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Salar De Uyuni Holidays

Salar De Uyuni holidays

Salar de Uyuni are the largest salt flats in the world, covering over 10,000 square kilometres and reaching 150 kilometres in width at some points.

Originally a salt lake stranded inland by the collision of tectonic plates which formed the Andes, it is thought that the Salar dried out around 10,000 years ago. The feeling when standing in the middle of this salt desert is truly indescribable and will stay with you forever.

The best time of year to visit these majestic salt flats is in June and July when the skies are clearer and the whole area is blindingly white. However, after the rains Salar de Uyuni becomes a giant mirror, which is also an amazing spectacle. Two or more day itineraries can be arranged in this unique area through the salt flats and desert, either ending back in Uyuni or in San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. Travel is by 4 x 4 vehicles.

Salar De Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama

Holidays In Salar De Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni to San Pedro de Atacama (Chile)

This exhilarating, classic, high altitude journey through the Andes and the altiplano takes you well off the beaten track. Travelling by 4 x 4 all terrain vehicle from the amazing, dazzling whiteness of the Salar de Uyuni through the colourful desert and lagoons of National Reserve Eduardo Avaroa, and over the mountains to Chile and San Pedro de Atacama, even seasoned travellers will be overwhelmed by the dramatic scenery.

The vast horizons, open skies, and, in many areas, the lack of roads enhance the feeling of isolation and adventure. Throughout the journey you are dependant on your driver’s knowledge of the local area as they wend their way through the salt and then desert environments, and watching them navigate using only the mountains and the position of the sun is fascinating.

Along the route there are many interesting sites to visit with your guide. Isla Incawasi (also known as Fish Island) in the heart of Salar de Uyuni is famous for both impressive cacti and views over the salt lake. At the edge of the salt lake area are Galaxy Cave (lined by fossiled algae), and the Chullpas Tombs (also known as the Devil’s Cave).

As the journey continues south the terrain becomes a combination of stone, volcanic rocks and colourful sand. The mountains marking the border with Chile accompany much of the route and include the active volcano Ollague, Bizarre stone formations such as ‘the Stone Army’ south of San Pedro de Quemez, ‘the Stone Tree’ in the Siloli Desert and ‘the Dali Desert’ also line the route, as do a series of lagoons supporting large colonies of flamingos and many other smaller wild birds as well as vicunas and llamas.

The most famous of these lagoons are the Laguna Colorada, which is bright red due to the algae that live in it, and Laguna Verde, which owes its colouring to the minerals suspended in its waters. Between these is the Sol de Manana fumerole set at almost 5,000m amongst pools of boiling mud and sulphur.

The crossing point into Chile at Hito Cajon is a lonely hut at 4,350m, only overlooked by the dormant volcano Licancabur and with desert foxes as neighbours. Once through the formalities you are whisked off to the tarmac road that leads to San Pedro de Atacama and all this sleepy desert town has to offer. This journey can last 2, 3 or 4 days but the memories will last a lifetime.

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