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Bolivia Chile Copacabana La Paz Tiahuanaco Salar de Uyuni
San Pedro de Atacama - Geysers Tatio - Machuca
BOLIVIA-ATACAMA’S CHILE DESERT In this number we have aproached Bolivia, getting in through Copacabana, the first city that adjoins Peru’s border, a city that shares lake Titicaca with Puno. At Copacabana we reached Sol & Luna Islands, two sacred islands for the Inca’s culture in the middle of Titicaca. Form Copacabana we reached Paz, the most important city in Bolivia which shares the capital with Sucre. From Paz we got Tiahianaco to discover the Temple of Kalasasaya, where is located in a place that is believed as the oldest village of Andino’s civilization. We continued to Salar of Uyuni, the best way to go through a unique place in the world. And from the salt flat to Chile thourgh the Atacama’s desert, at places like Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley), geisers of the Tatio, Atacama and Aguas Calientes salt flat. Amazing places to enjoy a trip in general to discover Aymará and Inca’s culture.
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Otros D estinos June 2016 Number 1
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ODTRAVELLERS Number 1
Digital Magazine online for travellers
Copacabana La Paz Tiahuanaco Salar de Uyuni
Bolivia Chile San Pedro de Atacama - Geysers Tatio - Machuca
Sumary 18 14
Copacabana Copacabana is one of the main location of the Titicaca’s lake and the capital of the Manco Kapac province, ofthe department of La Paz (Bolivia).
Is the biggest island of the Titicaca’s lake in Bolivia. Three communities are placed there, Yumani at the south. Challa at the middle, and Challapampa at the north.
At 3.650 m.a.s.l. is placed this city that shares capital with Sucre. The name came from Don Pedro de la Gasca, who ordered, to Alonso de Mendoza captain, the foundation of a city that commemorate the end of the conflicts.
Tiahuanaco At a distance of 70 km around (43.49 miles),is located Tiahuanaco that is believed as the oldest village of the world.
Salar de Uyuni Uyuni’s city is the closest entrance door to the amazing salt flats, and to the lagoons and volcanos of the high plateau. Uyuni is placed at he Potosí department, in the Bolivian high plateau at 3675 m.a.s.l.
68 Atacama’s Desert Placed beyond the borders of Chile, Bolivia & Perú, at 2.500 high meters, in Atacama converge antagonistic universes: desert vegetation, ice and fire. It’s an unique and wonderfull place due to the diversity of clima and the strange and singularity of the land. Meeting yourselg in the absolut silence of the high plateau, and sightseeing the snowy mountains and its salt flats, that envolves yourself with a magical beauty atmosphere, that you have the felling of be in front of a painting looking an ilusion and no reality fact, cause the beauty of the landscape exceed the expectation.
Overview of la Paz city (Bolivia)
Kalasasaya Tiahuanaco Temple
Salar de Uyuni (Salt flat)
Moon Valley (Atacama Chile)
¿Do you know Formentera? Natural beaches, turquoise waters. An island where you can enjoy a unique holiday. Nail wonderful beaches, excellent cuisine, the ideal place for outdoor sports place; Formentera has a network of 32 parkways, more than 100 kilometers of marked trails, which constitute a real alternative mobility front the asphalt with the added attraction of facilitating access to retreats of great natural value and assets, such as Faro Cap de Barbaria, a paradise where you can enjoy one unique sunset. All these routes
will be great allies for hikers due to their different degrees of difficulty.
You know Formentera has the seventh World's best beach called Illetes beach. It is a white fine sand beach and it owns calm turquoise waters; but has also another beach called Es Trucadors, it is a long tongue of sand which it stretches from south to north, in its East side you can
find Levante Beach, on the west, to the south, the beach Es Cavall d’en Borrás. They are unique beaches of fine sand that there is no need to go to Caribbean beaches to enjoy these amazing experience. Formentera, as its own, is beach and much more.
You can also go Nordic Walking, one original sport of Nordic Countries and allowing, by using canes, walk with a more ergonomic position and healthy. Walking sticks offered in offices Tourism no cost. And those who want expand knowledge, they can make use of a system audio guides with information on churches, watchtowers, lighthouses and windmills on the island, among other cultural goods.
If you visit Formentera throughout the year is ideal, the best months to enjoy a peaceful island without too many visitors are May and October. Beyond the beach and sports, minor Pitiusa has a wide range of activities celebrated during the whole year In this sense, May and October are the most interesting months to go, as there is an abundant and diverse program of cultural and sports activities organized with frontline professionals in each of the areas. On the web www.formentera.es you can see the detail of the calendar month by month.
Formentera is an ideal place for Astronomic photography due to the lack of pollution that reveals the starry skies to enjoy nighttime photography. May and October are the finest months for this. Another advantage to travel in these months is that there is no problem to find accommodation, in addition to have greater attention from the hospitality staff. The cuisine in Formentera is Mediterranean style. The island has a traditional cuisine because of its maritime nature and artisanal fisheries. The star ingredient is dried fish (Peix Sec), salted fish dried in the sun, then roasted and preserved in olive oil. It is especially suitable for tasting with Payesa salad and other garden products.
Copacabana On the shores of Lake Titicaca and original door to get to Isla del Sol & la Luna.
Copacabana is one of the main towns of Lake Titicaca and the capital of the province of Manco Kapac, department of La Paz (Bolivia). It is located on the border between Peru and Bolivia to 155 km from the city of La Paz and 151 of the city of Puno, Peruâ€™s closest city in the Lake Titicaca. Copacabana is the last resort of Bolivia if we came to Peru and the first if we arrive from Puno in Peru. The trip is approximately four hours drive by bus.
As it is placed right in the middle away from Puno and La Paz, Copacabana is the ideal place to rest. Moreover, the long trip by bus through roads not in very good condition, and adding the altitude sickness multiply the fatigue situation. But Copacabana is more than a city to rest, is the basis for reaching the sacred islands of the Incas and Aymaras; ISLAND OF THE SUN AND THE MOON.
Although the distance between Puno and Copacabana is only 151 km, and the roads are in a good situation, is 4 hours approximate journey where the most time is lost when reaching the border because you have to spend immigration, almost at the gates of the city. Right there we must try to change the Bolivian currency because to enter the city we have to pay one Bolivian; a pittance used to help build better infrastructure, this payment can annoys many visitors who go on buses mostly foreigners. It is a derisory amount that helps the population.
The city itself does not have much attraction for foreign visitors than the approach to the sacred islands. But it is, for Andean believers, the city where you can find the Virgin of Copacabana, PATRON OF BOLIVIA. Two hills embrace Copacabana: Calvary hill and NiĂąo Calvario Hill (or Kesanani), itâ€™s a town with barely 3,000 inhabitants, their main source of income is based on religious tourism, where believers arrive from the rest of Bolivia as from Peru and neighboring countries.
Foreign tourism aims to move to Isla del Sol & la Luna, three hours by boat. It is the most important Marian place of pilgrimage in Bolivia for his veneration of the Virgin of Copacabana, a fact that causes that during the festivities on August 5 and February 2 is multitudinous domestic tourism. Approaching the Virgin is constant throughout the year, not in such quantity and dates of the festival.
