For the other two days of our salar tour, we visited a variety of other sites in Southwestern Bolivia. Our group included 3 other English speakers and we moved around in a Jeep Lancruiser to see all the sites. This region of the world is so interesting, since it is still an altiplano, but also a desert and laguna region. There are lots of open spaces and large plains, ringed with snow capped volcanos and colorful lagoons.
Several of the lagoons have a flock of Flamingos living there. There are 3 types of Flamingos that live in this region, some of which are pink, others that are more white. They feed off of the algae and minerals from the nearby volcanoes.
The coolest part however was the steam geysers at 5100 meters above sea level. The best time to see them is at sunrise so we woke at the ungodly hour of 4:30am. When we arrived, the smell of sulfur was very strong but the geysers were in full force. They pop through thin cracks in the ground and release swathes of gas and steam. They also create fumerales which are essentially huge pits of boiling mud and toxic minerals. They boil at over 500 degrees! All the bubbling, spurting and steaming sounded like a symphony from deep below the earth.