San Pedro de Atacama is the most surreal and quirky little town. Surrounded on all sides by mile upon mile of scorched desert, as you drive up to it you wonder how on earth this place even exists. These days it is only really there as a base for tourists to explore the diverse and incredible natural landscapes that surround it, along with getting to do an awe inspiring star gazing experience right out in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately for us we were there right around the full moon which meant that they were not running the star gazing tours, but we still had a good few days there to explore all of the other natural wonders of the region.
We visited the famous Valle de la Luna where we climbed through salt caves and scrambled up the sides of sand dunes, the Atacama salt flats and salt lakes where we saw two different types of flamingos, the beautiful Lake Miscanti and Lake Minigues that are a breathtaking 4,120m above sea level, and drove out into the desert at sunrise to see the magnificent Geyser Del Tatio. We could go into detail describing all of these places but, as with our post about the Galápagos Islands, we really think on this occasion that photos will do much better justice to the experience than words ever could.