Summit of Calvary Seven crosses on top of the summit called Calvary, represent the seven sorrows of Christ's death
The mixture of two religious belief, Andean and Catholic, is carried proudly by the pilgrims in a place where the prehispanic culture was regarded as "mystical". From the lake you can see at the top of the summit the seven crosses representing the seven sorrows of death of the Messiah. Itâ€™s a place so much visited by domestic pilgrims. It has become famous in recent years among foreign tourists who usually visit at sunset to watch the spectacular sunsets on the lake.
Climb to the top has a distance of about five minutes from the Plaza Sucre, located at an altitude of 3966 m.s.n.m, a circumstance to consider for those who may affect them altitude sickness, the rise should be done slowly. It is very common especially by domestic pilgrims hire a Yatri (an Aymara priest), often hire them to make ritual blessings (Ch'alla).
A ceremony is based on the act of irrigate the land or other property with alcohol and symbolic elements. Because even if the place is now a place of pilgrimage of the Catholic religion, their culture for centuries was a place where rites of Andean religion were made. In the same place you can find positions where they sell various typical gifts and religious Andean and Catholics amulets.
Basilica of the Virgin of Copacabana One can say that the city spins around the Virgin of Copacabana; even the Lake Titicaca is closely linked to the figure of an Andean deity known as "Copacawanaâ€? who had some servers named "Umantuus" (beings half man half fish). A venerated goddess for granting favors to marriage and fertilization.
In Prehispanic era this was a "mystical" region. Andean deities were worshiped and even today prayers are offered to those deities in the Aymara language by Yatri; the priests of another civilization that occupied these lands. The Aymara. As it has happened in many places across America, the Catholic religion adapted a lot of of pre-Columbian deities and customs to convert its people to Christianity. Moreover, they built churches and cathedrals where the temples and places of worship were located.
Venerated by Incas & Catholics. An Inca deity known as Copacawana becomes the Virgin of Copacabana. A large shrine is built in her honor in the sixteenth century, and it is named patroness of Bolivia in 1925 being the most venerated virgin by Bolivians and Peruvians. The figure has indigenous features and carries a child in her arms that gives the feeling that the child will fall from her arms; and her clothing shows the colors of a typical vestment of an Inca princess.
Basilica of the Virgin of Copacabana It is a colonial church in Renaissance style with Moorish elements. It was completed in 1640 although the current temple dates from 1805. The entire building is covered up with cupolas using beautiful tiles.
It has been and it is a very miraculous virgin for the faithful, and these, in gratitude they made many donations in the form of jewelry and gold for graces received (a richness that dictators and presidents sacked). Nowadays it is still happening. A traditional way of worship is to visit the basilica and light a candle for each family member or beloved, for it to receive the blessings and protection of the Virgin.
The celebration party It is known as the Virgin of Candelaria of Copacabana, by the fact that she was enthroned on February 2 in 1583, feast of the Virgen de la Candelaria, and due to she is carrying a candle in his right hand. His feast is celebrated the 5th of August, with processions, popular dances and religious ceremonies.
Titicacaâ€™s lake Titicaca Lake is considered sacred by the Incas and Aymara cultures with and extensions of approximately 8,500 km2 divided between Peru and Bolivia. It is a lake like Machu Pichu that it has an air of mysticism because of the legends that have been written about it.
Puno is the city in Peru located on the banks of the lake and in Bolivia is Copacabana. From a small pier on the waterfront, you can embark for touring the Titicaca Lake to reach the Temple del Sol and la Luna. If something has the lake are legends, many and varied; one legend talks about the arrival of the Spanish in the sixteenth century made the
indigenous, in despair, hid their treasures at the bottom of the lake, and there are also rumors that there are some sunken cities in ruins. The truth is that around Koa Island, north of the Isla del Sol, it has been found some items that, according to some archaeologists, could show the probability of having a city under water. But the evidence is very scarce to assure it.Â
Titicacaâ€™s lake There are about eight thousand square kilometers shared by Bolivia and Peru; in the Bolivian sector there is the largest island on the shores of Copacabana: Sun`s Island (La Isla del Sol).
Lake Titicaca impacts with the vastness and beauty of its clear blue waters, surrounded by a landscape of snowy mountains that feed the lake.
These boats are the vehicle of the local people and they go and come bringing people every day. The agency and hotels often sell a tour for tourists but its price is higher.
Sun Island stands out in the middle of the lake from Bolivia. It is at a distance of about three hours from Copacabana in a journey by boat. The boats depart twice a day to the island and the ticket is bought at the dock of Copacabana.
Â During the trip there is little landscape to see until it is not reached the Moon Island (Isla de la Luna), a place only accessed with tours agencies and hotels.
Isla del Sol (Sunâ€™s Island) It is the largest island in the Lake Titicaca. Three communities are in it, Yumani in the south. Challa in the center, and Challapampa in the north. Yumani is the nearest and most visited community of Copacabana; Yumani has the archaeological ruins of Pilkokaina Temple and the stone steps at the pier leading to the Fountain of life. In Challa there is a beach of white sand and in the north there are the archaeological ruins of a labyrinth made of stone walls called Chincana, the Sun Temple, the sacred rock and ceremonies table. The largest island in the Lake Titicaca
A place considered sacred in many towns around the Lake as much in Bolivia as in Peru. In Sun Island the legends could not be less and they tell about God INTI (sun god) who saw that the humanity was in a very primitive and wild state. The violence was constant due to the lack of food and they did not know any other way to feed than killing animals. They had no knowledge of agriculture and the way of life was miserable and wild. Two children for human evolution Because of that situation and wanting to help the humanity evolve: INTI had two sons who were born in the S a c re d R o c k o r R o c k o f Origins, located at the end of the northern part of the island. MANCO KAPAC AND MAMA OCLLO were his sonsâ€™ name. They were born to teach the knowledge of agriculture, cultivate the land, make watering channels, build stone houses, make and use tools, how to make outerwear and handicrafts. They helped the humanity to live and behave in a more civilized manner.
Seeing that their work was very positive, he recommended to his children to seek a fertile place to found a city and continue with such an extraordinary task. They found the perfect place where it is currently the city of Cuzco that was and remains the political and cultural
center of the Inca civilization. Sun Island in the Inca period was a sanctuary. Nowadays the Sun Temple is in ruins, it is populated by Quechua and Aymara indigenous, its population is dedicated to agriculture, tourism, crafts and grazing.
Aymara make up the majority of inhabitants of the island, they still keep the way of life and their cultural values; women make crafts in the middle of the climb to the Sun temple and they sell to tourists, it is an income in addition to agriculture.
Travel around the island from south to north would take at least three days, two nights. The truth is that once we are in such a privileged place like this, it is unfortunate not get till the north and reach the Rock of Origins. Don’t forget to mention the downtown area to enjoy a few hours of its white sands in a unique peace.
On the way up you see people and animals loaded with supplies and products in the boats that arrive daily from Copacabana.
has accommodation for all budgets: from low budget to more expensive eco-lodges, and restaurants-cafes and pizzerias.
You go up about one km, and it is at 3,900 m.s.n.m. It is highly recommended to spend one night, at least, on the island.
The island has lodging.
In the South Island there are the ruins of the temple Pilkokaina that you see it on the summit from the pier.
In the north is the town of Challapampa which can be accessed from Yumani boat that made this route daily, or on a walk of about four hours.
