Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Scenery of Atacama, Chile

The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is the driest desert on earth. Some locations there have never received recorded rainfall, and the average rainfall in some regions of the desert is 1 millimeter (0.04 inches) per year. It has lots of volcanoes, as you see in this top photo of what is a very cloudy day in this region.
This is typical of the scenery. The Atacama is so dry because the moisture from the Pacific Ocean does not cross the coastal mountain range, and the tall Andes Mountains block moisture from the Amazon Basin from drifting westward.
San Pedro de Atacama is the main town for the tourist region of the Atacama. It is the location of outfitters who will take hikers and tourists up into the Andes. This is the main church of the town. There is also a small museum. The mummified human remains that had been a major attraction for the museum have been removed out of respect for the indigenous cultures.
Straw is a common roofing material. Many parts of the Atacama did not receive any significant rainfall from 1570 to 1971, so the roofs are needed more for protection from the sun than rain.
The highest altitude geyser field in the world is in the Atacama. In many places visitors can walk right up to bubbling and steaming vents, with pungent sulfuric odors.

8 comments:

Margaret said...

My next trip to Chile is definitely going to include the Atacama!
Margaret

Stranger in a Strange Land said...

Lovely photos.

Mike

Traveling Hawk said...

I love the irst photo!

Memphis MOJO said...

Wow, amazing series.

Jarart said...

What an amazing trip this must have been!

Filip Demuinck said...

It looks great, I heard that Chili is a fantastic country to visit.

Greetings,
Filip

Expats Again said...

Thanks for introducing this to us!

glenda said...

What an interesting and beautiful place. You have some great photos.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...