We Travel North to the Atacama Desert
We began our Chilean Journey in Antofagasta in the Norte Grande to begin an exploration of the great Desierto Atacama, the driest place on the planet! We came here to visit the Atacama Desert Museum which gave us information on the geography and mining history of the region.
We then boarded a bus that took us from the Pacific coast, east to Calama and on to San Pedro de Atacama, a verdant oasis in this driest desert. From here, we took tours into the surrounding desert to marvel at the astonishing geologic forms sculpted by the collisions of continental plates, volcanic eruptions, erosion of wind and snow, and evaporation of water over the millennia. These actions have left vast salars (shallow salt lakes) as well as sculpted rocks in a myriad of forms and colors.
Flora thrive on the higher slopes of the Andes and anywhere else that moisture may gather. The fauna that have adapted to this inhospitable environment include flamingoes, foxes, and vizcachas, as well as vicuņas and guanacos (pictures below).
Click here to view our Flickr album of pictures of this amazing area.
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