5 Stunning Views of the Atacama
A surreal landscape of sand and salt flats pimpled with volcanoes, Chile’s mesmerising Atacama Desert has flamingos, fumaroles and fantastic stargazing to name but a few highlights. Picture yourself there with these 7 stunning views…
1. Sensational Stargazing
The Atacama is home to the world’s clearest skies due to a unique fusion of geographical influences. Because of this, a number of internationally funded observatories have been attracted to the region, along with a steady stream of amateur stargazers wanting to learn more about our mind boggling universe.
2. Salt Lagoons
Head south from the town of San Pedro de Atacama and you’ll witness the world’s third largest salt flats. Among them sit a number of oasis like lagoons, some of which contain so much salt that you can lie back and float in their dense ‘Dead Sea’ style waters.
Wading through some of the shallower salt lagoons you’ll find several species of beautiful pink flamingos. These filter feeders plunder what they can from the mirrored waters below and when set against a soothing cerulean background they become a photographer’s dream.
4. Otherworldly Valleys
The Valley of the Moon (or Valle de la Luna) is just one of several spectacular valleys that have been carved and sculpted over the the centuries by the elements. Make a Mars-like mission to this alien landscape and you won’t be disappointed.
5. Geothermal Wonders
El Tatio, situated approximately 2 hours drive north of San Pedro de Atacama, is, at 4,320 metres above sea-level, one of the highest geyser fields in the world. With over 80 active spouts, it is also one of the largest and most dynamic.