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Imagine a place with no horizon, where the heavens and the earth merge as one. Where the sunset melts into the ground and distant mountains are reflected like a mirror. Sounds like a dream right? What if I told you this place was real and that you could find it at Bolivia’s Salt Flats.
What are Bolivia’s Salt Flats?
The Bolivian Salt Flats (also known as the Uyuni Salt Flats or Salar De Uyuni) are the world’s largest salt flats. They cover over 12,000 square kilometres in area and are at an elevation of 3656 meters above sea level.
As well as being covered in a thick layer of salt, it is also so flat that it is used to calibrate Earth’s observational satellites.
Due to the combination of the salt layer and acute flatness, it is an extraordinarily peculiar, beautiful and equally fascinating place which attracts lots of tourists every year.
The Salt Flats were used to film the planet Crait in Star Wars – The Last Jedi
A True Spectacle of Nature
With a combination of geological events and natural circumstances, the Bolivian Salt Flats are a true spectacle of nature to behold.
In the rainy season, nearby lakes overflow and the water ends up resting itself, in absolute stillness, on the salt flats, turning the Bolivian salt flats into the biggest reflective mirror on the planet.
The vastness, the never-ending whiteness, the mountains and the clouds that are turned into symmetrical masterpieces. This place will leave you in absolute astonishment at the beauty and power of nature.
There is no greater beauty or charm than what we can find in nature.Todd Romano
This place is a gold mine for photographers. With the biggest natural mirror on earth, clear skies and the Andes Mountains surrounding you, there are a myriad of angles and interesting perspectives you can capture, in this alien-like place.
All you need is a camera and a creative mind to take some seriously amazing photos here. It’s hard to take a bad photo in the Bolivian Salt Flats (unless you’re really terrible at photography).
Most people take their photos by playing with perspective.
You can have someone or something close to the camera and others who walk a fair distance away. The people further away look as though they have shrunk and the person or thing closer to the camera will look bigger. Using this concept there are almost limitless options for funny, cool-looking, breathtaking photos.
But, if you’re no pro, a simple photo with the people in the foreground in shadow and the background highlighted, can look really impressive. The reflection and natural surroundings provide the perfect frame.
The Psychological Effect
Cars in the distance begin to look as though they’re floating. Where the horizon starts and ends becomes difficult to define. Cloud formations start to look like origami pieces and your mind starts to become muddled and disorientated.
I can’t think of a better way to explain the experience other than to say it’s ‘dream-like’. In a dream, your perspective is somewhat based in reality but things seem a little odd, distorted, out of place. This experience is exactly how you will feel exploring the Bolivian salt flats except…the salt flats are real (I promise).
It’s only as you drive away from this surreal place and begin to enter the world full of clear horizons, and a normal amount of unevenness, that you will realize just how truly otherworldly the experience was.
It Will Leave You in Awe
You thought you just simultaneously had the weirdest and most awe-inspiring day of your life, but then the sun starts to set and you realize the best was saved until last.
The red sky and the mirrored-ground create a temporary painting full of colours and shapes which only you will ever witness. It feels like your walking on the sunset.
There are places that are forgotten, memories that are discarded. And then there are those places and those moments that never leave us, that remain with us forever because to forget them…would be a tragedy.