Salar de Uyuni, one of the world’s largest mirror
Uyuni used to be part of an ancient prehistoric lake. Stretching across 10,582 square kilometres of the Altiplano, Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat. Despite the desert dryness, freezing night temperatures, and fierce desert sun, it is home to pink flamingos, ancient cacti, and rare hummingbirds.
During the wet season, from November to April, the salt desert is transformed into an enormous salt lake. During this time, the shallow salt lake perfectly mirrors the sky, creating bizarre illusions of infinity.
Where is Uyuni, world’s largest mirror located?
Uyuni, the mirror lake, is located in the Daniel Campos Province in Potosi in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes at an elevation of 3,656 meters (11,995 ft) above sea level.
What can we do during and while in Uyuni, the mirror lake?
- The salt flats are famously known as the best place to take spectacular perspective illusion photos. Taken from a low angle with the foreground subject close to the camera and the background subject (usually people) many meters way, it is easy to create the effect.
- Isla Incahuasi is also often referred to as “fisherman’s island”. There are various stories about this but most will say it is because its reflection resembles the shape of a fish. It is one of a few islands in the middle of the Salar de Uyuni and is a popular spot for the lunch breaks during the tours.
- The red colored waters of Laguna Colorada are due to the waters containing certain algae and some colored sediments. When the water churns and then settles the colored effect can be very strong. The lake is home to large flocks of flamingos of which there are all 4 species living in the area.
- At about an hour from the Red Lagoon (Laguna Colorada) there are several geysers. This endless supply of water is spitted out of the ground at a temperature of 90 C, through fumaroles and cracks through which sometimes even volcanic lava erupts.
How to get to Uyuni, World’s largest mirror salt flat?
There are many options you can take to arrive in Uyuni, Bolivia salt flats. Inkayni Peru Tours shares with you the options below:
Flights from La Paz – Uyuni
Uyuni has a small airport. The flights from La Paz to Uyuni are only about an hour. Depending on the time of year, these flights can vary between 1,100 and 1,800 BOB ($170-250 USD).
Bus from La Paz – Uyuni
The most common route to Uyuni is from La Paz, a ten-hour bus ride away. If you want to take a bus, unless traveling during a really busy holiday weekend in South America (like Carnaval), you can probably walk right into any bus station in Bolivia and purchase tickets at the counter.
4×4 vehicle private Transportation
Although it is not the cheapest option, it lets you enjoy the view and the site a lot more. You will be able to take pictures and make some stops all along the way.
Train from Oruro – Uyuni
The train to Uyuni takes six or seven hours. A one-way trip using either method will cost about 32-120 BOB ($5-17 USD). You should book the train in advance.
What to bring?
- Comfortable and warm Ropa cómoda y abrigada.
- Hiking Boots (worn previously)
- Sunscreen (SPF 35+).
- Sleeping bag.
- Original Passport
- Extra money
Inkayni additional information:
If you open your eyes and look around you will find the extraordinary wildlife in the Salar de Uyuni. One of the most impressive is the Flamingo.
Flamingos are highly adapted to live and feed in salty lakes: they can excrete the overload of salt through glands located in their nostrils and they are able to drink the (almost) boiling water from the geysers, which often are the only sources of freshwater available to them!
“Life is short and the world is wide, the sooner you start exploring it, the better.” – Simon Raven