They speak spain, Aymara and Quechua languages. The island
Reach the Sun Island to enjoy at least one night, although nights are cold, I advise wrap you up warm and stargazing. Do not forget that we are on an island and we are away from any light source. In a clear night, it can be distinguished by the eye some of the stars and constellations that are not visible from a city, giving the feeling that the sky meets the earth.
From this part of the island we can move to the Island of the Moon at a distance of about eight kilometers. From this part of the island excursions of about 15 minutes duration they are made. Koati, or Island of the Moon, was devoted to the cult of Mama Killa (Quechua name of
the Moon), wife of Inti (the sun). We can still see the Inakullu, or Temple of the Moon. A building, which is preserved in relatively good condition. Next to the faรงade a large open area where the ceremonies took place is located.
If we wish not to return on the same day to Yumani in Challapampa, there are several alternatives to stay; We can camp on the beach, and houses hosting community.
La Paz With a population of 790,000 inhabitants, it is the most important city in Bolivia From Copacabana you get to La Paz by bus after crossing the Strait of Tiquina by boat. It is an inexpensive way to reach the city after visiting Isla del Sol. Paz is located at 3.650 m.s.n.m and it shares capital with Sucre. Its name comes from Don Pedro de la Gasca, who ordered to the captain Alonso de Mendoza the creation of a City to commemorate the end of fightings. The mandate finished the 5th of October in 1548, when "Dissenters gather together in harmony, peace and love and they founded The Peace Town for perpetual memory" according to the shield sent seven years later by King Carlos V. The name of the city La Paz was born after the civil war between the Spaniards who conquered these lands. In their pursuit of wealth they killed their own brothers. The International Airport is located 14.5 kilometers to La Paz at a height of 4.008 m.s.n.m where we can reach from the main world capitals. By bus from Copacabana. Our arrival was from Copacabana where we got there previously from Puno in Peru. It is a good choice visit Peru and approach Bolivia. It takes 4 hours drive by bus that
Although the bowler hat is a fashionable in the early twentieth century, it is believed that it was an importer who mistakenly received a batch of brown hats instead of black, the ones his clientele used to order. To save his "bad deal" he tempted women, so he touched her coquetry and it was born a tradition that amazes visitors. departs once per day from Copacabana to La Paz Â To reach La Paz from Copacabana you must cross the Strait of Tiquina by boat. The transfer is very peculiar. The bus crosses in a ferry and the passengers cross in a separate boat. Crossing the Strait is already included in the bus ticket.
The Strait Crossing the Strait is one of the most extraordinary experiences I have had as a traveler; the boat reaches extreme limits in terms of capacity, so that the edge of the boat almost touches the water. The crossing is during the night so it seems like being touching the sky with the fingers; the number of stars you see is amazing. It is worth it. Next to me, an old women in a song on quechua speaking, talk something i donâ€™t understand, and when she finish it, performs a prayer in Spanish imploring Jesus: "Dear God please do not let me die in this place. The water scares me and I do not want to die like this" it is when you realize that before it was not a prayer song.
Bolivia is perhaps the nation where the conquistadors had higher resistance. It is a nation where the Inca Empire is the basis of their customs and a nation where their gods continue in full force.
A resistance that still lingers It is a very common fact because Bolivians have not lost their customs, their way of life and although they had to admit to other gods, they have never stopped worshiping their own. It is probably the most resistance conquered nation opposed to the conquerors. In Bolivia customs of the Western world with the
inherited ancestral values of the Aymara and Quechua cultures coexists. The life of the colonial institution, the practice of justice, the defense of the Indians for human reasons and privileges of Spaniards and Creoles on the mestizos were engines of the war of emancipation.
The Spaniards brought their own emancipatory war and the effectiveness of its institutions, for their own benefit, not for the Indians.Â The pride of being AymarĂĄ If there is a nation in the world who feel more proud of its past, this is Bolivia. They are proud of their tribes and ethnic groups. In
They worship two gods. The Catholic one imposed by the Spaniards and the Sun^God; the Inca god of their ancestors. They pray for both, their own god in Quetzal language and the Catholic one in Castilian, each one in the language they understand.
la Paz, most of them belong to the Aymara, a town dominated first by the Incas and later by the conquerors. Some people say that the Incas annexed peacefully and respectfully to Aymara, then they assimilated their culture, a similar analogy like the Greeks did to the Romans. However,
others argue that there were bloody wars for the conquest of the Aymara territory, and that during the Inca domain were enough rebellions. Whatever the truth is, the Incas were unable to impose their language, Quechua, to the Aymara culture, especially on the plateau of Titicaca.
The conquistadors and the Incas One of the keys of the conquerors to dominate the Aymara people was the territorial division in places where they had been dominated by the Incas and no longer had such a definite identity.
The conquerors had many problems in many of the conquered places but none like in this part of the continent. In Peru they managed to impose their conquest in Lima and its surroundings, but not in places like Cuzco where Inca civilization was more powerful.
Territories where Quechua was the language most spoken and their customs had changed. The Incas joined the conquerors to dominate the Aymara territories, a fact that later recognized as a big mistake seeing the consequences. Once conquerors took over all territories, they canceled all religious practice with reference to their own traditions; they killed them for speaking their own language: Aymara and quetzal. The problem was not that they took silver or gold; it was the destruction of their gods and temples, their beliefs of the soul which differentiates human beings, their dignity. In this way they canceled all their beliefs to subjugate them to a new evangelization and that is the consequence of the problems that still persist today. When your soul is taken there is no longer dignity and the wound is so big that that even after passing centuries it has not be able to cure. The Catholic religion adapted indigenous religious festivals with celebrations of Saints and Virgin of its religion. It was a way to become them into the catholic religion.
Sacred rituals A village that still cling to their customs, rooted in their religion. The big surprise for tourists is to see it the heart of La Paz, at the junction of Jimenez and Linares streets, shops filled with amulets, herbs, potions and especially fetus of stuffed animals. This neighborhood is known as the esoteric one or the witchesâ€™ neighborhood. The truth is that there are shops selling home remedies typical of Andean culture and everything needed for the ritual to the Pachamama.
The Andean traditions and the Catholic religion. It was not only in this nation, it was a rule that was made in all the conquered territories. This just makes them to attend the church, but they keep making their own rituals. Even though they use Virgin images in the churches, they consume coca, alcohol, liquor or they bury food around the image. This is not very Catholic, but it is a ritual that is performed for Andean gods.
Rituals and festivals celebrated in these villages are closely linked with the agricultural cycle, a calendar that sets the standard of life of indigenous peoples. In this context, every month has their festive stamp and August is the special date known as the month of Pachamama.
THE OFFERINGS TO PACHAMAMA
The land needs to rest after harvesting, and August is the month that the land awakens. Pachamama is the mother of the Earth, so the rites for the Pachamama are made to make crops grow, multiply cattle, and bless the artisans.
A culture linked to Tiahuanaco Temples like the Sun Temple in Tiahuanaco - basis of the Aymara culture - were attacked to destruct their culture. It is not only the destruction of a temple or an Empire; it is the annulment of a belief and identity, as well as a crime against the cultural heritage of humanity. Seeing the consequences of such horrific destruction makes the beholder feel
the most disgusting and Machiavellian form of annihilation by people who believe themselves superior beings. They annulled and killed everything that did not fit into their plans due to gold or in the name of God. A unique God who makes them annulling freedom and killing those who do not give in to his feet.
