Come and be inspired

An adventure to Mars on Earth.

Mondo Verde

Exploring the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile

“Atacama is an ecosystem of extremes but also a place for contemplation and renewal.”

We did our research as we prepared to travel to Chile and explore the Atacama Desert. We learned that nothing could have prepared us to spend 5 days hiking in a region that is used by NASA to test instruments for future mission to Mars. The charming and bustling desert town San Pedro de Atacama was our home base. Our daily hikes took us through the Cordillera de la Sal with its impressive sand dunes. We ventured into Guatin Canyon where we did a 4-hour canyoning hike surrounded by majestic red rock formations, waterfalls, and giant cacti. Everything about the Atacama Desert is extreme and stunning at the same time. You find yourself at high altitude in what is considered the driest place on Earth and surrounded by the most dramatic scenery as you walk in national parks and reserves featuring salt flats, high altitude geysers, volcanoes, multi color Andean lakes featuring flamingos and numerous other waterfowl, wild guanacos, vicuñas and rheas (South American ostrich) rooming lunar like formations.

We spent our nights stargazing. Atacama is home to half of the world’s ground-based astronomy projects. Our friend Jose brought out his telescope to show us the stars, galaxies, and planets. We learned about Andean Cosmology and Jose played for us traditional music with his wind instrument by a warm fire.

Atacama is an ecosystem of extremes but also a place for contemplation and renewal.