The Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest and highest salt desert sitting at an altitude of 3,650 meters above sea level. This amazing salt desert covers 4,200 square miles which is about 25 times bigger than the Salt Flats in Utah and is surrounded by high Andean peaks. To stand in the middle of this amazing place is an experience like no other.
It is believed that about 25,000 years ago, the area was part of a giant prehistoric called Lake Minchin and that the lake covered much of southwest Bolivia. Eventually, the lake dried up and left behind a huge salt desert known as Salar de Uyuni. The Salar is said to be formed when the last waters from the lake evaporated, leaving behind salt that eventually deposited into the lowest lying part in that region and being leached by rain from the surrounding mountains.
Driving across Salar de Uyuni is one of the most fascinating experiences in South America. While taking a trip through this region and across this salt desert you encounter some of the most amazing natural wonders in the world; unusual rock formations, red mountains, geysers, hot springs, volcanoes, giant cacti, red and green lakes. You’ll also find wildlife such as many flamingos, llamas, vicuña (llama relative), and strange looking rabbits.
A trip to this remote corner of Bolivia can be extended by continuing south to see two of Bolivia’s natural wonders, the fiery red Laguna Colorado and the greenish-blue coloured Laguna Verde. These spectacular lakes lie about 350 km (215 miles) southwest of Uyuni, across a desert landscape and over rugged dirt tracks and links the small town of San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile. This trip is best done as 2 or 3 night trip staying overnight in local accommodation on the edge of multi coloured lakes, which are watched over by towering volcanoes.