My experience at Atacama desert was almost spiritual. I have never seen some landscape like that and I’d like to share with you folks part of this amazing experience.
When you reach Calama – the entrance city in Atacama area – you stay scared. It is a small city surrounded by the desert and from there you will have more 1,5 hour traveling to San Pedro de Atacama.
this is a place that you must go once in life....
This journey will make you feel amazed with the most pure nothing….. (I hired Cactus Tour for all tours there from Brazil including the transfer Calama - San Pedro - this is a good idea, I stayed 5 days traveling in San Pedro de Atacama and it was enough for a basic experience).
We booked the Hostal Don Sebastián (http://www.donsebastian.cl) – clean, good breakfast, close to the main street (walking), but I do not have info about heating.
1st day – Luna Valley and Salt Hills trekking
San Pedro de Atacama is a very small city with few streets and very good restaurants. My friend and I went there in January, 2008 – summer but not hot.
My first tour was a trekking through the Salt Hills to reach the Vale the La Luna for sunset.
This trekking tooke 2h and cross part of the desert with spectacular sightseeing. When you reach the Luna Valley you climb up and seat somewhere to enjoy the view. Some guides usually tell some stories about local tales.
This was our first day and what we had next was even better!
2nd day – Flamingos Reserve, Archeological sites, Lagunas Altiplanicas
My second day star with a ride to Sector Soncor – flamingos national reserve. The floor is made of salt with some small lakes around and flamingos!!! At this time in the morning the temperature is very cold. Be prepared!
Then you leave the reserve to some archeological sites to see some ancient churches made of cactus, Inca buildings, etc.
The last is the best, this sites are located along the road to the Lagunas Altiplanicas. This lakes are higher than 4000KM height so some sick may appear spoiling your day.
This place is in my top 10 landscapes!!!!!
to be continued....