The Atacama Desert

What do you think of when someone talks about a desert? Do you think of a barren land of nothing for as far as the eye can see?

Do you think of just a waste of space, nothingness? Deserts have gotten that reputation over time, due to personal experience, or from what some people have seen in the movies. At SayHueque, we know that a desert can be a marvelous thing, worth visiting. Why is that? The Atacama Desert will change the way you think of land regions called deserts.

Atacama Desert

Geysers in the Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert is located in the northern part of Chile. It lies between the coast of the Pacific Ocean and is just west to the great Andes Mountain range. An interesting place for a desert, don’t you think? Despite its proximity to the biggest body of water on the planet, and the humid mountains beside it, it is regarded as the driest desert on the planet, according to National Geographic and other sources. This is because the Andes block rain clouds for entering the area, its 7,000-foot elevation and currents in the Pacific keep water or moisture from ever really hitting the area. But do not let that simple fact deter you; this place has a lot more to offer than any other desert around.

The Atacama Desert is over 40,000 square miles (105,000 km²) of rarely seen spectacular and bizarre landscapes. Prepare to witness smoking volcanoes with flowing lava, gigantic sand dunes of many earth shades, winding and jagged canyons that go on for miles, massive salt flats that dumfound the senses and ever-bubbling geysers to show you natures true diversity. In such a place so barren, it’s hard to believe that you could find anything so spectacular, but that is not the case. Each year more and more travelers make their way up to northern Chile to witness this remote phenomenon. A tiny oasis comes to the rescue for travelers in the area to rest in.

Atacama Desert

Stunning views in the Atacama Desert

San Pedro de Atacama is close to the Bolivian border and even closer to the best spots in the desert to photographers and nature lovers to visit. This very old town has been occupied for hundreds of years and still has some of its original adobe brick walls from its traditional inhabitants. It is the most popular place for people to stay in the north of Chile. What really knocks tourists off their feet though is the nighttime marvel that is overhead all year around. Due to the lack of rainclouds (the area only gets 1mm of rainfall each year!), the heavens are open every night to see the most incredible view of stars you can EVER witness. Being such a remote place, with the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Andes Mountains on the other, there is practically zero artificial light to adulterate your view of the southern hemisphere stars. Hundreds of thousands upon hundreds of thousands of stars will illuminate the light as you gawk at what astronomers call the best place in the world to view these jewels of the sky. A few of the planet’s largest telescopes are located in this region and have resulting in some of the most amazing discoveries in modern astronomy.

Atacama Desert

The Atacama Desert is a truly unique place

What are you waiting for? It is time to take the sandy road to northern Chile. Don’t worry, Atacama isn’t as hard to get to, as it seems. San Pedro de Atacama is located about 1,600 kilometers north of the Chilean capital Santiago. Tourists can take a 20 hour bus to a nearby city of Calama before taking the beautiful paved highway to San Pedro de Atacama. Buses are very comfortable and run overnight. Also, travelers can shell out a little more money for a plane ride to Calama before making their way to San Pedro de Atacama as well. Flights run during the week and on weekends.

The Atacama Desert is one of the most unique places in the entire world and you will not regret seeing its stunning sights. Nature’s finest resides in this remote part of the world, and it is waiting for your visit. For further information about tours in Atacama, Argentina vacations or tours in Patagonia, contact Argentina & Chile travel experts, Say Hueque – Tours in Argentina & Chile www.sayhueque.com.

 

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