Uyuni in South America: where trains go to die

Low Lai Chow Contributor

By Low Lai Chow in Cool Travel on Friday 9 November 2012

Couple of years back, we featured the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, where the biggest vast and sparse salt lands in the world are. Apparently, it’s also where trains in South America go to die, thanks to the salt winds that corrode metal. Most of the locomotives are British imports and date back to the early 20th century — not that you can tell, looking at their drastically rusted bodies. Still, there’s something about this ghost town for abandoned trains that seems to put time on hold.

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Santa Cruz Department in Bolivia

Jessica Parra Nowajewski Reader Find

By Jessica Parra Nowajewski in Cool Travel on Monday 14 December 2009

Santa Cruz Department in East Bolivia is a perfect place to eat weird food. Carne de Monte (wild animal meat) like Tatu (armadillo), Taitetu (wild pig), Urina (deer) and Surubi (river catfish) are offered in local restaurants on the side of the highway to Cochabamba near Yapacani. One of the most disgusting foods is the Jalea de Pata, the liquid of a boiled cow hoof with sugar. Bolivian people seem to love it.

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Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Katrina Whitehead Reader Find

By Katrina Whitehead in Cool Travel on Thursday 5 February 2009

Of all the weird places the world has to offer, the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia has to be one of the coolest. Literally. At 3,700m above sea level, it’s the biggest and highest salt flat in the world, where after dark, temperatures can drop to minus 40 degrees celsius. The best way to explore the salt flat is to hire a 4WD and driver from the Uyuni township. En route, you can even stay at a Salt Hotel, where everything is, quite literally, made from salt: the chairs, beds, tables and even the walls. There’s no heating and the beds aren’t exactly ‘plush’, but it’s worth every salty second.

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