Salar de Uyuni: The Secret Story Behind the World’s Largest Salt Flat

The scientists, researchers, and tourists have been exploring the secrets behind the formation of the largest salt flat. Located in Bolivia, the researchers consider the place as the most extreme and remarkable vistas in the entire continent of South America.

While the researchers are exploring the actual cause, their curiosity was filled with the mythological story of the Aymara culture about volcanic mountains of Tunupa, Kusina, and Kusku narrated by the locals.

Legends of Salar De Uyuni:

The story begins when long ago, the volcanoes of the Altiplano walked and moved to meet with each other and had conversations. Tunupa was the only female volcano in the group who dwelled at 12,000 feet above the sea level.

One day, when she became pregnant and bore a small volcano, all the volcanos courted her claim to be the father of the small volcano. No one knew who the actual father was, and hence all the volcanos started fighting. Later the small volcano was kidnapped from his mother and was hid in Colchani by Kusini and Kusku.

Also Read: Nazca Lines: Mysterious Geometrical Lines in Peru is One of the Oldest Unsolved Mysteries of World

The gods became extremely furious at the behavior of the volcanoes and punished them. They were unable to move and talk. Tunupa had to nurse her child and now as she failed to find him. Tunupa was also silenced and pinned to the earth.

She did not know that in Colchani, there is a small volcano similar to her. She went on crying, and her tears and milk ran across the arid land, making the land salty and white.

Scientific Observations:

Some curious researchers did not believe in the mythological story of the locals. They made their observations and scientific technologies and stated that Altiplano is nothing more than a high plateau with no drainage outlets.

Consisting of an estimated amount of 10 billion tonnes of salt, Salar de Uyuni is the largest salt flats in the world. The water from the surrounding mountains collated and formed a giant lake.

There is high salinity in the region, which indicates that the water from the lake went on evaporating under the scorching heat of the sun. This process left behind a thick crust of the salts present in the water, thereby forming the current salt flats of Salar de Uyuni.

When there is plenty of rain, the nearby lakes start to overflow, and a thin layer of water is transformed into the flats. You would be mesmerized to see the beautiful reflection of the sky over the water of the flats and would be impossible to tell where the sky end and the land begins.

This beautiful and otherworldly terrain serves as a lucrative extraction site for salt and lithium—the element responsible for powering laptops, smartphones, and electric cars. In addition to local workers who harvest these minerals, the landscape is home to the world's first salt hotel and populated by road-tripping tourists.


Most tours to Salar de Uyuni originates from the small town of Uyuni. There are various options for reaching here. However, traveling from Ororo is the best option and chosen by most of the tourists. It is a 7 hours journey by train or an hour more by bus, and the tickets are booked up on the day, and hence it is recommended to book in advance.

There is an alternative option as well, where you can take a bus from Potosi, or you can rent a car and board a flight from La Paz to Uyuni's small airport.

If you are adventurous and curious enough, then do not forget to visit Salar de Uyuni. If you want the best climate, visit the largest salt flats between July and October. However, if you love to experience reflecting surfaces, March and April are the best months.

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