San Pedro de Atacama Travel Blog› entry 11 of 34 › view all entries
We took the overnight bus from Arica to San Pedro de Atacama - known probably as being in one of the driest places in the world and also to many tourists on the "Gringo Trail" as being as one of the most overpriced! It was impossible to sleep well on the bus - twice we were herded off for an inspection for dangerous items such as fruit and dairy in their internal borders! Chile is a country positively creaking under the burden of petty paperwork!
We arrived in San Pedro fairly tired and went to our Hostel, which was in a fairly ropey residential street. Like most buildings in San Pedro, it is Adobe (mud brick) in construction. It was nicely presentd, although very basic. That evening, we went on a tour to the Valle de Luna and the Valle de Muerte (Moon Valley and Death Valley). They were both very interesting to visit - landscapes that we had not seen anything like before - millions of years of geological development so weird that it looked like it wasn´t real. We saw a great sunset in a great place.
The tours to go around much of San Pedro meant leaving at 4am, so we didn´t going on them. We had seen the salt lake in Lauca and the Geogliphs near Arica. We pottered about for another day in San Pedro before leaving to go to Calama - a City which we would have avoided going to if we could have!