Bolivia Mirror Lake - 9 Interesting Facts About Salar De Uyuni

Bolivia Mirror Lake

Salar de Uyuni is one of the most amazing sights in South America. Located in the heart of the Bolivian salt flats, and easily accessible by tour vehicle, this incredible salt flat basin is a must-see. 

If you’re the adventurous type, yearning to experience some of nature’s most beautiful treasures, this destination will exceed your expectations. The famous reflective salt flats in Bolivia are truly wondrous to behold.

Prehistoric lakes, salt crust formations, gigantic salt bricks of all shapes, and eye-popping mirror effect on the shallow salt lakes are just some of the memorable sights you’ll encounter on this fabulous tour. The Salar de Uyuni tour is an adventure you’ll never forget!

Things To Know About The Salar De Uyuni Tour

The Salar de Uyuni salt flats in southwest Bolivia are not far from the city of La Paz, and close to the border of Chile (where San Pedro de Atacama is a magnet for tourism) and north west Argentina, where Poncho Tours is based.  The Bolivian salt flats are spread out over thousands of square miles. In fact, the Salar de Uyuni basin is the world’s largest salt flat plain, covering more than 4,000 square miles (10,500 sq km).

You will experience:

  • Uyuni Salt flat formations

  • Reflective lakes

  • Red rock outcroppings

  • Glorious flamingos in their native habitat

  • Abandoned mines

  • A train cemetery (yes, a train cemetery!)

This Bolivia salt flats tour brings you face-to-face with some of the most incredible scenery you can imagine. The rainy season in Uyuni salt flats produces shallow brine pools on the surface of the plain. The water becomes quite still, producing a mirrored effect that cannot be adequately described in words.

At Poncho Tours, we can organise tours to explore the Bolivia mirror lake experience. Be sure to check out the complete information on this wonderful Salar de Uyuni adventure, and learn why the salt flats are such a popular tourist destination. Before you go, let’s check out these nine amazing facts about the Uyuni Salt Flats.

1) It’s A High Altitude Plain

Salar de Uyuni sits far above sea level and therefore it takes a day or two for visitors to acclimatize to the thin air. You begin your tour in the lowlands and travel by all-wheel drive vehicles to the high-altitude Bolivia salt flats. This allows you to become accustomed to the thin air where the Uyuni salt flats are located.

2) A Source Of Valuable Minerals

The salt flats of Salar de Uyuni contain a good amount of valuable minerals. These include:

  • Lithium

  • Magnesium

  • Potassium

  • Borax

The salt flats in this area are subject to future mining operations.

3) A Transportation Route

This region connects the Bolivian salt flats plain with La Paz and neighboring Chile. Railroads connected the southwestern part of Bolivia to the Atacama desert in years gone by, but you can still see evidence of the railway at the amazing train graveyard. Cars not only carried passengers, but they also hauled minerals from the salt flat mines.

4) Flamingos Live Here

How do flamingos survive in the Bolivia salt flats, where temperatures drop to near freezing and where food is scarce? Tiny shrimp live in the brine pools, and the natural dyes in these shrimp are the cause of the amazing colors seen in the bird’s feathers. Flamingos love shrimp and there is plenty of shrimp to feed the enormous flocks of these spectacular birds.

5) The Mirror Effect

The salt flats are bright-white in color. When it rains, shallow pools form and the reflective effect on the salt desert in this region is so powerful that you’ll actually lose your bearings at times.

You’ll marvel at the mirrored outcroppings of brown, orange, and red rock in the shallow water. On a clear night, the number of stars appears to double because of the amazing mirror effect.

6) A Salty Surface

The salt flats vary in appearance. Some are smooth as silk on the surface. Others are riddled with cracks and inclusions so intricate that their beauty cannot even be captured properly with your camera.

There’s nothing quite like the Bolivia salt flats. The multi-day tours guide you to salt blocks larger than an apartment building.

7) Ancient Volcanoes

Once you reach the salt flats and the large mirror lake in Bolivia and gaze over this amazing sight, your perspective changes rapidly. The larger salt flats are surrounded by rocky hills. Reddish stone mounds sit in the center of the larger lakes. They’re actually the remains of ancient Andean volcanoes. When mirrored in the shallow water, they are a breathtaking sight.

8) Cold Climate

Because of the high altitude, it gets pretty cold on the salt flats. You’ll need your warm sleeping bag and warm clothes in addition to your sunglasses. It rarely gets above 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.

At night, temperatures can drop below freezing. It may be cold, but the salt flats are an amazing site, and the Salar de Uyuni tour experience is like none other.

9) It’s Also Dry

The clouds that form to the east of the Salar de Uyuni rise upward but can’t get past the Andes mountain range. The salt flats receive just a few inches of rain each year. Most of the rain falls between January and April. Your chance of seeing the mirror effect is greatest during this time of year.

The Uyuni Salt Flats Tour

Operated by experienced Uyuni salt flats tour guides, these salt flat treks combine wilderness adventure with a good dose of education. The tours include side trips in the nearby regions, offering visitors the chance to meet the locals, get a feel for the history and culture of this part of Bolivia, and even sample the local cuisine.

The reflective salt flats in Bolivia are like nothing you’ve ever seen and are something you just have to see in person. Contact Poncho Tours for information on the incredible Uyuni salt flats private tour in Bolivia. 



3 to 7 days
Group Size
1 to 4

Chile: Atacama Desert

A dramatic journey across the Andes to the driest desert in the world, the Atacama in northern Chile.

This trip combines with the colourful canyon of the Quebrada de Humahuaca and (if you're doing a round trip from Salta) with the Quebrada del Toro.

There's spectacular scenery around every corner: mountains and volcanoes, flamingoes and vicuña: and the Atacama is ideal for desert night stargazing.

Click here to view map route.

8 Reviews verify
6 to 8 days
Group Size
1 to 4

Salares of Uyuni, Bolivia

The Bolivia salt flats are one of the true wonders of the natural world, the biggest in the world, and visible from space.

Experience an unforgettable tour of the Salar de Uyuni, where the lack of artificial light means there is always a breath-taking night sky.

This trip also includes an excursion through the multi-coloured Quebrada de Humahuaca, and can be combined with the Chilean Atacama desert.

Click here to view map route.

2 Reviews verify
3 days
Group Size
1 to 4

Bolivia’s high altitude wine

Allow us to introduce you to one of the world’s lesser known wine regions: Tarija in Bolivia. With vineyards at 1,850m, this is one of the highest altitude wine regions in the world.

The quality of wine, particularly its trademark Tannat red variety, has developed hugely over the last 15 years, while its traditional singani spirit distilled from white Muscat of Alexandria grapes is also excellent.

Join us for a unique and personalised experience in one of the emerging wine regions in the world.

This trip can be combined with hiking in Calilegua or a longer tour also incorporating the new wine region of Jujuy province, Fourteen Colours and Cloud Forest.