The Salar de Uyuni or “Uyuni Salt Flats” is a unique place with its 10.582 km2 is the world’s largest salt flat. It is located in the department of Potosi, located in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, at 3.650 meters above sea level.
Some 40.000 years ago, the area was part of Lake Minchin, a giant prehistoric lake. When the lake dried, it left behind two modern lakes, Poopó and Uru Uru, and two major salt deserts, Salar de Coipasa and the larger Salar de Uyuni. Salar de Uyuni is roughly 25 times the size of Bonneville Salt Flats in the United States and is estimated to contain 10 billion tons of salt of which less than 25.000 tons is extracted annually.
In November, it is also the breeding grounds for three species of South American flamingos – Chilean, James’s and Andean. La Isla del Pescado (Fish Island) located on the salt flat and full of giant cactuses is named this way as the `island´ has the shape of a fish. It is the only sign of life for miles.
Laguna Verde and Laguna Colorada, the red and green colored lakes, come alive with flocks of flamingos. Hot geyser fields, hot springs and barren volcanic desertscapes with surreal rock formations can be seen here. Laguna Verde (Green Lagoon) is a beautiful green colored salt lake close to the Chilean border at the foot of the Licancabur volcano. It gets its color from sediments that contain coppery minerals. It is located approx. 4.300 meters above sea level. Laguna Colorada is a red colored salt lake, also because of the presence of minerals.