11 Amazing Facts About Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats
The Uyuni Salt Flats of Bolivia (also known as El Salar de Uyuni) are the biggest salt flats in the world. Located in the high plateau region of the Andes in Bolivia, this awesome place is a key ecological, touristic, and economic importance for the entire world.
Keep reading to explore the amazing landscapes and incredible facts about this unique place.
11 Fascinating Facts about Salar de Uyuni
If you want to know more about this place and learn why it’s so amazing, you’ll be delighted to read these facts about Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni
1. It has important minerals
El Salar de Uyuni has a wide variety of important minerals. The most obvious one is salt; el Salar de Uyuni has over 10 billion tons of salt!
They extract it daily to eat locally and export internationally. Some of the table salt you eat may come from Bolivia.
This place also has the largest lithium deposit in the world. Lithium is in lenses, spaceships, and medication.
2. It’s full of hexagons
El Salar de Uyuni tends to arrange itself in hexagonal formations. This includes the patterns of salt in the grounds. Hexagons are an efficient shape, and they appear in the most unsuspecting places.
Beeswax is a commonly known hexagon in nature, and so are the salt flats. Hexagons are also present in our eyes! If you want to learn more about this crazy shape, check out Hexagons are the Bestagons.
3. It’s home to interesting fauna
Even in this seemingly barren place, animals live and thrive. El Salar de Uyuni is the habitat of native foxes, hares, and flamingos.
Watching a flamingo herd parade is a memory that will last a lifetime.
4. It’s popular for tourism and science fiction filming
Giant cacti, strange animals, train graveyards, and hexagonal landscapes are some of the reasons why this place receives over 300,000 tourists every year.
This place attracts not only curious nature lovers but also science fiction directors! Many science fiction movies feature El Salar de Uyuni because its beauty and landscapes are so unique and otherworldly.
5. It’s a mirror world
El Salar de Uyuni has a unique, mirror-like property that is visible during the rainy season. The vast, wet salt flats create an identical reflection of the landscape. This creates some of the most beautiful and mesmerizing views our planet has to offer, especially at sunset and sunrise.
6. It helps with GPS calibration
Normally, GPS satellites are calibrated by reflecting light off huge surfaces like the ocean. However, when the magic mirror of El Salar de Uyuni shows its beauty during the rainy season, scientists are as overjoyed as tourists to make the best out of this natural paradise.
The awesome reflectiveness of the salt flats is far more effective at satellite calibration than the ocean’s surface. Thank Bolivia’s natural resources next time your GPS helps you!
7. It’s in the Lithium Triangle
Bolivia is part of the Lithium Triangle, a geographical zone shared between El Salar de Uyuni, El Salar de Atacama in Chile, and El Salar del Hombre Muerto in Argentina. These three salt flats have 85% of the entire planet’s lithium supply.
Most of the lithium here is extracted by foreign companies and processed elsewhere. Lithium is in batteries that power smartphones, laptops, and hybrid cars.
8. It has two amazing islands
There are two famously known islands in El Salar de Uyuni: Isla Incahuasi and Isla el Pescado. Incahuasi Island means “the house of the Inca,” and it houses giant cacti that are up to 32 feet tall!
Isla el Pescado, on the other hand, is the prime location to watch the sunrise. When you visit Bolivia, stop by both of these islands to admire the best this country has to offer.
9. It has a train graveyard
A creepy and historical sight for lovers of mystery like myself, the train graveyard at El Salar de Uyuni is a place to explore and watch how nature takes back what humans have created.
Scrapped trains and wagons that have been gathering salt and rust since the 19th century were looted by opportunistic thieves. These trains now bring income to local Bolivians by attracting curious tourists who love ruins.
10. It has a hotel made of salt
Salt is the biggest export from El Salar de Uyuni. This place even has a hotel made entirely of salt!
The hotel is prettier than its description would imply, and staying there will give you an interesting story to tell your friends back home. Where else can you wake up in a bed made of salt?
11. It boasts otherworldly lakes
If this wonderful place didn’t seem alien enough to you, Laguna Colorada (Red Lagoon) will convince you that we are a strange species living in an amazing place. Laguna Colorada lives up to its name with its crimson waters. Flamingos love to prance around this area, so if you want to find some fluffy bird-friends, this is the place to go.
Explore South America with Ease
Nature lovers, science fiction fans, and all sorts of travelers must visit El Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia to experience some of the strangest and most beautiful places on Earth. These stunning landscapes are perfect if you want to see something unique and learn about a place that gives power to phones and devices that connect people around the world.
Learning Spanish to get ready for your trip to Bolivia is an easy way to make your trip better. With over 10 years of experience, the teachers at Homeschool Spanish Academy cater your learning experience to suit your needs. If you want to learn more about Bolivia, El Salar de Uyuni, and Spanish vocabulary for travelers, take a free class with one of our certified instructors before you go!
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