Bolivia's alpine salt flats of the Salar de Uyuni form one of the harshest livable climates on planet Earth.
Despite enduring the frigid wind chill at 15,000 feet, this flamingo enjoys a meal foraged from beneath the salt.
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Picture perfect Sunset
More than a year ago, I was in Bolivia to visit an orphanage that we work actively with. We decided to take a short detour and visit the salt flats. We expected it to be beautiful and to be like New mexico but were we in for a surprise? It was everything beyond our expectations. The salt flats stretched as far as our eyes could see. The thin layer of sublimation on top of it reflected the sky so vividly that it appeared as if the sky was meeting the earth. When the sun set, we felt like we were in a trance. It was gorgeous.
(That's me, in the picture stretching after the long car ride when my friends clicked this)
Venturing into the Largest salt flats in the world, is truly an amazing experience! The salar de Uyuni is a 4000 sq mile area of pure earth magic.... This shot is isla pescado, looking over the salt flats which were flooded at the time with a layer of water, and the reflections were amazing of the clouds and sky above. You do a trip from Uyuni, Bolivia or from San Pedro de Atacama Chile, across the flats for 2-4 days in an overland vehicle with a small group or privately. You stay in simple refuges along the wat to sleep, and keep warm in the frigid night air. It is easy to forget about time and reality when walking around this vast area with hues of blue, aquas, and whites as far as the eye can see. There are plenty of outfitters that run the trips out of each country. get down there and experience this place soon...
Waking up in sub freezing temperatures to see the sun rise is not usually on the top ten list of 9 year olds. But that is not ice my daughter is walking on, it is a huge lake of frozen salt crystals, well worth getting up for. The 4 day trek we did as a family across the these salt flats was a highlight of our trip to Bolivia. We slept on beds made of salt, picnicked on coral spit out thousands of miles above sea level, grazed with hundreds of llamas and flamingos and finally made crazy, out of perspective photos on the blank white canvas of salt.
Tip - start your trek from Tupiza, a city well worth visiting on its own. You not only get an extra day for the trek but also more reliable jeeps and guides.