Visit to Atacama Desert in 2000
About this blog
Honestly, I had avoided Chile as a travel destination in South America as I'm always drawn to places with an ancient culture in practice and colorful indigenous people. And Chile did not seem very strong in that regard, especially when compared to Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia on the same continent.
But I had been knocking off the front-runners on my list of places to go and thought it was time to sample some Chile in 2000. To be practical, the trip could be bundled with a repeat visit to Peru and the ever-pleasing ruins of Macchu Picchu (certainly worth a second visit!).
The timing was summer in New York and winter for South America, so my wife Jo and I limited our itinerary to Santiago, as the gateway city, and a week in the Atacama Desert closer to the northern border with Peru. Our base in the desert was the small town of San Pedro de Atacama, in the middle of one of the world's highest and driest places. The town was then a very modest tourist enclave and a comfortable spot to organize day trips.
FInally, I edited 11 short videos from three hours of raw footage of a place with fantastic geology and scenery, both wondrous and eerie; with fascinating remnants of prehistorical humanity, and enough handsome animals (llamas) and local color to entice me. It wound up being a really great trip.