We finally made it to Chile, with our first stop being San Pedro de Atacama. One of the first things we noticed here, was how very like home it was – definitely a much richer country than Bolivia and Peru! And this was reflected in the price of things – a lot more expensive than other countries we had visited 😦 😦
The plan for our first day was to hire bikes and cycle round the national park, to one area called Valle de la Muerte.
This involved a LOT of cycling uphill – not ideal… but we did manage to see some great views of the surrounding desert.
We headed back down (downhill the whole way thank god) to the hostel, before heading out again, as we had booked to do the Valle de la Luna tour in the afternoon.
The first part of the tour was a walk through some of the caves in the valley.
You could actually see the salt crystallised as you walked through the caves, which was pretty cool to see.
The caves were pretty tight to get through at some points, and at one point I properly cracked my head on the ceiling! Ouch.
Once out of the caves, we got to enjoy the view of the surrounding desert and mountains.
Our next stop was a sand dune, which we walked to the top of and got a view of the whole surroundings.
Our guide explained to us about the surrounding volcanoes, and gave us a bit more information about the desert itself. But our final stop of the evening was to catch the sunset.
Once the sun started going down it got pretty cold, pretty quickly – definitely not shorts weather!
So after grabbing a few snaps, we headed back to the bus to warm up!
The second day, we had a chilled morning, as we were heading to Laguna Escondidas in the afternoon, which was a tour of the salt pools around the desert.
There were several different pools in the salt, which seemed really out of place, surrounded by the immense dry land.
The water was so clear and blue, it was really beautiful.
The final pool we were allowed to swim in, and because of the high amounts of salt in the pool, it meant that you just floated, without having to do anything at all.
It was also absolutely freezing! So after a quick dip, I jumped out, only to be completely covered in dried salt! Luckily there were showers on site!
Our last tour of San Pedro was the Piedras Rojos tour. We set off at 7.30am, which was a lot earlier than we had become used to, so a bit of a struggle! The day mainly consisted of sitting on a bus, hopping off and taking some pictures, and hopping back on…. so not a lot to say, but got some cool photos.
The first stop was the Flamingo Laguna
After some breakfast, our next stop was to the lakes, which were absolutely beautiful.
Followed by the main event, the Piedra Rojas themselves!
Not quite as red as I was expecting, but hey ho! This was also surrounded by the most stunning scenery.
Honestly the pictures don’t even do it justice, probably some of the most beautiful scenery I have seen my whole trip. Unfortunately not loads to say about this day – just more to see!
An impressive first stop in Chile!