Published: January 18th 2012January 10th 2012
The moon as seen from the Atacama Desert
My first up close look at the moon. Taken at a public space observatory outside of San Pedro in the Atacama Desert.
I wasn´t sure whether I took a wrong flight or not, but when I arrived in San Pedro de Atacama the landscape outside the town looked more like I had arrived on Mars or the moon. I spent three nights here as it was the starting point for my trip across the Andes. That time gave me an opportunity to experience the charm of a small oases and the out of this world sights of the desert.
San Pedro is a small oases in the Atacama desert, the driest desert in the world. It is located in northeast Chile at the foothills of the Andes only about 30-40kms from the Bolivian border.
San Pedro is just a small town with a handful of adobe streets and a centre plaza. The main street is lined with restaurants, shops and tour operators. What dominates the view from San Pedro is Liscobaur, a perfectly coned-shaped volcano. This region has the highest concentration of volcanos in the world.
To the east lies the Andes and the west the Atacama Desert. The second day in San Pedro I took a tour in Valle de Luna in the desert. It is here that you
On my way through the Atacama Desert to San Pedro de Atacama after flying into Calama, Chile.
could mistakenly think you have landed on Mars or the moon. Rock formations and landscape all come together here to make some amazing sights.
The last day was spent mountain biking around the oases and out closer to the desert. Outside of the main tourist area is the real town with its adobe homes with tin metal roofs and dust and dirt filled streets. The day was capped of by literally looking at out of this world objects on a star gazing tour in the desert. I got to look at planets, stars and far off galaxies at the best public observatory in South America. I even got to see the full moon up close for the first time and got a picture of it. It was fitting to end my out of this world stay in San Pedro with viewing some out of this world objects.
There are more photos below