San(dy) Pedro.

San Pedro de Atacama Travel Blog

 › entry 58 of 58 › view all entries
The geysers were scalding hot, but the morning was very, very cold.

So, back into Chile and our Spanish must have improved as we can understand the locals a bit better than last time. They do speak quickly here in Chile though.

San Pedro, being Chile's number one tourist attraction, isn't the cheapest place in South America but we're off season so there's some better value accomodation knocking about. We found one with breakfast and local weightlifter thrown in for free.

San Pedro itself is not very big but there are no end of restaurants including some good wood-fired pizzas, it's not clear where they get the wood from as we're in the middle of the desset. Burning old pallets isn't quite how the Italians do it, or maybe it is.

Being in the midldle of nowhere gives you a good view of the night sky which is why some French dude has set up home nearby with a few impressive looking telescopes.

The wonderfully symmetrical Licancabur volcano.
He'll give you an amusing, slightly zenophobic introduction to the planets and constellations and then allows you to look at stars, nebulae and saturn using his star-gazing kit and throws in a hot chocolate and biscuits for good measure. All good fun, but leaves you wishing they turned the lights out everywhere else from time to time so you could have a better view.

It may be hot in the desert but it's bloody freezing at 4am especially out in the geyser fields where you can see a lot of bubbling and steam (and some strange rabbit creatures) while the sun comes up - wrap up warm.

Moon valley is an impressive lunar landscape with volcanoes that we had seen from Bolivia on the other side a month or two earlier. Lots of strange caverns and rock formations, where the very occasional rain has dissolved the salt away. Dusk gives an impressive multi coloured view of the sandy landscape as the sun sets.

One bus a day goes to the nearest airport - cutting it fine for checkin. We make it though and several hops south through mining country takes us back to Santiago.

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The geysers were scalding hot, but…
The geysers were scalding hot, bu…
The wonderfully symmetrical Licanc…
The wonderfully symmetrical Lican…
This erosion is caused by some of …
This erosion is caused by some of…
Steve wearing the cave as a giant …
Steve wearing the cave as a giant…
Sunset over the valley of the moon…
Sunset over the valley of the moo…
.. and sunrise over geyser land. W…
.. and sunrise over geyser land. …
Just one more shot of the geysers …
Just one more shot of the geysers…
We never found out what these litt…
We never found out what these lit…
The same live volcano we saw in Bo…
The same live volcano we saw in B…
San Pedro from above, with Licanca…
San Pedro from above, with Licanc…
Pretty adobe church.
Pretty adobe church.
San Pedro de Atacama
photo by: eefab