A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about desert

The desert of San Pedro de Atacama

sunny 40 °C
View Around The World on manolo84's travel map.

After a few days spent in the Salar de Uyuni and the desert around, in Bolivia, we ended our 4WD (4x4) tour by crossing the Chilean border to arrive in San Pedro de Atacama. This little oasis village, located in the centre of one of the driest deserts, with its narrow dirt streets and attractive adobe houses, has transformed itself, since the 1990s, into the tourism centre of Chile. Sitting at an altitude of 2400m between the desert and the altiplano, or puna (the high basin connecting the two branches of the cordillera), this has been an important settlement since pre-Hispanic times, originally as a major stop on the trading route connecting the llama herders of these highlands with the fishing communities of the Pacific.

But because of its proximity with Bolivia and Argentina, and the amazing landscapes the desert nearby has to offer, this little town was literally full of Chilean tourists and gringos, and prices for accommodation and food come quite as a shock, overpriced and with poor quality.

But anyway, as I wasn't going to stay too long, I booked in the cheapest place I could find (about 14$ US...) and went to admire the Moon Valley and the sunset in the desert, as well as going to an observatory to look at the stars, the desert being one of the best places to watch them as there are no clouds and very few city lights.

After this, I spent some time struggling with my guidebook trying to establish an itinerary which would take me to Ushuaia by doing some kind of zigzag between Argentina and Chile, whilst seeing the more I could, all that in one month. Basically what I needed to do was to follow the Andes but with looooong bus journeys...

Salt caves in the desert

Salt caves in the desert


El Valle de la luna (the moon valley)

El Valle de la luna (the moon valley)


large_Moon_Valley__29_.jpg
large_Moon_Valley__32_.jpg
View of the Licancabur Volcano (5916 m) from the Valley of the Moon

View of the Licancabur Volcano (5916 m) from the Valley of the Moon


Salt rock formation, "Las 3 Marias"

Salt rock formation, "Las 3 Marias"


large_Moon_Valley__60_.jpg
The Valley of the Death

The Valley of the Death


large_Moon_Valley__67_.jpg
large_Moon_Valley__75_.jpg
large_Moon_Valley__93_.jpg
With the stars...

With the stars...


large_Tour_astronomico__6_.jpg
large_Tour_astronomico__9_.jpg
large_Tour_astronomico__12_.jpg

Posted by manolo84 13:09 Archived in Chile Tagged desert english stars Comments (2)

Salar de Uyuni


View Around The World on manolo84's travel map.

Uyuni_map.jpg

Following Potosí, I decided to head off straight away for the south again, skipping cities such as Sucre or Santa Cruz (once again, this will be for another journey...) and ended up in Uyuni, which only purpose or so it seems is to serve as a springboard for tourists who want to explore the legendary salt flat Salar de Uyuni and the amazing landscapes the desert nearby has to offer.

Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat with 10,582 square kilometres and at an elevation of 3,656 meters. The Salar was apparently formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes and is covered by a few meters of salt crust. The best way to visit it is to book a 4WD tour for 3 days and to end up in Chile, in San Pedro de Atacama, after having crossed another national park full of coloured lakes, flamingos, alcapas, volcanoes, geysers, etc... I am not going to talk about it for ages but instead will let you admire the different pictures I took during these 3 days. A truly amazing tour...

As we were leaving Uyuni, a small sand tornado appeared...

As we were leaving Uyuni, a small sand tornado appeared...


A graveyard of trains near Uyuni

A graveyard of trains near Uyuni


Actually the next edition of the Dakar is planned to come here too

Actually the next edition of the Dakar is planned to come here too


large_Salar_de_Uyuni__46_.jpg
Our vehicle for the next 3 days

Our vehicle for the next 3 days


The salt crust can be seen clearly

The salt crust can be seen clearly


The Salar allows for funny pictures... <img class='img' src='https://tp.daa.ms/img/emoticons/icon_smile.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':)' title='' />

The Salar allows for funny pictures... :)


large_Salar_de_Uyuni__59_.jpg
large_Salar_de_Uyuni__61_.jpg
large_Salar_de_Uyuni__89_.jpg
large_Salar_de_Uyuni__112_.jpg
Picture taken from the Incahuasi island in the middle of the desert

Picture taken from the Incahuasi island in the middle of the desert


large_Salar_de_Uyuni__145_.jpg
So flat...

