Atacama Desert

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The Atacama Desert stretches along the Pacific coast of South America between the 18th and 27th latitude south, that is, approximately between the cities of Tacna in southern Peru and Copiapo in northern Chile, over a distance of about 1200 kilometers. From west to east three longitudinal zones are distinguished: the Cordillera de la Costa, the Zwischental and the Andesmassiv. The Atacama is a coastal desert and the driest desert in the world outside the polar regions. There has been a hyperarid climate in its central area for at least 15 million years. There are places where rain has not been registered for decades, with average annual rainfall of just 0.5mm. Their southern range between the 24th and 27th degrees of latitude remained completely uninhabited until recent times.
The Atacama desert welcomes the athletes of the all-terrain of the world. In this desert, the various championships of the Baja Atacama Rally, Rally Baja Chile, Rally Patagonia Atacama, and the Dakar Series Rally have been held in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015-, event organized by Amaury Sport Organization (ASO). The dunes of this desert are ideal for this type of sport, located in the vicinity of the city of Copiapo, Atacama Region.
Another event that takes place in this desert is the “Atacama Solar Race”, which consists of a solar vehicle race that takes place in desert places such as Toconao, Calama, Iquique and Antofagasta, among others. The extreme character of the desert, the landscapes, the presence of the Andean cordillera, volcanoes, geysers, the culture of the Atacamenos, the night sky as well as the archaeological sites attract many tourists

Access : Coordinates: -24.5, -69.25 / By plane:
It is the fastest way to access Calama and then reach San Pedro de Atacama (98 kms.). From Santiago there are 5 daily frequencies on weekdays and 3 daily frequencies on weekends through Lan Chile. The cheapest fare, round trip to Calama costs around $ 120,000 (US $ 200). To access this fare the ticket must be purchased 4 to 7 days in advance and the stay must include a Saturday day./
By bus:
The trip takes 20 hours from Santiago. There is a good level of service and comfort in buses with semi-bed seats. You can check the value of the tickets and departure times on the following bus lines that offer the semi-bed and standard bus routes: Tur Bus, Pullman Bus, Gemini./
By car:
For those who venture to arrive by car from Santiago, you should take Route 5 – Panamericana Norte. It is recommended to make the trip in 2 sections, stopping at Caldera (870 kms.) Or Bahia Inglesa and then continuing the next day direct to Calama (800 kms. More), where you can get everything you need to take to San Pedro./
From the city of Calama:
There are several transport companies (Pullman Bus, Tur Bus, Gemini) that depart from their own terminals in Calama. The value of the ticket is around $ 1,400 Chilean pesos (US $ 2.50). From the airport of Calama there are minibuses (Transfer Service) whose value is approximately $ 6,000 Chilean pesos (US $ 10).

Highlights :

  • El Valle De La Luna – Moon Valley , Set of landscapes of incomparable beauty and that resemble a fragment of the moon landscape.located at 17 kilometers of San Pedro.
  • Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains) , The Cordillera de la Sal is a low ridge oriented nne, on the western side of the Salar de Atacama.
  • Pukara de Quitor ( Quechua pukara fortress) , The fortress is one of the best architectural achievements of the so-called San Pedro culture.
  • Miscanti and Miniques Lagoons , Located at 90 kilometers from San Pedro. Miscanti and Minique are located more than 4,000 meters above sea level /
  • El Tatio Geysers , The Tatio is a field of geysers located in the Andean mountains of northern Chile, in the Antofagasta Region. It is the largest geyser group in the southern hemisphere and the third largest in the world, after Yellowstone (United States) and Kronotski Nature Reserve (Russia).
  • San Pedro De Atacama , San Pedro de Atacama is one of the top destinations in Chile. The whole year is full of people from different countries of the world, different languages. Perhaps the most cosmopolitan place in Chile, even more than Torres del Paine.
  • Padre Le Paige Museum , Gustavo Le Paige 380, San Pedro de Atacama 1410000, Chile , Established in 1955 by Belgian priest Gustavo Le Paige, this vital museum covers 11,000 years of Atacamena culture.Temporarily Closed.
  • Mano del Desierto : The monumental “Hand of the Desert” is located 75 km south of the city of Antofagasta, near the legendary Pan-American Highway.

  • Toconao and Atacama Salt lake , Toconao s an Colonial town Located near the Andes, al 2.500 meters above sea level.The salar of Atacama is the salar or salt deposit the largest of Chile. It is located in the region of Antofagasta, south of the city of San Pedro de Atacama/
  • Puritama HotSprings , Termas Banos de Puritama, these hot springs are located 28 km north of San Pedro de Atacama and 3,500 meters above sea level in the Republic of Chile.
  • Valle de la Muerte , Death Valley , Also known as the Valley of Mars, the Valley of Death is in the middle of the Cordillera de la Sal, just 2 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama.

Activities : Atacama Desert Tours / Trekking / Atacama Desert Stargazing Tours / bath in the Puritana hot springs / mountain biking, horseback riding / sand-boarding in Valle de la Muerte /
Quad Adventures in Atacama / Landscape Photography / Astroturismo : The geographical conditions of Chile make our country a true natural laboratory, perfect for scientific studies and astronomical observations, because it has one of the clearest skies in the world.

Go next : Aldea de Tulor / Alto El Loa / Antofagasta / Arica / Bahia Inglesa (English Bay) / Calama / Caspana

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