INCAHUASI – ISLA DEL PESCADO – AN ISLAND ON SALT.
On arrival we had to pay an entrance fee at this small booth.
The cost was 15 Bolivanas for the ticket and entrance to this incredible wee island. That’s about 2 pounds I think, so worth it. The ticket shows the island name as Incahuasi, but it can be interchangeably known as Isla del Pescado.
It’s basically an island of cacti situated on the salt plains. Trichoreus Cactus.
Once on the island the idea was to walk to the top. Imagine living here. Some people do. This is true isolation, miles from the nearest town, at high altitude and surely not enough food supplies to keep you going, or water. But you’ll not run out of salt.
The Salar de Uyuni salt plains/salt flats as viewed from Incahuasi. We arrived there by Jeep obviously, and there are many dangers of driving on the Uyuni Salt Plains. 13 tourists have been killed in Jeep related accidents since 2008 so safety is at a premium. Our driver Cristian and chef/helper Wilma were very safe and neverdrove us too fast which was great!
Before arriving on Incahuasi, I’d walked on the salt plains/salt flats. It is weird to walk on. Not like ice, not like road, not like snow, not like sand. Just different. Hard to explain and it goes for miles and miles. It is also moulded naturally into hexagonal shapes.
On the way up to the top.
Getting spiked by the cactus plants!
These are massive cacti.
Flying the Northern Ireland flag amongst the cactus plants of Incahuasi.
The rocky road up.
A community of cacti.
The village on the island of Incahuasi. Well, the entrance huts, a souvenir shop, a cafe and the dwelling place of those who work here.
My Northern Ireland flag wasn’t the only one. The Bolivians are a proud nation. Their national flag flies from the peak of Incahuasi.
An alcove, almost beach like viewed from the top of Incahuasi.
Getting spiked twice in between two cactus plants.
More cacti looking down.
There is absolutely no doubt that Incahuasi is a special place. Basically an island on salt with cactus trees, miles from civilisation, situated high on the Salar de Uyuni. You can tell from these photos alone.
A cactus close up. This was probably the first time I saw wild cacti in my life. I could not recall another place quite like this.
This was meant to be a highlight of the Salar de Uyuni trip and the funny thing was I expected it to be on the second day of the tour. But here we were on day one arriving at this amazing island on salt.
We had to walk up to the top of the island of course since we had paid for a ticket. Paying in is to be expected on these tours as the price you pay for the package doesn’t always include the extra entrance fees. When you’re in awe of such surroundings, you are unlikely to question the entrance fee and normally I just pay it and go on in. In this case paying to climb to the top of the island. Jorg and Thomas decided not to pay it, and I also respected them for that, as on occasion I also out of protest and lack of funds sometimes refuse to pay into places. The marker at the top for Plaza de Agosto.
Proudly made it to the top of the Plaza de Agosto. Wearing the hat I bought in the Witches Market in La Paz. It’s was a baking hot day and I was very glad of the sun cream I was able to borrow from Jorg and Thomas, who sadly hadn’t come up with the four of us.
The Northern Ireland flag has been photographed high up before, but never before on an island of cactus plants situated on a salt plain.
Again,by a natural giant cactus.
There was time for a “freedom of the ass photo” at the top of Incahuasi. My fellow Jeep travellers from France, Benoit and Guillaume shared a lunacy like my own. When this high up and given the freedom of the world, why not get naked and be free. It was another fun moment. The pretty Romanian girl on our tour Alina got to be photographer for these moments and by the end of the tour she could probably tell you whose willy was which. For the record she never once got naked. We did ask her to join us, but her Bucharest boobies were kept within, despite the heat of Bolivia.
I did one of my own too, as did the French lads. It was a relaxing hot day.
Naked freedom photo at Incahuasi/Isla del Pescado, Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia.
Clothes back on for a proper photo.
The highest cactus on the island.
Arco de Coral – this was a natural coral arch. Normally not that impressive, but hey at this height it seemed like something very special.
Relaxing on the rocks by the Coral Arch.
This Cactus plant by the name of Cactu was 900 years old. How any can prove that is beyond me. But hey! Let them have it – this island was beautiful.
And this cactus plant sadly fell down aged 1,203. Sad, but they have kept it lying there to make its own history.
The final walk back down on the way back to the Salt Plains. I must stress how hot a day this really was. We were all baked and sweating and I reckon I lost some weight on that walk. It wasn’t a difficult walk at all by the way, it was just at high altitude and SO HOT.
After that it was a well needed Coke and Water. Then an amazing late lunch was to follow.
The amazing lunch at Incahuasi. Bananas on the side. Coke and water to drink. Beef T-Bone steak with oat cereal and vegetables. Just amazing. We even had a parasol while we ate to keep out the beating Bolivian sun. A special place, it was time to have a final walk on the salt plains, a few more Fotos Locos and head onward on our desert trip…
Where – Incahuasi/Isla del Pescado, Salar de Uyuni, BOLIVIA
Height – 3, 700 metres
Who Went – Jonny Blair (Northern Ireland), Jorg and Thomas (Switzerland), Alina (Romania), Benoit and Guillaume (France), Cristian and Wilma (Bolivia)
Price – 15 Bolivianas
Drinks – Coca Cola, Water
Food – T-Bone Steak, Oat Cereal, Vegetables, Bananas
Key Song –
MADONNA – LA ISLA BONITA:
My Videos –
INCAHUASI/ISLA DEL PESCADO – PART 1:
INCAHUASI/ISLA DEL PESCADO – PART 2:
INCAHUASI/ISLA DEL PESCADO – PART 3:
SALAR DE UYUNI WILDERNESS, SALT FLATS, BOLIVIA:
NATURAL SALT AT SALAR DE UYUNI, BOLIVIA:
OUR JEEP TRIP AT SALAR DE UYUNI, BOLIVIA: