San Pedro de Tourismo

San Pedro de Atacama Travel Blog

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We took an overnight bus from Iquique to San Pedro. Straight away we were shocked by the amount of gringoes when we exited the bus. Apparantly this is a ¨backpacker´s mecca¨. Everything was so over priced and there were so many foreigners. The town itself was small (6 blocks squared) but really beautiful with adobe roofs. Apparantly it never ever rains here - we believe them, we were so thirsty all the time. Trying to avoid the backpacker party atompshere we wisely chose to camp at a campsite a little outside of town. It was great because there was access to a kitchen, cold showers (nice in the dusty heat), and other travelers who were more interested in hiking than partying, not to mention it was 50% cheaper than all the hostels in town. We met some really awesome people at the campsite who gave us great information on all the cool places to visit around San Pedro. The first day we hiked with our friends to see some caves and watch the sunset from the top of a mountain. Breathtakingly gorgeous. The second day we rented bikes and rode 20 km to La Valle de la Luna. It really looked like we were on the moon, much like the Badlands in South Dakota. We rode home in the dark, very interesting. Later that night we ventured out into the dessert to star gaze. I have never seen so many stars in my life, it was truly spectacular. We saw 3 or 4 shooting stars, there were no man made lights anywhere. On our last day in San Pedro, we took a hike out to the La Valle de la Muerte. Sand dunes and more sand dunes. We watched some people sandboard, which is like snowboadring but on sand, only problem was that with all the wind and all the sand we ended up with sand pretty deep in our ears. We got a ride back with a cool French Canadian couple (a glass blower and a financial analyst - match made in heaven), which was sweet since we could do without the 5 km hike back. Our last night we had a feast with our camp site friends, everyone contributed food, 2 guys cooked and it was delicious. We´ll remember San Pedro for its natural beauty in the outskirts than in the town. Being in the desert is almost a spiritual experience because of lack of life and vastness, which is something that is going to stick in our minds for a long time.
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