From southern Peru to northern Chile, the Atacama Desert is regarded as one of the best tourist destinations in this area. It is a 1,600km stretch of breathtaking scenery on the Pacific coast that is situated west of the Andes Mountain range.
Although the phrase “cold desert” appears contradictory, a desert’s defining qualities don’t always involve scorching heat. The location’s typical temperature ranges from 0 °C to 30 °C. The Atacama desert maintains its colder temperature throughout the day due to the infusion of cold ocean air, unlike other deserts, which typically dip in temperature at night.
A study that examined 27 mummified parrots found in the Atacama Desert was finished in 2021. The macaws and amazon parrots, among others, were discovered skeletal and mummified without their feathers. Researchers think that centuries ago, these parrots were captured in the Amazon Rainforest and brought to the region in captivity.
Tropical parrots were a sign of wealth and status in pre-Columbian Chile. The colorful feathers of the bird would have been used for a variety of purposes by the people of the time, including headbands that would have been worn as a symbol of leadership.
Mars expedition simulations
No other place on Earth can compare to the surreal experience provided by the rich, orange sand and apparently infinite mountain range.
War of the Pacific
Due of the abundance of minerals there, there have been conflicts in the Atacama Desert. Chile, Peru, and Bolivia were allies in the War of the Pacific, which lasted from 1879 to 1883. By the time it was over in 1883, it had changed in Chile’s favour, and it is today one of the country’s key sources of riches.
Astrology Hotspot at Atacama Desert
The absence of people and rain in the area, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest places for astrologers, leaves the skies clear of pollution and clouds for you to enjoy. The Milky Way Galaxy may be seen from the desert and is a popular destination for observatories and telescopes. In this field, cutting-edge technology is utilized to spy on stars thousands of light years distant.
One of the largest in the region is the ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) observatory. Once a week, observatories are available to visitors, and it’s a memorable experience.
The Driest place on Earth
Other than the polar deserts, the Atacama Desert is one of the driest locations on Earth. The Andes Mountains surround the desert, preventing rain from falling there. The Pacific Ocean, which is located to the West of the Atacama Desert, also prevents clouds from forming and, as a result, rain. The Atacama Desert as a result is bone-dry.
The Purple Desert
The distinctive orange terrain of the Atacama Desert will occasionally change to a vivid purple color every couple of years. Although there isn’t much life in the desert, these purple flowers bloom in the spring and rely on the small amount of moisture that the area receives. Visitors are astounded by the flowers’ endurance to life even in the driest of environments in addition to their beauty. The remaining plant life will cause the hills to turn yellow, white, and blue in addition to purple. Unfortunately, human interference and global warming pose a threat to this blooming spectacle.
Mano del Desierto / The Desert Hand
East of Antofagasta is where the enormous hand is located, extending beneath the barren earth to the heavens. This statue was created by Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrazabal as a symbolic reminder of past human rights abuses Chileans had to endure. It is encouraging to see art blended into the landscape on a place as harsh and lifeless as the Atacama Desert. It may be found on Pan-American Highway Route 5.
The Road trips in Atacama Desert
Even though the Atacama Desert is a desolate region, it is still well connected and home to a wide variety of landscapes. In addition to being extremely practical for residents, the roads allow visitors to take road journeys that are comparable to Route 66. The Valley of the Moon, Altiplanic Lagoons, and Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos can all be visited in one journey.
The desert has been used for trade, farming, and mining over the ages, and some agricultural has been accomplished close to the scarce desert oasis. Nowadays, a lot of people go hiking in the desert, and sporting activities like sand surfing, rallying, and foot racing are held in the dunes.
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