
There are tours of the salt flats of Bolivia that last several days. However, after marveling at them, they end up accusing the hardness of these lands, totally inhospitable. But to some extent, we could say that those feelings are also part of the charm of this unique and special trip.
If you are lucky enough to travel to this country of the Altiplano, do not forget to visit the salt flats of Bolivia. Contemplating the huge salar de Uyuni or Coipasa are unforgettable experiences. And here we are going to give you some clue more than what awaits you.
The Uyuni Salt FlatsSalar de Uyuni
The Uyuni salt flat extends for more than 12 000 km². Not only is it the largest of Bolivia's salt flats, it is the largest on the planet. Here tourist routes are made that allow to see in all its immensity the place and to know its most emblematic enclaves.
Within the Uyuni salt flat there are different areas and even several lagoons known for the peculiar color of their salt are distinguished. They are the Colorada, Yellow, Green or Celeste lagoons, whose variations are due to the different minerals of each zone.
Do not forget that we are in a volcanic territory and there are also areas characterized by geysers and volcano wells.
Driving through the salt flats of BoliviaSalar de Uyuni - Art of Backpacking / Flickr.com
The vastness of the Uyuni salt flat offers the opportunity to have a unique driving experience. Cross the most gigantic salt mine in Bolivia on an SUV provides an extraordinary feeling. It is to travel a great salt track that seems to have no end. At times it seems that there is not even the horizon.
However, during these routes through the salt flats of Bolivia there are places that break the monotony Magic of those landscapes. Starting with the town of Uyuni itself, where the overwhelming “train cemetery” should not be missed.
Y within the salt the island Pescado awaits us. It is a great rocky landmark in the heart of the salar where the only possible life is that of a giant cactus species.
ColchaniSalt extraction in Colchani
Of course, Uyuni is the great reference point of the Intersalar Route. But, if you want to prepare this experience thoroughly, you should write other names on your travel agenda. One of them is Colchani, The best place to see how minerals are extracted from Bolivia's salt flats.
Salinas de Garci Mendoza
A population that also gives much to think about this Intersalar Route is known as Salinas de Garci Mendoza. A city that It is named after the Spanish captain José Gutiérrez De Gaci Mendoza.
We have to imagine this character and his entire troop when they arrived at the beginning of the 17th century to such a place and founded a city in the middle of a landscape that looks more like the Moon than the Earth.
Somehow, that original and colonial aspect is still maintained today. It is as if the city had been frozen in time and kept perfectly, as preserved in salting, a metaphor that is hardly more appropriate than here.
Salar de CoipasaSalar de Coipasa
The Coipasa salt flat is the second of Bolivia's salt flats. And, despite its smaller dimensions, it may be the most impressive. All of it is a huge mirror in which to see the sky and where it is not distinguished what is reality and what is reflection. Do not miss it. It is an unforgettable optical illusion.
This place and many others that await you along the Intersalar Route mean that we are talking about one of the strangest territories on the planet. They are lands of extraordinary beauty and overwhelming.