SALT OF THE EARTH
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