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The Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia is one of the most awe-inspiring tours you can take any where in the world. It is quite possibly the most visited tour destination in the country. Over 60,000 tourists arrive each year. Use the links at the top and bottom of this page to learn more about this cold but beautiful desert and surrounding tourist attractions.

When I was growing up in we used to go to Uyuni to the hot springs near Laguna Polque and two others: Laguna Verde is a bright turquoise color and Laguna Colorada is a deep rusty red. The colors are created by algae and minerals found here.

There is also an area called Sol de Mañana where you can view mud pits and geysers bubbling. It smells a bit like eggs sometimes due to the sulfur in the soil, although when it's windy you won't sense the smell too much. Locals claim the mud is great for your skin and heals wounds.

The sheer size of the salt flats of Uyuni Bolivia is just mind boggling. Located in the department (state) of Potosi, it covers 12,000 square kilometers (3 million acres or 3800 square miles) as is visible from space. It is the largest salt desert in the world. It's located 3650 meters (over 12,000 feet) above sea level on the Bolivian Altiplano, a wide highland region in the Andes Mountains that extends into Peru. About 40,000 years ago, the area was covered by a lake called Lago Ballivián, which some people know as Lago Michín. When the lake dried up it left behind TWO salt flats: Uyuni and Coipasa, which is smaller. There are two remnants left from this lake, now forming two lakes: Lago Poopó and Lago Uru Uru.

The Uyuni salt beds contain 10 billion tons of salt. Locals "harvest" over 25,000 tons per year, piling the salt into hundreds of cone-shaped mounds and then shoveling it by hand into trucks. The salt is sold in Bolivia and is also exported all over the world. It's grains are large and similar to sea salt. The salt flat itself is 120 meters thick (deep). Scientists indicate there are actually 11 layers of salt, each between 2 and 10 meters in depth.

The area is so flat and extensive you cannot see the end of it. Because there is no horizon, this creates an optical illusion in photographs: there is no sense of depth. When you take a photo, if you place an object near your camera, then walk far behind it and take a picture, it looks like you're standing next to it, or on it. This gives the impression that your object is huge and you are tiny. Tourists love this and there are thousands of photos and videos on the Internet that show this.

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