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Best Natural Wonders Near Calama, Chile

by Benjamin Kerns

Jun 29, 2020

Laguna Colorada © Byelikova | Dreamstime.com

Tips / Destination

Calama rests just off Loa River in the northern region of Chile. It serves as the gateway to the Atacama Desert and is surrounded by some of the country’s most breathtaking landscape. It’s worth a visit just to see these natural wonders alone.

 

Valleys of the Moon and Death
The fabled Valley of the Moon and Valley of Death are just a short drive from each other, roughly an hour outside of Calama. Both are revered for moon-like craters, dunes and unique rock formations. The colorful landscapes make them both vibrant and foreboding, depending on the time of day. The Valley of the Moon is also a great spot for stargazing.

 

Laguna Colorada
This shallow lake is covered in a red-tinged water that lies in stark contrast to the white borax stands. Not only is the view strikingly beautiful, but it also stands as a refuge for local wildlife. Flamingoes by the hundreds flock here and call it home — it’s the best place to view them in South America.

 

Árbol de Piedra
This one-of-a-kind rock formation juts out of the surrounding landscape, forming a tree-like refuge in the middle of a flat, sandy region. Nicknamed the Stone Tree, it was formed through strong winds eroding the sandstone over time. Not only does it offer shade in a hot desert, but its formation is unlike anything else in the area.

 

San Pedro
San Pedro is a Holocene composite volcano and one of the tallest active volcanoes on Earth. Part of the Andean Volcanic Belt, it rests near a beautiful lake and can be seen from miles away. It’s also surrounded by sister volcanoes, providing a stunning but deadly view.

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