Chile – The scenery in Atacama

The region of the Atacama desert is one of the most beautiful spots I have ever been to.

The bus journey from Salta (Argentina) to San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) is an attraction in itself. From the road you spot snow-capped mountains, desert landscapes, high plateau lakes and even this immense salt lake, which all the passengers were gazing at:

Salt lake in Northwest Argentina

High plateau lake on the road to San Pedro

The village of San Pedro de Atacama is small and very touristy. Nearby, there are mountains, geysers, lakes, salt lakes, hot springs, dunes good for sandboarding and an endless number of other attractions. The small village is packed with hotels and tour operators.

Arid desert

The Atacama desert is the most arid in the planet. In the middle of it, some points have not registered any rain for up to 4 years. In town, there are plenty of posters prompting visitors to use water resources responsibly.

Cycling through the a road in the desert

Unfortunately, I was in a rush and I left without having seen many of the highlights of the region. What I did, however, was renting a bicycle and cycling towards one of the most impressive: the Moon Valley. This desert landscape is protected as part of a Natural Reserve.

In the National Park there is a circuit going through the salt lake, a canyon, mountains and rock formations.

Rock and salt formation

Perhaps the star of this National Park is this huge dune:

Great Dune

On the road, I could also spot some amazing landscapes with snow-capped mountains in the distance:

Snow-capped mountains in the horizon

And so I ended my cycling day through the desert with a couple of kilos less I guess, from how sweaty it was to pedal in the heat!! But naturally it was worth it. I don’t want to overload this with photos but the landscape was really spectacular.

I left San Pedro so quickly because I had to reach Santiago to take the first flight of my round-the-world ticket, to Easter Island… more to come in the next post.

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8 thoughts on “Chile – The scenery in Atacama

  1. Bonitos y frondosos lugares, a fe mía. La foto de la gran duna convendría haberla contrastado con algo o alguien que permitiera captarla en toda su magnitud.

  2. Hermosos lugares, estuvimos ahí hace dos meses, y quedamos maravillados con laguna cejar y ojos del salar. Son lagunas con más sal que el Mar Muerto y podíamos literalmente flotar allí. Increible lugar! Aguardamos las noticias de la Isla de Pascua!

      • No, estoy bastante atrasada con los posts. Ya estamos por Nicaragua. Hemos subido en unos tres meses hasta centroamerica. Chiclayo nos ha gustado mucho, pero la ciudad de Trujillo es colonialmente más bonita en mi opinión. Recomendable las Huacas del sol y de la luna, y la ciudad de Chan Chan :-))

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