Atacama Desert (Altiplano) and the Andean Volcanic Belt
28 November – 1 December
In northern Chile, one finds a stunning landscape of desert and volcanos. The volcanos are part of the Andean Volcanic Belt, formed as a result of the subduction of the Nazca Plate under the South American Plate.
The volcanos are formed along a volcanic belt, which rises up suddenly from the flat desert and salt plains below.
The volcanic belt extends into Bolivia. Here looking from Chile into Bolivia.
Road through the Atacama Desert, from San Pedro de Atacama to the international border between Chile and Argentina at Paso de Jama.
Salty lake high in the Atacama Desert. Here one finds flamingos!
Flamingos in the Atacama Desert altiplano, at approximately 4200 m altitude.
Volcan Pili to the right in the picture, 6046 m high. We were thinking to climb it but we changed our minds when we found out that just about here, we would have to leave the road and drive 20 km across the desert, off road, to reach the base of the volcano. A bit too much when we had nobody to advice about our plans…
Large salt lake with hundreds of flamingos (too far away to spot in the photo).
Vicunas on the Altiplano of the Atacama Desert.
We slept at 4300 m altitude. The sun set while we were cooking dinner (omelette).
The next morning we climbed this “small” volcano. It was not on the map but it turned out to be almost 5400 m high!
View from the top to the Andean Volcanic Belt in Chile.
View to Argentina and the international border between Chile and Argentina at Paso de Jama (to the left of the salt plain). This is where we are heading next!