The dark skies, ‘islands’ and tombs of Salar de Uyuni salt flats make for an otherwordly escape, especially when glamping in your own futuristic eco-pod…
When rain falls on Bolivia’s Uyuni salt flats, they turn into a vast mirror, making it seem as if you’re walking on clouds.
Even in summer its tessellating hexagonal cracks of bleached earth are a sight to behold. But best of all is when the daytrippers go home and the residents of the new Kachi Lodge get it all to themselves....
Kachi is the first permanent lodge of its kind here. Sitting at the foot of the Tunupa volcano, it offers a sleek, solar-powered spin on glamping, all set at a breathless altitude (3,600m).
Here, its six white domes seemingly float on the horizon, suspended on decking to shield the flats from their weight and to keep them operating during wet season (December to March).
Inside, it’s all lanterns and wood-burning stoves, keeping you toasty when the temperature dips sharply at night.
It’s a great base for exploring the flats. Morning treks reveal bizarre ‘islands’ – the remains of submerged volcanos – prickled with giant cacti.
Then hike up to the lip of the Tunupa crater for incredible views, or visit the village of Coquesa where ancient mummies shelter in 1,200-year-old tombs.
You can even grab a mountain bike from the lodge and pedal out to see how the locals harvest the salt.
At night, scour the area’s famed dark skies via the lodge telescope, or just relax with other travellers in the communal dining area.
Local cuisine comes courtesy of the chefs from La Paz’s much-lauded Gustu restaurant, which also serves as a foundation to give under-privileged youths a start.
Finish the day with a hot shower – a rare treat this far afield – before lying back in your pod and gazing at the star-studded sky from your bed, the universe at your beck and call.
Two-person pods at Kachi Lodge cost from US$990 (£760) per person per night, including full board, transfers and activities; minimum two-night stay. Check prices here
Flights from London Heathrow to Uyuni typically go via Miami, Lima and La Paz, costing from £1,152; flight time is from around 27 hours.
Airport transfers from Uyuni to Kachi Lodge take about 90 minutes in dry season (April to November), or four hours in wet season (December to March).
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