What earns the Atacama the title of world's driest desert is, in large part, its position between the Cordillera de la Costa mountain range to the west and the Andes to the east, with surrounding elevations ranging from 5,000 feet to 16,000 feet. At[...], Located south from BahÃa Inglesa, it is known as one of the best beaches in the country. Antofagasta, one of the oldest cities of the country, is the most important marine port in the north of Chile; it was used as a unload port for the Chilean nitrate; this region was founded by Chileans in 1870 to exploit the nitrate in the Atacama Desert. CNN Sans â¢ & Â© 2016 Cable News Network. The National Geographic Society considers the coastal area of southern Peru to be part of the Atacama Desert and includes the deserts south of the Ica Region in Peru. The scene is reminiscent of a movie set on Mars. This is the scene that awaits you in Chile. Its ancient cultures offer a warm welcome to modern travellers, and fertile oases sustain an astonishing diversity of life here in the world’s driest desert. In the northern desert region saline soils, made up of gravel and sand cemented with calcium sulfate, alternate with alkali-rich soils, which are difficult to cultivate even with irrigation because of their surface salt accumulations. Founded in 1993, Explora, which has properties in Chile, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia, pioneered eco-tourism in the area by guiding guests on "explorations" into all reaches of the Atacama. They are on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, and are located in the Atacama Desert.. In some parts of this desert, no precipitation has ever been recorded. Cities . The Atacama Desert is one of the driest places in the world, second only to The Dry Valleys of Antarctica. If you are, we recommend you visit www.chileestuyo.cl to plan your next vacation in Chile. Immerse yourself in the ways of[...], Chileâs territory combines over 4,000 kilometers of wind-blown, ocean-swept coastline, the immense, mineral-rich northern desert, the majestic peaks of the Andes range, with thousands of active volcanoes strung along its length, and the hushed mystique of the southern evergreen forests. But the most northerly part of Chile is much more than just the Atacama Desert. One of its main attractions is the wonderful ChungarÃ¡ Lake, one of the highest in the world found at[...], The history of white gold envelops and joins two saltpeter offices that became the world's most important saltpeter mine at the turn at the 20th century. Lindsay Lambert Day is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer based in Atlanta. Atacama Desert is the driest place in the world. In 2008, Explora opened its own observatory where guests can peer through a powerful Meade 16-inch telescope into the night sky. Sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes Mountains, the Atacama Desert runs for some 600 miles along northern Chile and encompasses over 40,000 square miles. Read More Select points of interest to plot on map by type Top Attractions Top Hotels Top Restaurants Top Entertainment Top Nightlife Top Shopping km), stretching 600mi (1000km) from southern Peru into northern Chile. Located in northern Chile and ranging in elevation from 2,400 meters (7,900 feet) to 4,800 m (15,700 ft), the Atacama plateau desert is the driest region on the planet. Monument or mirage? Research shows that some of the Atacama's riverbeds have been dry for 120,000 years, and some pockets of the South American desert are said to have never seen rain at all. Dive into its turquoise waters and get a tan on its fine white sand. FotografÃa de @mygobe. Guided viewings are offered nightly, depending on weather conditions. Atacama is surprising. A plus for fussy packers: Hiking boots and dust-covered walking gear are welcome on property practically anywhere, any time. Thereâs a climate phenomenon that occasionally turns the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile, the worldâs driest desert, into a diverse and gorgeous flower garden. The two-and-a-half-hour hike requires careful climbing and watchful walking through a rocky cactus valley, following a cool, clear and shallow river along a deep canyon. Underfoot and overhead, the wonders of this remote corner of the world are endless. The canyon was formed by water erosion; its high, sun-baked walls are composed of gypsum, clay and salt. Northern Chile and Desert. Visit the north[...], Picture yourself floating in clear, natural hot springs, listening to soft rainfall on the lush forest all around you. if you think my hands are full, you should see my heart â¥ gratitude. Chileâs territory combines over 4,000 kilometers of wind-blown, ocean-swept coastline, the immense, mineral-rich northern desert, the majestic peaks of the Andes range, with thousands of active volcanoes strung along its length, and the hushed mystique of the southern evergreen forests. You can find camping spots and some cottages with[...], A town with a perfect climate, barely any humidity and amazingly clear skies, VicuÃ±a has been crowned the capital of astronomical observation. There are more than 270 hot springs throughout Chile, many located in rich, verdant landscapes or nestling[...], Bustling nightlife, modern shopping malls, stunning textiles and mouth-watering Chilean food. Some parts have even never seen rain. The mountains and other environmental factors prevent would-be precipitation from reaching the Atacama, creating a so-called rain shadow. What happens when rain hits one of Earth's driest deserts is amazing. San Pedro Trek; Lascar Volcano & San Pedro; Santiago and Central Andes. Officially the driest place on Earth, it receives almost no rainfall whatsoever. #Travel Icon: The Atacama Desert in #Chile via @wanderlustmag: http://bit.ly/1lbqOfX @chiletravel #tbt, Desierto de Atacama. If you like fashion and design, visit