17 Photos That'll Convince You To Put These Salt Flats On Your Bucket List

May 4, 2018

|Ariel Rodriguez
salar de uyuni photos

Whether you are a photography beginner or an expert, this place will always give you an amazing photo.

What if I told you that an arid place in South America, where the hotel’s amenities don’t include electricity, only a perfect view of a starry sky at night, could be your next adventure? You'd probably call me crazy, but after seeing these pictures, you might end up booking a trip there. While many people are okay with the most obvious travel destinations out there (like a sunny beach or a European city), you can actually do something different for your next vacation by visiting the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. Here, you’ll find one of the biggest salt flats, or salt pans, on Earth as well as a hotel entirely made up of salt (chairs, tables, everything). This place could even turn into a photo project because the landscape offers different optical illusions, depending on the season you decide to visit, that will add originality to your Instagram account.

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Photo by: @voevip

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Photo by: @julienboye

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Photo by: @ni_q_uo

salar de uyuni photos 4Photo by: @ni_q_uo

In these photographs, we can see a never-ending horizon of white salt that compresses during the dry season when all the water in the lake has evaporated. This gives the illusion of a solid white background that resembles snow and seems to be infinite. On the other hand, when it’s the rainy season, the water level in the lake rises up to six inches, creating the illusion of a mirror reflecting the sky. It confuses the eye and the mind as the horizon suddenly turns into a clear reflection of the heavens above: which one is up, and which one is down?

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Photo by: @_saebom__

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Photo by: @re_olliveira

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Photo by: @angeloencinas

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Photo by: @tom_belisha

The photos at this place are amazing.

As seen in the following images, visitors enjoy getting creative with the landscape that offers complete tranquility and peace. The flats look like a never-ending horizon of crystal water and pure white salt, so it's the perfect setting for group pictures and clever poses. For example, my favorite pictures are the ones with cars and people standing on top of the calm lake, which by the way, can be crossed by boat. It sort of looks like they are walking on water. Pretty cool, right? At the same time, I love those optical illusions in the photographs where people pretend to be giants, eating their tiny friends. They do this by placing themselves away from the camera while others stay closer to it. Since the landscape seems completely flat and empty, it seems as if some objects were bigger than others.

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Photo by: @maurustaupadel

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Photo by: @biancaguedesm

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Photo by: @_saebom__

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Photo by: @_saebom__

How were these salt flats formed?

According to the National Park Service, in order for a salt flat to form, it must have a large drainage system, a salt source, an enclosed basin to keep the salt from washing away, and an arid climate where there is more evaporation than precipitation that will cause the salt to remain in the lake. Some of these lakes haven’t had water for a thousand years, yet the minerals of the water remains there as proof of their existence. These places are very unusual because this climate, hot during the day and freezing at night, is not very common.

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Photo by: @ni_q_uo

salar de uyuni photos 14Photo by: @ni_q_uo

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Photo by: @ni_q_uo

salar de uyuni photos 16Photo by: @ni_q_uo


Besides the infinite horizon of salt, you can also come across pink flamingos, lumps of salt, and unusual plants that don't necessarily grow where the salt is located. This place is perfect for spending a full day of tranquility and reflection while enjoying the beauty of nature. Whether you are a photography beginner or an expert, you’ll love visiting this place because there is a wide source of light exposure, which is perfect for increasing your shutter speed and capturing fast movements. Whatever passion this place awakens in you, the Salar de Uyuni should be at the top of your bucket list.

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Ariel Rodriguez

Ariel Rodriguez

Creative Writer