Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, is situated nearby a number of beautiful natural lakes including the picturesque Laguna Verde (Green Lake) and its adjacent twin Laguna Blanca (White Lake). These mineral salt lakes can be found at the bottom of the volcano Licancabur near the Chilean border. By area, Laguna Verde and Laguna Blanca cover 1700 hectares and are divided by a narrow causeway.
The name Laguna Verde translates to ‘green lake’ after the emerald color of the water. Mineral suspensions of arsenic, magnesium, carbonate and calcium go into the water from its subsoil to give the lake its wonderful and unique color. The color of the lake varies from turquoise to dark emerald depending on the extent to which the sediments at the bottom of the lake are affected by the wind. Unlike Laguna Colorada, you will not find flamingos here because the lake is filled with poisonous arsenic but the lifeless, otherworldly scenery makes for some incredible photos.
The view at Laguna Verde is made all the more spectacular by the picturesque backdrop of the Lincancabur Volcano. This iconic peak has a height of 5,916m and acts as the perfect complement to the lake. Make sure to take lots of pictures here on your visit to the Salar de Uyuni.
Interesting fact: The upper reaches of Licanacabur have been used for NASA experiments to prepare for future missions to Mars. Scientists believe that the thin atmosphere, high ultraviolet radiation and varied temperature here are similar to Mars 3.5 billion years ago before the planet became incapable of holding life.
The best time to visit Laguna Verde is considered to be during the months from April to September. At any time of year it can get very windy around the lake so warm clothes are essential. It is accessed most commonly on day trips from Chile or as part of a Salar de Uyuni tour.