The Atacama Desert is the driest place on Earth – a haunting lunar landscape dotted with salt lakes, lagoons, immense volcanoes and spouting geysers.
The little oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama – all dusty streets, lively markets and straw-and-adobe houses – provides a perfect base and offers plenty of good local bars and restaurants, as well as some truly first-class desert lodges. Those really wanting to face the elements in comfort can bunk down in a luxury tented camp in the middle of the desert.
The low humidity and clear night skies make the Atacama one of the best places in the world for stargazing and sunsets. By day, explore the Tatio geysers and the breathtaking lagoons that glow pink with flamingos and traverse the Licancabur Volcano that sits on Chile’s border with Bolivia. This trip also combines well with cross-Andes expeditions into northern Argentina.