All this has led to the situation that can be seen today. They worship two gods: The Catholic god who has been imposed and their own god, the Sun Inca God of their ancestors. The prayers are make form both of them, their own God in quetzal and Aymara language; the Catholic God in Castilian, each one in the language they understand.
Twice a week the use of motor vehicles is suspended in the streets "Rodriguez" and "Avenida Buenos Aires". There are wooden, cardboard and plastics stands that sell vegetables and fruits along these sidewalks.
The same as it is happening in streets or squares of thousands of cities in the world, in La Paz there is a market twice a week. Two wide streets are stopped to traffic where goods are exposed on the floor. Vegetables, fruits and cereals are sold along the sidewalk next to buildings.
The dozens of stalls are regulated by women, a fact to highlight due to the importance given to women in the work of agriculture. Agriculture in Bolivia is like a family business and the woman is the one who owns and works the land, for subsequent sale. This job has avoided thousands of families being poor.
The importance of families and women in particular is strategic in the process of food production in Bolivia. The next step should be given by the government helping them with research and new technologies leading these families to a way of life that helps them keeping a business that it is their source of feed and a business to escape poverty.
Elsewhere we can see textiles and footwear etc. They only have a model of footwear and four sizes, so if it fits well you keep it and if not, then barefoot. The same is happening with the clothes, four models and few sizes. The seller does not have economic power to such diversity.
Hopefully the bet that has been made for agriculture will serve to remove a large majority of people out of misery. In the city center called "old town" you can pass through narrow streets in the middle of old buildings, poverty appears in every corner. The situation of the inhabitants is such misery that they even eat the rinds of oranges from the ground; it seems incredible that in the XXI century, these images are seeing yet. Bolivia is a country where coca leaf was the basis of its agriculture, a product that has been changed for vegetable and fruits etc. Even though coca is synonymous of drug around the world, it is substance that causes the death of millions of people and misfortune of families, in Bolivia the coca leaf has never had this property of being a drug. The drug is cocaine, a chemical transformation of the coca leaf. In this country it has being used as food either chewing or infusion because it has the property to annul appetite. And making coca infusion is also a great helper to combat altitude sickness. The country decided to change the planting of coca for vegetables, fruits, coffee, corn etc. All thanks to the initiative of women, she is the one who has taken the control to make agriculture a family business, contributing to raising the country's economy and also to end the misery of many families.
The plateau area produces potatoes, quinoa, goose, b e a n s , Ca n a h u Ă , p e a s , barley and oats as main products. In the valleys is produced a variety of fruits such as grapes, peaches, plums, etc., as well as all kinds of vegetables and legums. The area of the Yungas provides: citrus, coffee, peanuts, cassava, corn, coca and other fruits typical of the region. In the region of tropical plains of northern department grows high quality pastures and tree species of fine hardwoods such as mahogany, blood bull, moradillo, laurel, etc. In Sucre, women farmers have managed to incorporate more than 17 varieties of vegetables, ensuring a diverse, healthy and nutritious diet for their families every day of the year; and they have also increased the incomes by the marketing of surpluses in the local market.
Plaza Murillo - Murillo Square
Surrounded by the most important buildings of the city, in the historical center, this square is the busiest in the city. Its name is in honor of Murillo General, one of the heroes of the independence movement in Bolivia.
This plaza was surrounded by eucalyptus trees and a statue of Neptune during colonial times, and it used to be the main source of water for the city.
There is also the Palace of the Counts of Arana an eighteenth century building that is now the National Art Museum of La Paz.
Nowadays it is the most centric place where we can find the neoclassical Cathedral, the Government Palace, which is known as the palace burned, because it has been burned eight times. Previously it was the city council. The Congress Palace used to be a convent, then became into a prison and later was converted into a university.
As it has happened in many of the most emblematic squares of the capitals of the world, it has also been the scene of dramatic political battles, one of the most recent was in 1946 when President Gualberto Villarroel was attacked by a group of angry rebels who stabbed him and hung him on a lamp post in the square.
Paseo del Prado - Prado Promenade Prado Promenade, known the Prado as well, is located in the 16 July Avenue. It connects Mariscal Santa Cruz and Villazรณn avenues in the city center of La Paz. At the beginning it was called Alameda, a promenade created in the last years of the colonial era over a field of crops, to use it as a place of recreation function, which lasted until the early twentieth century, when the walk was named 16 July Avenue
The center of La Paz has several places to enjoy the essence of the city, if previously we have highlighted the Murillo Square; this walk is one of the places that stand out. We can say that in this walk there is a true public sculptural heritage of the city. From the monument to Christopher Columbus, Simon Bolivar, Antonio Jose Sucre, the source of the Motherland and the Fountain of Youth as most outstanding sculptures to the Museum of Contemporary Art.
It is the area there are the modernist buildings of the city. Modern buildings, where you will find the business center, banks and shopping centers placed in both sides of the walk. It is also the place where the protest demonstrations are held, due to the spaciousness of it. It is also celebrated Dominical Fair of Cultures since 2000 with the aim to promote artistic and cultural events in the country. Music, theater, dance, visual arts and crafts, are set for free during four hours every Sunday.
Minor Basilica of MarĂa Auxiliadora In the Prado promenade on the 16 July Avenue there is this Art Deco^style church, which emulate the appearance of a classic Gothic temple. It was built in 1946.
San Francisco Convent Church It is considered Baroque style, dating from the eighteenth century. The tower was built in 1885. Its interior is also Baroque style. Franciscan monks have been highly appreciated in the country, it is said that they were the first who came to this area long before Captain Alonso de Mendoza, founder of the city. So much so, that the chief Quirquincha allot them a part of the land to build a monastery, the current church and convent.
Monument to national hero, Marshal Andres Santa Cruz and Calahumana in the Heroes Square near the San Francisco Church.
It is located in a large square next to the Church of San Francisco, known as the Heroes or San Francisco. A must do where we can enjoy the daily life of Bolivianos. It is a constant hub of activity, we can see whole families sitting on the steps where the sculpture of Mariscal is, or they can sit anywhere eating sweets offered by local vendors. Due to the large crowds of people, it is a place where they sell everything: handicrafts, fruits,
vegetables, artwork and medicinal herbs. And you can not miss comedians, storytellers and magicians. Witnessing life in this square is a great attraction for visitors, but as you can imagine, I have to advice you of being very carefully because it is very often being stolen, they are always waiting and they know where agglomerations occur.
San Francisco and Heroes’s Square are the busiest squares in the city. It is a place whre people gather together and do massive demonstrations.
Getting closer to the square of the heroes merged with the square of San Francisco is to enjoy the sculptures, and the constant daily activity. Nearby is the Lanza market; this market is the main of the city, and as I explained in other visited places, I always recommend you to visit the market in anywhere because it is where really the true essence of a city is.
In this way you can see local products they usually consume and the pulse of their economy. Tropical fruits, cheese and freshly baked bread are the most common products. Inside of the market we can buy prepared traditional meals. It is a good way to sample the typical meals of a country and buy it without the “tourist rate”.
View of the city of La Paz, which is nestled in a valley. A city that grew from the suburbs and built on the slopes of the mountain by immigrants who came from the poorest populations in search of a better future between the 60s and 70s of last century. The city center is surrounded giving the city an aspect of funnel.
