The magnificent Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
Deserts can be fascinating and beautiful places. These dry and barren landscapes offer strange rock formations, oddly coloured sands, an unusual array of animals and big beautiful skies. Taking a trip to a desert can be a great opportunity for adventure, so here are some of the best desert adventures around the world.
The Salar De Uyuni, Bolivia
Venture through these surreal landscapes on a 4×4 and you will feel like you are driving on the surface of another planet. Walk on the world’s largest salt flats, the remnant left after an ancient salt water lake evaporated millions of years ago.
Snow-white deposits of sodium that stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a strange and dizzying experience of a featureless blank horizon with no depth or scale. In the surrounding desert you will see coloured lakes of red and green, pink flamingos, Dali-esque rock formations, thermal hot springs and geysers shooting hot steam out of the earth. Stop for the night in a salt hotel, where the walls, chairs, tables and beds are made from blocks of salt hewn from the local landscape.
Monument Valley, USA
Located along the Arizona-Utah border, Monument Valley is one of the most iconic locations in the American West. Enormous monolithic rock formations rise up from the reddish-brown desert into the endless blue sky.
Take a tour in a four wheel drive vehicle along the bumpy dirt roads and hire a local Navajo guide to let you in on the secrets of the area. If you find the right guide, they will often be able to show you areas of the part that are not open to the public.
The Namib Desert
Namib Desert, Namibia
If you want to be able to see wildlife on your desert adventures, travel to the Namib-Naukluft National Park – one of the world’s largest game reserves. The rust-orange Dunes of Sossusvlei are truly stunning and incredibly photogenic and there are many luxurious retreats in the desert that offer game drives. 42% of the land in Namibia is protected by parks and reserves and you will have a chance to spot leopards, baboons, bat-eared foxes, African wild cats, aardwolf and many more.
Atacama Desert, Chile
The main centre of the Atacama Desert is San Pedro de Atacama – a 10,000 year old village that is located within view of several volcanoes. This desert is known for its star-gazing, it offers some of the best clear night sky conditions for gazing at the heavens in all of their glory. Look up at the night sky with the naked eye, or visit the world’s largest telescope which is located nearby. You can also visit the El Tatio geothermal geysers or ride a bike to the Valle de la Lune (Valley of the Moon) and admire the strange lunar-like rock formations.
These are just some of the most exciting desert adventures in the world, so why not plan a desert getaway for your next trip?
Tom’s travel writings are a testament to his insatiable curiosity and love for the road less traveled. Eschewing the typical tourist spots, Tom has built a reputation for uncovering hidden gems known only to locals.
From secluded mountain villages in the Himalayas to untouched beaches in the South Pacific, his adventures have taken him to the world’s most undiscovered corners.