The Bolivian highlands

| Anke Hendriks

One of the most beautiful places on earth

One of the most beautiful things about travelling is that you see and encounter things you can't experience in your own environment. That you come to places with views so beautiful that they make you speechless. One of those places, that amazed me so much, is the Bolivian salt plain and the surrounding highlands. As far as I am concerned one of the most beautiful places on earth!

A breathtaking experience

Surrealistic, that's the best way to describe in one word the landscapes in this area. The coloured lagoons, the reddish mountains, volcanic rocks that have strange shapes and the various animal species that occur there. All at an altitude between 4000 and 5000 meters, where the modern and inhabited world are miles away. 

When I look at the pictures, I still can go back to the days that I stayed in this area. Our guide drives us over the Bolivian highlands and we pass some lakes that take on different colours due to oxidation of various minerals. Later we drive past active geysers with beautiful landscapes in the background. The coloured craters are huge, it smells strongly of sulphur and the water in them boils and occasionally jumps up. At an altitude of 4500 meters, where the air is thin and you quickly run out of breath, this is literally and figuratively a breathtaking experience.

Unreal forms and countless flamingos

The next day we drive along some magical coloured lakes again. This won't get boring. We stop at a spot, in the middle of a desert-like area, with volcanic rock that has unrealistic shapes formed by the wind and time, reminiscent of the surrealistic paintings of the artist Salvador Dali. We pass by a lake with countless flamingos. With their beaks they are imperturbably searching for food from the ground. We drive past an active volcano, pass a train full of minerals and meet some local animals, like a fox and a viscacha, a rabbit with the tail of a squirrel. 

Sunrise on the largest salt plain in the world

The final day we get up early to see the sun wake up on the salt flats. We were lucky, because a few days before it had rained so there was a small layer of water on the plain. Because of this the mountains are reflected in the water. It is very cold and slowly the sun comes out. Mighty beautiful to experience this! A big smile appears on my face and doesn't go away for the rest of the day. As soon as the sun is up in the sky we drive over the salt plain and only then it really becomes clear how big the plain is that was created millions of years ago when the gigantic inland seas dried up. With a surface area of 12,000 km2 and a salt layer of over 110 metres thick, this is the largest salt plain in the world.

Travel through Bolivia?

In short, for me a unique and unforgettable experience through one of the most beautiful landscapes and most impressive views in the world. Have you always wanted to discover this special region yourself? As a 100% Latin America specialist we will gladly advise you about the possibilities. Take a look at our unique journey through Bolivia and Peru. You can book this trip directly, but we are also happy to create a personal programme based on your wishes and ideas.

Do you have a question? Please feel free to contact us. Call +31 73 610 62 04 or send an email to We are happy to help.

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