Tiahuanaco is a city located at a distance of about 70 kilometersand it is believed to be the oldest of the Andean villages. The Spanish historian Pedro Cieza de Leon (1518-1560), during his visit to these temples, wrote that he had the impression of being in the oldest place he had ever visited in the Andean lands. What it is clear is that the remaining ruins of this city where the statue of Viracocha God and the sun gate stands, is the basis of the culture of the Incas. Reach Tiahuanaco from La Paz, it is accessible by
hiring some of the excursions on the many agencies that you can find in the city center. The price ranges about 55,000 Bolivianos and it takes about two hours. The main attraction is the temple of Kalasasaya, the basis of Tiwanaku culture where we can see the famous Puerta del Sol, and the heads and statues of Viracocha embedded in the floor and walls that encloses the the Temple. In the surrounding area they keep making excavations in search of new temples hidden in the sand.
Every 21st fo June is celebrated the New Yearsâ€™ Eve in the Aymara and Incas communities; a date that hundreds and thousands of people come to the temple Kalasasaya to witness the sunlights illuminating the impressive Ponce Monolith at the dawn.
Legends in Tiahuanaco are closely linked to Lake Titicaca, although in this area what is surprising is that the sculptures represent gigantic beings with large heads. Inside of the Museum we can see a giant statue that is absolutely forbidden to photograph. Actually, Tiahuanaco is not stone ruins of a city. It is a temple complex where the Viracocha God and the Puerta del Sol is the representation of what
was their culture. Every year the 21st of June, hundreds and thousands of people from the Aymara and Inca communities congregate in this temple to celebrate the new year of their culture. That day sunlights penetrate through the door of the temple and illuminate the impressive Kalasasaya Ponce Monolith. That dawn every believer is in Tiwanaku, in soul and body.
PUERTA DEL SOL
At the door of the Puerta del Sol, next to Viracocha God you can read the following legend: In the Tertiary era (about 5 million years ago), a time where human life did not exist yet on our planet and there was a village with only animals, an aircraft shining like gold came to stand on the Island of the Sun in the Titicaca lake. From this aircraft descended a woman who resembles today's women; but she had a cone-shaped head, large ears and hands of four fingers. Her name was"Orejona" and she came from the
Venus planet. The palms of her hands indicated that water existed in abundance on its original planet and water played a big role in the life of the Venusians. So she chose Titicaca Lake as her place of residence on this planet, because she needed the water as the primary basis of her survival. Orejona walked vertically, her appearance was similar to us nowadays.
A Venusian whose intention is to make humanity progress. She was endowed with great intelligence and her arrival in this planet was to make thi inhabitants who lived in progress. When she found that life was still in the animal process, she had relations with a tapir, an animal that was on all fours. She had several children. They were born monstrous with low intelligence. One day, after her mission was done or perhaps she was tired of being in the Earth and eager to return back on her planet where she could have
descendants looking like her. Orejuna resumed her flight on the aircraft. After a while, her children procreated, especially dedicating themselves to the fate of his father tapir, and making the Titicaca region remained faithful to the memory of Orejona developing their intelligence, retained their religious rites and being the beginning of the preincaĂŻques civilizations. This is the legend that is written on the pediment of the Puerta del Sol in Tiahuanaco nearby the Viracocha God.
We could say that the legend begins after the French journalist Roger Delorme, discovered Tiwanaku, from a litter tray, with its rocks and statues scattered all over km. The gigantic statues of which one is in the museum decorated with reliefs and drawings seeming the controls of the aircraft. It is not allowed to take pictures of it.
The origin of this city is lost in the times due to even Incas culture only remembers the city in ruins. Another legend says: Some beings, highly evolved with different blood came from heaven. The chose Lake Titicaca due to its height ande they found the place most suited to their lifestyle. It was like this that our first Mother arose, she was the one responsible for the insemination of human intelligence.
Â The origin of this city is lost in the times due to even Incas culture only remembers the city in ruins. Another legend says: Some beings, highly evolved with different blood came from heaven. The chose Lake Titicaca due to its height ande they found the place most suited to their lifestyle. It was like this that our first Mother arose, she was the one responsible for the insemination of human intelligence.
Andean natives live at altitudes where man could not acclimatize, so they believe that it is a proof that different blood may exist. Sidereal visitors sought a favorable altitude and a lake to their bodies and their amphibious life. What it is certain is that everything in this land revolves around aliens; "scholars" who are many, only use as the unique reason the assimilation of these beings from outside our planet, and as the legends and
traditions indicate, these scholars have changed the Gods by extraterrestrials. So they have created some stories, real or not, but the majority of visitors who come to these lands also visit the famous lake moved by that kind of fantastic legends. Near the temple is a museum that you must visit as it has reflected the culture of Tiwanaku and
explains how they housed one of the traditions that bring the seeds of the first imperial phenomenon in this part of the continent. Tiwanaku Culture (100 B.C. - A.D. 1200) has been one of the phenomena that have been mentioned by m o s t re s e a rc h e r s d u e t o i t s i m p re s s i v e archaeological remains left along much of the territory.
Regional Museum of Tiwanaku Culture
Salar de Uyuni White ocean of Bolivia: A story of Lolita Cuevas-AvendaĂąo The city of Uyuni is the closest gate to the spectacular entrance of Salt flat, to the lakes and to the volcanoes of the plateau. Uyuni is in the Department of Potosi in the Bolivian plateau at 3,675 m.s.n.m. It is the city where we can hire excursions to get into the salt flat due to do visit by ourself completely impossible. It is a place that it has to be very familiar to walk around. Moreover, the vehicles have to be well prepared to cross it through and not just a vehicle is doing the expedition, it is usually performed by van. The small town of Uyuni has many hostels and hotels, travel agencies and restaurants. It has also a market in the middle of the city and a pedestrian street where many shops are located. Long time ago, Uyuni was an important railway and a mining center. Today it is a quiet place that receives hundreds of tourists every week. We must be prepared if we want to get into the salt flat and bring a sleeping bag, warm clothes, swimsuit if we want to bathe in the hot springs, sunglasses, hat for the sun, and do not forget the sunscreen.
As if it was a vast blanket of snow, it is the world's largest salt flat and an iconic destination of Bolivia. Uyuni and its surroundings offer spectacular natural moments that will captivate and awake the traveling souls on an expedition including bird watching, tours through impossible roads, geysers, lakes, mountains, hot springs and unforgettable memories.
There is another city where you can hire the excursion to the Salt flat: the city of Tupiza, located at a bigger distance and tour prices are more expensive than hiring it directly from Uyuni. Tupiza is a beautiful city located 265 km from Potosi, 168 km from Uyuni and 750 km from La Paz. Hiring the excursion from this city means spending one day more than if you hire from Uyuni. On the other hand, Tupiza is a beautiful city while Uyuni its unique appeal is hiring the excursion. Another difference of hiring it from Tupiza is that there is not much competition as in Uyuni, vehicles are better prepared and especially it is not allowed
to travel more than 4 people per vehicle plus the cook. In Uyuni, depending on the demand they can raise the prices and make the trip as in a can of sardines, plus it only goes the driver in each vehicle; and the driver performs the function of cooking besides the driver. The tours that depart from Uyuni, begin and end in the same city, and the ones from Tupiza departs from Tupiza and finishes in Uyuni. This story took place from Uyuni and I invite you to live my experience.
