Atacama desert, Chile

Explore Atacama Desert in Chile

The Atacama Desert in Chile is one of the best locations for stargazing.

Many other attractions, such as deep blue Lagunas and volcanic terrain, provide ample opportunities for tourists to partake in a grand adventure.

You can explore the Atacama Desert by booking a tour guide or doing a lot of research to embark on a solo adventure; whatever floats your boat, many options are available.

Let us explore some aspects of the Atacama Desert in Chile so that you are well on your way to beginning an adventure that will change your life forever.

San Pedro Near The Atacama Desert

Home to one of the most beautiful and soul-stirring views globally, the Atacama Desert provides tourists with ample sources of breathtaking views, like rocky terrain and sandy landscapes.

San Pedro is a popular tourist destination for people who are unwilling to leave the extravagant landscapes of the Atacama Desert, so they find cheap hotels and set up shop in this prime location. It is often described as a gateway town full of an interesting pool of people, including hippies and hedonists.

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

This town is a great location where people can set up camp or shop and decide which direction they want to head towards to explore the various sites part of the Antofagasta Region. There has been a dramatic rise in the availability of tours, guides, and excursions, which can cause paralysis by over-analysis due to the many options available.

Many travel agencies take up shop in parts of San Pedro and offer very similar touring packages with only minor variations.  It’s crucial to have a tour guide that speaks Spanish so that you do not experience a language barrier and have a 4×4 vehicle at your disposal to traverse the multitudinous terrain.

For people who haven’t booked a guide and vehicle in advance, it’s not a big problem because there are many options available in the town of San Pedro.

How to Deal With Altitude Problems

Many travellers are quick to notice that journeys in the Antofagasta Region are measured in altitude and distance. The town of San Pedro is 2400 meters above sea level, while the Cerro Toco Mountain is 5600 meters.

Your body will start to notice the effects of living at a high altitude because of the availability of less oxygen in the atmosphere as you continue journeying upwards. There’s only so much you can do if you experience symptoms of altitude sickness because your body may not be accustomed to living in high altitude areas and therefore hasn’t had enough time to adapt. However, you can lessen the symptoms by drinking coca leaf tea, a good remedy for headaches and nausea.

Antofagasta Region

Another option is to give yourself time to adjust to your surroundings, which you can do in several ways. These include resting for a day or two upon arrival so that your body improves its oxygen-carrying capacity and planning your serious hiking trips for the final days of your trip.

Beautiful Attractions of The Atacama Desert

Chile is one of the most geographically diverse locations globally, with both barren and arid landscapes to cragged valleys with volcanic activity. Valley of the Moon is 2264 meters above sea level and home to dunes, salt-rimmed craters, and other dramatic landscapes. The lighting at sunrise makes it an ideal location to relax and take in nature’s profound beauty.

At 1000 meters above the Valley of the Moon,  is a naturally occurring spa that has come into being through the help of a river that contains many minerals like calcium, magnesium, and sodium. There are a total of 8 plunge pools that are fed by waterfalls, which produce a sort of Jacuzzi jet stream that you can use to relieve muscular tension and induce some therapeutic effects.

Termas de Puritama

The next great wonders you can expect to find at the Atacama Desert are the Laguna Chaxa and Altiplanic Lagoons. A national reserve also exists, which is a prime habitat for many kinds of flamingoes that thrive in the area. The beautiful pink birds invite the attention of onlookers, while other less-known creatures like the brine shrimp serve as snacks for these magnificent birds and are responsible for the pink color of their feathers.

From there, the Altiplanic Lagoons are an hour or so away and has the most striking contrast of green and blue colors, where it feels like a sudden change from the barren landscape to this wet and colorful scene.

From here, tourists either make their way back down or continue their ascension to discover many more features of the Atacama Desert.

Final Verdict

Without a doubt, the Atacama Desert is one of the best tourist locations where you can explore a variety of mind-blowing landscapes that will leave you thirsty for more wonders of the Earth.

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