Salta to Atacama Desert – South America Part 2

Sand-boaring with a view – Valle de la Muerte, Chile.

 

After spending a few days seeing the city of Buenos Aires, it was time to start the adventure of travelling from Buenos Aires to La Paz, Boliva. We decided to travel this part of our trip with a tour and went with G adventures. We met our fantastic group in Buenos Aires and flew straight from there to Salta, Argentina.

Salta was definitely a change of scenery from Buenos Aires. We left the big, wet and cool city to a warm, drier and smaller city. Arriving in Salta we caught the back end of celebrations for their Independence day. What we did see were a lot bbq’s on the side of the road.

In Salta we hiked up to the top of Cerro San Bernardo and enjoyed the beautiful views of Salta city while the sun went down. Horse riding felt like the thing to do while in Salta, so we headed out to a ranch enjoyed our second breakfast for the day. Then it was off riding for the rest of the morning and soaking the rural scenery.  After our horse trek, we were treated to a proper  Argentinian bbq feast. The food and wine was unlimited and amazing! I mentioned in my last post and I’ll say it again, Argentinians know how to do steak.

Later on we went out for round two of steak! Argentinians like to eat late, so by around 9 pm it was time to eat and and embrace the food coma all over again. This time we were treated to a show for entertainment, with singing and traditional dancing.

 

The view of Salta City, from the top of Cerro San Bernardo.

 

After Salta we headed into the Andes to the Atacama Desert in Chile. During the Argentina/ Chilean boarder crossing we experienced altitude of up to 4400m. Thankfully we didn’t stay at this altitude for too long, the old body was not ready for that level of extremeness quite yet.

The Atacama Desert is one of the driest areas in the world, we arrived at San Pedro de Atacama a small town in the desert. It is surrounded with dramatic landscapes that include desert, salt flats, volcanoes, geysers and hot springs.

Wandering around this cute little place and you will notice that it is the tourist go to place. There is plenty to do here and we were lucky enough to fit in a few activities. Sand-boarding in the Death Valley aka Valle de la Muerte, was the first activity we embarked on. We were surrounded by rugged rock formations and plenty of sand dunes. At the top of the sand dunes, we had spectacular views of the valley and of a number of volcanoes in distance.

 

Sand boarding like a pro, Valle de la Muerte, Chile.

 

The sand-boarding was hard work, but a lot of fun. This meant our next stop was to the Termas Puritama aka the Puritama Hot Springs. A fantastic way to ease those sore muscles in a nice hot spring. The hot springs are located at the bottom of a canyon and are all in there natural pool formations. A stream flows down in between the pools, making it a beautiful setting for a relaxing soak. After a lovely relaxing time at the hot springs, it was time for the next activity.

The Atacama Desert is high, dry, unpolluted and has the clearest night skies on Earth. We thought we would make the most of this and go on a Astronomic tour. Viewing the southern skies through the telescope we were able to see the milky way, Jupiter’s Moons, the sombrero galaxy and learn all about the southern skies. It’s amazing how bright the stars are away from all the city lights. The tour was finished off with hot chocolates all round and then it was off to enjoy the night with the usual late night dinner and a few drinks.

After all that fun in the Atacama Desert it was time to move onto our next destination….

BOLIVA!!!

But that’s for another day, I’ll love and leave with a few of my holiday snaps.

 

Lennae xxx

 

Cerro San Bernardo, Salta, Argentina.

 

My lovely tour guide.

 

Horse trek, Salta.

 

Walking down Cerro San Bernardo, Salta.

 

Driving through the Andes up to the Argentina/ Chile border crossing.

 

Paso de Jama, Argentina/ Chile Boarder crossing. Altitude – 4200m.

 

On route to San Pedro de Atacama Desert.

 

Termas Puritama Hot Springs.

13 thoughts on “Salta to Atacama Desert – South America Part 2

  1. Familyearthtrek

    Ohh my husband backpacked in south anerica for a year and he said it was wonderful! I would love to explore this part of the world especially Bolivia! We are leaving next spring for a long term travel so we are going there for sure!

    Like

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