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The Atacama Desert: Mesmerised at Moon Valley

The Atacama Desert is one of the most ethereal, beautiful, raw places in the world. Valle de la Luna – or Moon Valley – is found in the north of this ancient desert and is one of the driest places on Earth. It’s a bit very touristy, and yes, you kind of have to join in on the lame bus or group cycle tours if you want to explore these isolated lands, but it’s got to be done. By day you tramp around mars-like landscapes, but the cherry on the top of a ‘WOWISN’TNATUREAWESOME’ day is a – truly – spectacular sunset display, just before darkness blankets the endless, endless desolate planes. While touring South America a couple of years ago, I escaped the catastrophe of an on-the-road break-up and ran away to the Atacama for a couple of weeks. It was my favourite experience in the whole of my Latin America journey. The sky is c-r-y-s-t-a-l clear at nighttime, and if you’re lucky, you might be able to befriend the crazy but brilliant Belgian astrologist who lives in his hand-built home on the outskirts of the town of San Pedro. (He organises incredible, non-lame star-gazing evenings that are definitely, definitely worth it!)Β 

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