San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama has been always on the top of my bucket list, I am so excited waiting to feel the most arid desert in the world and its starry nights.
10th January 2019 We leave Cristian´s family and the three of us (Cristian,Estefania & Clo) start again the adventure.
* If you wanna travel by bus always check the prices out and compare from the web to the station, sometimes at the station they offer you a better price.
The view from the bus is already stunning!
San Pedro is an expensive city because it is small and plenty of travellers so you will find hostels and campings without any space. Book a place before going!
Camping is not an option for us here because we left our stuff behind us. Hostel time!
We are lucky because a friend of Cristian welcomes us at Rey Lagarto hostel close to the downtown and with better price than there.
11th January 2019 Thanks to Couchsurfing we meet Idoia and Joseba, siblings from Basque Country French which we join to find a rental car and discover the place by our own.
Luck is with us these days, we find a good and cheap 4x4.
Today we visit close places due to spend half of the day looking for the car.
Very close to the city you will find Garganta del diablo a place that is well known but not indicated in the touristic flyers. Ask for it and everyone will tell you the way.
get yourself lost between it!
On your way to this place there is another interesting place to visit. Pucará de Quitor is not only an incredible archaeological site but also there is a cave that deserves to be visited. Check my video out to see it.
By the afternoon we go to Valle de La Luna a large valley that makes you feel you are lost in the moon.
The sunset catch us on the top of the great dune, just magic.
12th January 2019 Today I am gonna see one of the places I´ve been waiting to see since long time ago, La Laguna Chaxa a lagoon in the heart of the salar where the flamingos and the color of the waters will show you a vie en rose!
On the way to the lagoon the landscape is just wonderful , this desert that thousands years ago was a huge lake is now a mix of salt, sand, lakes, rocks and an extraordinary wildlife.
We are that lucky that we meet an authentic Atacameño while eating to tell us more about his culture. Hi tells us stories and beliefs.
He conveys us his love to the world, to the earth, to the sun, to the moon .... to all the elements that give us life and that are the only things that matters to him.
When we say goodbye after hearing his words full of strength and wisdom I feel that I am finally able to describe why I want to travel so much, not only to see beautiful places, to meet beautiful people or to have beautiful photos, do not misunderstand my words, all of that also is a beautiful part of the trip and I love it, but the main reason is to connect with this our home called earth to fall in love with it and to understand the sense of being here.
After this amazing morning a long road between the desert guides us to the altiplano, to discover Piedras rojas and Laguna Tuyajto.
When the sun is going down we make a stop at Ojos del Salar and finish the day with some chelitas (beers) and the sunset.
13th January 2019 Trekking by Desfiladero-Oasis de Guatin. This path is not included in the tourist routes but we love it!
We walk down between gorges, fresh and crystalline waters flow throught creating small waterfalls and pools. We are surrounded by giant cactus!
In the afternoon we go through Valle del Arcoiris for which I recommend walking to find hidden places.
On the way back to San Pedro, the sky dresses in colors to end the day.
14th January 2019 We enjoy the morning through the unpaved streets and adobe houses of San Pedro plenty of craft shops and tourist offices offering all kinds of experiences in the desert. We opted to hire a tour to the Lagunas escondidas de baltinache, because despite having the car the road is a graveyard of wheels and we prefer that they take us.
These lagoons, not so hidden since many agencies offer the tour, are 7 turquoise lagoons with 33% salt in the middle of the desert, that is, a paradise where you deserve to float for a few hours!
There are some curious facts about these lagoons, most claim that they are artificial formations that were produced after excavations in the search for lithium (main mineral extracted in the Atacama Desert) but our guide, who has worked in the mines for more than half of his life, he believes that they may have formed naturally.
Another fact that may impress you a little is that they have not been examined yet, so when you swim in them you do not know their depth or content, it's very exciting!
After trying to swim in two of them and staying white covered in salt we went to the bus cemetery to end the day with snacks and wines and stories about the desert, the mines and Chile.
NOTE Mining in Chile is something that is not spoken so openly, it is quite controversial considering that it has economic interests, environmental impact and causes problems between the Atacameños and the government.
15th January 2019 let´s go to bolivia!