Salar de Uyuni - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Salar de Uyuni

Salar de Uyuni

Covering an area of 4,680 square miles (12,121 sq km), the Salar is the world's largest salt desert set at an elevation of 11,970ft (3,650m) and filled with an estimated 10 billion tons of salt. With picks and shovels the local people harvest the salt from the lake that once covered most of southwestern Bolivia. This region is one of the most spectacular natural attractions in Bolivia, a photographer's delight. It is a surreal landscape combining salt pans, wind-eroded rock formations, and wandering llamas in a completely unspoilt region. In the middle is Isla de Pescadores, a landmass appearing as a mountain out of the white nothingness, covered in towering stands of cactus. Laguna Colorada and Laguna Verde are other isolated marvels. One a fiery-red and the other a deep blue-green, these lakes are inhabited by flamingos and surrounded by extinct volcanoes. Nearby Sol de Mañana reeks with the smell of sulphurous gases from the geysers, fumaroles and bubbling mud pools. The village of Uyuni, to the south east of the Salar, is the best base from which to explore the area and tours can be arranged from here. 'Salt Hotels' around the periphery of Salar are a unique form of accommodation where everything (walls, furniture, etc.) is made from salt blocks cut from the flats. Another popular attraction at the Salar de Uyuni is the train cemetary, containing trains abandoned by mining companies.

Information & Facts

Tours are between US$60-100
Spanish is the official language, but only 60 to 70% of the people actually speak it, and then often only as a second language. The other main languages are Quechua and Aymar.

The official currency is the Boliviano (BOB), which is divided into 100 centavos, and is tied to the US Dollar. Money can be exchanged at exchange bureaux called casio de cambiosin the main centres, at banks and hotels. Banking facilities are good in the main cities and ATMs cater for Visa, Cirrus and MasterCard. Many hotels and other tourist-oriented institutions accept US Dollars. Major credit cards, including MasterCard, Diners, Visa and American Express, are accepted in the bigger hotels, restaurants and shops. Travellers cheques can be exchanged in casio de cambiosin the major cities and are best taken in US Dollars to avoid additional charges.

Opening Times
Tours usually leave at 10:30am
GMT -4.
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