40 imagesEl Tatio geyser field in the Andes Mountains of northern Chile at 4,200 m. Tourists often visit the geysers while touring the nearby Atacama Desert and the village San Pedro de Atacama. "With over 80 active geysers, El Tatio is the largest geyser field in the southern hemisphere and the third largest field in the world, after Yellowstone, USA, and Dolina Giezerov, Russia" (Glennon, J.A. and Pfaff, R.M., 2003).
96 imagesATACAMA'S FLOWERING DESERT 2010 THE FLOWERING DESERT Located in the Atacama Desert, this phenomenon extends greatly to the Atacama Region. Basically, it corresponds to an arid region with high pressures in changeable periods of winter rainfall (the Mean Annual Precipitation is less than 30 mm.), scant humidity and high temperatures of daily oscillation. Within the desert, it is possible to distinguish coastal desert areas characterized by an increased presence of clouds and camanchaca (mist) through valleys, mountainous areas and ecological zones, where the temperature decrease and types of winter precipitations like snow increase. After a long period of inactivity, it rains in Atacama. The Atacama Desert wakes up to life, getting covered with colourful and gracefully shaped blossoms, a marvel that occurs only every 3 to 10 years. When precipitations start in May, June, and July, the flowering period begins at the end of August. According to the geographic area, it may continue until October. It depends on the temperature and rainfall frequency. This phenomenon brings the "latent period" to an end. Not all flowers blossom at the same time. Firstly, bloom appears in bulb species like yellow and red Añañucas and Cebollines, which are found in the Desert near Copiapó and Vallenar. Endemic species of the Atacama Region like "Garra de León" amaze visitors of "Llanos de Challe" National Park at the Huasco valley and gullies near Totoral. A rich related fauna grows around it. It is usual to see insects such as the traditional "Vaquita del Desierto" (gyriosomus), wasps, and coleopterous like Meloids, also lizards and reptiles. The preservation of this fragile and ephemeral ecosystem is protected and can develop without human intervention. Source: www.sernatur.cl
271 imagesThe Northern part of Chile. The Atacama Desert, with its Moon Valley, Salar de Atacama, Geysers del Tatio to the blooming desert near Vallenar.