"The coastal Atacama desert is the driest in the world and almost totally barren.
The landscape of the moon offers an obvious comparison, except that the
Atacama has as its backdrop the towering Andes, which block tropical storms
from the Amazon Basin to the east. During the time of El Nino (changes in
circulation of the sea surface occurring an average every seven years) there can
be torrential rains in some areas of the desert, causing flash floods and sudden,
ephemeral bursts of vegetation."
from www. interknowledge.com
Northern Chile occupies an area equivalent in size to two thirds of Italy. It appears barren and lifeless but has supported life for over 10,000 years. Evidence of man's presence here is found in the mummies dating from 18000 BC, the oldest in the world yet to be discovered. You can see them in the the museum of San Miguel de Azapa, near Arica, where this diorama shows the daily activities of fishermen at the end of the Chinchorro period some 2,000 years ago.
Back to Virtual Tour of South America or choose your next stop:
- Angel Falls
- Rio de Janeiro
- Southern Chile
- Sacred Valley of the Incas
- Galapagos Islands
Photos from gochile.com, chile-travel.com and chile-the-great-land.com
You are listening to Gracias a la Vida by Violetta Parra, Chilean musician, artist and composer.