Imagine spending the holidays in the middle of a desert. Can you picture it? For true adventurers, anything is possible! The Atacama Desert is not just any desserts, it is the world’s driest place. It stretches along the South American Pacific Coast, between the latitudes 18° and 27° south, boasting a length of 1200 kilometers.
A Coastal Desert with a Special Climate
Its most peculiar characteristic is the Atacama is a coastal desert, as it extends along the South American coastline and is located outside the Earth’s polar regions. The Atacama has had a hyper-arid climate for at least 15 million years. As a matter of fact, there are places on our planet where it never, or almost never, rains.
Welcome to San Pedro de Atacama
In spite of the above, one of the charms of the Atacama Desert is an oasis called San Pedro de Atacama. This small town, which has its own church, was founded in 1577. San Pedro is the starting point for the majority of the excursions into the Atacama Desert, and, believe it or not, this dry piece of land has a lot to offer!
Bathing in the Desert – Anything is possible
If you want to create a special memory here is a unique opportunity: bathing in this extremely arid region at the Puritama Hot Springs, fed by the Puritama River in its flow through the Atacama Desert valley.
Another of the area’s aquatic adventures is a trip to Miscanti Lagoon, a famous saline lake located in the north of Chile.
If you want to feel the sand you can go horseback riding in the Atacama Desert, going up and down the sand dunes. Without a doubt this is an unforgettable vacation experience!
A Mystical Area
Although the Atacama Desert has enough mystique on its own, there is an even more magical experience: a journey to the moon! Well, not literally, but there is an impressive rock formation that mysteriously resembles the lunar craters. This is why it is called Moon Valley.
Still Want More Suggestions?
Visitors can book a sandboarding tour on the desert dunes. There are night excursions as well, with special lighting and DJs.
Talking about nightlife, astronomy aficionados can delight with our uniquely clear night skies at the Paranal Observatory.
How Do You Define Aridity?
Everyone is familiar with the feeling of being very thirsty and having a dry throat on a hot summer day. How can you describe aridity in a desert? Just to give you an idea, the Atacama Desert is 50 times drier than California’s Death Valley.
Every 5 to 10 years, rain clouds cover this region, giving birth to the unique phenomenon of the Atacama Desert bloom, where flowers cover every corner of the otherwise utterly dry landscape. It is a spectacular view.
Not Only Flowers Appear…
Aside from its special charm and attractions mentioned above, The Atacama Desert is an economic pillar thanks to its lithium, copper, silver, gold, and platinum deposits.
If you want to buy souvenirs you will need to pay with Chilean pesos.
Have a good trip to this adventure land!