A Higher Plain: The Bolivian Altiplano

A Higher Plain: The Bolivian Altiplano

Travelling across the surreal landscapes of Bolivian Altiplano, one photographer is in awe of the otherworldly landscapes and intense energy

the end of a year spent in Argentina, I decided to visit
one more place in South America before journeying on to the UK. I

Travelling from Mendoza by bus, the landscape noticeably changes
as I cross Argentina’s northern states. The earth becomes red and
cacti are more abundant. A little beyond Tupiza, the first town
after the Bolivian
border, the Andes rise into the sky. I see few roads and no
settlements bigger than a few dozen houses. There are no trees,
just shrubs. Besides llamas and rare flamingos, I witness barely
any animals.

Travelling by Jeep – one driver, one cook, four passengers – I
become dizzy from the altitude. We pass snow-capped volcanoes,
surreal rock formations, emerald fields of moss, ruined
settlements, ethereal lagoons and sulphuric rock pools. The sun is
strong, but the temperature is cold. After dusk the chill becomes

Having spent four days in this surreal environment, I arrive at
the Salar de Uyuni, a salt flat near the crest of the Andes that’s
so large that I lose any sense of dimensions and distance. It’s a

Travelling across the Bolivian Altiplano, I get a sense that
there is more to this existence than what we make of it. There is
something bigger at hand, something that one cannot grasp with
words or the intellect. I was in awe of this strange energy on top
of the world. If you ever travel to the high plains of the Andes, I
hope you will too.

@larsstephanista | larsstephan.com

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