Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat located in Bolivia. It is over twelve thousand square kilometers in area, which makes it the largest salt flat in the world. It also has the distinction of being the highest salt flats in the world at three thousand seven hundred meters above sea level. From a distance the salt flats look like a huge white sea. When there is rain then something magical happens. The salt flats become a mirror of the sky. The origins of the Uyuni go back forty thousand years. Then it made up part of the huge prehistoric Lake Minchin.
With time the lake dried up. From a distance it appears like an enormous ocean, still and white. It is thought that the salt flats contains up to ten billion tons. Each year around twenty five thousand tons is taken – all of the salt miners belong to a cooperative which shares the profits. Even though it is extremely isolated, located in the Southwest of the country, the Bolivians encourage tourism to the area. As it is near the crest of the Andes it is on the tourist trail and can be reached without too much difficulty.
There are considerable stocks of lithium, which is used in the production of batteries and certain medicine. In terms of a wildlife vacation, it is probably not the best place to visit. However, on the edges of the salt flats you will find the lama. There are three different type of flamingo who visits these lakes and the sight of them flying in is breath-taking. It would seem remiss not to take advantage of the hospitality of the local hotel, which is completely made of salt. As for the furniture inside – likewise.