Excursion to Salar de Atacama from San Pedro

August 12th, 2003

San Pedro de Atacama offers the opportunity for many excursions to nearby attractions and therefore it's the ideal base to start tours in northern Chile and Bolivia. A tour to Salar de Atacama (Atacama salt flats) is one of the option, letting to discover a world made of salt that is the preferred environment for flamingos.

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Tourism is San Pedro de Atacama is an important new business and agencies offering excursions or longer tours are almost everywhere in the town.

 

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
On the left, excavations has been done to fix water pipes and a dog sleeps over the debris. On the right, another dog sleeps on the main street.

 

San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
A nice church in the center of San Pedro de Atacama.

 

The day continues with an excursion to the Atacama salt flats, but before arriving there, we cross another small desert town close to San Pedro de Atacama.

 

A church in the center of the town, made with stones from a volcano.

 

Cactus wood Cactus wood
A door made of cactus wood (can be easily recognized because of the many holes on the surface).

 

Atacama desert salt lakes Atacama desert salt lakes
Atacama desert salt lakes Finally we arrive at the salt flats of Atacama, where three different species of flamingos populate the shallow lagoon made of salt water. Sometime they nicely reflect in the water, like if they are walking over a mirror.

 

Atacama desert salt flats
Panoramic photo of Atacama salt flats.

 

Atacama desert salt flats Atacama desert salt flats
Even if water is present, we don't have to forget that we are still a "nasty" desert: indeed the water has so much salt, that it would be toxic for humans.

 

On the left: red water and salt because of the algae. On the right: a thick layer of salt encrusts the soil.

 

The sun is about to set and some flamingos fly from a lake to another.

 

Atacama desert salt flats Atacama desert salt flats
Atacama desert salt flats Illuminating only the highest peaks above 5000 meters, the sun say goodbye. On the bottom-left picture, some flamingo flies into the night.

 

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