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Where to Go
WHERE TO GO - SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA
ATACAMA DESERT, CHILE.
Where to Go - San Pedro de Atacama
 
This is a geothermal field in the high Andes Mountains. These geysers, which are the highest in the world (at an elevation of 4,300 m.a.s.l.) offer a unique show in the Chilean desert.

At daybreak you are able to observe large vapor fumaroles (up to 50 meters high) and hot mud craters resulting from the hot underground rivers generated by El Tatio Volcano.

You will also see one of the most spectacular phenomena of nature, landscapes fi lled with colors and contrasts, due to the large amount of vapor from the geysers. To end this tour you can soak in the healing waters of the El Tatio hot springs.



At a distance of 135 km from San Pedro, in the Andes Mountains, you can fi nd the "Monks of Pakana", impressive columns of volcanic sediment standing out on a large plain.

It is believed that these monks keep watch over the tranquility of the Salar de Aguas Calientes.

 
North of San Pedro, situated in the Cordillera de la Sal, the Valle de la Muerte (Death Valley) and Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) are found; both are part of the Los Flamencos National Reserve. The tour starts in the Valle de la Muerte, where you can walk on the dunes between the hills and mountain cliffs, caused by erosion from water and wind.

Then you continue towards the Valle de la Luna, declared a Nature Sanctuary, which is formed by a depression in saline soils and surrounded by small hills with beautiful shapes and colors.

Here you can observe a geological show of sculptural forms, very similar to those on the moon's surface. In this sanctuary you can also find salt caves and statues called "Las Tres Marías".

 
San Pedro is the archeological capital of Chile. In the village you can visit the Padre Gustavo Le Paige Archeological Museum, which exhibits numerous pre-Colombian pieces such as: pottery, lithic pieces, textiles, metals and, of course mummies, showing the different stages of the Atacameña culture. At a distance of 3 km from San Pedro

you can find the Pucará of Quitor, a fort build by the native Atacameños. At a distance of 6 km lies Tulor, a village pertaining to the Atacameño culture built approximately 3,000 years ago, which had been covered with sand until recent years. In the Altiplano you can also observe the petroglyphs of Yerba Buena, a significant exhibition of rockpainting with forms of signals and religious expressions.

This tour starts in San Pedro at the main square with visits to the church, the Father Le Paige Archeological Museum, and the commercial street of this village, all enveloped in a very relaxed and calm atmosphere.

To the south of San Pedro and at an elevation of 2,500 meters above sea level lies Toconao, a village known for its crafts made in the volcanic stone quarry where replicas are made of the bell tower of the village church.

To the North of San Pedro and at an elevation of 4,000 meters above sea level lies Machuca, a picturesque herders' village. In Chiu-Chiu, which lies at 2,525 meters above sea level, you can find the oldest and most beautiful church of the entire region.

 

This tour in the giant Andes Mountains, starts at 2,400 meters and climbs up to 4,200 meters above sea level. The Miscanti Lagoon reflects, in its clear blue water, the snow covered summits of the Miscanti (4,100 m) and Miñique (4,350 m) mountains.

Thenat the Tuyajto Lagoon you will see a great variety of marvelous colors, including the turquoise water, with spectacular scenery of great natural beauty.


 
In this region there are several salt flats, the largest and most important being
the Salar de Atacama. This salt flat is located in the middle of a wonderful natural landscape and is the most important lithium reserve in the world. This area hosts large colonies of flamingoes, and in the Atacama altiplano it is even possible to find different species.

The Cejar Lagoon, in the middle of the Atacama Salt Flat, is incredibly beautiful, with its deep blue water surrounded by salt figures. To the south of San Pedro, at an elevation of 3,950 meters, the Salt Flats of Capur and Talar are located, as well as the Tuyajto Lagoon, which turquoise and emerald colored water seems unreal. The northern area of the Salt Flat is called Salar de Aguas Calientes and lies in the middle of the coastal mountains, at 4,860 meters above sea level.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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