The thrilling edges of the Atacama Desert

Bizarre mountain slopes, huge lakes and dry river beds in the endless expanses of the Atacama Desert fascinate and inspire primitive awe before the power of their Creator. The Atacama Desert, in northern Chile, is the oldest desert in the world, its age is more than 20 million years, for comparison, the Namib Desert in Africa is 5 million years old. This is the driest region in the world, in some places life-giving moisture falls in the form of rain every few decades. The river beds have been dry here for 120 thousand years. In addition, the desert is cold, the daytime temperature does not exceed 20 C.

But she can surprise. Like all deserts, the Atacama is stingy with luxury, but generous with unforgettable impressions - unusual landscapes, geysers, mysterious rock formations, lagoons with "dancing" flamingos. Atacama has become a popular tourist destination in South America, becoming part of the Golden Triangle of Chilean tourism, along with Torres del Paine and Easter Island.

San Pedro de Atacama

Forget about comfortable living conditions while traveling in the desert, the reward will be the beauty of the landscape, which has no analogues in any other corner of our planet. The starting point for tourists is the village of San Pedro.

From the colonial era, the church of San Pedro de Atacama, perhaps the only attraction in the village, dates from the earliest days of the spread of Catholicism in the desert, but its history goes back much deeper. Thousands of years ago the city was the center of the Atacameño culture that flourished here.

The program of the San Pedro archaeological tour includes a visit to three places: Pucara de Quitor - the fortress of the Incas of the 12th century, the village of Tulor - one of the oldest human settlements in the Atacama Desert, about 3000 years old, and the Archaeological Museum of Gustavo le Peja with one of the most interesting collections of artifacts from the pre-Columbian era of South America and the main attraction - well-preserved mummies, including the legendary "Miss Chile", famous for her filigree beauty of the face.

Valle de la Luna

To the east of the village of San Pedro de Atacama is the most beautiful natural landmark, the Valle de la Luna, whose lifeless pictures resemble panoramas of Mars. Here, an unusually colorful sunset strikes with a variety of shades. In the light of the moon, the salt figures create an amazing contrast to the dark blue sky. Dry lakes, covered with a thin crust of salt crystals, create unique pictures when changing lighting.

The main attractions are also unforgettable!

Death Valley is the driest and most lifeless place on Earth, there are not even microbes in soil samples - the best place to admire the surreal landscapes of the surrounding area.

A salt cave with strange walls up to 10m high and deep pits formed by a prehistoric underground river several million years ago.