Laguna Miscanti

Laguna Miscanti

Valle de la Muerte

Valle de la Muerte

El Tatio Geysers

El Tatio Geysers

Machuca

Machuca

Cerro Miñiques

Cerro Miñiques

Valle de la Luna

Valle de la Luna

Cerro Medano

Cerro Medano

Georgia and Dirk

Georgia and Dirk

Chile

Atacama Desert

May 2019 • Atacama is one of the highest and driest landscapes on the planet, and exploring its myriad wonders usually means signing up for a group tour with one of the dozens of agencies that glut the tiresome tourist ghetto of San Pedro de Atacama. So maybe the smartest thing I did this entire trip was rent a 2WD car and drive south for a photo safari along the impressively maintained and blissfully empty Route 23. The subtle desert contours and colors were a constant distraction—a single volcano seemed to have multiple personalities, as the shifting roadway and sunlight played tricks with its appearance. Georgia and Dirk came along the next day for a meandering drive on a rougher road heading north, and though we didn't make it as far as intended, we found ample amusement stalking vicunas and flamingoes and driving backward on what seemed like our own private moonscape.

Laguna Miscanti

Laguna Miscanti

Valle de la Muerte

Valle de la Muerte

El Tatio Geysers

El Tatio Geysers

Machuca

Machuca

Cerro Miñiques

Cerro Miñiques

Valle de la Luna

Valle de la Luna

Cerro Medano

Cerro Medano

Georgia and Dirk

Georgia and Dirk

Georgia and Dirk