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The Colourful Lakes of Southern Bolivia

The Colourful Lakes of Southern Bolivia

We visited several surreal lakes during the three day “salt flat” tour between Uyuni and the Chilean border. The flamingos and dramatic surrounding scenery added to the mystery and beauty of these colourful little lakes — here are lots of photos (and some words) from one of the most unique regions of South America.

Laguna Hedionda (Nor Lipez)

Laguna Hedionda is where I caught my first glimpse of wild flamingos — there were hundreds of them lurking in the shallow water close to shore. Laguna Hedionda is a dark  grey colour  and is towered over by mountains – the thick cloud didn’t allow us to see the full scale of this stunning scenery, but we caught a glimpse of it.


Laguna Hedionda (Sud Lipez)

This should be called Laguna Flamingo — it was full of the flamboyant creatures. We hung out by the edge of the stony, salt-filled lake while the wind chilled our bones. Large areas of the lake are made up of thick salt. The water cuts through the salt like a river through a rainforest – it might not be particularly colourful but it’s quite a sight.


Laguna Colorada

It was freezing at Laguna Colorada — furious winds pounded our faces but never wiped the smiles off them. Laguna Colorada is like a painting — the red, copper-filled water bleeds into the white salt and the brown earth to make one of nature’s most unique scenes.



Laguna Verde

It had started snowing the night before we visited Laguna Verde (Green Lake) — the light sprinkling of snow made the lake look even more magical than it usually does. The surreal turquoise lake, the salted shoreline and the icing sugar-like snow on the hills made for a view I’ll never forget (and one of my favourite photos from South America).

FURTHER READING: 23 Stunning Natural Wonders in South America


Laguna Blanca

We had to almost beg our robotic driver to stop close at the milky Laguna Blanca (White Lake) — he was about to drive right by it (read the post about the tour for more about our annoying guide). We eventually stopped for a quick photo and a chance to see the lake from above. From there it was on to the Chilean border, and eventually to San Pedro de Atacama.

FURTHER READING: The Uyuni Salt Flat Tour: The Surreal South of Bolivia


The colourful lakes of southern Bolivia are some of the most unique and surreal natural wonders in South America. For me, they were the highlight of the Uyuni Salt Flats tour, which for us originated in Uyuni, Bolivia and finished in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. It’s a great trip, do it if you ever get the chance!

FURTHER READING: A Journey to the Valley of the Moon

Have you seen a colourful lake before? Where was it? Would you like to travel to Bolivia? Let me know in the comments below!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.

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