SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA

The charming village of San Pedro de Atacama, located at 2450 m on the northern edge of the great Salar de Atacama (the largest), is perhaps one of the most attractive of Chile together.


The village is one of the many oases which owe their origin to the rains that produces the "Bolivian winter" in the world's driest desert, the Atacama. This makes it even more amazing to find it in the middle of a really lush vegetation consists Chañares, carob and peppers.

In the fields covered by a green that seems to come from wet areas, agriculture is practiced since ancient times, maintaining the same culture methods used for thousands of years. A miracle that the inhabitants of the place of origin Atacameño, grateful to nature (Pachamama) through various festivals and religious ceremonies, where Catholicism and ancient beliefs come together in a particular cultural manifestations of northern Chile .

Walking the fields and watch the homes of traditional design and constructed in adobe, one can not help but feel transported to another era.

San Pedro is located at the foot of the Andes, which in this area reaches 6100 m in height. Off San Pedro and only 40 km away is the majestic and mystical Licancabur (5916 m). The name means "hill people" and was revered by the Incas, who performed ceremonies and left offerings in the crater is at its peak.


Being there and see the ruins of shrines and camps built by the Incas, it is inevitable to think about the depth of his faith, effort and will, which led up to these inhospitable heights impressive conditions.

Just 15 km away is the mysterious Valley of the Moon. As its name indicates, the shape and colors of the rocks found there, give the landscape a lunar look. Watching the sunset from this place, watching the light changes the tone of the volcanoes are seen in the distance to the bright red ... makes this show an incredible and overwhelming experience.

Archaeologically speaking, the San Pedro area is of great interest. The history of the area dates back to 11 thousand years BC, when the numbers for the oldest human remains have been found there. One of the best examples of historical and archaeological site, which is the Tulor, 3,000 years old.

Most of the ruins are covered by desert sand and only 4% of the construction has been excavated, so one can only speculate about what lies beneath the sand.


Although Tulor is a great representative of the Atacama Archaeology is not alone. There are many other sites that are just being investigated and others who are still hidden in the desert.

The plateau is a large plateau that lies between the 4000 and 4600 m high. The landscape is totally different from that found in San Pedro, here is common to find water estuaries, lagoons and many salt lakes.

Despite harsh weather conditions live many species of animals that have adapted and are able, for example, to live with water that is high in salt and arsenic.

In addition, we are surrounded by volcanoes all the time exceeding 5500 m, which gives an almost surreal appearance. Lascar volcano (5592 m) is the most notable example of an active volcano since its last eruption occurred in 1993 and its continuing plume seen from San Pedro. The ascent to the Lascar (quite simple but requires pre-acclimatization), can see the giant crater 750 m in diameter and 300 m deep.


The great geological activity in the area has not only created the volcanoes but also originated the famous Geysers Geysers (4200 m). To observe the geysers in its fullness, the best time of day is dawn, it is recommended to leave San Pedro at 5:30 AM, to arrive at the Geysers at 7 am Some geysers reaching heights of 3-4 m.

The hot springs near the geysers allow you to enjoy a delicious spa bath while watching the sunrise. The water temperature can reach 54 º C.

The thermal fluctuation of the environment is very large: -10 º C before sunrise and 15-20 º C when it is out. Here there are also Vizcachas and Vicuñas.

As a good way to end the walk to the geysers, is to visit Puritama (3500 m) to enjoy an exquisite spa bath. Is a river Puritama thermal temperatures around 38 º C and is in a deep rocky canyon, where there are still ancient cultivation terraces and ancient ruins. There are outdoor pools and all that surrounds it is nature.
 




Source: gochile.cl