Well once we have already informed you the best way to do the trip, we fully go deep into the lived history. The direction pointed by the compass on the map marks the center of South America, right in Bolivia, where the endless horizons, splendid ocher mountains and lakes devoted to the sun, promising a journey of surrealism and fantasy. It grazed the borders of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Peru. There, most of its people have indigenous roots, and many of them chew coca leaves at any time of day to stand firm against altitude sickness. The descendants of the Inca culture communicate in Quechua and the Tiwanaku culture in Aymara.
Magic Land Four days expedition in a multi postcard country make fly your imagination with landscapes from another planet: a sea salt of 90 x 160 kilometers, a stone shaped like a tree, brightly colored lagoons, birds, geysers and more. Onshore all starts at the border of Hito Cajon between Chile and Bolivia, on board a jeep 4X4 1997, alongside dozens of backpackers traveling in their vehicles. Luck is on our side since the beginning of the trip because Edgar accompanies us, the favorite guide of â€œExpediciones Nueva Aventuraâ€?, a tour operator specialized in the Salar de Uyuni.
Starting the journey and instantly giving the pleasure to the senses with plains and coppercolored mountains, like it has been painted and dyed by the most delicated brush of an artist. It excels Licancabur, an imposing volcano of 5,920 m.s.n.m in Chile. It is the majestic lookout of two laggons very close to each other, but they are two completely different bodies of water: the White lagoon, suitable for the life of different kinds of fish; and the Green lagoon, where there is no trace of aquatic species due to the presence of arsenic and copper.
Due to the wind, the particles move and give the laggon its characteristic tone, so more wind, bigger color intensity is. From the highland lakes, there is one of the entrances to the National Reserve of Andean Fauna "Eduardo Avaroa" and it is familiar look from the distance guanacos or flocks of flamingos, ducks and other birds that inhabit the area. Their traces on the road are well hidden for tourists, but they are well recognized by the guides, who clarify the risk would mean embarking on the journey when it is outside the area.
Polques is the next lagoon to visit, and whether the thermal feeling is almost zero degrees due to the cold wind, it is a must rejoice with a thermal bath, in a steaming round sink a meter deep, which is shared with other travelers. Continuing on the way, you can get to watch a column of steam from the Morning Sun geyser from far away, which by its intense volcanic activity, it expels smoke that reaches 50 meters high if there is no wind. It's like a maze without walls, with holes on the broken ground and within the volcanoe it is heard the bubbling boiled water combined with volcanic components.
Besides the resemblance of the entire area with the moonscape that it is showed in Hollywood films and the presence in the Morning Sun with eruptions under the ground, it is inevitable to think that this may have been when the earth was being created. After delight in this desolate and almost hellish scene, with geysers that fires the temperature of October, and before the sun goes down, you get to Laguna Colorada. Here it lives more than 20,000 flamingoâ€™s long beak, stylized neck and thin legs; intense white plumage on neck and chest, and pink feathers on head, tail and wings. This endemic species provides a permanent natural spectacle,
which includes synchronized flights and elegant poses to anyone who comes close to the tinted waters, combined with the plumage of refined and exquisite birds. However, getting too close to them causes them take suddenly flight, and it is more difficult to photograph them. It is often look groups of flamingos wooing in the middle of the lagoon; rotating, stretching and they look dominant in a dance offered to the female. Around this pond there is a modest shelter made up of small houses with mud walls and zinc sheets ceilings, rooms of 6 and 8 single beds and a common area, ideal to meet other travelers. It's like a small
town where you can not be short of beers, ehre alpacas roam without fear. Here you will spend the first night, which they say is the most difficult part of the trip due to your body just is adapting to the height of the plateau, resulting in possible nausea, dizziness, headaches and general discomfort -a pregnant should know well the subject. The total disconnection of technology and sharing a meal and a bedroom with unknown (still) are travel allies, almost for reaction, the nightcap sanity to madness, and the severity that could mean the situation it becomes in time to keep imagining what will be the next day. So, definitely, it is possible to survive the first night threatening.
Desert under the stars The desert or pampas of Siloli is one of the most arid worldwide deserts due to low precipitation rate, but even with that, it is surpassed by the Atacama Desert. It is the main entrance to the National Reserve of Andean Fauna "Eduardo Avaroa" and it is located at 5000 m.s.n.m. The greatest charm of this place is the unusual shapes that rocks have claimed by wind erosion. And the strangest and most photographed rock is the "stone tree" formed by volcanic rock carved naturally. It is declared a national monument of Bolivia, with 5 meters high. Nearby there is the desert of Dali in honor of the
Catalan painter Salvador DalĂ, where it is possible to perceive some resemblance to the landscapes depicted in his works. In the next point on the route we passed through a canyon, where vizcachas (similar to a wooly hare) are seduced by food that tourists offer them (always it is recommended to give natural food instead of processed one). There are high stone walls lined with a strange deep green plant that looks like fungus, however it is not and it is spongy to the touch; locals call it the "Broccoli Andino" for its resemblance to that plant and the region where it is born. At this point it is when the appreciation for travelling in a
4X4 is evident, because it is one of the sites, geographically speaking, where more complicated is the path to the driver by the exaggerated number of large loose stones. The highland lagoons are extended shining in the sun, like a newly polished diamond, and under that standard of beauty it traverses the Route of the highland jewelry, according to the taste of the adventurers and suggestions guide you can visit the Ramaditas lagoons, Honda, Chiarkota, Hedionda and CaĂąapa. After taking relevant photographs on the shore of one of them (because they are all very similar and can be visited briefly) and leading to
another lake: Chiguana. Here and in Laguna Colorada, flamingos adorn the Bolivia landscapes with its elegant presence and quiet walks. They chose these two places as their home, where they share with various species of birds, but they are the protagonists of lenses travelers, with its splendid pink plumage, the same as the young flamingoes that do not end up dyeing. The second night is spent at the southern entrance to the Salar de Uyuni, in the village of Chuvica, and it is one of the most interesting places because you sleep in a hotel made of salt: the walls are cemented with white blocks of compacted salt, and instead of
using tiles or pavers on the floor, they use small pieces of salt, as a kind of white gravel. The owners and the guide know how novel is for the traveles so they always invite them to lick the walls. After having dinner and a refreshing shower, Edgar, the guide gave us an evening walk into the salar de Uyuni, where literally we could see the Milky Way on a night with the absence of the moonlight and light pollution. The greatness of the night is even biiger when there is no noise from neighbors or city lights. The constellations shine with tremendous force and it seems like it is in purpose. The silence is absolute, and the horizon, almost imperceptible, too.
The splendor of the salt flat The soiree ends with the same magic as it begins the new day even before dawn and a cold that pierces to the bones, because it is about being fast, taking the luggage out of the hotel and reaching half of the salar to catch it red-handed when barely awake. The first rays of the day seem fearful and timid. It is like the sun was reluctant to show itself, but when the right point of dawn comes, it shines as the first poem in the morning.
The greatness of the Salar de Uyuni, the star of this adventure, is totally indisputable when it is viewed from the Incahuasi island (Inca house) that it is covered by cactus up to 5 meters of hundreds of years. And it's called island because the salar is like a great white ocean, even with small static waves caused by wind, with several mounds of earth as it were an island, as it were an oasis for the traveler. From above it is evident almost its 15 thousand square meters extension, making it the world's largest continuous salar.
