A place in Bolivia out of this world: the Black Lagoon

How is it possible that this captivating place is so underrated? Easy, because the route to Laguna Negra is a succession of marvels, each one more impressive than the last, so our lagoon is just one more of the many wonders to be found when exploring the Bolivia Southwest Circuit, usually as part of the extraordinary Salar de Uyuni tour.

Nevertheless, we would like to introduce you to this outlandish place sprinkled with plants that look like rocks and rocks that seem sculptures, around an odd lake populated by dark creatures. From the viewpoint of my camera, one of the most remarkable stops of the whole journey.

But the chances are that you may never come to the Black Lagoon, unless you are travelling during the rainy season - from January to March - when most of the salt flats are closed due to the floods, so the expedition is diverted by some agencies to a side track across the Valley of the Rocks.

Laguna Negra
What looks like moss covering rocks, is actually a bush with branches, so densely packed together that you could stand on top of it.

Yareta plant
These are the tough yaretas, high-altitude plants which can live up to 3,000 years, if they are not collected for use as firewood fuel.

Joyas Altoandinas
The lagoon itself does not lack character, even after dropping your jaw in front of its colleagues from the High Andean Jewels itinerary, like the famous Laguna Colorada or Laguna Verde.

Swamp Thing
If you keep burning yaretas, the Swamp Thing will emerge from here and drag you to one of these floating nests.

Black Lagoon
Some endemic birds, making funny sounds, live in this quiet and disturbing pond.

Laguna Turquiri
This place is also called Laguna Turquiri, although there is such little information about it that it's not clear if it belongs to a protected park like the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve.

Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna
Can you see the tiny guy on the left?

The Sphinx. Incas were very fond of giving a meaning to shapes in nature, as if everything looked like something. They saw llamas and condors everywhere.

Bolivia Tour
This (probably) collapsed mushroom rock, looks like the Flintstones satellite dish. What would the Incas suggest?

Turquiri Lagoon
Walk like an Egyptian. Every rock has its own personality and temper.

Devil's Arch
The Devil's Arch - nicknamed by myself - near the shore. Andean people also like to name any rare geological feature "The Devil's thingy" , and so do I.

Valley of the Rocks
How I would like to take pictures here under a crepuscular light, even though after sun down it is freezing in the Altiplano.

Salar de Uyuni Tour
From the distance. I just couldn't abandon this place so quickly.

My favourite yareta poses with the four Devil's Trumpet Keys in the background.

  1. great post and pictures and stunning!!


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