San Pedro de Atacama
San Pedro de Atacama - Photos: 1 Pablo Etchevers 2 and 3 Jorge González
fter having seen it for the first time, most visitors give San Pedro de Atacama the nicknames of "The adobe town" or "The entrance to the desert".
Almost 1,700 kilometers away from Santiago and 160 kilometers from the Jama International Pass (which joins it with Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama is an entrance gate to one of the largest and most arid deserts in our planet: the Atacama Desert.
Considered the archeological capital of Chile, its mountains, deserts, salt deposits, towns, lagoons, volcanoes, geysers and, especially, its people and its unusual visitors have made it a favorite destination in the last few years. Visitors cannot miss the outskirts, where the famous Tatio geysers are located and the morning sun displays a wonderful show of steams, odors and sounds.
The Quitor and Catarpe pukarás
let visitors travel to the wonderful core of archeological tourism, where even today they can find vestiges of the Inca culture and the Atacameño people. The Valley of the Moon and the Valley of Death are two great attractions for tourists from all over the world. The former has been declared “sanctuary of Nature” and it lies in the Salt Mountain Range. It has an incredible view. The Valley of Death is not less attractive. Its huge sand dunes and its dangerous edges make it the aim of lovers of sandboarding.
The City of San Pedro de Atacama must also be borne in mind. Its ancient main square and its church, along with its town hall, invite visitors to make a stop. But it is the brown color of adobe respected in every building which contributes with an unusual beauty. The main street is called “Caracoles”
(shells). Tourists and bicycles along with hundreds of hotels, pubs and travel agencies make up a unique city both during the day and at night.
San Pedro de Atacama: a mystic and ancient spot that has managed a perfect mingle between the primitive peoples and visitors from the most remote places on Earth.