Atacama: English

The Atacama Desert, Chile

Travel and Excursions in the Chilean Atacama Region

Museo Virtual, Atacama
W. Griem, 2010 - 2017
The Andes and the Atacama desert, Chile

View of the Andes chain from the San Francisco Pass in the Atacama region, Chile

Information about Atacama:
• Population: 285,000 people
• Size: 75.573 km2
• Population density: 3.1 persons / km2
• Elevation: 0m - 6890m
• Region's capital: Copiapó
• Distance from Santiago: 800 km (Copiapó)
• Clima: Desert, semi-desert
• Rainfall: 12 mm/year

The Atacama Desert 

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The Atacama Desert as a tourist destination

The Atacama desert captivates with its unique landscape, the Andean chain with its striking Strato volcanoes invites you to extensive excursions.

The Atacama Desert, Chile, or more precisely the Atacama region is an interesting destination for people who want to enjoy a unique landscape. Here the Andean main chain, the pre-cordillera, the driest desert of the earth should serve as references. But also the historical background of mining and industrialization can be observed here.
The unique, climate-related fauna and flora can be observed without any particular danger in the desert.

Pelikan in the Chilean Atacama Region

Finally, of course, we have to mention the beach and the coast. Atacama has a variety of beaches which are not yet connected to the mass tourism but with an unforgettable scenery waiting for their visitors.

For excursions into the desert, an off-road vehicle should be used. Often camionettas (pick up) or jeeps can be rented from the car rental companies. An SUV is also enough in most cases. The roads are generally good (asphalt, salt or gravel) but often a little lonely or not too frequented. If you follow some safety tips, nothing can go wrong.

Peak season is between September and April. In February, almost all of Chile has holidays, which means it can get a little bit crowded on the coast. In the cordillera, however, this is hardly noticeable.
Due to the Humboldt current, the water is quite fresh (18-19°C). The Andes can be explored from September to April. In January and February clouds and rainfall can occur (Bolivian winter). In May to August, of course, trips are also very nice, the temperatures during the day are pleasant and it is warm. Only the length of the day is shorter and nights can get cold.

The coast of the Atacama desert

In most of all the villages and towns there are simple, good restaurants, in Copiapó, Vallenar, Bahía Inglesa, Caldera, Huasco, Chañaral, El Salvador there are also restaurants which can satisfy higher demands. Prices are moderate, mostly below the European average.
Accommodation is also available in all major cities.

Some information:
The east-west stretch of the Atacama region at its most extensive point is about 250 km (airline), the north-south stretch at the coast is about 390 km in the cordillera about 460 km. The surface area is approximately 75,573.3 km2 (approximately that of Ireland). The highest elevation is 6842m (Ojos del Salado). With a population density of 3.1 inhabitants on 1 km2, the Atacama region has to be addressed as very sparsely populated. The precipitation is very low (about 12mm/year in Copiapó), the temperatures are similar to the desert climate: hot during the day (about 31°C in summer), the nights are remarkably cool (about 12° in summer; in Copiapó).

More information:
Behavior in the desert
Specific terms
Travel instructions

Places of interest
Information about Atacama

Atacama desert and Atacama Region, Chile

Travel instructions
Behavior in the desert
Specific terms
The Andes mountains (I)
The Andes mountains (II)
Atacama desert (1)
Atacama desert (2)
Rains in the Atacama desert
Flowering desert (1)
Flowering desert (2)
Flowering desert (3)
Snow in the Atacama desert (1)
Snow in the Atacama desert (2)

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Virtual viewpoint Atacama
Atacama black and white
Road maps of Atacama

The coast of Atacama
San José
Caleta Punta de Choros
Bahía Carrizalillo
Costa de Sarco
Caleta El Cobre
Pta. Molle
Carrizal Bajo
Qda Higuera
Sector Gaviotas
Caleta Pajonal
Punta Cachos
Bahía El Salado
Pampa Cachiyuyal
Playa La Virgen
Puerto Viejo
Isla Chata
Bahía Cisne
Parque Paleontológico
Rocas Negras / Las Machas
Bahía Inglesa
Granito Orbicular
Punta Flamenco
Los Médanos
La Cascada
Pan de Azúcar

Desert & Atacama
Journey to Atacama
Rutas en Atacama
Pan Americana
Distancias de Atacama
Road maps of Atacama
Bibliografía de Atacama
Links, enlaces Atacama
Imágenes 3-dimensionales

Atacama landscape
The Atacama desert
Flowering desert
Beaches of Atacama

History, Mining at Atacama
Climate of the Atacama Region
Mines and mining in Atacama
The railroad history of Atacama

geovirtual en english - Atacama and geology
Road through the Atacama desert , Chile

Road in the Andes of Atacama - near the salt flat of Maricunga at 3200 m altitude.

The town square of Copiapo, Chile

The square of Copiapo - Chile

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Atacama Region, Chile
Journey to Atacama / Atacama sightseeing places
History of Atacama
Mining history of Atacama
Geología de Atacama, Chile
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Flora Atacama
Animals of the Atacama Desert
Virtual viewpoint Atacama / Atacama en b/n
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Virtual Museum of Atacama desert and Atacama Region, Chile
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Published: 24.12.2010 / 17.9.2017; updated: 17.9.2017
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