The Atacama Desert

March 10, 2014
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Chile, News

Located in Northern Chile, the Atacama Desert is, meteorologically, the driest place on Earth. Magnificent, otherworldly and utterly unique, the Atacama is like nowhere else on the planet.

If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, then this is certainly for you. Dramatic, rocky landscapes, deep valleys and glistening salt lakes are all in a day’s work as you cruise around the vast expanses of the desert in a 4×4 on a day tour. The best thing about the Atacama is that there is no bad time to visit! Bear in mind that temperatures can reach highs of 25-30 degrees Celsius so pack your sun cream! Today we’ll be having a look at some of the more outstanding highlights of this beautiful place.

AT4042~1 (2)The Moon Valley

One of the most striking locations available to visit on your holiday to Chile, the Moon Valley is covered by a beautiful white mantle. Escarpments composed of a variety of colours stand out against the sandy red rock, and are especially striking in direct sunlight. One of the more popular ways to see this beautiful location is by hiring a car (often accompanied by a tour guide). If you’re after something truly spectacular, wake up bright and early to catch the sun rise over the rocks – some incredible views await you. Nowhere else in the world will you find this kind of peace, serenity and isolation. Talk to a Latin Routes Travel Specialist about organising day tours to the Moon Valley.

07exploraENATACAMA-001El Tatio Geysers

One of the highest geothermal fields in the worlds, El Tatio Geysers are another spectacular highlight of the Atacama Desert. Stroll through a misty haze of hot pools and steam as boiling water, heated by the Earth’s core, is ejected in huge streams by the geysers. With over 80 geysers, it is one of the largest geothermal fields in the world and is also one of the most active – making it perfect if you’re looking to see them in action. We’d recommend setting your alarm for this one, as the geysers are best seen very early in the morning when the air is coldest. This means the geysers will give off huge clouds of steam that condense in the air. This, combined, with the early morning sunlight, makes for a spectacular scene. If you’re feeling adventurous, it’s even possible to bathe in the warm water of a few of the geyser pools. This is certainly not one to miss, so be sure to speak to a Latin Routes Travel Specialist.

IMG_2493-001Atacama Salt Lake

A vast expanse of land, the Atacama Salt Lake covers over 3000 square km – 100km long and 80km wide. Whereas the salt flats seen in North America are often smooth, the Atacama Salt Lake is rougher, meaning it catches more of the sunlight in the distance, making for spectacular views. Also home to a wide variety of bird species, including the beautiful pink flamingo, the Atacama Salt Lake is another must-see on your holiday to Chile.

To find out more, feel free to Contact a Latin Routes Travel Specialist
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