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.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Chile features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Why you should visit Chile in 2018

Why you should visit Chile in 2018

A slither of a country that somehow manages to encompass barren desert, knife-edge mountains and fertile river valleys, Chile has long attracted intrepid travel…

08 Jan 2018 • Steph Dyson insert_drive_file Article
Video: the 1 minute guide to Chile

Video: the 1 minute guide to Chile

Chile is an outdoor adventurer's paradise. From the parched peaks of the north's Atacama Desert to the storied wilderness of Patagonia in the south, the nature…

30 Nov 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
A postcard from San Pedro: finding life in one of the world's driest deserts

A postcard from San Pedro: finding life in one of the world's driest deserts

The unique landscape surrounding the Chilean town of San Pedro de Atacama is one of the world's top stargazing spots – but, in recent years, it's also attrac…

22 Nov 2017 • Sarah Reid insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right