The Atacama desert, one of the driest places on Earth, is truly one of the most astonishing, with extraordinary landscapes of sand dunes, purple-shaded volcanoes, crusty salt flats, spewing geysers, green oases and turquoise lakes as well as numerous other sightseeing attractions. Surrounded by arid mountain ranges, the small village of San Pedro de Atacama is the base for exploring the area. At daybreak watch the Tatio geysers spout gusts of steam and boiling water high into the air, feel the salt crack under your feet at the world’s third-largest salt flat and see pink flamingoes mirrored in intensely blue lagoons.
Ancient petroglyphs carved in stone, picturesque adobe villages, blissful thermal springs, magnificent sunsets over desolate dunes and sharp cliffs, and clear desert night skies all add to the appeal of this remarkable destination.
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"Some excellent memories from each of the areas in Chile we visited – Santiago, the Atacama Desert, the Lake District, Torres del Paine National Park, Puerto Williams and Easter Island. The two highlights were Torres del Paine and Puerto Williams – in the former you felt as if you really were at the bottom of the world, almost like the outback in Australia. The daily activities in Puerto Williams were excellent."