This cactus is almost a 1000 years old. Yes, ONE THOUSAND YEARS!!

9 meters tall, 900 years old

These giant cactii in the Uyuni salt plains grow at 1cm per year. This particular specimen is about 9m tall. That means it’s over 900 years old!

It’s amazing that these plants can live for so long in such harsh conditions. High altitude, burning UV rays, low oxygen levels, extremely dry climate. Maybe they just stuck around for the glorious views! Amazing!

Subscribe to the Backpack ME Newsletter

Tips, fun stuff, and TONS of inspiration! Straight to your inbox!


  • Jess Says

    I’ll be in this part of the world in August. Can’t wait. It looks like you travelled from San Pedro de Atacama into the Solar de Uyuni. Did you have any problems with altitude, and how did you alleviate them? From San Pedro we are hoping to do some excursions to higher altitude to prepare for the Solar.

    • Zara Says

      Hi Jess!
      We didn’t actually go from Atacama to Uyuni – we still went to Peru in the middle, and from there crossed into Bolivia. Although there are many people crossing from Chile to Uyuni on 4×4 excursions. Uyuni is indeed very high altitude and, ideally, one should be acclimatized. I did get some altitude sickness in Peru (Puno) but nothing that headache pills and good rest couldn’t take care of.
      Hope you have a great time!! :)

Comments are closed for this post.

Subscribe to Backpack ME