Atacama Desert is not just a surreal adventure destination but also one of those places with such a unique combination of must see features. The Atacama Desert has a very unique geographical setting with temperatures that can be on the highs of 23 in the day and the night time lows of below zero. Atacama Desert is quite extraordinary in the sense that when NASA opts to assess their Mars-bound rovers, the test trials are undertaken in Atacama.
Atacama Desert is located in the Northern part of Chile and is considered as one of the driest places on earth. Despite being a desert, Atacama is also home to thousands of people and it’s overflowing with life. There are some weather stations within the Atacama that have never received rain. The Atacama Desert covers 41,000 square miles with a terrain that’s quite diverse. The terrain includes the wind-sculpted golden dunes that are perfect for surfing, beautiful cliffs with colorfully striped strata which are also referred to as the Rainbow Valley.
Things to do in Atacama Desert
Here are some of the must see features that makes Atacama Desert Chile a top travel destination.
There is no place on planet earth that provides a better stargazing experience like Atacama Desert Chile. It has become a choice destination for astro-tourists that are on the lookout for unpopulated skies. Atacama is considered as the astronomer’s paradise with very clear skies that makes it possible to view constellations of stars in such a magical way.
El Tatio Geysers
With an altitude of about 14000 above sea level, El Tatio geyser field is the highest in the world. Located at the Northern part of San Pedro de Atacama, the geysers create such a spectacle when viewed at dawn as the rising rays reflect on the billowing clouds. It provides such an immensely magical experience and the over 80 geysers are worth braving the icy temperatures for.
Such an incredible terrain with ethereal landscapes, Coyote lookout is one of the visually spectacular places in the Atacama Desert that’s worth exploring. The rugged terrain that crumbles beneath the feet is quite breathtaking. A mountain bike can be used for the adventurous ride around the salt lagoons and the surroundings.
This is one area that defies everything you would expect to see in one of the driest places on earth. Chaxa Lagoon in Atacama Desert Chile is not only explicitly vibrant but also home to flamingoes. The Flamingo Nature Reserve hosts a number of crusted lagoons with a host of flamingoes that are thriving in this seemingly harsh environment.
Unique Luxury Hotels
Atacama luxury hotels are built in a way that expresses the uniqueness of the stellar place. Some of the best apartments in San Pedro de Atacama have the best rates and provides the required luxury and comfort. The apartments provide self catering and are designed with opulent simplicity that captures the mood of the surreal landscape in such a breathtaking way. There are Atacama vacation rentals that offer the best prices with top-notch luxury services.
Death Valley Dunes
The 330-foot high dune provides that great quads challenge. The combination of altitude with the sand’s energy sapping effect under the feet is an experience that’s worth considering. The challenge provides a rewarding 360-degree view of an extremely stunning and an almost alien landscape. The added thrill of surfing down at a terrific speed makes the adventure worth every effort.
Things to do in Atacama Desert
Atacama is such an extremely beautiful place that can be visited at any time within the year. The arid nature of the place translates to a climate that’s rather constant all through the year. Apart from the must see places that are already shared there are other key attraction places such as Valley of the Moon, Salar de Atacama, Rainbow Valley and others that you can visit. If you are wondering about what to do in Atacama then you can also consider the Vicunas as they bring life and magnificence to the desert.
Things to pack when visiting Atacama Dessert
Remember to include the following in your visit to Atacama;
- Sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat, the sun can be quite hot.
- Hiking shoes with comfortable ankle support
- Fleece or windbreaker for the night time explorations
- Thermal underwear if planning on trekking in high altitude
- A good camera, you can never be a pro landscape photographer before visiting Atacama.