Image by Ignacio Palacios Getty Images
The world's largest salt flat sits at a lofty 3653m (11,985ft) and blankets an amazing 12,000 sq km (4633 sq miles). It was part of a prehistoric salt lake, Lago Minchín, which once covered most of southwest Bolivia. When it dried up, it left a couple of seasonal puddles and several salt pans, including Salar de Uyuni. The savage beauty of this vast salt desert makes it one of South America's most awe-inspiring spectacles.
From strange islands in a sea of blindingly bright salt to delicately colored mineral lakes in the Andean mountains, this is an unforgettable Bolivian landscape.
However, travelers should take great care in choosing which tour operator to go with when visiting the salt flats. Fatal accidents due to unsafe vehicles and drivers are not unheard of. Make sure your vehicles have seat belts, emergency radio transmitters and first aid equipment, and don't shy away from asking about the guides' levels of training and experience. Of course, there are also many reputable tour operators in the area who will ensure your experience of this natural wonder is both memorable and safe.