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The Atacama Desert of northern Chile is, at 2,500 metres above sea level, the highest and also the driest desert in the world, giving the Atacama some unique features.

A pleasant climate year-round and a wonderful transparency of light it attracts photographers to the dramatic lunar landscapes of volcanoes, craters, rocks, salt flats and wetlands. In fact the desert looks so like the surface of the moon that it has been used as a test sight for lunar vehicles.

During the last half-century, the Antarctic Peninsula has experienced dramatic warming at rates several times the global mean. This warming has been the focus of considerable recent research, and substantial progress is now being made in understanding the causes and profound impacts of this warming.

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Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: Andean flamingo, Chilean flamingo, guanaco, rhea, vicuna
  • Where: Atacama Region, Chile

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itinerary:

Land of Extremes

Explore the extremes of Chile – from the great lakes and snow-capped mountains of Torres del Paine to the lunar landscapes of the Atacama Desert. Discover overwhelming beauty at every turn, with erupting geysers, spectacular glaciers, as well as fascinating unique wildlife.

  • When to go: Oct-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 15 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £7,295 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Alto Atacama Hotel

A stay at the luxurious Alto Atacama Hotel allows you to get the most out of Atacama’s unique desert landscape, by staying right in the midst of it. Silence and rugged mountains surrounds the 32 spacious, comfortable rooms, each of which has a private terrace so you can enjoy the views.