Valle de la Luna – Atacama Desert

As I am sure you can infer by the name, the landscape of Valle de la Luna resembles the surface of the moon. Dried up salt lakes have left behind quite an abundance of white salt flats throughout the desert which we thought was a really cool and unique landscape attribute. Our tour guide told us we were lucky to see the valley when we did because it had rained a little bit (keep in mind this is known as the driest desert in the world) allowing the salt to surface after the water evaporated.

The sporadic sedimentary rock formations were pretty impressive. Popularly noted are Las Tres Marias (the three Mary’s) which were named from someone admiring the formations and seeing three variation of Mary. There is also a lone and less popular formation to the left of the three that is referred to as “the dinosaur head.”

The color and textures revealed a lot of character in this area of the desert and it is intriguing to think about how it has naturally formed over time. At the end of the tour we went to Ckari Canyon to watch the sunset which was incredible, especially with the addition of the mountains to the left (including the volcano, Licancabur.)

Just as a note: Chile, Argentina and Bolivia all have a Valle de la Luna.

 

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