Salar de Uyuni

Potosí (Department), Oruro (Department), Bolivia

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About Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni is found in the Potosí regions in southwest Bolivia, close to the peak of the Andes. It is the largest salt flat in the world, covering 10,582 km2 (~4,086 mi2). The name originates from the Spanish word “Salar”, meaning salt flat, and the Aymara word “Uyuni”, meaning enclosure.

Flora and Fauna

The Salar has very little wildlife or vegetation, except for mainly giant cacti. Other bushes include Pilaya, which is used locally to cure catarrh, Thola, burned as a fuel, quinoa plants and quenua bushes. In November, the area is the breeding ground for the Chilean, Andean and rare James's Flamingos. In the region are about 80 other bird species, including the Andean Goose, Horned Coot, and Andean Hillstar. The Andean fox (culpeo) can be seen, and colonies of rabbit-like viscachas live in the "islands" of Salar.


Most visitors see the area as part of a guided tour of Bolivia. This will usually include 4x4 trips visiting the salt plains for views of the amazing salt desert, learning how the salt is mined and processed and a trip to Isla de los Pescados, a fossilized coral island populated with 1,000 year old cacti. An overnight stay on a salt hotel – built from local salt blocks – may be followed with a trip to the Reserva Nacional de Fauna Andina Eduardo Avaroa as well as hot springs and lakes vividly coloured by minerals.


Salar de Uyuni is at a high altitude (3,656 m / 11,995 ft above sea level) so try to pace the journey up here to allow time to acclimatise without risking altitude sickness.

Landscape Photography
Guided Tours
Potosí (Department), Oruro (Department), Bolivia
Latitude: -20.166833, Longitude: -67.569094