Life & Leisure

Tourists welcome New Year at ‘giant mirror’ on Bolivian salt flats

Uyuni, Bolivia, Jan 1 (EFE).- On the salt flats of Uyuni in southwestern Bolivia, the horizon seamlessly merges with sky, a natural wonder where hundreds of tourists celebrated New Year this weekend.

The world’s largest salt flats are more than 3,600 meters above sea level and cover more than 10,500 square kilometers.

During the rainy season, when nearby lakes overflow, a mirror effect is created by the layer of excess water that covers the flats, reflecting the sunlight and creating the illusion of an infinite sky.

“The goddess Tunupa’s husband Kusku took her children away from her because he was a jealous husband, and when Tunupa was left without them she spilled her milk and mixed it with her tears of sadness to create the Uyuni salt flat. That’s how some people tell the legend around here,” Celso, an experienced tour guide from Potosi, told EFE.

In the nearby town of Colchani, artisanal salt collectors and sculptors thrive.

The town is also home to the region’s largest salt factory, which is estimated to extract over 20,000 tons of salt each year.

The Bolivian salt flat, apart from its natural beauty, is considered one of the world’s largest reserves of lithium, which is used to manufacture batteries.

In December, Bolivia inaugurated an industrial complex that plans to produce 15,000 tons of lithium carbon per year.

The South American country has already opened other industrialization plants for potassium salts and potassium chloride and a pilot lithium carbonate plant. EFE


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