SALT OF THE EARTH

Food and Travel (UK) - - Arrivals -

Take a peek at Bo­livia’s Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat. Cov­er­ing al­most 11,000sq km, it’s one of the most level play­ing fields on Earth, cre­at­ing a per­fect sub­ject for pho­tog­ra­phers who use its to­pog­ra­phy to cre­ate an op­ti­cal il­lu­sion, mak­ing ob­jects in the dis­tance ap­pear much closer than they ac­tu­ally are. Sci­en­tists will tell you it is the re­sult of the con­ver­gence of sev­eral pre­his­toric lakes. How­ever, ask a lo­cal and they will have a dif­fer­ent tale to tell. Ay­mara leg­end has it that the flats ap­peared af­ter fe­male de­ity Tunupa cried tears of milk when her baby son was stolen from her breast. We’ll let you de­cide which story to be­lieve.

To truly ap­pre­ci­ate the ethe­real majesty of their sur­rounds, most trav­ellers make the 569km jour­ney south from the cap­i­tal La Paz to Uyuni by a bumpy ten-hour bus jour­ney, though 45-minute flights are avail­able with lo­cal air­line Amas­zonas amas­zonas.com from £95pp re­turn. Once in Uyuni, nav­i­ga­tion and trans­port can be dif­fi­cult, so book­ing tours is rec­om­mended.

In­trepid Travel of­fers an ex­cel­lent route from La Paz, in­clud­ing re­turn flights and 4x4 tours of the salt flats via the best sites for pho­tog­ra­phy, end­ing at an eerie lo­co­mo­tive grave­yard, where trains trans­port­ing min­er­als across South Amer­ica have been left to rust. It’s a land­scape that re­ally needs to be ex­pe­ri­enced to be be­lieved. Three-day tours from £382pp. in­trepid­travel.com

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