Walking on water in Bolivia is one of the most unique things I have seen traveling around the world. The absolutely breathtaking walking on water illusion is something that is very unique to the salt flats found in Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia.
Salar means salt flat in Spanish while Uyuni originates from a local native language signifying holding pen. Salar De Uyuni officially means salt enclosed in a pen.
There are many unique things to see in South America and each country has a variety of tourist attractions that everyone should visit. If there were only five things you could do in South America Salar De Uyuni in Bolivia would have to be one of them.
It is relatively difficult to get there considering the time of year in addition to its remoteness. At on a country like Bolivia which is marred by transportation problems and that adds to the complexity of seeing this wonder.
The whiteout effect caused by the rainy season can be attributed to both cloudy skies and a thin film of water. This small film of water rests atop the salt flat. The cloudy skies then reflect off of the water which creates the illusion that one can walk on water.
One can arrive at Salar De Uyuni from the Atacama Desert in Chile, the northern border of Argentina, and the more common route the city of Oruro or La Paz, Bolivia. They do have planes available from the city of La Paz is the city of Uyuni is serviced by a small airport.
Be advised many buses take well over 10 to 15 hours to arrive so it is best to book a private tour or a private car can be taken.
On our tour we had a grueling trek from the Chilean city of San Pedro De Atacama to Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia. There are extremely interesting things to see in the region including the train graveyard and also very unique geological formations.
Most tourists arrive in 4 x 4’s due to the roughness of travel on the trip. Vehicles have to be elevated due to the rainy season as most roads can get very bad in Bolivia during this time of the year. The picture below is a bit blurry but decided to share it anyway since you can see the whiteout effect clearly.
In the center of Salar De Uyuni there is a restaurant where most tourists have lunch. This is where one can seethe tiny mountains of sand.
Many people don’t realize that this was disputed territory at one point in history. The Pacific war between Chile, Peru, Bolivia changed many of the borders that we are now accustomed to in South America. Bolivia borders were so drastically changed that the outcome of the war denied them access to the Pacific ocean.
Salar De Uyuni is the largest salt flat in the world and also where close to 50% of the world lithium comes from. This is the same lithium that a solid most of the lithium batteries we use. Below one can see the most common site of the salt flat, the 4×4’s parked with tourists outside exploring.
Some of the tools that the locals use to mine the salt in order to extract the minerals from it. These tools were near the center of the salt flat located just outside the restaurant.
The picture below is one of my favorites because it resembles the vision of what we all think heaven would look like; serene, so calm, extremely peaceful, and beautiful.
More tourists hopping out of the vehicles to explore the salt flats and take pictures.
It won’t be easy to arrive to Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia. it is definitely worth the trip and seeing this firsthand and having the illusion of walking on water is extremely unique. As a person that has visited every country in South America and has seen almost every tourist attraction on the comment this is an absolutely must see.