Salar de Uyuni & Bolivian Altiplano


Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Javier!! Hace mucho calor! No! Hace demasiado frio!!!” – Muchas gracias to you brazilian “girl” who couldn’t decide whether you’re having too cold or warm and kept thinking it out loud even when dreaming. You gave me and Lutz a lot to laugh about!

So, after ascending myself to 3,669 meters in Uyuni and spending the Christmas there with two great Porteños eating chicken, drinking a lot of vino tinto and making some good music I got myself on the three-day tour across Salar de Uyuni and the Far Southwest of Bolivia.

After meeting the people and packing the Toyota Land Cruiser 4×4 we headed to the Cemeterio de los Trenes. This gray scenery was made even a bit sadder by the early morning rain we had all the way until we got ourselves to the Salar.

And what a view it was!

10,582km2 of salt with the deepest point consisting a massive 14 meters of salt! And thanks to the summer and rainy season the salar was partly covered by water making it one of the biggest natural mirrors in the world! To make the salar even more amazing, in the middle of it there is Isla Incahuasi which has giant cactuses growing over 10m high!

Isla Incahuasi

After the Salar we went to sleep in an Alojamiento in a little village of San Juan. In the morning we continued to Bolivia’s only semi-active volcano Ollague after which we saw thousands of flamingos in the Lagunas on the way to one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen: Laguna Colorada with its red-colored water contrasted with the green vegetation, pink flamengos and blue sky was absolutely mind-blowing.

Laguna Colorada, Bolivian Altiplano
Laguna Colorada

Flamingos in over 4,000 meters in Bolivian Altiplano
Flamingos in Bolivian Altiplano

To end the second day I got a really bad neck and headache, wrote to Lutz’s diary, and fell asleep in a nasty fragmentary sleep caused by the high altitude sickness (HAS). Third day started with few hours of sleep at 4AM when we ascended ourselves to over 5,000meters to see geysers, more snow than Finland had at that time, and to swim in the warm Aguas Termas of which water is ~38 degrees and, thus, gives a pretty nice feeling in the middle of cold Andean Altiplano.

Aguas Termales, Bolivia

At approximately 18:00 the tour came to its end and we went to eat some chicken with Lutz to the same place I had spent my Christmas dinner (15 bolivianos for breaded chicken with rice and potatos, so it’s something like 1,5€). The cashiers there made my day by saying I look exactly like some actor (I hope this guy’s good-looking, didn’t get the name though…) Cheesy grin!

At 19:30 I hopped into a bus to Potosí, world´s highest city, which is standing in a lofty altitude of 4,090 meters. Said hasta luego to Lutz who welcomed me to party año nuevo in Tarija with some of his friends. We’ll see where I end up this time, until that, let’s hope I get better from this HAS and the South American Odysseia continues to be as awesome as it has already been!


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