The real adventure started in the town Uyuni, where we began a 3-day Southwest tour of Bolivia. It was just the five of us, our awesome tour guide Christian, excellent cook Vilma, a tough SUV, a spare tire, lots of alpaca wool hats and scarves, and the open road. The land in this part of the country is literally overflowing with minerals, and the subsequent spectrum of colors is amazing.
Before heading to the Salar, we stopped at a train cemetery, a somewhat spooky but fun place to take photos. Originally this train was built to carry minerals extracted from the Salar to Chile and from there to the rest of the world.
At 3653m above sea level and 17,000 square kilometers in size, the Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat. The Salar was formerly a salt water lake that covered most of southwestern Bolivia 40,000-25,000 years ago; when it dried up, it left this eerie, breathtaking massive expanse of pure white salt. In parts of the Salar, the salt is extracted and processed for human consumption.