Chile

SAN PEDRO DE ATACAMA

On my trip to Chile in 2014 I visited San Pedro de Atacama, Santiago the capital and Easter Island.
San Pedro de Atacama is the driest place on earth.
San Pedro itself is a small town in the Atacama desert, it does not have a airport, the nearest airport is in Calama about 100km away. I took a domestic flight from Santiago to Calama to eventually get to San Pedro. I arrived there and I directly left Atacama the next day for Bolivia where I did a 4 day trip to Uyuni. After that trip I got back to Atacama for a few days to spend some time in the old town and visit the area around, so I did a trip to the Moon valley.

San Pedro de Atacama church

San Pedro de Atacama church

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The Moon Valley

The Moon Valley

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The 3 Maria's rock formations

The 3 Maria’s rock formations, except the one on the left is called Pac Man from the videogame

SANTIAGO

In Santiago de Chili, the oficial name of Chile’s capital my visit was a very short one, I don’t have much fotos, the famous Plaza de Armes was under construction. It wasn’t very interesting spending much time in the city when so many construction works were going on, after a few hours in the city I took a bus to the airport as my holiday in South America came to end.

The Flag of Chile

The Flag of Chile

Palacio de la Moneda

Palacio de la Moneda

Palacio de la Real Audiencia at the Plaza de Armes

Palacio de la Real Audiencia at the Plaza de Armes

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Former National Congres building of Chile

 

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Going from San Pedro de Atacama to Uyuni

Someone told me Bolivia is a great country in South America, and my answer to that was “I Bo li via” I really do Believe !!
I have been on a 4 day trip from San Pedro de Atacama (Chile) to Bolivia.
It’s a popular tour with jeeps that tourists book while they’re in San Pedro, you can book it in one of the many little travel agencies in San Pedro.
The tour that I did was with Cordillera Travel and I was the only one who didn’t continue to travel further into Bolivia after arriving in Uyuni at the end of the trip, I booked a tour that had to bring me back to Chile from where I had my flight back home. So that’s the 4 day trip, most people do the 3 day trip to continue onward travel in Bolivia to Potosi or La Paz.
Maybe some other time I will go back to Bolivia to see some more of the country, but I’m really happy of what I have seen already, beautiful landscapes like the Siloli desert with crazy rock formations, the Laguna Verde, Laguna Honda and some other altiplano lakes and offcourse the amazing Salt flats of Uyuni with Cactus Island (Incahuasi Island).
Also on this tour was the train graveyard, old rusty trains abandoned in the middle of the desert.
In San Pedro I bought enough snacks for the road, 5 liters of water cause when going on high altitude  you need to drink allot and rented a sleeping bag for the cold nights in the desert, cause the sleeping places down the road are very basic so you need a sleeping bag. Make sure to take tablets against altitude sickness cause you will be going up to 5000 m above sea level. To my surprise I only had a light headache and didn’t had to use any tablets. The next day my headache was over and my body was adjusted to the high altitude.

Ready to go ! Bolivia here I am

Ready to go ! Bolivia here I am

my jeep 4X4

my jeep 4×4

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Arbol de Piedra

Siloli desert with it's crazy rock formations

Siloli desert with it’s crazy rock formations

Laguna Colorada

Laguna Colorada with it’s Flamingo’s

Laguna Honda

Laguna Honda

Laguna Verde

Laguna Verde

The basic lodging in the Uyuni Salt hotel

The basic lodging in the Uyuni Salt hotel

Uyuni Salt Flats

Uyuni Salt Flats

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Incahuasi Island aka Cactus Island in the middle of the Uyuni Slat Flats

Incahuasi Island aka Cactus Island in the middle of the Uyuni Slat Flats

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train graveyard

train graveyard

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A Triangle Island in the Pacific Ocean

Easter Island

Formed by simultaneous volcanic eruptions this triangle shaped Island in the Southeastern Pacific belongs now to Chile, it was annexed by Chile in 1888 and is known as Isla de Pascua. The people there are more Polynesian cause its close to Polynesia and it actually is part of the Polynesian triangle.

Easter Island on the world map, so small you can't see

Easter Island on the world map, so small you can’t see

triangle island

The Polynesian people have their own language and call their Island “Rapa Nui” which means Easter Island offcourse.
The Island is mostly known for its Moaie statues of which there are many across the Island but there is also a volcano you can hike. It’s quite a walk from Hanga Roa the main city of the Island, but some of my hostel buddies and me got lucky to get a lift from a some locals, hoppend in the back of a suv and later that day we decided to rent a little jeep to tour around the Island the next day in our search of all the Moaie statues, those statues carved out from volcanic stone are spread all over the Island. To move around the island its good to have a bike or a quad or a car, which you can all rent.
The Volcano’s name is Rano Kao it’s close to the sea on the edge of the Island and it’s huge crater with lake is worthed to take pictures from different angles.
The reason why I flew to Chile was mainly to go directly to Easter Island and to discover this amazing Island. Nice beaches, beautiful nature ,statues you can only see here, a Polynesian and South American mixed vibe. Offcourse I also did see something in Chile (see my Chile page) but I really wanted to go to Easter Island, its so far away almost out of reach untill I saw that there are several flights a week from Chile’s capital Santiago with Lan (Chilean Airlines). There is also a direct flight from Lima (Peru).

The Moaie statues most of them standing on a  “Ahu”  which is a stone platform

Several Moaie statues across the Island

Ahu Nau Nau on Anakena Beach

Ahu Nau Nau on Anakena Beach

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Ahu Tongariki – The largest Ahu Moai’s on the Island and I’m the last one lol

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Ahu A Kivi is the only Ahu were the Moais are looking towards the sea

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Ahu Takai

Sunset at Ahu Takai

Sunset at Ahu Takai

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Rano Raraku with Moais

Rano Raraku with Moais

Me pushing a Moai :)

Me pushing a Moai 🙂

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There is more on Easter Island then Moais

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Rano Kau volcano crater with lake at the edge of the sea

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