So flat...


Sunset on the Salar

Sunset on the Salar


large_Salar_de_Uyuni__173_.jpg
large_Salar_de_Uyuni__174_.jpg
Funny thing, the hostel were we would sleep was entirely made in salt, from the floor to the walls, beds, tables, etc...

Funny thing, the hostel were we would sleep was entirely made in salt, from the floor to the walls, beds, tables, etc...


Leaving the desert, we would arrive in the National Park Eduardo Avaroa

Leaving the desert, we would arrive in the National Park Eduardo Avaroa


Flamingos

Flamingos


El increible árbol de piedra (the stone tree), a volcanic rock formation shaped by the strong winds

El increible árbol de piedra (the stone tree), a volcanic rock formation shaped by the strong winds


Coloured lake, with flamingos, the colours are amazing

Coloured lake, with flamingos, the colours are amazing


Mummy and baby alpacas

Mummy and baby alpacas


Who's tickling me??? <img class='img' src='https://tp.daa.ms/img/emoticons/icon_wink.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=';)' title='' />

Who's tickling me??? ;)


The desert by night

The desert by night


Geysers at almost 5000 meters high

Geysers at almost 5000 meters high


large_Salar_de_Uyuni__313_.jpg
large_Salar_de_Uyuni__331_.jpg
And we would arrive around 7am at a lake with thermal waters...

And we would arrive around 7am at a lake with thermal waters...


Where there was a small swimming pool! Temperature outside: <dfn title='32°F'>0 °C</dfn>; Temperature inside: <dfn title='95°F'>35 °C</dfn>!!

Where there was a small swimming pool! Temperature outside: 0 °C; Temperature inside: 35 °C!!


large_Salar_de_Uyuni__345_.jpg
large_Salar_de_Uyuni__356_.jpg
On the left, the road to Argentina, on the right, to Chile

On the left, the road to Argentina, on the right, to Chile


Our fantastic Brazilian/French group!

Our fantastic Brazilian/French group!

Posted by manolo84 09:43 Archived in Bolivia Tagged animals desert volcanoes english salt Comments (0)

Huacachina, a fun oasis


View Around The World on manolo84's travel map.

Following my adventures in cold Huaraz, I decided to renew with the sun and warmth by doing a pit stop in the Peruvian desert, in Huacachina.

Located in the south of Lima, Huacachina is a little village near Ica, and has the particularity of being built around an oasis in the middle of the desert. Needless to say that there are not much to do there, not even a vibrating night-life, but tour agencies offer fun buggy tours in the sand dunes, as well as offering to practice sandboarding. So no need to stay more than 2 or 3 days, but Huacachina is the perfect place to have a bit of fun in the sand and relax with a cold beer whilst enjoying the amazing sunsets.

large_Huacachina__4_.jpg
large_Huacachina__8_.jpg
large_Huacachina__15_.jpg
large_Huacachina__18_.jpg
large_Huacachina__26_.jpg
large_Huacachina__37_.jpg
large_Huacachina__42_.jpg
large_Huacachina__44_.jpg
Unfortunately for some people, locals and tourists, the desert is also a huge waste... <img class='img' src='https://tp.daa.ms/img/emoticons/icon_sad.gif' width='15' height='15' alt=':(' title='' />

Unfortunately for some people, locals and tourists, the desert is also a huge waste... :(


large_Huacachina__125_.jpg

Posted by manolo84 00:19 Archived in Peru Tagged oasis desert sand english dunes Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 3 of 3) Page [1]