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Uyuni or Tunupa Salt Flat is located at the southwest of Bolivia in the department of Potosi; it is surrounded by the Bolivian Altiplano (High Plain) and Los Andes Mountain Range. This salt flat is established as the world's largest one with 12,000 square kilometers and lies at an altitude of 3,650 meters above sea level. 
salar de uyuni
   
       
 
40,000 years ago, the area that is today the Uyuni Salt Flat was covered by the prehistoric Minchin Lake and it has a salt depth ranging from 10 cm to 8 meters. The Salt Flat is composed of lithium, boron, potassium, magnesium, borax, sodium sulfate ulexite, it´s currently the largest lithium reserve in the world, it´s estimated to contain about 64 billion tons of salt and 25 thousand tons are currently pumped per year, in the nearby town of Colchani.
 

 

 

Within this "sea of salt" there are several islands with different characteristics. Nevertheless, the best known is the Incahuasi Island with 24 hectares. At the north of this sea salt there are Tahua, Llica and Coquesa populations, featuring hotels and shelters built with salt blocks, but the main attraction is that are situated at the foot of the Tunupa volcano that has a height of 5432 meters, this volcano has different viewpoints to observe panoramically the Lípez Desert and Uyuni and Coipasa Salt Flats. The communities of Coquesa and Chantani have interesting local museums containing samples of pre-Columbian mummies and ancient craftsmanship.

 

Within the tourist circuit visiting Salar de Uyuni about 400 km at the south of Bolivia it is possible to visit the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve, in this reserve you can visit the famous colored lagoons, the most famous is the Laguna Colorada (Red Lagoon) with an area of 60 square km and a depth of 35 cm.

 
red lagoon uyuni        
The Laguna Colorada, called this way by its high content of sediments and pigments of some types of algae and mineral waters, tones ranging from brown to deep reds. The lagoon is home of South American flamingos, thousands of migratory birds, the three species that inhabit this lake are: Andean flamingo, Chilean flamingo and James flamingo. The Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) of salted water, is a high Andean lagoon with an area of 5 square kilometers and it´s connected to Laguna Blanca (White Lagoon) by a narrow strait, its emerald color is due to the high magnesium content. It´s located at the foot of the Licancabur volcano, one of the highest active volcanos in the world.
 

Within the Eduardo Avaroa Reserve you can also visit “El Sol de Mañana” (Morning Sun) volcanic activity that shows fumarolas (gases coming up from little holes in volcanic areas) and geysers, which emit sulfur gases, also visit and swim at hot springs of great pressure; the Valley of the Rocks, where nature offers a show featuring dozens of rock formations eroded by the wind that can reach an altitude of 25 meters, archaeological sites and typical fauna and flora of this land of extreme height.

 

 

 



 


Location: Southwest of Bolivia, Daniel Campos province in the department of Potosí, the Andes Altiplano

 
Elevation: 3650 masl (in the circuit of Uyuni Salt Flat and lagoons we will reach the 4300 meters at the foot of the volcano Licancabur)
 
Average temperature: 1 ° C in winter, in summer 13 ° C (in winter the temperature can drop to -20 in the Lipez area)
 

How to get to Uyuni from La Paz: There are regular night departures of buses, wich leave from the bus station in La Paz between 19:00 and 21:00 every night, this is the cheapest way but not the most comfortable because 40% of the road to Uyuni is land and shabby. A more convenient alternative is to travel by train from the city of Oruro, which is 4 hours by bus from the city of La Paz, you can find train schedules Oruro - Uyuni clicking HERE. Finally, the best alternative to travel from La Paz to Uyuni are the daily Amaszonas flights, the flight to Uyuni takes 45 minutes.


How to get from Oruro to Uyuni: There are buses that leave in the morning and afternoon from the bus terminal in Oruro, the trip is about 8 hours. The other option is to take the train from the train station, which departures on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at hrs. 15.30 and 19.00, the train ride to the city of Uyuni takes 7 hours approximately.

 

How to get to Uyuni from Potosi: There are buses that leave at 12:00 hrs and at 18.30, the trip is about four hours to the town of Uyuni, all of the road is recently paved.

  

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