Embarking on a six-day adventure through Chile and Bolivia’s breathtaking landscapes was a decision I’ll forever cherish.
From the moment I touched down in Calama to the final farewell at Hito Cajon, every step of the journey was an awe-inspiring experience. The positive reviews I had read didn’t do justice to the surreal beauty that unfolded before my eyes. It was more than a trip; it was a soul-stirring encounter with nature’s grandeur.
Day 1: Calama, Arrival - San Pedro de Atacama - Moon Valley
The adventure kicked off with a warm reception at Calama Airport and a swift transfer to San Pedro de Atacama. The afternoon held a date with the Moon Valley, a Nature Sanctuary that felt like an otherworldly journey. The Dinosaur Valley and Death Valley provided a spectacular panorama, but it was the Moon Valley itself that stole my heart.
Geological formations carved by the earth’s crust, salt sculptures known as Las Tres Marias, and the grand Big Dune all contributed to a surreal experience. Climbing the dune at sunset, witnessing a bold palette of golds and reds, was a spiritual encounter with nature’s artistry.
Day 2: Morning excursion to Rainbow Valley + Afternoon Atacama Salt Flat
The following day was a palette of colors. Morning took us to the Rainbow Valley, a testament to the region’s rich geological diversity. Petroglyphs in Yerbas Buenas showcased the historical and archaeological significance of the area.
The afternoon unfolded at the Atacama Salt Flat, a vast expanse framed by the Andes Mountain Range. Toconao, a town of pumice stone, and the Chaxa Lagoon with its flamingos provided cultural and natural delights. The deep blue sky, the Andean volcanoes, and the crimson sunset painted a masterpiece that lingered in my memory.
Day 3 to 4: San Pedro de Atacama - Hito Cajon - Laguna Colorada - Desert
Day 3 marked the transition to the Uyuni region, beginning at Hito Cajon. The Green Lagoon, Licancabur Volcano, Hot Springs of Polques, and the mesmerizing Red Lagoon were the jewels of the day. Nature’s wonders unfolded in the form of geysers, the Stone Tree, and the captivating landscapes of the desert.
Day 4 continued the journey to Uyuni, exploring Hedionda and Kañapa lagoons, the Ollague volcano viewpoint, and the Incahuasi Island. Spending the night in a salt hotel in Colchani was a unique experience, surrounded by the surreal beauty of the salt flats.
Day 5: Colchani - Desert
Colchani, a village where salt is processed, offered insights into the traditional methods of drying, grinding, and packaging salt. The San Cristobal Church, Rocks Valley, Mysterious Lagoon, the lost city of Italy, and Camel Stone were added gems in an already sparkling itinerary. Each stop unfolded a new chapter in the story of this mystical land.
Day 6: Desert – Hito Cajon – San Pedro de Atacama - Calama Airport
The final day was a bittersweet farewell. Exploring the Red Lagoon, geysers, Hot Springs of Polques, and the Green Lagoon one last time was a poignant reminder of the beauty I was leaving behind. The journey back to Hito Cajon and then Calama Airport was a reflective ride through the memories I had collected.
As I boarded my flight home, I couldn’t help but reflect on the extraordinary six days that had just unfolded. Chile’s Atacama Desert and the Uyuni region in Bolivia had left an indelible mark on my soul. The landscapes, the colors, the culture, and the sheer grandeur of nature’s creations were beyond words. The positive reviews were not exaggerations; they were understatements.
My heart yearns for the day I can return to these lands, to immerse myself once again in the magic that is Chile and Uyuni. Until then, I carry these memories, these snapshots of paradise, etched in my heart and mind, grateful for the privilege of experiencing such unparalleled beauty.