Take in the surreal beauty of Bolivia’s vast salt flats from the luxury of a vintage-style Airstream caravan. The Airstream sleeps two (with the option of a third traveler on a sofa-bed) and is equipped with everything you need: a bathroom, toiletries, shower with hot water, heater, a comfortable queen-size bed with electric blankets, an iPod dock and a fully stocked mini bar.
It is towed behind a 4×4 jeep, and followed by a smaller supporting wagon that carries a kitchen and other necessities, which disappears after dinner, taking chef, driver and guide off to stay in the nearest village at the edge of the salt pan, and leaving you with just a radio and satellite phone in case of an emergency.
Meals are served under an umbrella in the middle of the desert. Breakfast might include freshly squeezed orange and pineapple juices and sweet papayas served alongside fresh coffee, and dinner a juicy roast llama steak, served with some acceptable Bolivian red wine.
Having a mobile base makes it easier to explore the area – cycling or trekking across remote parts of the salt flats, visiting local communities or climbing the volcanoes at its edges. You can visit ancient villages, colonial churches and quinoa plantations, watch low-flying flamingos who come to the pan to breed, and llamas, alpacas, and vicuñas. At night there is a telescope, and you can even see the rings of Saturn in the pristine skies.
Bolivia boasts the largest salt lake in the world – Salar de Uyuni – and you can easily reach it by bus or short flight from La Paz. There are lagoons dotted with pink flamingos, weird rocks and geysers and a choice of touring options – mostly via 4×4 vehicles.