Travel Route: Tree of Stone – Desierto de Siloli – Laguna Honda – Laguna Canapa – Salar de Chihuana – San Juan
Traveling through the southwest corner of Bolivia is a rich and awe-inspiring experience. The horizon line is uninterrupted as we drive across this vast and raw but rich scenic landscape. It is a high desert 4000-5000 m (13,000-16,500 ft) of diverse imagery, ranging from the blinding white of Salar de Uyuni to lakes of blue, green, white, or red, depending on which minerals are present. The ground is literally boiling with minerals; thus, the color spectrum is glorious. It is a very remote area where human habitation is negligible. However, llamas and alpacas are grazing along with various migratory species of pink and white flamingos. Driving four days on dusty dirt roads, I found myself feeling dwarfed by the sheer scale of the place.
San Juan’s Salt Hotel
Our hotel is made of salt blocks. The floor, walls, ceiling, and furniture, including beds, tables, chairs, and sculptures, are all made of salt blocks. This beautiful yet simple structure was the only structure for miles around. The construction quality is a good indication of a developing country building codes. Although most of the private bathroom walls were stone, a sheet of plastic covers the walk-in shower’s salt wall, waiting to be updated.