Museo Virtual, Atacama
W. Griem, 2020
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
Road in the Andes of Atacama - near the salt flat of Maricunga at 3200 m altitude.
The square of Copiapo - Chile
The Atacama Desert
The Atacama Desert as a tourist destination
The Atacama desert captivates with its unique landscape, the Andean chain with its striking Stratovolcanoes invites you to extensive excursions.
The Atacama Desert, Chile, or more precisely the Atacama region, is an exciting 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.
Visitors can observe the unique, climate-related fauna and flora without any particular danger in the desert.
Finally, of course, we have to mention the beach and the
coast. The Atacama Region has various beaches that are not yet connected
to mass tourism but with unforgettable scenery waiting for their
The best choice for excursions into the desert is an off-road vehicle. Often "camionettas" (pick up) or jeeps can be rented from 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.
The 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 relatively fresh (18-19°C). Travelers can explore the Andes from September to April. In January and February, clouds and rainfall can occur (Bolivian winter). From May to August, of course, trips are also very friendly, the temperatures during the day are pleasant, and it is warm. Only the length of the day is shorter, and nights can get cold.
There are simple, good restaurants in most of the villages and towns of
Atacama. Good restuarnts, which can satisfy higher demands you find in
Copiapó, Vallenar, Bahía Inglesa, Caldera, Huasco, Chañaral. Prices are
moderate, mainly below the European average.
Accommodation is also available in all major cities.
The east-west stretch of the Atacama region at its most extensive point is about 250 km (airline), the north-south distance at the coast is about 390 km in the cordillera about 460 km. The surface area is approximately 75,573.3 km2 (roughly that of Ireland). The highest elevation is 6842m (Ojos del Salado). With a population density of 3.1 inhabitants on 1 km2, We must address the Atacama region as very sparsely populated. The amount of precipitation is extremely 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).
Behavior in the desert
Behavior in the desert
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)
The coast of Atacama
Caleta Punta de Choros
Costa de Sarco
Caleta El Cobre
Bahía El Salado
Playa La Virgen
Rocas Negras / Las Machas
Pan de Azúcar
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