iOS app Android app More

Salar De Uyuni: Bolivia's Stunning Salt Fields (PHOTOS)


First Posted: 10/28/11 09:42 AM ET Updated: 10/28/11 09:42 AM ET

The Salar de Uyuni--one of the most breathtaking sights in the world--consists of some 4,633 square miles of salt and a train graveyard.

The area, some 11,985 feet above sea level, is always a tourist playground, with salt hotels and hot springs serving as major attractions. This time of year, three species of South American flamingos start breeding in the area, the result of a winged migration that adds a beautiful flash of color to the landscape and sometimes brings in flocks of birdwatchers.

Getting to the area is relatively easy: Trains are available from nearby cities such as Oruro and Villazon and buses run from La Paz. There are numerous tour operators which can take visitors for day or multi-day trips.

Loading Slideshow...
  • A Japanese tourist couple walks in the world's largest salt flat of Uyuni, 550 Km southwest of La Paz, Bolivia on July 20, 2011. (AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • (AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • (AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • View of the Uyini Salt Flats in Bolivia, October 10, 2009. The Uyuni Salt flats has one of the biggest reserves of lithium in the world, estimated in 100,000 metric tons. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • (AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Tourists are seen bathing in hot springs near the small village of Agua Brava, more than 4,000 meters above sea level, in the Uyuni salt flats, Potosi, Bolivia. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A local native walks outside a salt hotel in the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, on October 9, 2009. The hotels are constructed mainly of bricks of salt, and are visited by thousands of tourists throughout the year. The construction of salt serves as an insulator to withstand the low temperatures at night in Uyuni. The salt flats are a major tourist attraction in Bolivia, with around 60,000 tourists visiting them every year, where one can find various types of flamingos, giant cacti, geysers, hot springs, volcanoes and colorful ponds. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • View of salt bricks used in the construction of salt hotels, in the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A tourist walks inside a salt hotel. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Hotel de Sal

  • Tourists visit a salt hotel located in the salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Hotel de Sal picnic table

  • Tourists walk inside a salt hotel located in the entrance of the Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, on October 06, 2009. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Tourists eat inside a salt hotel in the salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, on October 6, 2009. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • View of a bedroom inside a salt hotel. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • This photo taken from a plane, shows a panoramic view of the Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat, in southern Bolivia, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010. AP Photo/Juan Karita)

  • Salar de Uyuni from a plane. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

  • Tire tracks cross the salty floor of the Uyuni salt desert in Bolivia. (AP Photo/Dado Galdieri)

  • A flock of James's flamingos (phoenicoparrus jamesi) are seen wading in thermal waters near the small village of Agua Brava, more than 4,000 meters above sea level, in the Uyuni salt flats, Potosi, Bolivia on October 8, 2009. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A flock of flamingos are seen wading in Laguna Colorada located within the Eduardo Abaroa Andean National Fauna Reserve in the highlands of San Luis, near the border with Chile, in the Uyuni salt flats, Bolivia on October 8, 2009. (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • (MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Train Cemetery, Uyuni, Bolivia

  • Train Cemetery, Uyuni, Bolivia

  • Abanonded steam engine in Uyuni train cemetery

  • Abanonded steam engine in Uyuni train cemetery

  • Abandonded railway trucks and tankers

  • Cemetery of Trains

FOLLOW HUFFPOST TRAVEL

Filed by Kate Auletta  |  Report Corrections