Words don’t do justice to describe the salt flats of Uyuni, Bolivia, so I’m trying to do it with pictures.
You normally don’t hear of Uyuni until you start thinking about travel to Bolivia and wonder what to see there. I met a professional photographer some months back, who described the Salar de Uyuni and recommended visiting in the rainy season. Because that’s when water covers the salty crust and turns the place into a giant reflector.
What’s even more amazing? Upon asking, I learned that they don’t process and sell salt to the extent that you might expect. In fact, the country with the world’s largest salt flats does not feature in the list of top 25 salt producing countries. The distinct lack of production facilities lets the landscape remain so, without being marred by ugly development, which is a rare and lovely privilege in these times of over-processing. The only place I saw (and bought) packaged salt from Uyuni was at the airport souvenir store. All production is artisanal, barely mechanised.
Enough of the salt, let’s focus on the Salar.
While driving through the flats, I had a hunch which the driver validated – the Salar is bigger in area than Lake Titicaca, another spectacular site in this region. And surely, you can define infinity when that is all you can see!
It isn’t as if there aren’t tourists in Uyuni. This is one of Bolivia’s most popular destinations. And in a selfie-obsessed, Instagram-mad society, the idea of seeing yourself twice over is irresistible.
The beauty is that the space is so vast, you can drive for a bit and fill your vision with less people and more landscape.
My hotel and driver were pretty resourceful, setting up a picnic right on the Salar. We know about adding salt to food, now picture this food on salt, complete with picnic table.
With a scene like this, the evening light is bound to be spectacular.