Blogs from Caldera, Atacama, Chile, South America


South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera March 8th 2022

From Fodor's: The Atacama Desert meets the Pacific Ocean in the Antofagasta region of Northern Chile. Rich in history, the desert-scape is peppered with abandoned nitrate mining towns and active copper mines around the Pan-American Highway. Dramatic cliffs drop to long beaches formed by the Pacific Ocean’s belting waves. Dry and arid winds have resulted in salt basins and lava flows throughout the Atacama Desert, lending it a moon-like landscape. The Valley of the Moon in Los Flamencos National Reserve is an exceptional spread of dunes, rugged mountains, and distinctive formations. At this remote location by the Pacific Ocean, dark skies offer some of the world’s most beautiful and clear star-viewing. I am reposting a funny story from our visit to the Atacama: After a few days on the coast of Chile, we rapidly tired of ... read more
Snow near the desert
Wine tasting in Chile

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera August 1st 2020

I can't say I have been to many remote places in the world. They may have seemed remote, like the Atacama, Siberia, or the Arctic Circle. But check this out! Looking to really get off the grid? Welcome to Point Nemo, which gives a whole new meaning to the term “middle of nowhere.” Officially known as the “the oceanic pole of inaccessibility,” Point Nemo is the oceanic point that is the farthest from any shore — you may actually be closer to astronauts in the International Space Station than you are to any human on Earth. Located in the Pacific Ocean, Point Nemo got its name from the Latin word for “no one,” as well as the fictional sailor from “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” When drifting at Point Nemo, you are surrounded by well ... read more
The Atacama

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera May 30th 2020

Have you ever visited one of the oldest and driest deserts in the world, the Atacama in Chile? Well, on the long drive through the "Thin Country", we spent a few days in the Atacama before heading south. They say some parts of the desert have not seen rain for over a hundred years. As I recall, Mr. Mike and I were there during the early spring. The nearest town, San Pedro was a cold and windy frontier town, on the edge of the Atacama. But on the few occasions it rains, the desert transforms into a beautiful cascade of wildflowers. NASA uses the Atacama to mimic Mars. The Valle de Marte resembles the red planet. The unique colors have also provided landscapes for Hollywood movies. The desert is also ideal for stargazing, with cool, clear ... read more
Breakfast at Tatio
Tatio geysers

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera March 21st 2017

A quick stop over in Santiago (no tattoos this time) and we were off to the airport! A few hours later we were in the middle of the atacama desert! The only way to explain this place is, it as though they have picked up a town and literally placed it in the most isolated desolate place in Chile. We got dropped off at the bus station and had to walk to our hostel. It was like a scene from a western movie, the dog was following us and all the houses were mud huts. The locals came out only to have a good look at the silly tourists humping around backpacks in the midday sun. We eventually arrived at our hostel- which actually was really cute. Bag drop and into town (if you can call ... read more

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera April 25th 2012

Once more, time had passed all too quickly and we were again having to say goodbye. This time to Lisa. It had been fantastic to see her again, and once more like Matt and Lou, it was all over too quickly. For our last night, we were back in Santiago where Lisa would fly out from, and so we decided to go out and have a nice dinner. Fortunately for us the receptionist at our hostel recommended a cool little area called Patio Bella Vista where there were all manner of restaurants and live music etc. and it was only a short walk away. And so, we had one final lovely evening involving food, wine, and pisco sours followed by a trip to a good old fashioned Irish bar…I mean, it’s rude not to isn’t it??! ... read more
Our dome and seating area
The long road to the shops!

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera March 11th 2012

After my little adventure into the Atacama I gave myself a good talking to. I had originally planned to ride up to Antofagasta and from there onto San Pedro de Atacama. San Pedro de Atacame is the tourist place to visit so I had set my heart on getting there. Although a coastal town Antofagasta is the capital of Atacama and would make a good stop off on the way to San Pedro de Atacama. The problem was two fold. Firstly the distance. Each leg would be about half as far as I had ridden the previous day and that had taken me the best part of 6 hours. I could not count on there being enoough fuel stops and although I could perhaps buy a can, carrying it, with all my luggage would be tricky. ... read more
Herb Anderson (on the left) & Ron Ayres
Me &Ron
Ron Ayres

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera September 28th 2011

We are currently in the worlds driest desert... any guesses... well done to all the geographers out there who knew that it is the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. We´re about to go sandboarding this afternoon and then see (another) sunset from some sort of salt based lake/cave/mountain. We´ve done all of Bolivia since our last blog on a GAP Adventures tour (I got it for free as a sort of leaving present from STA and snuck Em on with a tidy discount :) ) so quite a lot to tell you about. Bolivia is supposed to be the weirdest country is South America and also the cheapest - which got me excited - and it certainly didnt disappoint on both fronts. We ate a three course lunch for 90p and saw all sorts of weird ... read more
Central market, Sucre
Orphanage, Sucre

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera June 10th 2010

From Iquique, we headed south and east into the great Atacama desert. This marked the halfway point in our trip in both time and distance. We had traveled nearly 3,000 kilometers north from Bariloche to Iquique. The first leg of the second half of the trip took us us east through the desert to the Tourist Mecca of San Pedro de Atacama. We had been wondering if San Pedro would be able to live up to all of the hype that we'd been hearing. It has become a must see stopover for Gringos traveling in South America. After an easy 7 hour drive from Iquique, we stopped and marveled at Valle de la Luna which overlooks the oasis town of San Pedro. We found San Pedro to be remarkably charming. It has a stong counter-culture element ... read more
Valle de la Luna
David and Sam
Surfs Up

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera April 5th 2010

Esta playa de aguas turquesas y cristalinas queda a alrededor de una hora y media de Copiapó y a 15 minutos hacia el oceano pacífico desde Caldera. Desde Copiapó se puede tomar un bus hasta caldera y después un taxi hasta Bahía Inglesa. El lugar es un pequeño pueblo con casas de gente acomodada y otras no tanto, muchos lugares donde ir a acampar, un par de hoteles y también hostales. Esta aventura fue parte del viaje a Copiapo como delegación de la Universidad de Concepción que realizamos con unos amigos. Antes de asistir al congreso (que era lo fundamental del viaje) nos escapamos un par de días a esta paradisíaca playa y empezamos con la no fácil tarea de conseguir alojamiento. Con mi amigo Adonay conseguimos una casa no tan grande (tres piezas, cocina, living ... read more
Entre las rocas - me between rocks
Poder del sol - Sun power
Playa de bahía inglesa - Bahía Inglesa beach

South America » Chile » Atacama » Caldera March 20th 2010

Este en un pueblo cercano a la costa en la región de Atacama a alrededor de una hora hacia el oeste de Copiapó en el norte de Chile. El desierto que rodea la ciudad entrega la cracterística propicia para el nombre del lugar; Caldera, ya que acá hace mucho, pero mucho calor. El calor es apaciguado por la brisa marina que proviene del oceano pacífico, pero aparte de de esos momento de frescura marina es muy difícil olvidar que la sequedad desertica del lugar es lo que siempre predominará. Sólo estuvimos un par de horas en esta ciudad, tiempo suficiente para conocer lo que nos interesaba conocer y comer lo que necesitabamos comer... una pichanga (carne, cebolla, longaniza, pollo y vienesas) acompañada con muchas, pero muchas papas fritas y una par de bebidas. Luego un paseo ... read more
Rieles de trenes fuera de la casa de la cultura - Rails outside the House of the culture
Baño público común improvisado - Improvised public group restroom

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