August 2013
« Jul   Sep »

Travel – Salar de uyuni salt plain – Bolivia – Part 2

Salar de Uyuni (or perhaps Salar de Tunupa) is the world’s biggest salt flat at 10,582 sq kilometers (4,086 sq mi).

Creation and Geology

• The salar comprises of salt surface crust overlying brine inundated sediments.
• Salar de Uyuni is a member of the Altiplano of Bolivia in South America.
• The Altiplano is a high plateau that was formed during the uplift of the Andes Mountains.
• The plateau consists of fresh and saltwater lakes in addition to salt flats which are encompassed by mountains without drainage outlets.
• The geological background of the Salar is related to a sequential change between a numbers of vast lakes.
• Certain 30,000 to 42,000 years back, the region was a part of a tremendous prehistoric lake, Lake Minchin.
• Its age was calculated based on radiocarbon dating of shells from outcropping sediments and also carbonates reefs.
• Lake Minchin (known after Juan B. Minchin of Oruro) having maximal depths of 140 meters (460 ft), and also an approximate age of 13,000 to 18,000 or 14,900 to 26,100 years(depending on the source, the age varies).
• The youngest prehistoric lake was Coipasa, that was radiocarbon dated to 11, 500 to 13, 400 years ago.

While it dried out, it left out:

Two contemporary lakes:
– Poopo Lake
– Uru Uru Lake

Two leading salt deserts:
– Salar de Coipasa
– Larger Salar de Uyuni
• Salar de Uyuni advances over 10, 582 square kilometers (4, 086 sq mi), that is approximately 100 times the scale of the Bonneville Salt Flats in the USA.
• Lake Poopo is a neighbour of the much bigger Lake Titicaca.
• Throughout the wet season, Titicaca overflows as well as releases into Poopo, which, consequently, floods Salar De Coipasa and Salar de Uyuni.
• Lacustrine muck which is inter-bedded with salt and also soaked with brine underlies the surface of Salar de Uyuni.
• The brine is an over loaded solution of sodium chloride, lithium chloride and also magnesium chloride in water.
• It will be protected with a strong salt crust ranging in thickness between tens of centimeters as well as couple of meters.
• The core of the Salar consists of a couple of “islands”, the remains of the surfaces of ancient volcanoes immersed throughout the era of Lake Minchin.
• They incorporate extraordinary and fragile coral-like structures and residues that often are comprised of fossils and algae.

Flora and fauna

• James’ flamingo
• Culpeo
• Bolivian vizcacha
• Andean goose
• Andean Hillstar
• Andean flamingos in the Laguna Colorada, south of the Salar

The Salar is practically without any wildlife or vegetation. The latter is dominated by huge cacti:
– Echinopsis atacamensis pasacana
– Echinopsis tarijensis
• They grow at a speed of approximately one centimeter (0 .39 in) annually to a height of approximately 12 meters (39 ft).
• Additional shrubs incorporate Pilaya, which is often used by natives to treat catarrh, and Thola (Baccharis dracunculifolia), that is burned as a fuel.
• Also, found are quinoa plants as well as quenua bushes.

Each November, Salar de Uyuni is the mating ground for 3 species of pink colored South American flamingo:
– The Chilean
– Andean
– Rare James’s Flamingos
– Their color most likely originates from feeding on pink algae.

There are actually approximately 80 other bird species present, which includes:
• The Horned Coot
• Andean Goose
• Andean Hillstar
• Andean fox ( culpeo ) is a representative animal
• The “islands” of Salar host colonies of rabbit-like viscachas

Best time to visit/climate

• The region features a comparatively stable mean temperature with an optimum at 21 °C in November to January and a minimum of 13 °C in June.
• The nights are cold throughout the year, with temperature ranges between -9 and 5 °C.
• The relative humidity is quite low and consistent all through the year at 30 to 45%.
• The rainfall is furthermore low at 1 to 3 millimeters monthly between April and November; however it might improve up to 70 millimeters in January.
• But, with the exception of January, even during the rainy season the number of rainy days is less than five monthly.

