Chile Journals

Driest Desert II

Best of IgoUgo

A travel journal to Chile by SeenThat

Iquique Photo, Chile, South America More Photos
Quote: On the way back – and up – from the driest desert on Earth.

Ochre Hues

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Atacama Desert Photo, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Quote:
There is something unsettling in deserts. We can see colors and enjoy watching them in their full glory. Yet, the first sight of a desert is shocking, at least to lovers of greenery: emptiness and desolation; faded earthly colors and a worryingly void of greens and vivacious flowers. Our capability to see colors becomes almost wasted in the desert. There, earth is downscaled to ocher hues; shapes become more important than colors. But even these shapes are often of very limited variety. Cloudless skies transmit such a strong light that at noon even the small difference between the ochre fade away; a scorching yellow dominates all.Whole civilizations flourished in deserts – especially ...Read More

Up and Out

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Story/Tip

Iquique Photo, Chile, South America
Quote:
Making forth and back trips to special destinations is by and large a bad idea. The repetition of sights during the trip back would give the feeling of wasted time. Sometimes this can be justified by taking alternate routes round a major landmark. By doing so while exploring Machu Picchu from La Paz, one can get to know better the Titicaca Lake and ...Read More

Antofagasta

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Story/Tip

Antofagasta Photo, Chile, South America
Quote:
Near Antofagasta things get the wettest in Atacama, with an astounding 1mm (roughly 1/25 of an inch) of rain in many of the years recorded. A spitting llama (they spit whatever they are eating at the eyes of any supposed aggressor, more often than not a traveler unaware of this behavior and in need of a Best of IgoUgo picture) could change the region annual rain balance just by an annual single self defense act next to a meteorological station. However in seven occasions during the last century there were sudden mudslides and floods, as it happens in many deserts whenever an unexpected heavy rain occurs.That means the traveler is unlikely to witness rain or floods; umbrellas are still to m...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 10, 2011

Calama

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Chuquicamata Photo, Chile, South America
Quote:
Mining towns seldom are touristic attractions. There are good reasons for that. Usually they are quite polluted; dust from the works can ruin even the bluest skies. Most of their populations work in mining or related positions and would probably avoid encounters with nosy travelers asking silly questions. Finally, holes in the ground are of little interest to most people, regardless their size, shape and uses. However, these towns are sometimes along the travelers’ path; and this is the case with Calama. Located almost 2300m above the sea level, it is just above the halfway between the Pacific Ocean and the Altiplano – the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 10, 2011

San Pedro de Atacama

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Story/Tip

San Pedro de Atacama Photo, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Quote:
By far, San Pedro de Atacama is the most identified settlement with the Atacama Desert. This is odd, since it actually occupies a small area which is not part of the desert. Most of the human settlements in the Atacama Desert are along the coast and were created only due to the exceptional natural resources of the area: saltpeter, guano and silver from nearby Potosi. An exception is San Pedro de Atacama, a village placed on an oasis next to the Chilean-Bolivian border; if traveling in the ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 10, 2011