The Atacama desert, in the north of Chile, is a inhospitable region. At more than 4,000 meters over sea level, temperatures range from -15 to +25ºC in a same day. But also offers some of the most amazing landscapes in the world, and all sorts of outdoors activities. I reached San Pedro de Atacama after yet another long bus ride, connecting in the mining (and rather depressing) city of Antofagasta. San Pedro is a cool village with no functioning ATMs, constant power outages and serious water problems… and crowded with backpackers.
Over the last three days, I’ve done horseback riding in the Catarpe Valley, hiked around highland salt lakes with flamingos, and biked in the Moon Valley… Well, I biked on the way in, to reach the rock formation called Virgin Mary, and back half way to a dune for an epic sunset… then had to hitchhike to get back to town; I was exhausted (aka in bad shape) and the temperature dropping fast. The landscapes are absolutely surreal. On my last hours in Atacama, I joined a 4am tour to reach the Tatio geysers at sunrise, when they’re the most active. It was the perfect way to exit Chile, with a bang.