The driest desert in the world – San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Valle de la Luna

My two German friends Pia and Sabrina were thinking about heading up to the Atacama Desert in March, so during Spanish class one day I said I would tag along for the adventure!

Glad I did.

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The first thing we needed to do was purchase tickets from Santiago to Calama, it was mid-February when we finalized our lodging accommodation at Hostal Iquisa, and also agreed on adding the Bolivia excursion to our itinerary.

We left early March 3rd from Santiago flew to Calama Airport, then took a shuttle for an hour through the driest desert in the world, to San Pedro de Atacama. Shuttle Service: Licancabur – 9,000 clp about $15.00 USD

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Sabrina and I walking on the unpaved roads throughout the town of San Pedro

After we got settled in our hostal we went into town to see what  trouble we could find. We decided renting bikes in the middle of the desert was a great idea!! And an even better idea to ride them into Valle de la Luna!

So off we went!

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Kisses for my friend Pia// Besos para mi amiga Pia!!

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“How bout that ride in” // My best friend Pia as we approach Valle de la Luna

So we biked, and we biked, and did some more biking, and went a total of 22 miles. I felt as if we were biking into another planet. Biking allowed us to really enjoy and take in all the landscape surrounding us, salt deposits, rolling hills formed by rivers and wind, and as the sun went down you also begin notice the hundreds of tones in the stone, and rock formations!!

Oh yeah side note, there’s an entrance fee to this place which we had no idea about. Knowing me… I asked if there was a student discount, there was, and I magically whipped out my id. I think the fee was only 2,000 clp which is $3.00 usd.

The first thing to do once in the park is to see the salt caves!

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Some parts of the cave you need to contort to get through.. others it was pitch black and you were crawling horizontal!

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Here you can see the salt crystals more clearly

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Biking on some rough terrain!!

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Valle de le Luna at sunset

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Sunset chasin’

So we watched the sunset, ate some fruitos secos, mi fav, and watched the sun go down! The ride home was absolutely stunning, again you get the feeling your on Mars.

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Stunning views while biking through the driest desert in the world!

It was getting dark, and we were miles away from San Pedro, so we knew we had to book it back. Plus we would have gotten over charged if we were late, we did not want that! No light reflectors on our clothing or shoes, no flashlights or head lamps.. just one map and a bike. If you get the chance to go there….ride the bikes, but be prepared, water, snacks, flashlights, and head lamps!

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That night we rushed around making dinner in our hostal kitchen,and then I sat around talking to two Swedish girls, got a few recs from them! I remember we went to bed early because we had to wake up at 4 am for Geyer del Tatio. Just writing about this day makes me tired. Woke up in Santiago, sleepin’ on Mars!!

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