Chile: Chilean Puna - 28 photos - 28 fotos - Part 2 - Music: Inti Illimani (Chile) - La mariposa - Quena (Reed flute) music - Andean folk - Link Part 1

Posted by ricardo marcenaro | Posted in | Posted on 20:44







ATACAMA DESERT (ANTOFAGASTA AND TO THE NORTHEAST)
 

 Desert covers the entire extent east-west from the coast to very high mountains in northern Chile. Thus, there is no tree-covered montane zone in this part of the Andes. The elevation range in these pics is from sea level to nearly 16,000 feet.

First...we will start out with 3 pics from Antofagasta (only stayed for about an hour), a coastal city which is the largest in northern Chile and doesn't look entirely desert-like due to irrigation.

A beach in Antofagasta (the water temperature here was in the upper 60s, somewhat chilly for being near the Tropic of Capricorn due to the Humboldt Current...


 


Music: Inti Illimani (Chile) 
La mariposa 
Quena (Reed flute) music

City hall (with coastal mountains just a few miles behind)...



Probably the hardiest tree I've ever seen in a frost-free climate, the Russian olive, planted in a park next to the beach (there are palms, agaves, etc. elsewhere in the park). Normally, it's a tree planted in places like Wyoming.



Now to the northeast...there was no vegetation (except irrigated stuff in a couple towns) until around 5000' (and even above that, it was sparse). The first plants that I saw (along the roadside) were Cistanthe salsoloides (no common name), partially in bloom...



The view at that location...



A ghost town (former mining town), Oficina Anita...





San Pedro de Atacama is a touristy oasis town at around 8000' above sea level, not far from the Bolivian border. There is still very little vegetation in the surrounding hills/mountains, even though a lot of trees and other plants are planted around town...







What's this? Another Russian olive? The Chileans grow this frequently in drier parts of the country. This is possibly the largest one I've ever seen...



Here's a sand dune where I (and others) went "sand boarding" (I'm not in this pic though).



Looking east instead of north (to the sand dune)...



Valle de la Luna, near San Pedro...













Looking east from Valle de la Luna to Volcán Licancabur (the peak is over 19,000 feet above sea level and on the border with Bolivia)...



Now going east of San Pedro, closer to Licancabur...



Licancabur with Volcán Juriques (right)...



Different view, from a higher elevation...



Puna grass (which was found around 12000-13000' above sea level), with a view of part of Salar de Atacama, a large salt flat with a small amount of water...



This area is very near (less than 5 miles from) the Bolivian border (here's the sign pointing to the gravel road which goes to Bolivia)...



A view of Laguna Verde, a high-elevation (14,000') salt lake on the Bolivia side of the border (viewable from Chile)...



Highway 27 at the highest point (almost 16,000'). Occasionally this area can get snow, though annual precipitation remains very low.





One last look (at almost 16,000') towards some mountains with (gasp!) a few clouds at the horizon!


All of the above pictures on this page were taken in November 2009 by Brandt Maxwell.




Chile: Chilean Puna - 28 photos - 28 fotos - Part 2 - Music: Inti Illimani (Chile) - La mariposa - Quena (Reed flute) music - Andean folk - Link Part 1 








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