Magic and steam at high altitude!
If there is something worthy of knowing about our country is the impressive variety of landscapes that we have thanks to our geography. From native forests in the south to the flowery desert of Atacama. Among the must see places that exist in Chile, this is a classic destination for foreigners and compatriots.
There is a magical place that we would like you to know: Los Geyser del Tatio, a little seen scenery in the world with great geological importance. This incredible natural destination amazes by its curious way of manifesting, filling all who visits it with energy. The beauty of its landscape is indescribable, in addition of flora and fauna typical of the area, becoming a true spectacle of nature.
Only 79 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama you can venture to know the largest geyser field in the entire southern hemisphere and the third one worldwide; after Yellowstone in the United States and the Kronotsky Nature Reserve in Russia.
The Geysers del Tatio are located at 4,200 meters high, this is one of the highest places in the area, where many tourists fear suffering the “puna” sickness. You will pass the 2,500 meters high of San Pedro, so it is advisable to bring a bottle of coca water. If you don’t like the taste, you can chew leaves, candy or even coca calugas. Don’t panic, there are many options. Also, don’t forget to breathe slowly and in a controlled manner, avoid sudden movements and running when you are in the place, you should know that there is less oxygen and your lungs have to acclimatize to the change.
Other recommendations is to avoid alcohol intake the night before; you can’t smoke in the place, not even a half cigar. Do not expose yourself to situations that may affect your health, you must be aware of where you are going.
Take the route that suits you best, if you choose to make the trip with an agency, consider sleeping early the night before, as they will pick you up before dawn. This tour has an estimated time of 1 hour and a half on a paved road, and then becomes stony. If you take a Masai Camper, you will love this route.
You should know that El Tatio means: the grandfather who cries in the Atacameña Kunza language, this name comes from the fact that when the river falls, he does it right in the “eyes” of the grandfather.
You will arrive at dawn, one of the most beautiful moments of nature. When the sun rises from the mountain range towards a new day. It is precisely at that time when the steam columns shows all their splendor, creating a beautiful contrast of light between the mountains that surround it. Being at high altitude, the thermal sensation is degrees below. It is very important that you dress according to this information, some tourists have suffered principles of hypothermia because they are not completely covered.
Under the first rays of the sun, the Tatio Geysers are lovely. This spectacular phenomenon is mainly caused by the magma that heats the earth and heats the subterranean water, which causes the steam that haves the need to leave somewhere. Regarding thermal activity, the Tatio covers an area of approximately 10 km2 and includes more than 80 types of geysers; among fumaroles, water, boiling mud ponds, bubbling ponds and springs equivalent to 8% of those that exist worldwide.
Travel only between the yellow stones, follow the circuit established by the guides, follow the instructions, you can get burn if you get too close to a geyser, take care of the place so that everyone can continue visiting it.
The second part has a time to bathe in hot springs. These are groundwater that have approximately 30 degrees of temperature and that contain a high concentration of sulfur and minerals. It is certainly an unforgettable experience, you have between 30 and 40 minutes for this activity within a tour; remember that you can choose to visit Los Geyser del Tatio on your own, you only have to pay a general admission of $ 7,000 pesos. If you take this alternative, prepare the vehicle beforehand. Check that you are in conditions, go to load fuel in the only gas station located in Toconao street and take the B-245 route, one of the fastest and most direct.
Take photos, save memories of your trip. Enjoy a unique panorama in the world accompanied by friendly wildlife that dares to greet you, such as the Andean seagulls, the beautiful vicuñas and culpeo foxes. A walk that will take you in the morning to travel, you can also follow the path to know nearby towns like Machuca, where more Llamas than people live. Visit its church built 300 years ago and the amazing and colorful wetland with more animals from the area that run in total freedom.
You already have the route! Check out the alternatives and do not miss the opportunity to see a show other than nature, full of magic and incomparable beauty.
|Name of destination: Geyser del Tatio|
|Distance from town: 79 kilómetros from San Pedro de Atacama.|
|Type of road: Pavement and rocks|
|Type of vehicle: 4WD|
|Fueling: Copec/ Pueblo de San Pedro|
|Entrance price: $7.000 pesos|