San Pedro de Atacama- Valle de la Luna

Published: November 24th 2013
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San Pedro-Valle de Luna

Salt anyone?Salt anyone?Salt anyone?

The white is crystallized salt.
Valle de la Luna, otherwise known as Moon Valley, is located about 13km west of San Pedro. It is part of the Reserva Nacional los Flamencos which is divided into a number of areas. More about that in the next blog. One of the driest places on earth, it is claimed that some areas of the valley haven't seen a drop of rain in hundreds of years.

I was lucky enough to join Miri, Sergi and their new friend Sergio in a private "tour" on two consecutive afternoons. What an amazing landscape and a feast for the eyes!! It's not difficult to see how it got it's name. The myriad of colours & textures, especially with the changing light was truly magnificent. The folded ridges of the Cordillera de la Sal, spectacular formations such as El Anfiteatro, Licancabur Volcano to the east, gigantic dunes of volcanic sand, caverns to explore, dry,white, salt encrusted lake beds and saline outcrops carved out by nature. Such diversity in one area, so very special.

So enough of the chat.... let's have a look.....

Remember to double click on individual photos to get a full appreciation of them.

Additional photos below
Photos: 59, Displayed: 22


Climbing in Valle de LunaClimbing in Valle de Luna
Climbing in Valle de Luna

Exploring the small canyon & caverns in the first part of the Valle de Luna.
Sue & MiriSue & Miri
Sue & Miri

My Swiss friend Miri & I just love this place!
Outlook from the saltOutlook from the salt
Outlook from the salt

Miri scans the horizon- fantastic 360 degree views!
and again!and again!
and again!

Other worldly rock formations are everywhere.
Escaping the heatEscaping the heat
Escaping the heat

Trying to use the self timer... not so successful
Another attempt...Another attempt...
Another attempt...

With a little help from someone else..
Lunar surfaceLunar surface
Lunar surface

Definitely living up to it's name!
Sergi's SpaghettiSergi's Spaghetti
Sergi's Spaghetti

Sometimes cold, left over pasta is the best!! Yum!
Sendero a DunaSendero a Duna
Sendero a Duna

Trail to the dunes. Sergio, our 'chaffeur', combats the heat with the flag of his beloved football club Cordoba!
Miri's Tough Feet!Miri's Tough Feet!
Miri's Tough Feet!

Miri prefers to walk up barefoot, but soon finds it a bit uncomfortable. I don't think Sergi is having a much better time- he was wearing Crocs! Like walking in quick sand, me thinks!
King of the CastleKing of the Castle
King of the Castle

Before his "downfall". Apparently he wasn't supposed to be up there as it was off trail and they're trying to protect the area from the burgeoning tourist traffic.
Sue & Miri with flagSue & Miri with flag
Sue & Miri with flag

A change of faces for Sergio's photo collection!!!
Views from the TopViews from the Top
Views from the Top

Climbing to the top of the trail affords you fantastic views in all directions.
Clambering the rocksClambering the rocks
Clambering the rocks

Fantastic wandering around with the place mostly to ourselves!! Most people do tours in the late afternoon for sunset, not in the hot desert sun in the middle of the day!!
The Car in Valle de la LunaThe Car in Valle de la Luna
The Car in Valle de la Luna

Our chariot for a few days. Such a luxury- hate group tours!!!
View towards Valle del MuerteView towards Valle del Muerte
View towards Valle del Muerte

In the distance.......
Unusual Rock FormationsUnusual Rock Formations
Unusual Rock Formations

Thousands of years of wind and sand have carved out some intriguing shapes. The one on the right is El Anfiteatro.
Sergio takes a restSergio takes a rest
Sergio takes a rest

Look at that backdrop!

24th November 2013

Love all your photos. Brings back many good memories of our trip. Sounds like you're following a similar route to the one we took. How are you getting around? Driving? The Pan American h’way stretches for as far as the eye can see with 'lunar landscape' either side
28th November 2013

Bussing it!!
Hi Lesley! Having a ball and the buses are so convenient & affordable. In the south of Argentina and heading back to Chile tomorrow and the Navimag ferry Friday to Puerto Natales. Torres del Paine here I come.
25th November 2013

Have they got a salt mine!!! It looks fabulous and so do you love! XXXXXXX Spas
28th November 2013

Hi Spas
Actually they do harvest the salt, but not from there. On the Salar proper.
28th January 2014

Happy New Year Treadie!
Hi Treadie, Hope you had a great Xmas. Thanks for the photos & blog. Fantastic scenery! On On Wally

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