Salar de Uyuni, Uyuni, Bolivia
Dario Lora, manager of Luna Salada Salt Hotel: The hotel is unique. It is made of salt, it is like a museum. You can sleep in a bed made of salt bricks, you have the desk made of salt bricks, you have the floor made of salt, everything made of salt! It’s the biggest salt flat in the whole world having a stretch of twelve thousand kilometres. Here’s where everything begins. The people from Colchani strike the salt bricks. You can see here, lines ... these small lines represent the rainy season and the sediments in the salt.
We select this location in the hill so we have a really nice landscape of the salt flat. You can see all the salt flat from the Luna Salada Hotel. Here in the restaurant everything is made of salt. Here we have a table made entirely of salt. These chairs are made inside the salt flat. The local people here in Colchani they are specialists in making handicrafts, everything made of salt.
Here in the hotel we are in a high altitude. We have more than three thousand metres. So one of the challenges is cooking the food at this altitude because the cooking takes more more time for the pressure than we have in the altitude. So one of the popular dishes that we have in Bolivia is quinoa.
[Dario Lora speaks to the chef in Spanish – At altitude around 18 to 20 minutes and 8 to 10 minutes at sea level.]
All the salt that we use in the dishes came from the salt flat. It’s a better flavour to have this salt, it’s stronger, the taste, and it's more pure.
One of the biggest challenges we have is the rainy season is because the weather destroys all the salt bricks. That’s the reason that all the time we are changing all the salt bricks around the hotel. Another problem that we have in the hotel is the corrosion in the wires. Sometimes we have to change all the wires because it is very corrosive the salt. All the wires are made of copper and we have to put a plastic tube to protect all the wires. In some cases we have to change the plugs because the salt destroys all the plugs from inside.
I am excited to be part of the hotel. There is only in Bolivia this kind of hotels. It's like a piece of art.
© National Geographic