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!
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Those pictures are amazing! Chile is an absolute dream destination of mine (and of anyone interested in star photography). Thanks for sharing!
I only wish I could capture the stars. I simply travel with my iPhone and have the idea of the stars in my head. Find a way to go and you we be so happy.
Thank you Suze. If you can find a way to go I would absolutely recommend it.
My husband and I are travelling through Central and South America and are compiling places we want to visit – this was on the list and your pics sealed the deal!
How I never saw this comment baffles me! It was an amazing experience and well worth the trip. Where else are you heading!!
No problem! In a few days, we’re heading from Panama to Colombia, then Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, and finally Chile 🙂 If you have any can’t misses for any of those countries, or off the beaten path tips, let me know! We love getting recommendations from other travellers.
I’m off to Ecuador today and Colombia in two weeks. In Peru I thought Ica was pretty cool. It’s where the sand dunes are and it’s a fun stop. In Uruguay you must go to Punta del Diablo. It’s a small little fishing town with a beautiful beach and state park. I think it’s much better than the touristy Punta Del aware. Argentina…how I loved Argentina. Buenos Aires is so full of history and amazing culture. I have a friend who is a concierge at the Hyatt there if you want me to put you in touch with her for things to see. If you can make it to Salta and Mendoza you absolutely should. There is a restaurant in BA that you MUST go to. I wrote a blog about it and it’s the one titled The Best Meal I have eaten in Argentina. Also if you can make it to Cafayate in Argentina, then you should. All my posts from about November on are all South America. They are short and easy to read as you can see.
Sounds like an amazing trip! Have a blast!
Thanks so much!! Cannot wait to check those places out 😀 we’ll be in Colombia for 5 weeks starting on June 8th, working our way from Santa Marta first to the most northern point, then south to Ecuador. I’ve been to Colombia once and LOVED it – enjoy!!