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No trip to Bolivia is complete without a visit to the south to see the dazzling white salt flats and the charming colonial cities of Sucre and Potosi. The Salar de Uyuni is one of the most surreal places on earth. Spread out over more than 4,000 square miles like an ivory ocean, these are the largest salt flats on earth. Continue west to explore the silver mining town of Potosi and the colonial highlights in Sucre. This trip to the southern part of Bolivia combines wonderfully with a visit to the Atacama Desert across the border in Chile.
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Our guide to holidays in Uyuni, Sucre & Potosi
The area to the east of the Chilean border is startlingly diverse and as you traverse the region you'll pass coloured lakes, vast rocky formations shaped by the wind, hot springs and geysers and snow-capped volcanic peaks before reaching the brilliant white salt desert which has come to symbolise adventure travel in Bolivia. Accommodation is basic along the way, but a night in a hotel made entirely of salt will no doubt appeal to those looking to tick off that all important 'different' box.
To the east of the salt flats you'll find the city of Sucre, one of the country's two capitals, where old churches, colonial buildings and fascinating museums are bursting with history. The city is home to the second oldest university in South America and its first medical school as well.
Potosi, just south of Sucre, is another gem which was once the wealthiest city on the continent thanks to its silver production which bankrolled the Spanish Empire. In fact, the term 'vale un Potosi' is still used to this day to describe something considered very profitable. The silver has more or less dried up, but the grand churches and ornate colonial buildings left behind as remnants of the glory days make the city well worth a visit.