Bolivia, Uyuni: Hotel Playa Blanca
Made entirely out of salt blocks!
Pardede de sal, feita de tijolos de sal, juntados com argamassa de sal e o telhado… bom, o telhado é de sape mesmo. Photo Dudu Figueiredo, July 2006.
Banco de sal, chão de sal, mesa de sal, parede de sal… Photo Dudu Figueiredo, July 2006.
This may be the only hotel anywhere to post a sign that reads “Please do not lick the walls.”
It’s tempting, but your doctor would not approve. At Hotel de Sal Playa Blanca in southwestern Bolivia‘s Salar de Uyuni, a 4,000 square-mile desert that started out as a lake some 40,000 years ago, everything from floor to ceiling is made of salt. The walls are thick blocks of salt held together with more salt.
The view, a blinding white that stretches as far as the eye can see, seems arctic, but you’re really looking at 10 billion tons of salt. It cranks up our blood pressure just thinking about it.
Wish You Were Here — Hotel de Sal Playa Blanca
Salar de Uyuni is the world’s largest salt flat at 10,582 km2 (4,086 sq mi).
It is located in the Potosí and Oruro departments in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes at an altitude of 3,656 meters (11,995 feet).
Salar de Uyuni has long attracted tourists, who came great distances and needed a place to rest before returning to their cities. Building such a resting place required construction materials, which are scarce in the area. Therefore, it was logical to erect a hotel made of salt, which is in ready supply at Salar de Uyuni.
The first hotel was built in 1993-1995 out of salt blocks in the middle of the Salar de Uyuni, and soon became a popular tourist destination. It had 12 double rooms, a common bathroom, and no shower. Its location in the center of a desert produced sanitary problems, as most waste had to be collected manually. Mismanagement caused serious environmental pollution and the hotel had to be dismantled in 2002.
New salt hotels were built near the periphery of the Salar, closer to roads, in full compliance with environmental rules.
- The Best Desert Getaways: 9. Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia (outsideonline.com)
- Vagabond Tales: Salar De Uyuni, The Weirdest Place On Earth (gadling.com)
- The Southwest Circuit to the Salar de Uyuni: Day One (laaventuraproject.com)
- Tips for Visiting the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia (bootsnall.com)
- RN Eduardo Avaroa + Salar de Uyuni (andesenzo.wordpress.com)
- People look like they walk on water in Bolivia (thesun.co.uk)
- The Southwest Circuit to Salar de Uyuni: Day Three (laaventuraproject.com)
- largest natural mirror (izabael.com)