Introduction

Bolivia: a journey from Uyuni and Lake Titicaca

Introduction

Bolivia: a journey from Uyuni and Lake Titicaca

This album is from a journey around south Bolivia made in April 2014. Starting in Sucre the trip explored the region around Uyuni, La Paz and Lake Titicaca before crossing into Peru (to be shown in another album).

Uyuni Salt Lake

Salar de Uyuni, or salt lake, is the world's largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers. It is located in southwest Bolivia, at an altitude of 3,656 meters.

The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. The water is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average altitude variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar. The crust serves as a source of salt and covers a pool of brine. The salt is 'mined' and processed in vilalges around the lake. The Salara is exceptionally rich in lithium and contains a large proportion of the world's reserves.

The large area makes the Salar an ideal object for calibrating the altimeters of Earth observation satellites.

The Salar serves as the major transport route across the Bolivian Altiplano and is a major breeding ground for several species of pink flamingos.

La Paz

La Paz is the world's highest administrative capital. While the official capital of Bolivia (and its seat of justice) is Sucre, La Paz has more government departments.

The city sits in a bowl surrounded by the high mountains of the altiplano. As it grew, the city of La Paz climbed the hills, resulting in varying elevations from 3,200 to 4,100 m. Overlooking the city is towering triple-peaked Illimani, which is always snow-covered.

La Paz Metropolitan area make the most populous urban area of Bolivia, with a population of 2.3 million inhabitants.

In the Mercado de Brujas (Witches' Market) traditional merchandise includes herbs, remedies as well as other ingredients used in Aymara traditions.

Lake Titicaca

Titicaca is a large, deep lake in the Andes on the border of Peru and Bolivia. By volume of water, it is the largest lake in South America. It is often called the highest navigable lake in the world, with a surface elevation of 3,812 m. Although this refers to navigation by large boats, it is generally considered to mean commercial craft.

Isla del Sol ("Island of the sun") situated on the Bolivian side of the lake with regular boat links to the Bolivian town of Copacabana, is one of largest islands of the lake. There are over 180 ruins on the island. Most of these date to the Inca period circa the 15th century AD. Among the ruins on the island are the Sacred Rock, a labyrinth-like building called Chicana, Kasa Pata, and Pilco Kaima. In the religion of the Incas, it was believed that the sun god was born here.

Isla de la Luna is situated east from the bigger Isla del Sol. According to legends that refer to Inca mythology Isla de la Luna ("island of the moon") is where Viracocha commanded the rising of the moon. Archaeological excavations indicate that the Tiwanaku peoples (c. AD 650-1000) built a major temple on the Island of the Moon. Pottery vessels of local dignitaries dating from this period have been excavated on islands in Lake Titicaca.