ultramarinus – beyond the sea

DAY 49 (1 OF 1) – ARRIVAL, SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA, CHILE

A 9-hour bus ride from Salta took us back to the Hills of Seven Colours in Purmamarca, passed by Salina Grande (salt flat), crossed the Argentine/ Chilean border at Jama Pass (4,200m above sea level), and reached San Pedro de Atacama (SPA), our first destination in Chile, in mid-afternoon.  As we approached SPA, we were surprised to see trees in this desert town.  We soon realized that SPA is indeed belonged to a series of oases in Atacama inhabited by humans for over 10,000 years. In recent years, SPA has been developed into a popular base for miners and tourists to explore the Atacama Desert.  The town itself is well established with grocery shops, souvenir shops, restaurants, ATM machines, boutique hotels, hostels, and many tour agencies.  Looking east from SPA, we could see Volcano Licancabur, other volcanoes, and distant mountain peaks forming the eastern boundary of Atacama. Beyond Volcano Licancabur would be Laguna Verde in Bolivia, where we had a picnic lunch and enjoyed the dramatic scenery of the Bolivian Altiplano 10 days ago.
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Previous Destination – Northwest Argentina, reading from post Day 43.1

Read more on San Pedro de Atacama, 2013 South America
Day 49 – Arrival, San Pedro de Atacama
Day 50.1 – Geyser del Tatio, Atacama Dessert
Day 50.2 – Altiplano Wetland, near El Tatio
Day 50.3 – Machuca Village, Atacama
Day 50.4 – Stargazing, Atacama Dessert
Day 51.1 – Town, San Pedro de Atacama
Day 51.2 – Valle de la Muerte & Cordillera de la Sal, San Pedro de Atacama
Day 51.3 – Valle de la Luna, San Pedro de Atacama
Day 52.1 – Laguna Chaxa, Atacama
Day 52.2 – Lagunas Altiplanicas, Atacama
Day 52.3 – Tropic de Capricorn, Atacama
Day 53.1 – Pacific Ocean, Antofagasta
Day 53.2 – Nan King Restaurant, Antofagasta
Day 54.1 – On the Road, Atacama Desert
Day 54.2 – Paranal Observatory, Atacama Desert

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought

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