Following the road south of Guallatire, you’ll be rewarded, about 40km on, with sudden, dramatic views of the SALAR DE SURIRE, a dazzling white salt flat containing several lakes with nesting colonies of three species of flamingo. Originally part of Parque Nacional Lauca, its status was changed to that of national monument in 1983 to allow borax to be mined from its surface. The mining is still going on today, and you can see the mine’s enormous trucks driving over the salar, dwarfed by its massive dimensions but a nuisance nonetheless.

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