The Atacama Desert Chile Night Sky

While strolling through the dusty streets between low-slung colorful buildings with cactus wood doors, one can find everything one needs to buy, drink, and eat, including the perennially popular La Frenchuteria bakery, whose authentic French bread is widely regarded as some of the best in Chile, despite the bakery's extreme isolation from, well, everywhere. The fringes of alien life

Even if the guanacos do not appear, the sweeping vistas of the Arcoiris Valley's colorful, earthen walls make the trip – and a pit break or two to empty your shoes of sand – worthwhile.

The Tatio geysers, a geothermal landscape with more than 80 of the hot, gushing springs, are perhaps one of the most magnificent views. The walk brings travelers to elevations of around 14,000 feet, where vicua, foxes, and flamingos live.

Professional astronomers have taken advantage of this exceptional climate by erecting massive telescopes and massive arrays on desolate mountain peaks. Chile is one of the most prolific nations in terms of astronomy, from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array to the ESO's Paranal Observatory, allowing us to see into the center of galaxies and beyond the wide expanses of the cosmos itself. However, the splendor of Chile's desert sky is not limited to professional usage. Over the last several decades, specialist resorts have sprung up across the Elqui and Atacama areas, enabling skywatchers, enthusiasts, and dreamers to gaze in wonder under the bowl of the cosmos.

At full moon, the brightness of a full moon casts a hauntingly stunning picture over a desert terrain, but washes out the night sky. Consider purchasing a star chart or using stargazing apps to locate constellations and planets. If you're on a tour, the guide may point things out for you, but it's also enjoyable to attempt to decipher the night sky on your own! Would you want to spend a night beneath the starry skies of Atacama and learn about the beauties of the night sky? To discover more about our Atacama excursions, click here.

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