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An update from Evaneos

Colchani (Bolivia)

Practical information on Colchani

  • Encounters with locals
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Desert
  • Handicraft
  • Off the beaten track
2 / 5 - One review
How to get there
20 minutes from Uyuni by car
When to go
Between April and November
Minimum stay
A few hours

Reviews of Colchani

David Debrincat Seasoned Traveller
459 written opinions

Lying around six miles from the town of Uyuni and right on the edge of the Salar salt flat, Colchani is a tiny village where the local families live a wretched existence extracting and working the salt.

My suggestion:
Don't spend any longer than necessary here when touring the Salar d'Uyuni. There's simply nothing to see or do.
My review

The tiny, destitute little village of Colchani was one of the places I stopped off at when travelling around Bolivia. 

This godforsaken place sits completely lost out in the absolute middle of nowhere. The one and only way to survive here is by working the salt. At one of the houses in the village I learned how this white gold is processed and prepared. After first being dried on a flat surface over a fire, the large grains are then milled and the salt placed in bags. Everything is done by hand here. The work involved is hard and laborious, and the fact that it also pays very badly is plain to see. 

In the end, and though I'd asked myself "Why stop here?" on first arriving, I did find it very moving learning about the unbelievable lives the few people who live here lead. And then it was time to get back on the road, leave them to their wretched daily existence, and head on to the wonders of Salar.

The salt at Colchani