Bucket List: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Bucket List: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

One of the (many) places on my bucket list is Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.  It is a salt flat that is sometimes called the World’s Largest Mirror.


If you’re wondering what a salt flat (or salt pan, as they are sometimes called) is, I’ll try to give a brief explanation. A salt pan forms when a lake or pond evaporates and leaves behind minerals. Over thousands of years, the minerals (usually salts) accumulate on the surface. These minerals reflect the Sun’s rays and often appear as white areas, giving the salt pan an unusual otherworldly appearance.

There is a salt flat in the US – the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, which was used as one of the settings for Pirates of the Caribbean:  At World’s End.

But back to Bolivia.  The Salar de Uyuni salt flat is larger than Bonneville – in fact, it’s the largest in the world, measuring over 4000 square miles and containing 43% of the world’s lithium reserves.  The only plant life there to speak of is giant (nearly 40 feet tall) cacti. There is very little wildlife in the Salar, but in November, it becomes a breeding ground for three different species of flamingos.

This is one of those places that I just happened to discover while flipping through channels on TV and became almost instantly obsessed with it.  Why do I want to go there? Mainly just to take awesome photos like the one above.

Is this the kind of place you would put on your bucket list?

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