Chile: Deserts and Icefields
From multicultural capitals to the unusual Martian vistas of the Atacama desert; skiing down the snowy slopes of the Chilean Andes and enjoying a selection of the world’s finest wine. Chile certainly isn’t a country that you’d be lost for excuses to visit with.
For those in search of a truly unique experience, Jumping over the ocean to this South American paradise between September and November could allow you to see one of the rarest phenomenon on earth – the legendary ‘flowering of the desert’ in the (official) driest place on earth – the Atacama desert.
Taking place every five years (if you’re lucky) this stunning natural phenomenon turns thousands of acres of arid desert land into a symphony of lush, colourful flora. The desert is host to over 200 different species of flower that sit in wait under the rocky desert floor for the rainy season. Definitely a pretty special occasion for the Atacama desert, be sure to check your visits coincide with the likely dates though – be sure to check long term forecasts as it’s unlikely the phenomenon will occur every year.
At the polar opposite end of Chiles spectrum is Chilean/Patagonian Icefields and the Exploradores Glacier. Trekking this glacier is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Chile. (alongside seeing the desert in flower ofcourse!) Perhaps suited to the more adventurous traveller, trekking the glacier offers a prehistoric sense of enlightment when experiencing the vast solutide of the glacier and its surrounding area. The truly adventurous may opt to spend a night atop the glacier camping, and for those not so adventurous there’s the luxury Torres del Paine tented camp.
The Torres del Paine is a luxury tented camp on the shores of lake Toro Patagonia consisting of 18 luxury, traditional yurts equipped with all mod cons including such unexpected luxuries as heating, electric lighting, hot water and huge panoramic windows so that guests can enjoy the stunning countryside views. Connected to the yurts via elevated walkway is a communal central restaurant, bar and lounge which offers up locally inspired delights such as hake fish, crab and lamb (and of course the finest Chilean wine!)
This incredible country is by all means one of the most ecologically and culturally diverse on the planet and should be a part of any serious travellers bucket list!
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