A Rugged Journey To A Sea Made Of Salt In The Heart Of Bolivia

salar de uyuni bolivia

Photo: David Boudreau/Flickr

The Salar de Uyuni in southwestern Bolivia is the largest salt flat in the world.At more than 4,000 square miles, it is a major source of minerals including lithium, potassium, and of course, salt.

It’s also one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit. The journey to salt flats usually begins in Sucre, Bolivia, about 220 miles to the northeast and the home of the closest major airport.

David Boudreau, a QA engineer in New York, made the journey to the Salar de Uyuni during a three-month South American adventure in 2008. He shared his photos and experience with us.

Have an amazing travel story and photos to share? Send an email to [email protected] and we could feature your adventure next.

For most, the journey to the Salar de Uyuni starts in Sucre, Bolivia, about 220 miles to the northeast.

The bus ride to Uyuni takes around 10 hours. At least the scenery is nice to look at.

The salt flats were formed over thousands of years as the part of the transformation of a giant prehistoric lake. The trip is quite mountainous.

The town of Uyuni has around 21,000 residents. It's basically a gateway to the flats, but also has a popular train cemetery.

Many tourists (including David) hire drivers to take them out the flats.

Near the flats, EVERYTHING is made of salt. Like this hut with a thatched roof.

And an entire seating area.

A friendly reminder to visitors.

Finally, the flats! They look like an ocean of white against a clear blue sky.

The surface is dry and cracked.

Even lunch was served on a table made of salt.

A llama skull hung nearby. Creepy.

Here's what the salt flats look like from space. At more than 4,000 square miles, it is truly expansive.

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