San Pedro de Atacama is one of the most visited tourist places in all of Chile. It’s located in the Atacama desert which is the driest place on earth. Yet many unique plants and animals like flamingos, Llamas and Alpacas can be found there. The town is located close to many different and amazing archaeological, geographic and tourist areas. You can visit such tourist attractions as Pukara (prehispanic fortress) Quitor, Tulor village (over 3,000 years old), the Tatio geysers, the Atacama salt lakes, Moon Valley as well as the picturesque Inca towns of Toconao, Peine, Socaire, Talabre and Caspana.
There are many mummies, known as the Mummies of Atacama, which have been found in this area. The driest of the desert, as well as the isolation and the saltiness of the soil are just some of the factors that helped in the natural mummification of the bodies.
In the middle of the desert you will come across the giant salt lake of Salar de Atacama. It is the world’s third largest salt flat and is inhabited by beautiful pink flamingos. Even if water is present, you should realize that the water would be toxic to humans because it has so much salt.
Some of the highest volcanoes in the South America and amazing volcanic hot springs with falls and pools are also located in the Atacama area. El Tatio Geysers are located more than 4000 meters above the sea level and are spectacular at dawn. You can also dip in the thermal pools of Puritama.
Valle De La Luna, Moon Valley, is a must see for any tourist. You will see breathtaking scenery over the desert area as well as many fascinating canyons, caves and sand dunes. The sunsets of the Moon Vally are unforgettable. Yes, people do “sand board” down the dunes.
Be sure and visit San Pedro de Atacama if you are ever in Chile. It is a one of a kind experience and will be remembered for a lifetime.