No, this photo isn’t photoshopped.
Believe it or not, this dreamy landscape that seems to have come out of a sci-fi movie actually exists. It’s called Salar de Uyuni or the Uyuni Salt flats located in the dry desert region of Southern Bolivia.
On regular sunny days, it’s just a vast stretch of pure white nothingness. But just a little rainfall turns this place into the largest mirror in the world that seems to go on to infinity.
Salar de Uyuni is the larger one of the two salt flats that remained when the giant prehistoric Lake Minchin dried up. Known as the world’s largest salt flat, it stretches up to 10,582 square kilometers in size.
It’s also located very near the peak of the Andes at 3,650 kilometers in altitude, which means that it’s actually in the sky as much as it is an extension of it. Crazy awesome.
Besides the spectacular salt flats, Uyuni also covers a magenta-colored lake that’s seasonally flocked by pink flamingos as a breeding ground, a green lake alive with microorganisms, an abandoned railroad track, huge blobs of alien-like greenery sprouting out of dry rock, hot geyser landscapes, natural hot springs, surreal rock formations, and other crazy things you can think of (the aforementioned stuff is real, though). It’s totally worth the trip.
Getting to Salar de Uyuni’s fairly easy. Trains are available in nearby cities like Oruro and Villazon, and you can take a bus from La Paz. Multi-day trips are available in various tour operators, but better watch out for the legit ones.
You don’t want to find yourself running out of food and supplies while trekking the desert or stuck with a drunk and loony driver in the wilderness.
Natalie is a freelance travel writer born in Belgium and living in the USA. She has traveled to 40-plus countries and lived on four continents. She loves experiencing new places, soaking up their art, food, and culture. When she’s not writing, Natalie is probably reading, gaming or sipping a mojito at a local bar and planning her next trip.