the exclusive boutiques on Santiago's most elegant streets. It turns out the Atacama, with its rust-colored rock canyons, snow-capped volcanoes, steaming, gurgling geysers and turquoise sinkhole lakes, is home to dozens of species of plants and animals and a wonderful array of geological features. On average, the Atacama receives less than one millimeter of rainfall each year. Welcome to the driest desert on the planet! Located in the longest region of the North of Chile. It's 8,202 feet above sea level. Some 80 percent of the merchandise that enters and leaves this port is going to or coming from Bolivia. There, using a technique called interferometry, 66 antennae work collectively to gather and analyze signals from the universe and to determine their sources. I heard about the phenomenon of desierto florido, Taking a tour of the Altiplanic lagoons in the Atacama Highlands, Avenida Providencia 1550 As a result, the Atacama is one of the best places on the planet to study astronomy. Kari tackles several types of terrain, from giant, sloping sand dunes to dry river beds and waterfalls crusted with salt. It looks like it has more surprises for me than I could ever expect. Sitting more than 16,000 feet above sea level in â¦ Youâll find all these and much more in Chileâs lively cities. Serious stargazers will want to make the roughly 40-mile drive east from Explora to the site of the. It's also a traveler's delight with rock canyons, snow-capped volcanoes, geysers and turquoise lakes. Those that take guests to the desert's higher elevations require anywhere from one to six nights' prior acclimatization. Northern Chile's Atacama Desert is the driest desert in the world. In fact, it is so dry that some weather stations in the desert have never recorded a single drop of rain. For those who like[...], Throughout your travels in Chile, youâll enjoy an irresistible combination of mouth-watering seafood, fabulous produce from the fertile land and sophisticated cuisine, together with the perfect wine pairings to captivate your senses. Northern Chile is a land of extreme contrast, where two uniquely Andean environments, the Altiplano and the Atacama Desert, combine with unpredictable and overwhelmingly beautiful results. It is around 621 miles in length and 93 miles at its widest. Chile is a geographically diverse country that stretches 2,653 miles from north to south along South Americaâs western coast. If youâre a fan of water sports or simply enjoy soaking up the sun, donât miss the northern coastal region, with its exquisite sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and exquisite seafood. It's roughly 600 miles in length from north to south, spilling over Chile's borders into Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. It started with saltpetre which came to an abrupt end at the beginning of the 20th century when the synthetic production of nitrates was invented. Here, downtime is well spent sipping a glass of Chilean Sauvignon Blanc at the sleek Explorer's Bar, tucking into a plate of hearty pasta or flaky fish on the restaurant's wraparound veranda or simply savoring the tech-free silence of its delightfully simple rooms and suites. Norte Grande's star attraction is the tiny adobe village of San Pedro de Atacama, just a day trip away from the world's highest geyser field and some astounding desert formations. Normally, the Atacama Desert gets less than a 1/2 inch (12mm) of rain a year. Even if the guanacos are no-shows, panoramic views of the Arcoiris Valley's colorful, earthen walls make the trek -- and a pit stop or two to pour sand from your shoes -- worthwhile. Argentina: (11) 5219-4105 / Brasil: (11) 3958-7071. Vast salt flats, active geysers and intense blue lagoons are just a few of the extraordinary features of this region. The adventure culminates with a hard-earned picnic lunch (Chilean wines -- check) and a soak in the Puritama Hot Springs. Chileâs northern reaches are now famous worldwide due to the rescue of the 33 miners from the San Jose mine in Copiapo in August 2010. Discover unique archaeological relics and explore the countryâs history in its many museums. If[...]. Seeing all that this otherworldly landscape has to offer requires some effort, but it more than pays off. Largest Supply of Sodium Nitrate in the World â This region is the largest natural supply of Sodium â¦ Explora Atacama has a sophisticated observatory to aid in exploring some of the world's clearest skies. Northern Chile has been thriving on the mining industry since the middle of the 19th century. mi (105,000 sq. Come and experience the full[...], Warm sunshine, sea and sand; what better ingredients for a fabulous holiday? Today, Explora's 40-plus explorations in the Atacama, each with its own name, are a half- or full-day in duration and completed on foot, bike or horseback. Kicking off in Santiago discover fascinating museums, lunar-like landscapes of geysers and rock formations, pre-Hispanic ruins and gigantic geoglyphs, mammoth copper mines and abandoned ghost towns with plenty of natural beauty to boot. Its area is â¦ Visit one of its five observatories and discover the mysteries of the universe during its night tours. In contrast, Santiago is located midway along Chile's length and lies in a Mediterranean temperate valley between the coastal mountains and the Andes. Andes Glacier Overnight; Termas & Trekking; Snow Shoes; Andes Crossing; Mt Pintor; Mt Leonera; Patagonia and Lake District. Get off the beaten track in Chileâs northern reaches with this unique adventure through the Atacama Desert. Come and explore them! The Salt Lake District in Chile is certainly one of the â¦ Or, for the casual traveler, to go stargazing. The trek takes guests to highlands of roughly 14,000 feet, where vicuÃ±a, foxes and flamingos make their home. Spend time with the indigenous peoples and experience their traditions! Large parts of Chile