Aside from the largest open-pit copper mine in the world, there aren’t many other tourist attractions near Calama. Climbing all over one of those giant monster dump trucks could have been cool (there’s a tour), but we decided to head to our original destination of San Pedro de Atacama.

Nice. Really nice.

There are plenty of camping options here, but they all charge astronomical rates (our wallets are still calibrated for Bolivia). We picked the one with the rock wall and promptly parked right in front. We can climb whenever we want, and just watch the other climbers the rest of the time. It’s better than TV.

The weather is nice and spending all day outside feels great. Sunny, dry and warm by day and chilly at night. Winter in the desert.

You can walk everywhere, and the main drag is packed with top-notch desert-chic restaurants. Everything in town has a too-perfect artistic patina. This is clearly a major destination for tourists – mostly wealthy Chileans. I haven’t seen this much North Face gear outside of Berkeley.  It’s definitely a good place to chill out, tackle some bus projects and figure out where to go next.

3 thoughts on “Atacama

  • July 20, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Oh you deserve this. Take your time. Nice to see the Bode with an ice lolly, or whatever.

  • July 20, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    What?? The old church was open?? We went there on three occasions on three different days at different times of the day – and it was always shut! That’s not fair…
    BTW: we slept outside town, overlooking the Valle De Luna = magical sunsets, quiet, free, only a little bit windy.
    Welcome to Chile! Everything’s more expensive here (en par with Brazil), but therefore you can relax a bit and camp “wild” – that saves some $s.

  • Pingback: BodesWell » Blame it on…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *