Valley of the Moon in Chile or the Martian Chronicles

Gastronomic tourism in Chile

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Chile is a boiling lava of passions, a raging ocean of natural resources and unsolved mysteries of mankind and one of the centers of world tourism.

Travelers have always liked the aromatic Chilean wines and lured tall volcanoes, which have been and remain the favorite places of climbers. The greatness and diversity of this country will never cease to amaze.

      • EXCURSIONS -
      • HOTELS CHILE - Santiago, Valle Nevado, Valparaiso, Calama, San Pedro.

Chile on the world map

Chile is an elongated strip of diverse territories that manages to cover three continents.

Most of the country is located in the southwestern part of South America, and the remaining territories slightly touch Antarctica and Oceania, which is represented by Easter Island.

This country covers more than 4,000 kilometers of the Pacific coast, and Chile is rarely more than 350 kilometers wide. The total area of ​​Chilean territories is about 750 square kilometers, which gives it an honorable eighth place among other Latin American powers in size.

The country's wide north-south length explains its neighbors: Peru to the north and Argentina and Bolivia to the east. As for the southern and western borders of Chile, it shares them with the Pacific Ocean, numbering about 6430 kilometers of coastline. The entire territory of the country is subdivided into three separate zones, each of which has a completely different relief and, accordingly, climatic conditions:

  • Northern Desert Territories - Also called the Atacama Desert Region. This part of the country is home to the highest mountain peaks of the Andes with heights of over 6,000 meters.
  • Middle Chile is the territory of the Andean highlands. There is a transition from the northern plateau to the area of ​​the valley, which occupies about 1000 kilometers. It is here that most of the country's population is located.
  • Southern Chile is an area of ​​intertwining forests, foothills and straits, as well as hilly southern islands. The maximum number of mountains is concentrated in this area. The islands themselves are also ancient submerged mountain systems, but the maximum heights of the territory reach only 1800 meters.

The mountainousness of this country is due to the passage along its territories of two massive mountain systems: the Eastern Andes and the Western Cordillera. They occupy over 80 percent of the entire country. In addition, the state of Chile has become home to six hundred volcanoes, about 50 of which have not lost their former heat and power to this day, which leads to frequent earthquakes. Ojos del Salado is the highest point in the country, a volcano with a height of about 6890 meters.

Trekking in Santiago: my top routes of varying difficulty

Living in the Chilean capital has a huge advantage - you can go trekking in the mountains at any time. Santiago is surrounded by a whole system of mountains and hills, so the choice for practicing trekking and hiking is impressive. In half an hour it is quite possible to travel from home to the beginning of the route and forget about the hustle and bustle of city life. And what a great physical activity! We are pleased to share with you my favorite routes.

Trekking in Santiago

Alto de Naranjo

Alto de Naranjo Hill is located in Ñilhue Park, Lo Barnechea commune, Farallones. There is also a trail in the San Carlos de Apoquindo park leading to it, but the trail in показilhue seemed to me more picturesque and definitely more interesting. Both parks are connected with each other, being essentially different sides of the same mountain range. Technically, the park is located outside of Santiago, but personally I am separated from this park by three streets in a straight line. After the summit of Alto de Naranjo, the trail continues and leads even higher, to the top of the Provincia hill (high difficulty, ideally this trek is designed for two days). They often stay overnight in sleeping bags. Entrance: 2.00 CLP.

Route: 7. km, 4. h (round trip), climb: 844 m, difficulty level: medium.

Salto de Apoquindo

An impressive 40-meter cascade is located in the Aguas de Ramon Park (not to be confused with the San Carlos de Apoquindo Park due to its similarity in name). The trail is quite difficult, but it motivates the collective pressure - on the day off, whole crowds of trekkers embark on a brisk assault. Most of the path runs under the open sun, which further complicates the ascent.

Route: 17. km, 7 hours (round trip), difficulty level: high.

Cerro Pochoco

This hill in Lo Barnechea is not part of any park, so as a bonus there are no admission fees or direction signs. Pochoko is located at the very end of the camino Alto road, next to the Observatorio Achaya.

Route: 4 km, 2 hours (round trip), climb: 800 m, difficulty level: high.

Cerro La Cruz

Valley of the Moon in Chile or the Martian Chronicles

The Valley of the Moon in Chile is a landscape mixed with sand dunes, salt erosion and unusual mountain canyons that give the Atacama its famous resemblance to Mars and the Moon. A detailed story about a trip to the driest desert in the world.

Valley of the Moon in the Atacama Desert

Towards the Martian landscape of two Valleys at once: the Moon and Death.

