After a long but fun excursion to Salar de Uyuni we continued our desert adventures in San Pedro de Atacama, which is a small town that once again is fueled by tourism. Our AirBnb was about a 25 minute walk from town so we didn’t explore it too much, but there are loads of tourism shops and one bar (which we did visit during a soccer match).
Other than the main attraction (Valle de la Luna), everything is accessible only by vehicle whether that’s a tour bus or a rental. As you can imagine, that can add up price wise. Luckily our newfound Kiwi friends, which we met on our Salar de Uyuni trip, were also in San Pedro. They had rented a car and offered to take us out in the morning. First we tried going to (RED ROCKS?) that is in the mountains but had too much snow, so we couldn’t pass. BUT it was still incredible to see the landscape and how quickly it can change in about 45 minutes.
Following this, we made our way to a couple of lagoons (? and ?). The first one was one that you could walk around, presenting amazing views and the sun offered up some great reflections. Next, we attempted to go to a popular lagoon to swim in the salty waters, but it was too expensive so we decided to keep moving. We made our way to (LAGOON?). It was a hike (45 minutes on gravel), but it was well worth it. It would be amazing in the summertime! Unfortunately we were there in winter and got there later in the day. But a little cold weather wasn’t going to stop us from taking a dip in these salt lagoons. Caitlin likes to remind me that I can’t tread water so being able to float like a bobber because of the high salt concentration, was pretty awesome.
On our way back to town we were able to check out the famous Atacama sunsets.
The last experience we partook was a stargazing tour we found online. It was… interesting. We were picked up by the guide’s father who drove us 25 minutes outside of the city. When we got there, we joined their ritual of crumbling dried leaves and sprinkling them on the land. Following this we did about 30 minutes of pictures (solo photos, group photos, and couples photos). When we were done with our photo sessions, we finally got down to some star gazing. The highlights included some amazing photos of the moon, Saturn, and Jupiter with 4 of its moons. At halftime, we went into the family’s house where we were served hot drinks and homemade empanadas. More stargazing ensued and we finished off the night with a ceremonial dance.
Overall, it was a fun few days. Our only suggestion would be to cough up a few extra bucks and stay in town as opposed to out in the middle of nowhere. Also, it might be worth it to rent a car if you want to really get out and see some of the sights the desert has to offer.