Thursday, 27 September 2007

Salta -> Bolivia -> Chile -> Peru

After leaving Salta, we had a mad-cap week of travelling up to Bolivia, across to Chile, down to Santiago to finally catch a flight all the way back up to Peru. We'd organised a tour from Argentina to take us to various places in Bolivia + Chile along the way, and while we where a bit nervous, it all worked out.

The first place we went was the Uyuni in Bolivia, which is famous for it's Salt Flats. These turned out to be pretty similar to the ones near Salta, but much much bigger - they are in fact the worlds largest, at over 10,000kmĀ².

First off we visited a nearby train graveyard:

Then we headed into the salt flats. This was a whole lot of white nothing:

There is almost no life at all in the salt flats, but there are some random island in the middle, covered with cactii:

After staying overnight in a hotel (though that's being generous) made entirely of salt, the next day we spent a lot of time travelling over the altiplano desert, with some pretty spectacular mountains and lakes along the way:

There was some interesting wildlife around, with a few Vicunas (similar to llamas), and also something fairly unexpected - a lot of flamingos! There are three different types that live in the Andeas.

That night we stayed at the 'Red Lake', where there where a lot more flamingos to be seen:

The next morning we got up early and went to see some geysers at 5000m (geysers are most active/visible at sun rise). These where very spectacular, lots of steam and boiling mud everywhere:

Then we went to the 'Green Lake', before crossing the border into Chile.

In Chile we stayed in San Pedro de Atacama, which is famous for the 'Moon Valley', so called because it looks like the surface of the moon.

The locals claim that this is where the US filmed the moon landing back in the '60s :) The big thing to do here is to go and watch the sunset in the valley, which leads to a fairly spectacular light show on the surrounding mountains:

We then got up at 4am (again!) to go look at some geysers in Chile. These were more boiling water rather than mud, but no less spectacular:

We then caught a flight down to Santiago (unfortunately delayed), which only gave us 6 hours there to sleep and the head back to the airport to fly up to Lima, where we took it easy for a couple of days!


At 19 July 2008 at 11:19 , Blogger Jean said...

Thank you for these wonderful photos that helped me plan a trip for next year to Bolivia/Peru/Chile.

Thanks again! Jean Decety from Chicago


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