Polaroid of the week: The Stone Tree in Bolivia’s Siloli Desert

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polaroid bolivia arbol de piedraOne experience we were looking most forward to in South America was a trip through the Uyuni Salt Flats in Bolivia. That’s why we traveled north through Chile back to San Pedro de Atacama, so we could hop on a three-day off-roading jeep tour from there to Uyuni, Bolivia.

We had seen pictures of the great expanse of white salt flats as far as the eye can see and were so excited to see this up close on the last day of the tour.

It turned out that the salt flats portion is just a half a day out of three, and the other two days we saw some of the most incredible scenery we’ve seen anywhere in the world: Red lagoons, green lagoons, white lagoons, volcanoes, beautiful rock formations, hot springs, geothermal geyser fields and colorful, rainbow mountain ranges.

Our stop at the Arbol de Piedra (Stone Tree) had us all in awe – this particular rock, projecting out of the sand dunes of the Siloli Desert, has been whittled down into the shape of a tree over time by sand and 120km/h winds that whip across 4,000m high Bolivian Altiplano in the colder months. Much like looking down at the Colorado River from the rim of the Grand Canyon, it is incredible what simple elements like wind, sand, and water can sculpt out of the earth!

There will be many more pictures and stories to come about our Uyuni Salt Flats tour. For now, let’s just say that after 3.5 years of travel, it takes a lot to impress us – and Bolivia’s southwest definitely knocked our socks off!

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