Tour of Salar de Atacama

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The Golden Scope has already shown in the last year some very beautiful and unique locations in Chile, one of the most interesting countries of South America from the point of view of nature.

Today we venture into a region located in the northern part of the country, it has the unenviable record of being the most arid area of our planet, with practically no rain and a clear cobalt blue sky: the Antofagasta Region.

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The reason for the extreme aridity is that this area benefits of cold winds coming from the ocean, they make a stable high pressure; in addition, its geographical position because it is surrounded by the mountain ranges of the Cordillera Coast and by the Andes.

In the middle of this desolation there is San Pedro de Atacama, a small historical city “placed” at 2500 meters above sea level and not far from San Pedro, at south, there is the Salar de Atacama.

The Salar de Atacama is a saline lake fed by several streams coming down from the Andes to this phantasmagoric depression soil… it has impressive dimensions, it covers more than 300,000 hectares and it is about 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometers wide.

The salt waters of the basin originate both from the dissolution of minerals present in the volcanic soil both from the waters dragged into the depression by heavy rainfall occurring on the Andes.

The extremely arid climate of the Salar de Atacama causes a rapid evaporation leaving there some pools that alternate with saline crusts that produce special landscapes…. a unique spectacle for photographers and for everyone can admire them on the spot or, like all of us, the beautiful photos.

The very dry air allows a perfect visibility across the depression; an interesting aspect is that it creates optical effects, everything seems totally distorted and the result is magic! For example, the distances…you can see a Jeep which is passing through the territory leaving behind a trail of dust; it seems near you instead it is located to a few tens of kilometers away.

After the tour to the Salar, we return at San Pedro de Atacama…but local guides recommended a stop in the nearby Valley of the Moon, because at sunset it shows its “lunar” colored rocks that seem to compete with salt deposits, to attract the attention of astonished tourists ….

 

(All the photos are taken from Google.com, all the videos are taken from YouTube.com, and all belong to their original owners)