While the Uyuni Salt Flat is a beautiful and extraordinarily extensive destination (and perhaps my favourite place to have visited), the journey I took from San Pedro de Atacama in Chile through to Uyuni was what made the experience that much more memorable. While growing up in New Zealand has provided me with a plethora of beautiful landscapes, visiting the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve in southwestern Bolivia exposed me to otherworldly and picturesque settings that were the highlights of my trip to Latin America.
Travelling through the Bolivian Reserve over a few days, I arguably saw more lagoons than I have in my entire life. Laguna Colorada, Laguna Blanca, Laguna Verde – to name a few, all living up to their names each with wildly different elements such as colour schemes and fauna. An abundance of flamingos dotted Laguna Colorada’s vibrant red landscape, and the Andes mountain range sat on the horizon.
For days I felt as though I was living in a painting. While the landscape was vast and at times we drove through similar and never-ending desert scenery for hours, the assortment of colours, animals and sights at each spot along the way continued to excite me as I filled the SD card of my camera faster than I could have imagined.
While you take the same route as other vehicles through the reserve, it is easy to forget you are not alone when another convoy isn’t in sight until you stop at a lagoon or an impressive rock formation amidst the expansive desert. Llamas, alpacas and foxes are among many animals you spot along the way, and made me question the difficulty of adapting to such extreme living conditions. While the sky stayed clear and the sun shone each day I was there, the temperature dropped to below freezing each evening and my only warm clothing (the merino socks I had picked up at a mall in Chile at the very last minute after being informed just how cold it would get) didn’t quite cut it. Pack warm!
This remote destination is truly breathtaking – and not just due to its location sitting at an altitude between 4,200m and 5,400m. Travelling overland between Uyuni and San Pedro de Atacama is an unforgettable experience, offering surreal scenery you will be disappointed to leave behind.
Our Bolivia holidays travel across the Bolivian Altiplano to San Pedro de Atacama. Click here to order a brochure.