Location on Google Maps

View Larger Map
Or click and paste the URL below on the browser:

How to get there?

1. By flight
• Airline travel is the obvious approach to get to Bolivia; the primary airports are situated in La Paz to the western part of the country as well as in Santa Cruz to the east.
• The arrival strategy has to be designed in the purpose of the travel to the country.
• You must remember that La Paz gets the majority of their visitors because of the immense culture and heritage from the Incas as well as other native cultures from the Andean area.
• From La Paz it will be simpler to move to:
– Tiwanaku ruins
– Oruro’s carnival
– Potosí’s mines
– Uyuni
– Lake Titicaca
– Los Yungas valley
– Andes Mountains
• This is because La Paz has the hold of:
– Government
– All of the embassies
– Foreign establishments possess their head office in the city
• These can be useful in the event of an emergency.
• On the other side, Santa Cruz with a warm climate can turn out to be a good area for doing business visit additional alternatives in tourism. These are like the:
– Missions
– Noel Kempff Mercado national park
– Eastern cities
• In addition, there are some foreign consulates in Santa Cruz.
• However, do not forget that the metropolitan areas in the south and central Bolivia also provide an extremely rich experience.
• The cities are such as:
– Cochabamba
– Tarija
– Sucre
• There are many methods to get to these cities from La Paz or Santa Cruz.

2. From Europe
• Following on from Aerosur’s loss of life in September 2012, the perfect options from Europe to Bolivia now are with Air Europa or Boliviana de Aviacion from Madrid to Santa Cruz.
• Additional connections can be achieved in neighboring nations like Brazil or Peru, or in the U.S.
• The price might go from 1000-1200€ to other greater prices based on the class and duration.

3. From Latin America
• Airlines that take a flight into Bolivia from other Latin American countries consist of:
– LAN from Santiago via Iquique
– From Lima to La Paz
– From TACA Perú to La Paz
– From Lima to La Paz

4. From USA
• You will find departures from Miami to La Paz and also Santa Cruz on American Airlines.
• Connectivity is also possible on Latin American airlines like:
– Copa
– Avianca
As soon as you have the international trip booked, it’s much simpler and cheaper to arrange the internal flights from the place of departure.

5. By Train
• There are numerous train lines in Bolivia, each one with different degrees of quality and performance.
• Nevertheless, sufficient transportation via train can be obtained.
• The FCA schedule can be obtained at their website.
• Keep an eye on the belongings.

6. By car
• It is usual for visitors to travel by means of a land border at the north-east of Chile/ South-West of Bolivia.
• Remember that approximately 5% of most of the roads in Bolivia are smooth.
• Nevertheless, the majority of primary routes between cities are paved. The cities are like:
– Aka big cities
– Santa Cruz
– La Paz
– Cochabamba
– Sucre
• 4×4 is especially needed when off the flatter altiplano.
• Remember that in mountainous areas of traffic occasionally switches edges of the road.
• That is to make sure the driver has a much better view of the harmful drops.
• An international driver’s license is needed but on most occasions EU or US drivers licenses will likely be accepted.
• You will find frequent police controls on the highway and tolls to be paid for road use.

7. By Bus
• There are numerous options for touring from Argentina to Bolivia by bus.
• Take a look at the Bolivian Embassy’s website in Argentina for particular options.
• In addition there is a bus that operates from Juliaca and Puno in Peru to Copacabana.

8. By Boat
• It will be common for visitors to get to Bolivia by boat, by navigating from the port city of Puno, Peru, over Lake Titicaca.

Some Travel Books on Bolivia

Lonely Planet Bolivia For 91 Days in Bolivia Bolivia in Focus

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at
Hotels at
Hotels at
Hotels at

Blogs/Sites about Salar de uyuni salt plain – Bolivia

blogs at
blogs at
blogs at
blogs and reviews at

Images and photos about Salar de uyuni salt plain – Bolivia

images at
images at
images at
images at

Videos about Salar de uyuni salt plain – Bolivia

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>