Paradoxically, although they have salt in abundance, it is a poorly paid resource and therefore unexploited: every 50 kilos worked kilos worth between 13 and 15 pesos bolivianos, which is no more than one and a half dollar. The village where the process is performed is called Colchani, along the salar shore, where all kinds of crafts are offered at the best price, such as woolens, jewelry boxes of salt, and a large woven bags and so on. After the midday, the tour continues to the old train cemetery. The route was founded in 1899, and in its heyday wagons were the most precious treasure by the owners, who transported silver and other
minerals, mainly to the city of Antofagasta. When the demand fell down, the business collapsed and the wagons of the trains were abandoned on lonely roads, but before being complete oblivion, the hulks and skeletons of wagons became part of a turistic attractive of the plateau, but many steel of tracks and trains have been stolen. The same railway line passes through Uyuni and it is well worth a visit. It is a desert town with almost no tall buildings. In the center, around the iconic clock, it is carried out most commercial activity and it has more advanced services than in the rest of the tour.
Sunday is the best day to look at the markets that are installed on the main streets. That same afternoon, while it gets dark, is passed through the town of San Cristobal, whose main attraction is its showy church which, according to locals, it is given sunbathing every morning. At the end of the day, it also means that the journey ends, because it is the day before getting back to Chile from Villa Mar in the early morning, in a caravan next to another 15 caravans, 20 4X4 jeep full of adventurers. Those who undertake this trip through Bolivia will bring out the adventurous spirit: Not always there
was hot water, depending on the season the cold creek deep every day and the wind is icy; there is no phone signal non wifi. But there are moments of total silence, there is no hunger, there is laughter and good times; it is meeting people, playing with the wind and admire each mountain. On the way to the border magic can happen. According to the guide it is good luck to see crossing a herd of guanacos in front of a vehicle (because they always hide). And the magic came when it was dawn and it happened. Because it is true the maxim of Edgar, the guide: "In Bolivia everything is possible nothing is certain."
Everything is possible nothing is certain Those who undertake this trip through Bolivia will bring out the adventurous spirit: Not always there was hot water, depending on the season the cold creek deep every day and the wind is icy; there is no phone signal non wifi. But there are moments of total silence, there is no hunger, there is laughter and good times; it is meeting people, playing with the wind and admire each mountain. On the way to the border magic can happen. According to the guide it is good luck to see crossing a herd of guanacos in front of a vehicle (because they always hide). And the magic came when it was dawn and it happened. Because it is true the maxim of Edgar, the guide: "In Bolivia everything is possible nothing is certain."
Atacama is located next to the borders of Chile, Bolivia and Peru, at 2,500 meters above sea level. Antagonistic universes converge in Atacama: desert, vegetation, ice and fire. It is a unique and wonderful place for the diversity of its climate and the peculiarity of their land.
Being in the plateau in the most absolute silence, and witness the snowy mountains and salt flats, envelops you in such a degree of beauty that you have the feeling of being in front of a canvas seeing an illusion, not a fact, because beauty landscape exceeds all expectations.
After touring the desert thourgh the area of Bolivia, we arrived in the area of Chile in San Pedro de Atacama crossing the Salar de Atacama, the Salar de Aguas Calientes in the National Reserve Los Flamencos, Valley of the Moon and the death, as well as the geysers of Tatio, essential places to visit in the Chilean Atacama.
San Pedro de Atacama is in the region of Antofagasta and it belongs to Chile, we can get from Santiago by bus, a journey of about 36 hours, the buses are very well conditioned and high comfort, their seats are wide reclining like those of an airplane in first class. Another option is taking a plane from Santiago, from Argentina, or from Bolivia. If we go from Argentina, we get to Salta where we will find a tour, a bus and vehicles to access Atacama. And getting from Bolivia, we can reach Chile after crossing the Salar de Uyuni.
But if we want to have an extraordinary adventure, a route that we recommend is: Salta in Argentina, rent a car and go through San Salvador de Ujujuy, San Antonio de los Cobres and Humahuaca. We can choose to continue to the Salar de Uyuni and then reach San Pedro de Atacama. I can assure you that the itinerary is unforgettable. If you want to reach San Pedro deAtacama by air from Santiago de Chile; the trip is two and a half hours, with a small scale in Antofagasta, where you get in Atacama’s airport in 20 minutes.
Once at the airport there is a bus that leaves us in San Pedro de Atacama. It is a private service with very reasonable prices an one hour of travel. The accommodation ranges from $30 to $120 US, the average price is about $ 40, and excursions can be arranged in various agencies offered on the main street of San Pedro: Caracoles Street. In the Caracoles Street you can do all kinds of activities as all is focus on it. You can hire a tour; use ATMs, exchange money, rent bikes, eat in restaurants or night music bars.
San Pedro de Atacama is located in an oasis in the north end of the Salar de Atacama. Among its attractions there is an interesting archaeological museum and a colonial church. In the surroundings you can visit the prehispanic village of Tulor, the Pukara (or fortress) of Quitor and the Inca ruins in Catarpe.
We have to know that San Pedro is located at 2500 m.s.n.m., so altitude sickness can affect. It is very usual small earthquakes, but once we pass the first one, the following ones are received as normal. A way to combat altitude sickness is the coca leaf and it is usually sold as a tea and it can be taken at any bar or hotels. And I can say that is very effective and surprisingly to what some may think about the coca leaf, it is not a drug, it is the chemical transformation that made it.
Almost throughout the year usually do a temperature of about 22 degrees day and 16 degrees night in summer. In winter, the nights do not exceed 4 ° degrees so it is advisable to wear warm clothing at all times of year. That is why you can visit at any time of the year, the only disadvantage of visiting it during winter time is the hours of sunshine, the days are shorter thereby detrimentally excursions.
Atacama Salt Flat The Salt Flat is located at 2,300 meters, on an ancient lake that was formed more than four billion years ago. Underfoot there are large underground brine deposits that are very close to the surface.
The salt flat is rich in non-metallic minerals such as potassium sulfate, boric acid, or the biggest wealth is giving to the area: lithium carbonate. Lithium is found throughout the all area called Puna, a territory that covers Chile, Bolivia and Argentina. In Chile: Atacama. In Bolivia: Uyuni. and Argentina: Jujuy. A territory that contains 85% lithium carbonate that exists in the world, this is why it is known as the Triangle of Lithium. It is a mineral that is revolutionizing the world because it is the essential matter to produce lithium batteries. The batteries produced are environmentally friendly and high efficiency so necessary nowadays for mobile phones batteries, hybrid cars, laptops etc.
The importance of Lithium The world's largest lithium production comes from brines of the Salar de Atacama; these are also richer than those of Uyuni in Bolivia. Although the Uyuni Salt flat is much bigger than the Atacama one. In Chile, Lithium extraction corresponds fully to the State and it is protected by the mining legislation and it is not a resource that can be subject to concession.
A fact that makes the whole area in one of the best sources of wealth in the future. These three countries are investing heavily in plants for its production; Chile is the one leading in terms of mining operations and production. It is followed by Argentina and Bolivia lagging far behind because their leaders are very reluctant to foreign capital investment.
In Bolivia is pretended not only the extraction if not the production of lithium batteries, with its own technology and export it to the world. They do not want it happened as in the past with the extraction of silver and tin that they exported to all over the world and little profit left for Bolivia.
