After a 12 hour bus journey, crossing the border from Argentina into Chile, we made our way north to San Pedro, in the heart of the Atacama desert! Arriving here was in stark contrast to our time in Antarctica, freezing temperatures, deep blues and whites replaced with sizzling heat, with strong red and orange colours everywhere we looked.
Basing ourselves in San Pedro for a few days, our first trip was to the famous Valle de la luna nearby, a stark and barren landscape which is said to resemble, yep you guessed it, the moon. NASA even tested its Mars rover here before sending it to Mars – if it’s good enough for NASA, it’s good enough for us!
Into the Valle de la Luna, Chile
Jumping into our transport for the day, we headed out through the dusty, sandy desert to our first stop, the three Marias. Now, you’re going to have to use your imagination here to see the ‘three Marias’. To me they looked like three salty formations sticking out of the ground. But what do I know?
After leaving the three Marias behind, we headed out further into the valley where we did our best impressions of Neil Armstrong in the Lunar Valley. The place was incredible, awe inspiring and felt very other worldly.
As the sun began to set, we made it the top of the valley ridge, where we could see the incredible lunar landscape for miles.
Then, as the sun began to set, the landscape literally changed colour every few minutes, the valley floor reflecting the deep oranges of the sunset against its own dark orange and red rocks. It didn’t look real!
And then, the final flourish as everyone was watching the sunset, behind us the gigantic volcano turned a deep red colour to cap off a fantastic few hours!
The Valle de la Lunar is an incredible place to see, and a for a few hours we felt as though we were on a different planet!