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.IMG_5984_small






The volcanic belt extends into Bolivia. Here looking from Chile into Bolivia.IMG_5993_small

Road through the Atacama Desert, from San Pedro de Atacama to the international border between Chile and Argentina at Paso de Jama.IMG_6032_small

Salty lake high in the Atacama Desert. Here one finds flamingos!IMG_6029_small

Flamingos in the Atacama Desert altiplano, at approximately 4200 m altitude. IMG_6027_small


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…IMG_6040_small

Large salt lake with hundreds of flamingos (too far away to spot in the photo).IMG_6058_small



Vicunas on the Altiplano of the Atacama Desert.IMG_6068_small



We slept at 4300 m altitude. The sun set while we were cooking dinner (omelette).IMG_6094_small

The next morning we climbed this “small” volcano. It was not on the map but it turned out to be almost 5400 m high! IMG_6090_small

View from the top to the Andean Volcanic Belt in Chile.IMG_6095_small


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!IMG_6108_small

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