7 curiosities about Uyuni Salt Flats you’d like to know

curiosidades del salar de uyuni

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At this point nobody doubts that visiting Uyuni Salt Flats is an incredible experience. Bolivia’s salt desert is a unique place in the world and considered even magical. Surely there are some things that you don’t know about it and that’s why today we are going to discover 7 curiosities about Uyuni Salt Flats that for sure you didn’t know.

Origin and legend

The current location of Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia was, 40.000 years ago, part of Lake Minchin that was a giant prehistoric lake. Thousands of years later it became Lake Tauca that made way to other smaller lakes and finally to the salt flat we know today.

For mythology lovers we bring the most romantic version of its origin. The legend talks that Uyuni Salt Flats was formed from mother’s milk spilled by the Tunupa volcano, when her newborn was stolen. Every year it is her tears that flood this sea of salt in the rainy season.

In your trip to Uyuni Salt Flats you will be able to contemplate the biggest natural mirror of the world, where the salt flat and the sky join creating a captivating landscape.

The white gold

Uyuni Salt Flats has one of the largest lithium reserves in the world, the exact amount of lithium it holds isn’t yet known, but it is estimated to be the largest in the world.

lithium in Uyuni Salt Flats

Lithium is considered the white gold and is on its way to becoming the new oil, since it is a very necessary element for the manufacture of all types of batteries, from the ones for cell phones and electric cars.

Bolivia could become a new world energy power. Currently there is already an operating agreement with China, and it is said that part of this agreement has involved the launch of the first Bolivian satellite, called Túpac Katari which has served to bring telecommunications to many rural and isolated areas throughout the country.

It captures hearts even in space

Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, was very impressed by the shining of Uyuni Salt Flats from space, as if it were a mirror. At that time the famous astronaut did not know what that place was and confused it with a giant glacier. On his return to Earth he made a private excursion to Uyuni Salt Flats to discover the curiosities about Uyuni Salt Flats and he was impressed by its magnetic beauty.

view uyuni salt flat from space

Train bound for nowhere

Uyuni was the first place in Bolivia to see a train passing through its lands, back in 1899, connecting Uyuni with Antofagasta (Chile) to facilitate the export of the silver extracted from the mines of Huanchaca.

abandoned train in uyuni train cemetery

What once was the country’s greatest symbol of progress has now become another attraction in Uyuni: Uyuni Salt Flats train cemetery. The result is a curious picture formed by dozens of orange wagons that lie abandoned.

May the force accompany the Salt Flats

Another of the curiosities about Uyuni Salt Flats is its presence and relevance in the shooting of Star Wars: ‘The last Jedi’. It is nothing less than the last scene of the final battle that the salt desert of Bolivia welcomes and contextualizes.

shooting star wars spaceships in Uyuni Salt Flats

Coquesa and her mummies

In a cave in Uyuni Salt Flats were found some mummies of 3.000 years old. Today you can still see five of them, known as the Coquesa mummies.

The mummies are in a good state of conservation thanks to the cold and dry climate of the Bolivian highland that still preserve part of the skin, hair, nails and clothes. Among all the curiosities about Uyuni Salt Flats, this is the most shocking!

The islands from the sea of ​​salt

In the immense white sea there are many small islands. One of the most famous is the Incahuasi Island. Its curious and unique inhabitants, giant cactus known as cardones, have stoically survived thousands of years in one of the most arid and harshest ecosystems on the planet.

cactus Incahuasi island Uyuni salt flats

Silent witnesses of the passage of time create in the traveler a feeling of admiration and faith. Without a doubt they are the heroes of the salt flat, exposed to the extreme climate of the area, surpassing icy temperatures and long droughts. You can decide when to go to Uyuni Salt Flats, they have to adapt, imagine their capacity of resistance!

Superheroes visit the salar

Lovers of ‘The Justice League’ and video games in general will surely love knowing that the superheroes knew how to get to Uyuni Salt Flats (Batman got lost on the way). No kidding! Superheroes of DC in 2013 appear in the big mirror in chapter 8 of ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’.

comic vignette with superheroes at Uyuni salt flats

The curiosities about Uyuni Salt Flats is one more attraction of the place. Get ready to enjoy the most amazing and wonderful landscape you can imagine. The white salt desert is waiting for you to tell you its secrets in the form of experience, do you dare to know it?


Lily is happy with a backpack on her back. Every year she travels through one country in Latin America and has repeated several times, especially Peru where she says she feels at home (although she says the same about Argentina, Chile and Bolivia).

She loves ceviche, hiking and Sunday picnics with her friends, although whenever you ask her, she's always planning her next destination.

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