Technically Antarctica is the driest place on earth but that just seems odd since it’s full of ice. However, the driest place on earth is categorized by the amount of rainfall that is received annually and San Pedro de Atacama is the 2nd driest place on earth with less than .7inches of rain per year.
I was told to head here if I was in Chile mainly to see the stars. Since you are in the middle of nowhere the night sky is truly breathtaking. I was able to see the Southern Cross, a few planets and many other constellations that we don’t see in the Northern Hemisphere. A telescope and a good camera would have been great on this trip.
Part of the draw to the desert is the amount of activities available for those adventurous types. Sand boarding, hiking volcanos, scaling geysers, relaxing in hot springs and multiple day tours. I chose to take a day and head to the hot springs as well as do a your to Valle de Luna. The day of the hot springs rained believe it or not and made for a very cold walk back to the car. Valle de Luna is said to look like the surface of the moon and also represent Mars in some places. It was hot and dry and full of salt!
There was something magical about this place that made you want to stay. Be it the street dogs that you fall in love with or the random adventures that occur from being dehydrated and perhaps slightly delirious, this place was perfection!