Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Mountains of Atacama, Chile

The Atacama Desert is the driest place on earth, but there are pockets of water. This is an ice-crusted lake and marsh at sunrise high in the Andes. It was very cold, even though this photo was taken last November, during the South American spring.
This is a photo of the Explora Lodge where we stayed in San Pedro de Atacama. I took this photo from a patio on the roof of the lodge, looking over the wing of rooms where we stayed, to the volcanic mountains in the distance. The sun is intense. The lodge has the largest private telecope in Chile and offers night astronomy sessions in the telescope.There are salt flats in the wetlands of the Atacama, with a crusty surface from the minerals left behind by the evaporated water. There is a wide variety of shapes, textures and colors.We loved the striking, intense colors of the sky, mountains, lake and high desert brush. Coming from Arizona, we are used to the climate. If you expect mountains to have pine forests and grassy meadows, you should go tot he eastern slopes of the Andes, such as the lakes region around Barilochi in Argentina, rather than the Atacama in Chile.At one point we counted 30 volcanic cones visible from a single spot. I can't imagine what this region must have been like when the volcanoes were active, although a few of them are still active today.

8 comments:

brattcat said...

it resembles a moon scape. i had no idea. how starkly beautiful

Traveling Hawk said...

a strange landscape

Filip Demuinck said...

Chili looks like a super country. Did you do this on your own or organised.

Greetings,
Filip

glenda said...

Beautiful photos of an interesting country.

Chrissy Brand said...

Like an alien landscape- fascinating fotos!

Chrissy at Manchester: a photo a day at Mancunian Wave

james said...

Nice blog...beautiful pictures and tourists places in Chile specially Atacama Desert. It seems that we will enjoy the journey of Atacama travel.

Memphis MOJO said...

Amazing capture of the colors. Also like the texture of the middle one.

JM said...

Glad you posted on Atacama again. Gorgeous shots!

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