Pam & Louis' Empty Nest Chile Adventure travel blog

Tatio Geyser field. Over 500 of these smokers in the area, all...

Tatio Geyser field, Bubbling hot Geyser

Tatio Geyser field, Mud volcano in the geyser field

Tatio Geyser field. Hot steam gusher. The bird in the front is...

Tatio Geyser field. A recently dead geyser

Tatio Geyser field. A hot pool geyser

Tatio Geyser field. A continuous sputter type geyser

A strange looking Chilean rabbit that can climb steep rock faces.part of...

Green blobs? of fauna material

Saw a lot more Vicuna's today, probably saw a 100 of them

Chilean Duck

Mr and Mrs in Cactus Valley

Lizard in Cactus Valley

Tall grass in Cactus Valley

Our tour today started at 5:00AM. They said we had to start so early because the El Tatio geothermal field / geysers are much better to view in the early hours so that the hot water and cold air have a much better visual effect. Yeah right! It looked just as nice 3 hours later. Next thing don't believe everything they say. It may not be a lie but it is not what you expected. The geyser were advertised as the world's highest geysers. What that really meant was that the geysers were at the highest elevation above sea level, 4,320m above sea level to be exact. Because of the extreme elevation water here boils at 86 degrees celsius.

The geysers are located in the Andean mountain range close to the border with Bolivia. With such a large and variety of geysers we did get an excellent lesson in all the types of geysers. More to it than hot water pumped out in the air. They have hot springs, boiling springs, bubbling springs, warm spring, hot pool, boiling pool,Geyser, perpetual spouter, mud pool, mud volcano, evaporite soils and fumarole. And I think we took pictures of all of them. They tend to move around. Some become dormant while new ones develop. You could see by the trails that some that were marked off were now dead while others were popping up on the trails. I think I read that there were over 500 in this restricted area. Took lots of pictures but unfortunately we have to limit the number of photos on the travel blog or will exceed the limit before the holiday is over.

We then travelled down to a nice valley that still had some effect from the Geyser field and developed into a small oasis. Here we saw small herds of Vicunas, llamas, Chilean ducks and geese as well as a really strange looking rabbit that can scale steep rock faces. The flora was also very nice due to the local hot stream. There were big bright green blobs growing on the rock faces. The guide explained the locals collect this dense material and burn it for heating material. Sure, why not there are not trees.

We finished off with a trip to Cactus Canyon. Here there was a fairly thick concentration of cactus over 10 feet tall. They grow 1cm a year so they were here for a while. There were also some very pretty wheat looking grass that grey fairly tall in Cactus Valley.

That was our last organized tour in San Pedro de Atacama. Can't spend any more time in those little buses up and down the mountains. Going to spend the next day relaxing in the great restaurants. Most of our meals while in San Pedro have been in very nice red mud shack type restaurants with either open or thatched roofs made of straw. They also have wood stoves in the middle that would not pass a fire inspection in Canada. But good food and that is what counts.

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