San Pedro de Atacama: the World’s Driest Desert

San Pedro de Atacama is a Chilean commune located in the province of El Loa, in the region of Antofagasta. Its capital is the town of the same name.

San Pedro de Atacama is a Chilean commune located in the province of El Loa, in the region of Antofagasta. Its capital is the town of the same name. San Pedro de Atacama is the gateway to one of the largest and most arid deserts in the world: the Atacama Desert. Much of the communal territory corresponds to the Salar de Atacama.

Do not miss the following places:

Tour the Historic Center of San Pedro:

a small jewel of Highland architecture, covering an area of no more than 8 blocks, with adobe houses, dirt roads, and a beautiful 18th-century church painted in white.

Its heart is located in the central square, an oasis where tamarugo, chañares and carob trees grow, surrounded by the municipal building, San Pedro church and variety of resta urants and tourist services. Other places of interest include the cemetery, which is characterized by its tombs decorated with paper flowers and El Pueblo de Los Artesanos (Artisans town) a place that brings together various works typical of the Atacama region.

An astronomical tour in one of the clearest skies in the world:

San Pedro de Atacama is famous for hosting one of the clearest skies in the world, a condition is given by its more than 330 clear nights that follow to appreciate impressive spectacles of stars.

There are several agencies that operate astronomical tours in the area; some only describe the stars and constellations to the simple human eye, while others, more sophisticated, have powerful telescopes to navigate the cosmos.

An archaeological visit to Pucará de Quitor:

another must-see in San Pedro de Atacama for lovers of history corresponds to this archaeological site located only 3 km away, made up of a series of ruins of stone fortifications built between 1000 and 1500 AD. by the Atacama culture.

Abandoned for 400 years, it is today National Monument, was restored during the decade of the 80s rebuilding much of its original wall of defense, allowing visitors to get an idea of the original image that would have had the whole.

Sunset and Sand boarding in the Valley of Death:

Also known as Valle de Marte (Mart Valley) it corresponds to a sand valley located in the middle of the Salt Mountain Range, just 2 km from San Pedro, magical scenery surrounded by dunes, reddish-brown hills and strange rock formations modelled on it over millennia by erosion processes.

 Tour the Valley of the Moon:

located 13 km from San Pedro, in the Los Flamencos National Reserve, it corresponds to a desert spot immersed in the spectacular scenery of the Salt Mountain Range, famous for the particular appearance of its relief resembling a lunar landscape.

Among its characteristics is the beauty of its dunes and hills, the presence of unique rock formations modeled over millions of years by erosive processes and the particular whitish tonality that stains the surface of its sands.

Sunrise in the Tatio Geysers:

natural wonder located 90 km from San Pedro de Atacama, at an altitude of 4,000 meters high, comprising a geothermal field, consisting of 80 fumaroles, which give off vapours of volcanic and waters at 86 degree C that rise above the 8 meters, forming one of the most beautiful corners that the desert can offer.

Famous for its extension, it corresponds to the largest group of geysers in the southern hemisphere and the third largest in the world, after Yellowstone (USA) and Dolina Giezerov (Russia). The visits are made during the sunrise, between 5:30 and 8 a.m. when it is possible to see this show at its best.

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