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Uyuni beyond the salt flats: Exploring the hidden gems

Secondary Categories: UyuniGuide

Uyuni's beauty extends far beyond the vast expanses of white salt. From colorful lagoons and geothermal wonders to historical sites and remote villages, let us introduce you to the lesser-known treasures that await intrepid explorers in Uyuni… 

The Salar de Uyuni is a mesmerizing natural wonder spanning over 6,200 square miles. Its vast expanse of blinding white salt creates an otherworldly landscape, reflecting the sky and creating breathtaking mirror-like illusions. This surreal destination offers a unique and unforgettable experience that cannot be matched anywhere. While the Uyuni Salt Flats undoubtedly steal the spotlight, there is so much more to this mesmerizing region of Bolivia…  

Laguna Colorada 

Laguna Colorada Lake in Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

Just a stone's throw away from the salt flats, Laguna Colorada offers a striking contrast with its deep red waters. This captivating lake gets its vibrant hues from algae and sediments, creating a mesmerizing backdrop for flamingos that elegantly wade in its shallow depths. Immerse yourself in the surreal beauty of this oasis, marvel at the flamingos, and soak in the tranquility that surrounds you.

Geysers and Hot Springs 

Sol de Mañana geyser at Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia

Venturing into the highlands of Uyuni, prepare to be amazed by the geothermal wonders that lie hidden within the landscape. The Sol de Mañana geysers erupt with bursts of steam and boiling mud, creating an otherworldly atmosphere. Take a dip in the Polques Hot Springs, where you can relax in the warm mineral-rich waters, rejuvenating both your body and soul amidst the chilly Andean climate.


Pulacayo trainyard in mining town of Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

Step back in time as you visit Pulacayo, a historic mining town that once flourished during the silver boom. Walk through the remnants of its past glory, exploring the abandoned mines, railway tracks, and colonial buildings. Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Museo de Pulacayo, which houses an impressive collection of minerals, artifacts, and historical exhibits, providing a fascinating glimpse into Uyuni's mining heritage. 

Coquesa and Tunupa 

Coquesa Village at Salar de Uyuni with Tunupa Volcano in the background in Bolivia

Rising to an impressive 17,400 feet, Tunupa Volcano stands tall as a symbol of nature's grandeur. Trekking to its summit offers a thrilling challenge for adventurers seeking an extraordinary experience. As you ascend, the panoramic views unfold before your eyes, revealing the vast expanse of the Uyuni Salt Flats and the surrounding Andean peaks. The volcanic rocks and vibrant flora that dot the rugged landscape add an air of mystique to the journey. Tunupa Volcano not only captivates with its beauty but also holds cultural significance, with indigenous legends and stories adding depth to its majestic presence. 

Nestled at the base of Tunupa Volcano lies the enigmatic Coquesa Village, a place steeped in history and mysticism. Coquesa is renowned for its ancient mummies, which have been preserved for centuries in natural rock formations. Visit the Cave of the Mummies, where you can witness these hauntingly well-preserved remains, offering a glimpse into the ancient traditions and burial practices of the indigenous cultures that once inhabited the area. 

Exploring Coquesa Village allows you to connect with the local community, gain insights into their way of life, and appreciate their vibrant traditions. Take a leisurely stroll through the village, admiring the traditional adobe houses adorned with vibrant colors, and perhaps engage with local artisans who showcase their handicrafts. 

Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve 

Laguna Verde with Licancabur Volcano background at Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve, Bolivia

Embark on an adventure to the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve, a protected area that showcases the diverse ecosystems of Uyuni. Discover the surreal landscapes of Laguna Verde, a green lagoon at the base of the Licancabur Volcano, and witness the spectacular flamingos that grace its shores. Marvel at the snow-capped peaks, high-altitude deserts, and stunning rock formations that punctuate the reserve, creating an awe-inspiring natural wonderland. 

Siloli Desert 

Arbol de Piedra rock in Siloli Desert, Salar de Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia

Known for its stark and barren landscapes, the Siloli Desert offers a surreal and otherworldly experience. The desert boasts desolate plains, gnarled rock formations, and unique geological features. One of the most famous attractions is the iconic Arbol de Piedra (Stone Tree), a natural rock formation sculpted by wind erosion that resembles a tree. Traveling through the Siloli Desert is like stepping into a surrealist painting, where time seems to stand still, and the raw beauty of the natural world takes center stage. 

Keen to venture beyond the salt flats, and delve into Uyuni’s lesser-known gems? Choose one of our most popular Uyuni tours and then chat to a Destination Expert about making it your own… 

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