San Pedro’s dusty streets and adobe buildings didn’t look the best when we arrived in town. Huge amounts of rain had flooded the town four weeks before and the clean-up will continue for some time yet. A 400 year old adobe church with cactus wood ceiling beams seems to enjoy its place amongst the streets full of tour operators offering deals to the hoardes of tourists to the many attractions surrounding the town and further into Bolivia and Argentina.
The snow-capped volcanoes that surround the town make this a speccy place none the less. We spent a couple of days here and one of the highlights of the town is undoubtedly the French restaurant that served great coffee and food. Seriously though, we visited the huge salt lake Salar de Atacama to the south and enjoyed the views from the centre of the lake and the flamingos feeding. Valle de la luna makes an interesting entry or exit from the town and puts on a show every night as the sun goes down.
We exited town to the North, getting up at 4.30am to drive the 100km’s to see the El Tatio geysers at sunrise. At 6.00 in the morning at over 4,300 metres it was pitch black and freezing, but certainly worth the trip as the mist and cloud cleared about 9.30 to reveal bright blue sky and snow capped volcanoes – again!
Leaving the geysers, we travelled north and west through some beautiful country to the mining town of Calama.