The first point in the sightseeing of the Chilean muddle of Atacama was the Valley of the Moon (Valle de la Luna) and the Valley of Death (Valle de la Muerte). I choose this place from experience (and I advise you) to give the body the opportunity to adapt to subsequent ascents - the Valley of the Moon is located almost at the same height as the village of San Pedro de Atacama.

The next moment, the car rushes us over the bumps, raising columns of sand dust, towards the Martian landscape of two Valleys at once: the Moon and Death. Our guide demonstrates true communication skills, and at the same time extreme driving skills. Bouncing methodically on a road that looks more like a washboard, he does not interrupt a lively story about the area. He holds the steering wheel with one hand, and with the other actively gestures, listing the neighboring volcanoes, the main of which is the famous volcano Licankabur.

Atacama similarities with Mars and Moon

The rover for real Mars was first tested in the Chilean Atacama, due to the most similar conditions and terrain.

The Valley of the Moon in Chile got its poetic name not only thanks to the rich imagination of the Chileans - it becomes clear from the first second. But it would be much better to christen this place the Valley of Mars: the broken mountain slopes of fiery color resemble satellite photographs of the surface of Mars. The effect is complemented by a white salt crust that has settled on rocky ledges deformed by erosion. Feeling as if you were among the backdrop for a space saga. Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles flickers through memory with inexorable evidence, and the Martian with Matt Damon is also in the heap of associations. By the way, a real rover for real Mars was first tested in Atacama, due to the most similar conditions and terrain.

Rock formations and sand dunes cut through the salt lace create a crazy contrast of color. The Martian shafts are being replaced by new species - fewer rugged canyons, more sand dunes. Someone jokes that the American cosmonauts landed in 1961 not on the Moon at all, but somewhat closer. We go further, without delving into the details of the Lunar Conspiracy.

Hiking on the Perito Moreno Glacier

Hiking on the Perito Moreno Glacier is one of the brightest impressions of a trip to Patagonia. He justifies his glory in full. There are two types of hikes along Perito Moreno.

❄️Mini trekking (1. km, 1h/1h20 on the glacier). Difficulty level: low.

❄️Big Ice (14 km, limited to 55 years, 3 hours on the glacier). Difficulty level: high.

In the nearby town of El Calafate, you can buy a ticket with a mandate from the city on the company's bus transfer or directly from the pier in the park - this is a convenient option for those traveling by car. After navigating the lake to the glacier, passengers are divided into small groups, instructed, you are put on "cats" and you set off on the ice with an instructor. The group makes short photo stops at the most spectacular points of the route. At the end of the journey, you will be poured a well-deserved glass of whiskey with ice cubes from Perito Moreno. The water in the lagoons is also potable. And delicious!

Perito Moreno is far from Antarctic latitudes, although the gigantic mass of snow gives the opposite impression. On Instagram, many asked - Nastya, is it really not so cold? And I was even hot! There is no minus on the glacier, during the hike you actively move and quickly warm up. You need to dress according to the principle of standard outdoor layering: thermal underwear with long sleeves, fleece sweatshirt, waterproof windbreaker, raincoat pants. Be sure to bring gloves. Why am I wearing jeans? I wanted to be in tune with the snow, it's simple. Blogging whim.

Zero, especially on mini trekking and if you obey the instructor. This is a well-established type of tourism, not extreme entertainment. It is impossible to get to the glacier on your own, without a group and an instructor! Which hike to choose? If you are confident in your abilities, feel free to choose Big Ice, if in doubt - Mini trekking will be a win-win.

The weather is unpredictable, but the wind is always there. The only question is its strength. Our group was lucky with the weather, and the day before there was a strong wind.

In Patagonia, people think about the weather like this: “lucky/unlucky”.

On the way to the glacier, huge blocks of ice are everywhere in the water.

Main impressions

Friends, this route was not easy to organize! This is my dream dream - ULTIMATE ALTIPLANO. My pride and my favorite route.

So, in front of you are the most different regions of the high plateau in the Andes - altiplano. This is the land of colorful mineral lakes, strewn with volcanoes around which you will find lava fields and, of course, the legendary Uyuni salt marsh.

This is the same "Indian trip" in the world! You will be able to plunge into the world of the indigenous population of South America, drive the most beautiful roads in national parks and see the nature of the Andes in three countries at once!

Few offer routes that include Puna - northern Argentina. And there you will find very amazing landscapes of salt, clay, sand and salt marshes.

What will we do on the tour



Arrival in Sucre, known as the "white colonial city".

Our acclimatization to the highlands begins and for this expedition we have chosen the softest climb option.

The city is pedestrian, all the most interesting is no more than 15 minutes on foot.

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