Atacama Desert

Atacama Desert Itineraries:

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Atacama Desert


Sandwiched between the Pacific and the Andes, the incredible landscape of Chile’s remote Atacama Desert is like no place on earth. With its jagged, rust-colored ravines, vast, rocky, white salt pan and volcano-topped horizons, you would be forgiven for drawing comparisons with places beyond our atmosphere.

Atacama Desert, Spanish Desierto de Atacama, is a cool, arid region in northern Chile, 600 to 700 miles long from north to south. Its limits are not exactly determined, but it lies mainly between the south bend of the Loa River and the mountains separating the Salado-Copiapó drainage basins. To the north, the desert continues to the border of Peru. A line of low coastal mountains known as the Cordillera de la Costa, lie to the west of the desert, and to its east rises the foothills of the Andes. wp-content/uploads/2016/07/atacama-desert-2.jpg The desert consists mainly of salt pans at the foot of the coastal mountains on the west and of alluvial fans sloping from the Andean foothills to the east; some of the fans are covered with dunes, but an extensive pebble landscape is more common.

With the exception of an abundance of rainfall in 2015 which resulted in a bloom en mass that hasn’t been seen in over two decades, the Atacama Desert flowers tend to only show every five to seven years.

The small town of San Pedro de Atacama, in the heart of the desert, is a great base for exploring this fascinating region. 15km west of San Pedro lies the Valley of the Moon. In the evening as the light begins to change, the craggy rocks that create a lunar like landscape, are set aglow with the ridge of the Andes Mountains fading from gold to red to pink. wp-content/uploads/2016/07/atacama-desert-3.jpg A visit into the Salar de Atacama, Chile’s largest salt pan, at sunset boasts a dramatic reflection of the glowing mountains from the few inches of settle water in pan’s huge pools.

The Atacama Desert, while not a wildlife destination, makes up for it in adventure and incredible scenery. On a trip to the Atacama Desert, sandboard down the giant dunes in Death Valley, stargaze into the unrivaled starry desert sky, float effortlessly in a salt lagoon, walk through the El Tatio geyser field and explore the winding roads that run through the Andes all with a 360 degree view of and arid, yet incredible stretch of land and mountain.


Atacama Desert Accommodations


Alto Atacama
The exceptional Alto Atacama Desert Lodge and Spa blends effortlessly into the surrounds of the Catarpe Valley in the Salt Mountain Range. An assortment of accommodation options are available to choose from, each with a spectacular view, private terrace and lovely en-suite bathroom.

Highlights of Chile


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