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UYUNI - BOLIVIA
Uyuni Salt Pan
The Uyuni Salt Pan is located on the Bolivian high plateau at altitudes of over 3,600 meters above sea level. Several rivers empty into this area, mainly the Rio Grande de Lipez, originating a floodplain area with very shallow water cover.
This salt pan is considered a source of national pride in Bolivia. It constitutes a major reserve of lithium, potassium, boron and magnesium.
Colchani Salt Pan.
This salt pan processes a large part of the salt consumed in Bolivia. The extraction by traditional methods is worth watching. The buildings in this town are mostly streaked with dry salt deposits. It is 21 km from Uyuni.
Coipasa Salt Pan.
This salt lake is located in the Bolivian Department of Oruro, some 280 km south of the country's capital, La Paz. It occupies the bottom of a depression in the Bolivian high plateau bordering with Chile, in the dry season it shrinks, becoming a salty crust.
Del Pescado Island (Fish Island)
At a distance this island has the shape of a fish. Its historical name is Inka Wasi. It is located at the center of the Uyuni salt pan. Nature has bestowed a singular type of flora on this place. The surface rocks contain fossils of marine algae. This is the largest island in the group that forms an isolated oasis-type ecosystem within the salt pan; the landscape against the background of the salt pans that extend to the horizon makes it an ideal place for photography fans.
This extinct volcano was considered a deity for the local inhabitants in pre-Hispanic times. The lake at its foot harbors pink and red-brown flamingoes. The surrounding villages of Tahua, Jirira, Coquesa and Aiquile are typically Andean, and the Monte is considered to be one of the most important pre-Hispanic sanctuary sites, containing more than 24 identified archaeological sites.
However, the beauty of the vast high plateau is not only visible in this "sea of whiteness", it is also apparent over large areas, including Verde Lagoon and Colorada Lagoon. These are places where nature is still unpolluted, where flocks of flamingoes spot the waters of the lakes and the clear blue skies with pink.
Colorada Lagoon (Red Lagoon).
Its area is 60 km2, and it is at 4,278 meters above sea level. It is characterized by the red tone of its waters. It is inhabited by flocks of flamingoes of three species: tokoko, with red plumage; chururu, with whitish plumage, and jututu, with pink plumage. The scenery is exceptionally beautiful at these heights, set off by the impressive redness of the Lagoon.
This is considered to be the most important flamingo watching site in the region, and is specially interesting because of the coloring of the water; here is where one can find all three species of flamingoes together, including the greatest population of the "Parina" type and the typical mammals of the area, such as vicuña, vizcacha and llama. There are tourist lodging places near the lagoon.
Sol de Mañana (Morning Sun)
Geysers, fumaroles and volcanic craters form a spectacular combination in this one square kilometer area. It is an hour away from Colorada Lagoon, on the way to Chalviri Salt Pan. It features intense volcanic and fumarole activity. The crater bottoms display intensely boiling lava; additionally, the fumaroles emit spouts of mixed water and superheated steam reaching 80 to 100 meters in height; the above described phenomena display a landscape dating from the beginning of the Earth's history. Colorada Lagoon's volcanic craters contain boiling lava and mud. This geothermal field is located at 4.900 meters above sea level.
Verde Lagoon (Green Lagoon)
Its water surface has the appearance of a giant emerald. From here one can see the impressive beauty of Licancahur Volcano, at 5,865 meters above sea level. The special brightness of the green waters of the lake in the afternoon is dazzling. The intensely green coloring of its waters is due to their high magnesium content.
Eduardo Avaroa (REA) National Andean Fauna Reserve
With a surface area of 714,745 hectares, it is located to the southwest of the Department of Potosi in the province of Sud Lipez. Fauna here features the presence of unique species that have adapted to the extreme living conditions in this region, some of them being endangered. This place may be considered to be one of the most inhospitable areas of Bolivia, it is uniquely charming and beautiful thanks to its lakes, salt pans, volcanoes, snowcapped peaks, plains, thermal springs, its few rivers that are rich in algae and plankton, geothermal geysers, and its flora and general topography.
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