Chile – Atacama!

Robin BoyleLatin America, Salad, Travel, Vegetables

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This post follows on from: Chilean Lakes

The aridness and extent of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile boggle the mind. The desert is about twice the size of Tasmania and is one of the driest regions on earth.

The Google satellite map below (click to enlarge) shows it stretching from the Pacific in the west to the Andes foothills in the east. We would spend five days at San Pedro de Atacama.

The dry earth is interspersed with remarkable features, in particular, salt deposits, serene but shallow lakes, volcanoes, geysers and animals.

San Pedro is a relatively small settlement with a distinct indigenous feel. While the town seems poor, it caters well for a wide range of tourists, from backpackers to luxury travellers.

We were fortunate enough to stay in an upmarket resort, with a stark rocky backdrop. It was set in an extensive desert-like garden with a range of interesting fruit trees and vegetables.

Guests could be well-hydrated in the dry heat with refreshing drinks.

One evening the sommelier organised a tasting of Chilean wines for our group.

One evening we visited a nearby salt lake for an excursion and sunset drinks and nibbles.

Modern Latin American food was served in the dining room.

Avocado featured often.

A simple but effective way of preparing avocado is given in the next post: A Way With Avocado.

Click here for the next – and last – stage in our South American journey: Mendoza!