Sunday Photos: The Atacama Desert in Chile

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As it happens with most of us that travel, there end up being a lot of photos that never get used. I have hundreds of such photos. So on weekends as time permits I will showcase some of the more interesting photos that never made it into a blog post.

One of our best trips ever was a three week trip four years ago to Chile and Argentina. We left just after Christmas and our first stop after Santiago, Chile was four nights in the Atacama Desert located in northern Chile. We stayed at Tierra Atacama – a luxurious resort which only added to our appreciation of the area.

The desert here is beautiful in a desolate kind of way. There is plenty to do – including lots of hiking and nature tours, bird watching and visits to the town of San Pedro. In hindsight I wish we’d had a week.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Atacama Desert here are a few interesting facts:

  • The Atacama Desert is the driest place in the world. The average rainfall is 15 mm per year. Reportedly some weather stations in the Atacama Desert have never seen rain.
  • The desert sits on a 1000 kilometer strip of land east of the Pacific Coast and west of the Andes.
  • The landscape of the Valley of the Moon is reportedly just like that of the moon.
"The Moon Valley in the Atacama Desert"

The Moon Valley in the Atacama Desert

"Interesting to see the scale of the vehicle against the background"

The Moon Valley is so dry and desolate looking

"People walking the paths through the salt flats"

Giant salt crystals in the Moon Valley

"The car is dwarfed by the landscape"

The car is dwarfed by the landscape

"Sandboarding happens on these slopes"

Sandboarding happens on these slopes

"Views out to the mountains of Bolivia"

Views out to the mountains of Bolivia

"Interesting rock formation in the Atacama Desert"

Interesting rock formation

"Phenomenal rocks patterns above the road on the way to San Pedro"

Phenomenal rocks patterns above the road on the way to San Pedro

"Another view of the road through the Atacama Desert in northern Chile"

Another view of the road

"Walking on salt to the salt flats in the Atacama Desert"

Walking on salt to the salt flats in the Atacama Desert

"Quite the contrast in colours between the desert and the mountain"

Quite the contrast in colours between the desert and the mountain

"Salt, water and flamingos - not quite what I expected in the Atacama Desert"

Salt, water and flamingos – not quite what I expected in the Atacama Desert

"People walking the paths through the salt flats in the Atacama Desert"

People walking the paths through the salt flats

"The desert close to the Bolivian border"

The desert close to the Bolivian border

Other posts from this part of the world you might find interesting or helpful:

Have you ever been to the Atacama Desert? Does a trip there interest you?

Leigh McAdam

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