Salar de Uyuni finds its roots in the region of Potosi and Oruro departments in southwest Bolivia which is near the crest of the Andes. It has afflicted the elevation of approx. 3656 meters above the mean sea level. Salar de Uyuni id the largest salt flat area in the world with an endless sheet of hexagonal tiles which are naturally created by the crystalline nature of salt and they are dotted with pyramids of salt. Lago Minchin was a part of a prehistoric salt lake which covers most of the southwestern Bolivia. In the season of summer it dries up and leaves behind several seasonal puddles and enormous salt pans including Salar de Uyuni. The savage and outrageous beauty of this vivid and vast salt lake desert makes it South America’s most spectacular inspirational venue.
The dryness of the deserts in here, the freezing night temperature and the fierce desert sun which is scorching doesn’t not make itself extinct of life survival on to itself. The wildlife in here is yet to be flourished. Till date Pink Flamingos, Ancient Cacti and thee rarest hummingbirds are still alive in Salar de Uyuni. In every month of November Salar de Uyuni is proved to be the breeding ground for three rare species of pink South American Flamingos namely the Chilean, Andean and the rarest of all the three is the James’s Flamingos.
Probably the color pink originates on them due to the consumption of pink algae on the land. Not only these, there are about more than eighty other bird species present in here which includes birds like Horned Coot, Andean Goose and Andean Hillstar. Andean fox is a type of a fox and is also familiar as Culpeo is a representative animal. Even the islands of Salar de Uyuni host colonies of an animal which resembles to rabbit known as Viscachas and this is found particularly in Incahuasi Island.
When the lakes in the Salar de Uyuni dried up back in over hundreds and thousands of years ago their rich salt was left and this turned to be the unique selling point of this place. Due to so much of salt in abundance available in here it became the thick salt crust that coats the region entirely in current times. The shallow pools of brine which is a solution of salt in water is rich in lithium and contains almost 70 percentage of world’s reserves. The clouds in here often break into clear blue skies with blue and white reflections seen below on the sheets of salt which is as clear as ice. This exclusive salt lake place though being a little extinct attracts a lot of tourists to companies to mine the layers as there is abundance of salt, potassium, lithium and magnesium available from the surface. It is also a great transport route especially in dry seasons.
The salt desert transforms itself into an enormous salt lake in the wet season. During this time, the shallow salt lake not precisely and but perfectly mirrors the sky creating beautiful and bizarre illusions of nature and adding infinity to it. Though the climatic condition of this place being so varied and the landscape is seamlessly infinite there exists a hotel built entirely out of natural salt available there. The hotel names Palacio de Sal which means palace of salt in Spanish was created of salt bricks which are held together with salt mortar. These salt blocks are used for constructing the floor, walls, ceiling, furniture and sculptures. The hotel has each and everything possible inside which includes chairs, tables, dining tables which are made of salt. It consists of 12 double rooms, a combined bathroom and no shower facility. It is just a tourist destination. The hotel has dry sauna room and a steam room too. A saltwater pool and whirlpool bath system as well.
In Salar de Uyuni the places also worth traveling are the nearby Laguna Colorado and Laguna Verde which are absolutely beautiful to visit. Laguna Colorado is a red colored lake filled with thousands and thousands of pink Flamingos. The Laguna Verde is a Bluish green color salt lake which is discovered at the foot of the volcano Licancabur and its shifting aqua shades are caused by the presence of copper sediments and microorganisms living within Laguna Verde.
Travelers travelling to Salar de Uyuni should take great precautions while coming and choose appropriate tourist guides as there are situations which end up into fatal accidents due to unsafe vehicles and drivers are not aware of it. The vehicles should have a proper seat belt, emergency radio transmitters and first aid equipment. The point of knowledge of the tour guide should be cleared at the very beginning so as to avoid mishaps later on. While travelling in this region a traveler should always carry some specific stuffs in their bag-packs in order to survive a safe journey.
Flashlights should be handy enough so that it can be utilized instantly when the generator runs dry. Coins and small bills should be carried in a small pouch as the facility of bathrooms are not free. Sunglasses are a must because the salt flats tend to be blinding. Camera, extra batteries, loads of memory cards as there would be one of the best pictures one can ever click and even extra bottle of water, sunblock and hat as the surface is above the sea level the atmosphere in here absorbs the sun’s ultraviolet radiations. Sleeping bags, warm clothing material, hot water bottle, flip flops, towels, extra snacks etc. are the basic essentials which should a must while travelling or taking a tour to Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia.