San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
Tatio Mallku San Pedro de Atacama Reviews
Tatio Mallku geyser feeld Jan 04, 2012
This park is something very, very special, and you must see it if you are in the area of San Pedro de Atacama! Tatio Mallku is an old volcano crater with lots of geysers all over the place. I believe that there is around 100 active geysers and lots of holes with super hot water.
Trip was around 30$ including park entrance fee, guide and transportation. We even got some snacks as a "breakfast" and the best thing in that breakfast was hot coffee and tea. Park is on 4200m and because bus takes you from the oases in early 4:30am, you will get there during the night and when is still SUPER COLD! I am talking about serious minus, and I even had to worm myself over steaming holes (which is not really smart thing to do). Bus was excellent, and bus driver was running heater for us constantly.
As soon as sun starts coming over the ridges of the volcano, geysers start waking up and blowing more and more steam and water. Just an hour before, in the place that I was looking in the hole, there was a large geyser spiting steam and water at least 10m in the air.
The other special thing about this place is that you can go anywhere you wish and do anything you want, and if you are smart you will not die... There is sign that says "be responsible for your actions" and that is all :). All big holes are edged with little rocks, and that is the limit that you should not pass. I was told that some 4 people died year before because they came too close to the hole and it simply crumbled sending them into hot hell...
Anyway, it is amazing sight, and there is also a large pool of the geyser water runoff, that is actually very pleasant to swim in because water chills down coming down the stream. Little park ranger station has excellent bathroom facilities, and people working there are very nice and helpful. There is old machinery that is now abandoned, and story is that it was a project to harness the heat. Fortunately that idea did not quiet work, and park is intact (aside of that one machine).
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