San Pedro de Atacama, an Oasis in the Worlds Driest Desert

San Pedro de Atacama is a small town in Northern Chile with both Bolivia and Argentina being accessible within a few hours drive through the driest desert in the World. Everything of a tourists interest such as restaurants, travel agencies souvenier shops and kiosks are located in the small main street, and the tinyness of the city makes you feel safe at any time of the day.

The price levels are much higher than everywhere in Bolivia though, and also higher than elsewhere in Chile. Most restaurants are more fancy than what we have gotten used to so far on our trip, but then again it is a city far from other cities and it is also where a lot of well off chileans go on holiday.

There was also quite a few activities possible such as hiking, biking, rock climbing and swimming in a salt lake that were advertised in the travel agencies. We chose to go for a sandboarding and Valle de La Luna/ Moon Valley combination tour that took us back 30 US dollars. The sandboarding part is something that would dissapoint every snowboarder, since it was hard gaining speed on sand compared to snow. Additionally you had to walk up the sand again after each ten second run. It was a great group activity though, and everyone seemed to have great fun and learned how to ride, even with no prior experience.

The Death Valley had the worlds third biggest salt reserve, after Uyuni in Bolivia and Salt Lake City in the US, and walking through the salt caves, seeing how massive it was really fascinated us. Every little bit of the enourmous mountain that we walked through was compact salt crystals, created from yearthousands with almost no rain and just covered by a littlebit of dust. The caves were really narrow, and as we climbed through them we could hear the salt mountain cracking several times every minute, just like a big iceberg would do. The last part of the tour was watching the sunset with an included coctail in the Moon Valley, which was the perfect end to our last evening in Chile. 

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