Sunday, October 6, 2013

Salar de Uyuni & Isla del Pescado

There are tons of articles and blogs on the internet extolling the wonders of Salar de Uyuni, and why not? The surreal-ness of the largest salt flat in the world is indeed a wonder. And within the salt flat itself sits another wonder - an island of giant cactii - Isla del Pescado.

Imagine driving through an expanse of land that is the reflection of the heavens. And as you emerge out of this reflection, a rocky outcrop of land materializes which tears your attention from the unending white around. The wonder would hit you when you draw closer to the island and realized that the "trees" on the island are giant cactii!!

The island is named Isla del Pescado or Fish Island, as it was supposed to take the shape of a fish when viewed from a distance. I must have been too mesmerized by everything around to have noticed then. On the island, there is a short trail through the cactus forest that leads you to a high point which gives you a fantastic view of the surrounding salt flats. And watching the setting sun slowly withdrawing its golden light off the white salt flats is also quite a wonder!

Staying overnight on the island may be an issue and special arrangements with your travel agency is probably necessary to facilitate that. There is no tourist rooms, and we had to sleep on the floor of a small office building of some kind! But the experience is definitely worth it, as the scene of the giant cactii rising towards the star-studded skies is just one-of-a-kind!!

The Salar de Uyuni and Isla del Pescado is a definite highlight of any trip to Bolivia!

No comments: