Desolate Beauty: The Great Salt Flat Salinas Grandes in Awe-Inspiring Argentina (Part 1.e.)

“There are some natural phenomenon that by their nature are beyond comprehension.” That was my (rather dumb) thought as I stood looking at my first encounter with the Great Salt Flat Salinas Grande in Salta, Argentina. How in the world is it possible to create reoccurring salt so far from the sea, so high up in the mountains?

The Great Salt Flat Salinas Grandes, a Wonder Made by Mother Nature

Well, of course science. And nature.

But still, it was startling and wonder-filled.

So let me have that: to be filled with awe at Mother Nature, dumb thoughts and all. To me, that is what Travel – with a big T – is all about.

Those moments where you are thrown off guard and off-kilter, when the time is most ripe for a shift in perception, for a moment of learning.

Travel with a big T = Opportunity for moments that are transformational. Click To Tweet

A Desert Out of Salt

Stretched before me into the far distance that is bordered only by the Andes miles and miles away, here high in the Puna region, is a bindingly white desert.

A desert not of blowing sand and shifting dunes, but of solid-surfaced salt.

And beneath that solid surface is a lake of salt water.

luxury travel advisor theresa jackson at the great salt flat salinas grandes in argentina

A Lake Underneath the Salt

I know that lake exists because the white surface is occasionally broken in places – by Man and by Nature.

Blue crystal-clear water shines with salt rock formations under its surface, and crystals floating upward to join and form new borders around its edges.

luxury travel advisor Theresa Jackson at the Great Salt Flat Salinas Grandes in Argentina

Salt Made by Nature – Useful for Food, Industry, and Farm Animals

My guide educates me on the various uses of the salt, depending on where and how it is mined. There is skimming for food usage, digging for industrial purposes and cultivating for cattle and horses.

I have come here as part of a hike and biking adventure in the region.

In contrast the dry brown mountains and flat puna of the area, this huge landscape is a marvel for squinting eyes. It positively gleams in the bright light of a blue cloudless sky, and is accented by small pockets of open blue water of varying hues.

Traveler tip: Although the Salinas Grandes are accessible via car, go and hire a driver service to avoid problems in this remote area. Click To Tweet
Luxury Travel Advisor Theresa Jackson and her travel group jumping up in the air at the Great Salt Flat Salinas

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luxury travel advisor Theresa Jackson on one of her adventures journeys

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