World Travel Tales

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Jumping for Joy

At some times of the year the salt flats are covered with a few centimetres of water, and it creates a reflection that makes it nearly impossible to differentiate between land and sky. For this reason, and the fact that there's nothing in the background to spoil the perspective, many tourists take funny perspective photos here (even when the sky and ground aren't indistinguishable), so click the link below to check some out some funny tourist photos of Uyuni.

We took a few as well, and although this isn't a play on perspective, it's my fave of the day.

Location: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Related Link: Google Search for Uyuni Perspective Photos

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 400, 1/320 sec at f/10.

Isla Incahuasi, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Island in a Sea of Salt

These salt flats are huge, and this and a few other 'islands' are the only thing that aren't perfectly flat in this sea of salt.

We left our accommodation really early in the morning so we could be well out on to the salt flat to watch the sun come up. When we first arrived it was pitch black in and while driving at highway speed our driver turned out the headlights and reclined his chair for a nap for about a minute. It's a strange feeling travelling that fast without a clue about what's in front of you, but I guess there's nothing to hit (except maybe another car stopped to fix a flat tire...)

Location: Isla Incahuasi, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 500, 1/320 sec at f/10.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Salar de Uyuni

The salt flats in Bolivia are the largest in the world, boasting an impressive area of nearly 10,500 square kilometres, which means there are about 80 countries in the world smaller than the Salar de Uyuni.

It is located in the provicce of Daniel Campos in southwestern Bolivia, quite near the Andes mountain range, and sits at 3,656 meters above sea level.

Location: Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 800, 1/500 sec at f/8.

Village in the Altiplano, Bolivia

Old Barrel

Location: Village in the Altiplano, Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 500, 1/50 sec at f/8.

Summit of Volcan Uturuncu, Bolivia

Moonscape

At the 6008m summit of Volcan Uturuncu, looking down on the barren landscape of Southern Bolivia.

This image is a composite of five images to create a super wide view.

Location: Summit of Volcan Uturuncu, Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 200, 1/100 sec at f/10.

Village near Volcan Uturuncu, Altiplano, Southern Bolivia

Altiplano Village

Location: Village near Volcan Uturuncu, Altiplano, Southern Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 250, 1/160 sec at f/8.

Tumpeka, Bolivia

The Fog

Location: Tumpeka, Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 400, 1/25 sec at f/8.

Samaipata, Bolivia

Swim Break

A well deserved break in the sun after canyoning and playing in the waterfalls.

Location: Samaipata, Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 500, 1/1250 sec at f/3.5.

Samaipata, Bolivia

River Crossing

We did a great guided day trip from Samaipata, which took along a river and into a canyon where we were able to swim and play in some little waterfalls.

This river crossing was early in the day before our footwear was soaked through.

Location: Samaipata, Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 400, 1/160 sec at f/3.5.

Cerro Rico, Potosi, Bolivia

Mining for Silver

After visiting the silver mine at Potosi, I'm quite sure I don't want to be a silver miner.

The work days are really long and the miners don't eat anything during the day. Instead, they bring bags of coca leaves with them and stuff their mouths with leaves throughout the day to give them energy. The boys of Potosi start young and the life expectancy of a miner is very low by our standards.

This mine is the real deal, and as a tourist you don't get to visit an area set up for tourists. You go where the real work is being done and experience first-hand what hard working conditions really are.

Our guide led us to the market before heading into the mine and we were encouraged to bring the miners some gifts for interrupting their day. I decided to buy them dynamite because, well, how often do you get to go to the market and buy dynamite?

In this photo you can see his mouth and cheeks stuffed with coca leaves.

Location: Cerro Rico, Potosi, Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 1000, 1/60 sec at f/5.

Isla del Sol, Bolivia

Grazing the Livestock

Location: Isla del Sol, Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 500, 1/200 sec at f/8.

Isla del Sol, Bolivia

Mt. Ancohuma from Isla del Sol

Location: Isla del Sol, Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 400, 1/60 sec at f/14.

Inkamachay Pinturas, Bolivia

Tough Feet

Location: Inkamachay Pinturas, Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 1000, 1/100 sec at f/6.3.

Copacabana, Puno, Bolivia

Boats on Lake Titicaca

Location: Copacabana, Puno, Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 400, 1/50 sec at f/14.

Copacabana, Bolivia

Family Day

Location: Copacabana, Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 500, 1/1000 sec at f/5.

Altiplano, Southern Bolivia

Bolivian Altiplano

The landscape of Bolivia's altiplano is very Martian looking with its barren, red rock mountains.

Location: Altiplano, Southern Bolivia

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 200, 1/100 sec at f/8.

Southern Bolivia near Volcan Uturuncu

Alpaca in the Altiplano

Alpacas wander freely in this area. They often have colourful ribbons in their hair to help the ranchers determine which animal belongs to which rancher.

The wool they produce is among the softest I've ever felt, and there are many markets in Bolivia where you can buy hand made alpaca sweaters. But good luck finding with arms that are long enough...

Location: Southern Bolivia near Volcan Uturuncu

Camera: Nikon D300 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
Settings: ISO 200, 1/125 sec at f/10.