Blogs from San Pedro de Atacama, Antofagasta Region, Chile, South America

Advertisement


Up at 4:30 for 05:00-05:30 pickup. While we were waiting met a nice German couple also visiting the Geysers but with a different company. Finally at 05:36 out bus turned up and off we went. It was about a 90 minute drive to the geysers so the guide told us to rest which was good. By the time we got there, there were already a lot of tourists roaming around and it’s not even peak season. I’d hate to come in peak season. The guide was very strict about following the guidelines, but for good reason as people have been killed at the geysers in the past. The last death was in 2015 when a Belgian woman who was taking photos, slipped on the icto the boiling geyser. Her husband managed to pull her out and ... read more
_DSC3845
_DSC3854
_DSC3871


This morning no dramas with the alarms and we were ready at 08:00, but didn't get picked up until 08:30.. This time Alexander was our guide and driver so I got a choice to sit in the passenger seat which I did. First stop was a random place on the highway with a great view of the Licancabur Volcano which is right the Bolivian- Chile border. Interesting thing is that if you wish to climb it, you have to do it from the Bolivian side because the Chilean side had land mines left from the old border wars. Just after leaving there we had to stop the van as a couple of llamas decided to cross the highway. I asked Alexander if many get hit and he said yes, but the much bigger problem are the ... read more
_DSC3655
_DSC3669
_DSC3671


Today's tour pick-up was 07:00-07:30 but Daisy's clock was on Bolivian time still and my phone had switched off so we didn't get up until 7.10! We frantically got ourselves ready until there was a knock on our door at 07:30. Luckily we were the second last to be picked up. The group was made up South Americans, two Dutch ladies, Mary from Oslo and two other Aussie girls from Brisbane, Charlie and Melanie. Today we visited the Salar de Atacama. Which contains the world’s largest source of lithium. Our first stop at 8.45 was Laguna Chaxa in Los Flamencos National Reserve. Here we saw 3 different species of flamingos and had breakfast. We finished there at 10.08 and stopped for 20 minutes at Iglesias Antigua built in 1664 in the small town of Socaire. At ... read more
_DSC3415
_DSC3422
_DSC3426


25 juillet Iquique est derrière moi alors que le bus dans lequel je prend place vise la route qui longe l'Océan dans le but d'atteindre d'abord Calama plus au sud, tout là-haut dans les montagnes (altitude 2700 mètres) pour ensuite bifurquer vers le désert à l'est. Beaucoup de mineurs à la mine sombre occupent les bancs autour de moi. La colossale mine de cuivre de Chiquicamata se trouverait tout près de Calama, ville sombre gonflé par l'inflation, les casinos, les hôtels de surenchère et les bars louches. C'est là que logeraient beaucoup de ces travailleurs esseulés, gris et ternes qui arrachent aux montagnes le minéral en diluant jour après jour leur sourire jusqu'à oublier comment en faire. À Calama, je dois changer d'autocar pour partir plus creux vers la frontière bolivienne, en... read more
Salar
Nuns
Turquoise


Here we are, back to Chile, for one of my preferred places in the world to come in the next few days...but first, we had a flight from Buenos Aires. We will come back to the Capital of Argentina, so wait for that blog! One way flights in South America are impossibly expensive! So I'm happy to see that Sky Airlines is getting us where we want, at a very decent price. So we took the low cost flight to Santiago and next straight to Calama. Not much choice, it's this or expensive Latam....but on Latam, you end up buying your own food too these days! I do remember one thing about San Pedro de Atacama that I visited 8 years ago, it is that the place is super expensive. So the idea was to go ... read more
Just magic!
I just love this place...
Valle de la Luna


Chile: My Final Country Hola, Chile! This long and thin, diverse sliver of a country running along the west of South America was my final (sniff) country to explore. San Pedro de Atacama (20/07/2018-23/07/2018) Our first Chilean destination sits in the middle of absolutely nowhere in the center of the world’s driest desert, with snow-capped volcanoes dotting the horizon. San Pedro de Atacama: a out-back desert town consists of dirt road narrow streets, one-story, mud brick houses, limited electricity, and basically no WiFi. It felt like we were in a movie set of an old time Western film. It was a very unique place indeed. Yes, it was touristy, but it was also very, very charming. Upon arrival, we headed to a cande lit restaurant with a cracking fireplace (there's lots here because it´s cold at ... read more
Double Rainbow
Sunset


Having become avid hikers over the past year, we were really looking forward to Patagonia's iconic and most famous hiking route - the W trek: a hiking trail that covers a distance of 80km through the most spectacular parts of the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, including the Base de las Torres, French Valley and Glacier Grey. Unfortunately we had the wind knocked out of our sails when we started making enquiries a few months ago...we were told that we would be arriving during peak season and that transport to the national park and 3 nights camping in the park would set us back over $1,000 each (this didn't include a sleeping bag, we'd have to pay extra for that!!). Having not taken leave of our senses just yet, we politely declined and decided ... read more
Mau trying to avoid been blown away at the French Valley lookout
Incredible views of the French Valley
Trying to take photos of Glacier Grey in gale force winds!


Suzanne here... The journey to San Pedro de Atacama was fine. As it got light we could appreciate the amazing scenery. The border crossing at Paso de Jama was closed when we arrived, which was a bit of a worry. But after a two hour wait they opened it up. Such a relief as we didn't fancy turning back. It took the best part of an hour to pass through both border controls, but in the end we were on our way. We arrived a couple of hours late, but we were just delighted it had all worked out. Because of the uncertainty we had not booked a hotel. Luckily the bus station had wi-fi so we did a bit of research and headed off to find our prefered option. It was a bit expensive at ... read more
Bus station area with the Andes in the background
Volcano overlooking San Pedro
Typical view of San Pedro


San Pedro is close to the Bolivian and Argentinian borders and it is in the middle of the desert, you could feel how dry it is on your lips. It is a cute town all built in clay .... for tourists. I did quite a few tours cause it is all about seeing the wonders of the world, the geological phenomenons. The Valle de la Luna is just dried oxidised land after seawater evaporated but it looks a bit like a moon crater hence the name. We first walked through a cave that had been carved in by past rivers before heading to viewpoints on the valley with sunset. Second day I went to the altiplano Lagos, the visit starts on the desert of salt of Chile, it was I retesting for me to be able ... read more
IMG_4118
IMG_4143
IMG_4087


Finally we get on the Road. The new battery arrived on time and Pete fitted it into Nikki's bike that evening and checked the charge on the other bikes and all were good to go. We finally got away from Vina del Mar at 10.00am and headed North up the coast via Concon and Zappella, finally joining the Pan Pacific highway and onto Tongoy, a quaint little fishing village just south of Coquimbo, where we were welcomed by Marcela. We had a day off in Tongoy, so we all rode up to Coquimbo to check out the Cross of the Third Millennium, then onto Andacolla for lunch and check out the corrugated iron and wooden church of the Virgin of Andacolla and then the long way home to Tongoy via Ovalle. This was a 287km ride ... read more
Our visit to the Cross of the Third Millennium.
Our visit to the church of the Virgin of Andacolla.
Harley's having a bit of off Roading.




Tot: 0.071s; Tpl: 0.015s; cc: 7; qc: 76; dbt: 0.0185s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb