Atacama Desert, Chile, 2003

The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is one of the dryest places on earth. Situated on the border of Chile, Bolivia, and Argentina, it is anchored by the town of San Pedro de Atacama on the shores of an ancient sea that has withered to a series of salt lakes and flats frequented by flamingos. Ribbons of green created by freshwater streams coming down from Andean volcanoes cut into the earth to create some interesting slot canyons. There are also several hot springs and a geyser field. We explored these areas in Chile before climbing Licancabur Volcano at 19,400 ft (5940 m) from the Bolivia side.

Slideshow


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Trek route
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San Pedro de Atacama
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Town parade
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Spectators
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Machuca troop
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Cactus flowers
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Laguna Chaxa
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Chilean Flamingos
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Andean Flamingo
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Iglesia de San Lucas
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Valle de la Luna
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Valle hike
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Valle de la Luna
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Luna dune
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Sunset
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View from Pukara
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Trek start
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Rio San Pedro
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Narrows
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1st camp at Bartolo
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2nd day
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Miner's grave
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Petroglyphs
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Tall cactus
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Cactus flower
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Rio Grande
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Morning burros
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Rio Penalin Machuca
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Llamas
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Machuca camp
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Llamas
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Llareta clump
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Mirador group
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Hymie & Marcela
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Welcome to Bolivia!
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Laguna Blanca
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Flamencos on Laguna Blanca
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Laguna Verde
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Licancabur route
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Inca beads
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Acclimatizing hike
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Start of climb
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Licancabur dawn
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Licancabur summit lake
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Licancabur summit
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Summit descent
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Tatao geyser
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Us at Tatao
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Isabel at Tatao
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Vicunas
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Farewell toast!







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