The Atacama Desert has often been compared to the surface of Mars, and indeed if you’ve watched the likes of Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets, it will seem strangely familiar as the desert has often been used for film shoots. NASA tests much of its exploration equipment here, and the Atacama is generally of great interest to scientists questioning how life can survive in places with so little water.
From your comfortable lodge in the quaint desert town of San Pedro an expert guide will take you to the ‘’Valley of the Moon’’, to soda lakes on top of the world and to the El Tatio Geysers where towering eruptions of steam occur each morning. Civilisations have tenaciously survived here for millenia as petroglyphs and perfectly preserved mummies testify. Flora and fauna have also found ways to thrive.
Andean flamingo flock to feed on algae in the salt lakes, hummingbird and sparrow eat the insects and seeds, and there are colonies of Humboldt penguin along the coast.