I love the wide open, volcanic, dusty, arid landscape around San Pedro de Atacama and stayed longer than planned, spending lots of money on awesome tours. My last one shall lead to the Salar de Tara, the salt flat of Tara.
Pick up is at 8am and we head out of town of the road leading to Argentina. It’s quite windy and the higher we get, the stronger the winds. At our first stop, a lookout, we cannot have breakfast as usually, the wind is too strong. So we continue all the way further up, the highest point is 4,800m. Then we veer off the road, driving into the desert to some rock formations. While we are freezing taking pictures and admiring the free standing rocks, the van is positioned strategically against a huge rock to build some shelter against the wind. In the little shelter we then have breakfast until our hands are frozen. My hands are so cold they hurt while getting warmer once inside the van.
We continue to more impressive rock formations, some are red, some white, some yellow due to the sulphur. The actual Salar de Tara is the most impressive place: the red rocks lined up, the deep blue lake with birds, the beige plants, bright sky, snow covered hills. We have time to walk around and enjoy this incredible nature before having lunch close to a shelter. It’s a bit warmer now with the sun but the wind is still really strong.
On our way back the van shakes due to the storm. We make a quick stop at the Licancabur volcanoe look out for some pictures, then we continue to San Pedro, passing through an actual sand storm. It was a really impressive day, feeling the impact of the nature with the storm.