are sparsely populated, and light pollution from cities is hardly a problem. Travelers would do well to end a stay at Explora with a trek along the Ruta del Agua. The half-day Kari expedition, which requires no acclimatization, takes guests to the La Sal Mountains for a walk along the winding Kari ravine. Explora is located on 17 hectares near the village of San Pedro de Atacama. The vast and colorful Atacama Desert is said to be the driest desert in the world. To fully appreciate the Atacama is to understand its jaw-dropping dimensions. Under a sky with infinite stars lies the worldâs driest desert waiting for the anticipated blooming. Discover the multi-layered flavors of Chilean cuisine; a rich mix of time-honored traditions[...], Â© 2016 CHILE TRAVEL Todos los Derechos Reservados, Humberstone and Santa Laura Saltpeter Offices. Deadly floods in northern Chile left homes and roads destroyed. Arica is an important city for Bolivia. Youâll discover idyllic beaches ideal for sunbathing, as well as more dramatic shores, many offering fantastic opportunities for water sports and nautical activities on over 4,000 kilometers of Chilean coast. Moreover, the northern part of the country, because of its dry desert â¦ The Andean foothills and high plateau landscapes merge in a place of great cultural and historical interest with amazing natural beauty. It is home to the highest and driest desert in the world, the Atacama Desert, and stretches roughly 500 miles from Copiapo to the northern tip of Chile. Chile - Chile - Soils: The geologic variety and diverse origin of surface sediments cause the soils of Chile to vary greatly in character from north to south. A few days spent exploring its vast expanse, however, reveal the opposite. On Saturday and Sunday mornings, guests can visit the. On the high Andean plateau, youâll find small villages at up to 4,000 meters above sea level where timeless traditions linger in extreme and wonderfully photogenic settings. Join us on a 12-month journey to see them all. Located 4,200 meters above sea level, its fumaroles (smoke from the geysers) create amazing white steam columns[...], The peculiar rocky formations and dunes of Moon Valley (Valle de la Luna) and the changing colors of Mars Valley (Valle de Marte) and the Salt Mountains are an attraction that you can't miss while visiting the Atacama Desert. Northern Chile's Atacama Desert is the driest and, it's been argued, oldest desert in the world -- characteristics that might lead travelers to believe it's an arid, windswept wasteland with little or nothing to see. 600 600 60 66 Sometimes a new day is all you need for a new perspective. The sometimes harrowing expedition requires guests to scale deep, rock-strewn ravines and to traverse uneven, sun-bleached flats blanketed with spiny cacti and desert flora. Ski down Chileâs mountains and volcanoes, or go for its many water sports - including scuba diving, surfing, kayaking[...], Chileâs cultural roots are as diverse as its landscapes, and have shaped the uniquely Chilean identity. Located in the middle of a desert, 18 kilometers from Peru, the capital of northern Chile serves as Boliviaâs principal port. Iquique and Arica are the most important cities in northern Chile. As I set my alarm for 4am, and rolled over in Hostel Desert â our cute little base in San Pedro de Atacama, I felt excited for the next dayâs events. The best way to explore the Atacama is by making your base at a hotel or lodge located within its borders. There's a perfect beach for every week of the year. I landed in Calama airport after a short 2 hour flight from Santiago to an empty airport. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Atacama Desert ecoregion occupies a continuous strip for nearly 1,600 km (1,000 mi) along the narrow coast of the northern third of Chile, from near Arica (18°24â²S) southward to near La Serena (29°55â²S). Atacama Desert and Northern Chile, Chile Donât miss the opportunity to star-gaze during a stay here- thanks to the positioning of the largest astronomical observatory in the world, Chile justifiably considers the Atacama Desert something of an astronomical attraction. Sure, thereâs a reason itâs one of Chileâs top tourist destinations, but by limiting your trip to only one town in the region means you miss out on the other even more interesting places to visit in northern Chile. 2 Valle de la Luna â an impressive dry desert landscape; Understand . Over the past year or so of travel blogging Iâd visited Costa Rican waterfalls, Guatemalan volcanoes, Mayan ruins, medieval Croatian cities and been swimming in several oceans, lakes and rivers. Sky-high, flower-freckled cacti stand watch on either side. Exploring the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile There are few places on earth that feel so far removed from civilization and the tech-boom of the 21 st Century as the Atacama desert in Northern Chile. N orthern Chile is unofficially divided into two main territories: the Norte Grande (Big or Far North), border ing Peru to the North, Bolivia and Argentina to the East, Pacific Ocean to the West. North region of Chile. Northern Chile is a land of extreme contrast, where two uniquely Andean environments, the Altiplano and the Atacama Desert, combine with unpredictable and overwhelmingly beautiful results. In some parts of this desert, no precipitation has ever been recorded. This part of Chile includes the regions of Arica and Parinacota, Tarapaca, Antofagasta and the northern half of Atacama. What causes the flowering desert / desierto florido? Arguably one of the most spectacular sights is the Tatio geysers, a geothermal field with 80-plus of the steaming, spewing springs. The desert sprawls over more than 40,000 square miles in northern Chile, making it only slightly smaller than the Mojave in the southwestern United States.
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