Many readers out there may be thinking "now I have seen everything!" Palacio de Sal (or "Palace of Salt" in English) is a rather peculiar hotel in Bolivia built out of salt blocks of all things. While it's unconventional through and through, it isn't as random as one may think. It is built on the edge of Salar de Uyuni - the world's largest salt flat.

The Salar de Uyuni is one of Bolivia's major tourist attractions and a must-see for anyone visiting this stunning landlocked South American nation. The hotel is an ingenious answer to the hotel's unique environment. Other hotels built for unique environments are luxury underwater hotels.

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Palacio de Sal The Beginnings and Background

The Salar de Uyuni covers a massive area - over 10,000 square kilometers or 4,000 square miles and is a sight to be seen like none other. Not only that but it is also at an altitude of 3,656 meters or 12,000 feet. It has long been a notable tourist attraction and tourists coming to see this impressive wilderness have had to travel great distances and have needed a place to spend the night before going back to the distant cities.

  • Salar De Uyuni Size: 10,000 Sq Km or 4,000 Sq Miles
  • Salar De Uyuni Altitude: 3,656 Meters or 12,000 Feet

So accommodation was needed, but construction materials are certainly scarce on this vast salt flat. The novel idea was borne - why not just use the salt? Another thinking, went "why not use ice" in Sweden, and now you can stay at the iconic Swedish ice hotel.

The first hotel was built in the 1990s out of salt blocks in the middle of the Salar de Uyuni. It quickly became a popular tourist destination. It had 12 double rooms, a common bathroom, and no shower. But there were issues with its sanitation as it was causing serious environmental pollution leading to the hotel being dismantled in 2002.

  • Salt Blocks: Around 1 Million In Palacio de Sal

But it had proven itself a great idea, so in 2007 a new hotel was built - now under the name of Palacio de Sal. It was built in a new location at the eastern edge of the Salar de Uyuni. It was built from about 1 million 35 cm or 14-inch salt blocks. They have been used for the walls, the floor, the ceiling, and even the furniture - including the beds, tables, chairs, and sculptures. This time they also got the sanitation system right.

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What To Expect At Palacio de Sal Today

Today, the Palacio de Sal is located 350 kilometers or 220 miles south of the capital La Paz (which is also the highest capital city in the world).

  • Licking Is Prohibited: Licking The Walls Is Prohibited to Prevent Degradation

Today the Palacio de Sal is perhaps one of the world's most unorthodox luxury hotels. They have built the hotel to accommodate all the luxury, comfort, and practicality that tourists demand. Palacio de Sal includes its own spa with a dry sauna, a saltwater pool, whirlpool baths, and a steam room.

The setting of the hotel is magical. The Salar de Uyuni spreads out like an infinite white plain and one could be forgiven for thinking are on another planet. It also changes with the season. In the rainy season, it becomes an uncanny mirror where the ground reflects the sky. It is one of the most unforgettable natural spectacles in the world with the feeling of walking on the clouds.

Out here at this altitude and with no light pollution, one will be blown away with the starry nights and the vibrant colored sunrises.

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Rooms At Palacio de Sal

Hanan Suite: The Hanan Suite gazes up at a beautiful salt dome and comes with a lounge and living area. The imposing dome-shaped ceilings are built with salt blocks and staying here is a trip into architectural uniqueness. The rooms are named after the three planes of spiritual reality according to the Andean worldview. "Hanan Pacha" is the space "above" where the gods dwell.

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  • Sleeps: Up to 2 Guests
  • Size: 46 m2
  • Includes: Living room
  • Price: Around $265.00

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Kay To Heaven: This is a VIP room connected to the landscape and has two options: with or without a terrace. On the terrace, one can gaze up in wonder at the beautiful starry sky above the high in altitude expansive salt flats. In the Andean worldview, the "Kay Pacha" represents the here and now. The plane that people inhabit and can control.

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  • Sleeps: Up to 2 Guests
  • Size: 25 m2
  • Includes: Terrace

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Ukhu Standard: This salt igloo like the others also boasts a stunning salt dome and is a cozy room for those on a bit more of a tighter budget. It is named after "Ukhu Pacha" which represents what is "beyond" or underneath the surfaces. The place from where the creative power of the world emerges. It is a plane no one can see or control.

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  • Sleeps: Up to 2 Guests
  • Size: 23 m2
  • Price: Around $225.00

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