A 12-hour bus ride to the South of La Paz takes you to Mars. Or Venus. Or some other planet, but you’re definitely not on Earth anymore.
Uyuni is famous for the largest salt desert – an absolutely flat surface (indeed the flattest on our planet) the size of a third of Belgium. It is definitely impressive, but the landscape one discovers when driving further West towards (and eventually into) Chile is just out of this world. The mix of elements, structures and colours at an altitude consistently above 4.000m is unlike anything else.
Check out the many pictures below to get an idea of this wonder and, once done, make sure to read the last few paragraphs down below. I want you to see the photos first.
A couple of years from now, most of what you see on the pictures will be gone. The rocks will stay, of course, and so will the salt, but the water will disappear and with it the algae that paint the amazing colors and the animals.
We no longer have the privilege to say that we will one day do something to prevent such changes. The disappearance of this place is a fact and we are too late to change it. The snow-capped mountains that you would see on the pictures if I visited the place 5 years ago are already gone. The depth of the lakes has since decreased considerably and will continue to decrease until there is nothing left. Even if we stop global warming today, this landscape is gone, probably forever.