Bolivia

Drive Colchani - Hotel del Sal

The first steps in salar

Petr Liška
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Drive Colchani - Hotel del Sal
Inserted: 02.02.2013
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

The jeeps are reaching in less than five kilometers one of the natural wonders of the world after leaving a little depressive mining villages Colchani – the largest salt plain in the world – Salar de Uyuni (3656 m asl). The first stop on the salar tour is the Hotel de Sal, where are most things made of salt. Along the way you can see labor-intensive mining of salt, which is unfortunately sometimes done also by small children. There are three seasons in salar – classic when everything shines with white salt; gray when the dust storm sweeps through the area and salar loses a  little of its beauty and also the period when is salar under water /after major storms, especially in the summer time /. The tourist is then limited here by the fact that he cannot pass through salar for example to the amazing „island“ Isla Incahuasi, but everything is beautifully mirrored in it. So you will have totally different experience at this time than usually, this is especially true for photographers. Unfortunately, only hotel de Sal is then usually accessible in the village of Colchani.

Driving on the flooded salar

Some tourists choose more interesting traveling option than sitting inside during the way from Colchani to the salt hotel.

Driving on the flooded salar
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Trucks on the salar

Along the way, you can see a lot of trucks going among prepared heaps of salt.

Trucks on the salar
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Salt loading

There is mined 20,000 tons of salt annually, which can be seen mainly at Colchani that once lay directly at the salar and is a few miles from the region now. Salt layer is between 2 to 20 meters.

Salt loading
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Child labour in salar

Working with salt for a long-term can cause serious illnesses. Salt corrodes the mucous membranes and is therefore inappropriate especially for children.

Child labour in salar
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Small heaps of salt

Workers rake the top layer of salt with shovels to small heaps, which are then loaded onto trucks. But these are only for decoration close by the salt hotel.

Small heaps of salt
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Salt piles

Salt heaps are quite large and only very few tourists can resist frolicking on them a little.

Salt piles
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Salt Hotel

After 6 km drive across the salt plain you come to this famous hotel.

Salt Hotel
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Stylish furniture

You can have a stylish snack in front of the salt hotel.

Stylish furniture
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Salt hotel

This is the interior of the hotel. They try to make the most parts of the hotel only from salt. Number of similar salt hotels increased nearby the salt plains after the tourist boom, but the original is close (12km) to the village Colchani.

Salt hotel
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Salar after dust storm

Salar looks pretty greyish and less photogenic after the dust storm. There are two options for the continuation from the Salt Hotel – 95% of tourists continue to Isla Incahuasi, the rest to the multi-colored volcano Tunupa.

Salar after dust storm
Author: Petr Liška © gigaplaces.com

Practical information

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Several days lasting off road trip around southwestern Bolivia is one of the most amazing travel experiences. On the way along… continue reading

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