Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt desert (or salt flat). A four thousand square mile patch of salt that spraws across southwestern Bolivia, the pure white surface is nearly perfectly level over almost its entire area, and is one of the most easily identifiable natural landmarks that can be seen from space.
The great salt flats of Bolivia are among the most inhospitable places in South America, and there is little evidence of ancient human habitation. The area remains largely undeveloped, except for salt and other mineral mining operations.
Salar de Uyuni is the remains of an ancient sea that left behind millions and millions of tons of salt and other minerals (notably lithium). The salt crust is over ten feet deep in places. In the middle of the salt flat is the Isla Incahuasi, the remains of a small ancient island that once rose above the sea here. During the rainy season, small amounts of water can reaccumulate on the surface for a few months.
Salar de Uyuni is definitely an adventure travel destination, and one that is growing in popularity every year. During the dry season, drivers, bikers and hikers cross the salt flats, which make for very good driving conditions. Many try to reach the Isla Incahuasi, where there are tourist facilities and excellent views of the salt flats in every direction. Web: www.uyuniland.com (official website).