Aguas Calientes Salt Flat
The salt flat of Aguas Calientes is on the National Reserve of Flamingos next to Tara and Pujsa, it is distinguished from the previous ones by the peculiarity of the tonality that the water of the laggons have when are dried. Â The Salar de Aguas Calientes is a unique beauty, admire the tonality of its waters trasnformed is spectacular, they can range from turquoise, green, blue, red etc. And look out the mountains wrapped by a white halo (salt) in the edge makes you understand that the beauty exists and if you had any doubt, there you have it in front of your eyes.
This salar is surrounded by volcanoes, including the one that it has its name or Lascar. It is located at an altitude at 4200 m.s.n.m. And its rainy season is between the December through March, although rainfall ranging from 30 to 150 mm year. The rain is accompanied frequently thunderstorms. The main contributions are received from Pili River in the north and the gorge of Chamaca, this water
corresponding to a redissolution of materials such as halite and gypsum and it is visibly saline, in no case it is suitable for human consumption and agriculture. The local fauna is composed of animals such as the vicuna, fox, vizcacha, chinchilla, swallows, falcons, sin, Andean gull, rhea, condor and James and Chilean flamingo, among others.
The Flamencoâ€™s reserve This reserve is located in the province of Loa and it is composed of seven sectors placed in different parts of the commune of San Pedro de Atacama. In the inner of the reservation there are different qualitites in terms of climate, topography, hydrography, flora and fauna. In 1990 It was established places like Aguas Calientes, salt flats and lagoon of Tara, the Zapaleri river, the valley of the moon, and MiĂąiques, Miscanti and Black laggons. The animals that inhabit this area are the vicuna and the red fox and the flora is composed of the tola water and amaia.
With a climate that varies in each sector, there are very different in the offshore areas that usually 5,200 m.s.n.m., the temperature is usually very low throughout the year due to the permanent ice in the mountains. The rainy season is concentrated from December to March and it is often associated with thunderstorms. As a rule in a desert place with a noticed thermal oscillation between day and night, it is advisable to
bring warm clothing. In summer time is more frequently to have rainfalls than the rest of the year. Some of the places are protected by the Atacama community, and to preserver it they usually charge entrance fees to visitors. The best way to visit every place is to hire a tour due to the entrance ticket of the protected sites is included. Visiting this area hiring a tour is very recommended due to the long distances from one sector to another.
Death Valley - Valle de la Muerte About two kilometers out of San Pedro de Atacama there is a sign that tells us that we are in the Cordillera de la Sal. Here there is the Valley of Death and the Valley of the Moon. It belongs to the Los Flamencos National Reserve, a small depression of 500 meters in diameter of saline soil where we see intriguing sculptural forms. This forms are resulting of successive transformations of the earth's crust occurred by folding the bottom of lake salar
This is where the beauty of the landscape changes, there are no longer the snowcapped volcanoes non lakes of all colors. Here, the landscape does not seem to be from this planet. The variety of landscapes available in the Atacama Desert is so varied that there is no place where the visitor can be disappointed. It is known as the valley of death because once who dared to cross this valley, did not return alive. And the proof of this situation is found when it is crossed: the remains of human bones and animals can be found inside.
There are enormous dunes in the Death Valley where sandboarding is practiced, people who love this sport move till this place to descend along 120 meters of these dunes. Due to the scarcity of the place it is advisable to carry plenty of water, and warm clothing as the sun goes down the temperature gets too low.
A good way to discover this valley is exploring it by bike; these can be rented in San Pedro. But it is very important to have a guide as it is very easy to get lost and the consequences are dire. It is said that this place is called the valley of death, not only because it has no way of life but also because anyone who got lost in it, did not get out alive, both animals and humans.
Mars Valley - Valle de Marte Mars Valley is located within the reserve of the Flamingos and a short distance from Death Valley. It is so closed to it that it is possible to confuse the similarity of the landscape and the uniqueness of its mountains. But this is not the only peculiarity of the landscape. Sunlights or moonlights let a wide variety of hues, so the best time to enjoy it is at dawn or at dusk.
It is believed that the rocks and its horizontal layers are dating from 23 million years ago, It is the depth of a lake and contains various minerals including calcium sulfate adhering to the rocks, and that seems embedded salt. These layers were pushed and folded by the movements of the earth's crust leaving some upside. It is one of the indispensable places to visit to marvel one of the most extraordinary landscape of this planet due to the shape of its mountains and rocks.
Moon Valley - Valle de la Luna About 17 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama, next to Death Valley there is the Valley of the Moon, one of the most visited places in Atacama. It is ideal to reach it by bike, especially at the sunset.
Visiting the Moon Valley in its twilight hour is one of the extraordinary experiences you can have if you are one of those who enjoy a sunset. The different shades that draw the light emitted by the sun, accompanied by amazing scenery make you feel the life and give thanks for being born.
the extraordinary sunsets. This particular place is an interesting area of sand and rock formations. Floods and winds have shaped them, giving an attractive similarity to the lunar landscape.
Being one of the most inhospitable places on the planet due to its lack of moisture, Liolaemus, a It is at this time when dozens of tourists who have type of a lizard, is the only life known who lives come to the valley raise the highest dune to witness here.
Its saline soil is surrounded by small hills with sharp ridges and it is the proof of the deep transformation of the earth's crust. It has dry lakes that are covered with extraordinarily beautiful white, green, blue, red, and yellow colors. Colors that are also reflected in sunsets due to the variety of the sunlight.
If in twilight time its beauty is unique when it is paired with full moon nights, the valley also presents an indescribable look, full of majesty and silence, coldly beautiful and imposing. The Valley of the Moon is a Nature Sanctuary decreed in 1982, it is more than a touch of an extraordinary range of colorful geological wonder.
It is located in depression surrounding Sierra Orbate to 2550 meters above sea level. The countless visual attractions that it has, are the product of wind erosion that has formed a landscape sculpted with sharp ridges, hollows and mounds.
The Valley owes its name to its reliefs and shapes and it is shown as a representation of the lunar landscape, a natural phenomenon caused by the shock generated between the Atacama Desert with the immensity of the Andes.
Duna Mayor is located in the Valley of the Moon. Walking trough its sand line and after a great effort on theclimb to the summit it is reached one of the most spectacular pictures of the world. Here you can see the different colors of sunlight reflected in the mountains and dunes.
The Licancabur volcano that it is seen in the distance, still resembles more a fragment of selenite landscape.
The three Marys
This strange figure composed by the passage of centuries is called the Rangers or the Three Marys. It consists of granite, quartz stones, gems and clay and it makes up three thin peaks that are carved by wind and eroded by salt desert. They say that it has more than a million years old. It is one of the figures that all tourists search due to its strange formation. Currently it has a deformation caused by a tourist who climbed to take a photograph, producing breakage of a part of Figure.
The sunsets are spectacular This particular place is an interesting area of sand and rock formations. Floods and winds have shaped them, giving an attractive similarity to the lunar landscape. Being one of the most inhospitable places on the plane, it is only known as a lifestyle some copies of Liolaemus, which is a type of lizard. Because of its lack of moisture
No corner to leave indifferent Its saline soil is surrounded by small hills with sharp ridges that are the proof of the deep transformation of the earth's crust. It has dry lakes that are covered with extraordinarily beautiful white, green, blue, red, and yellow colors. Colors are also reflected in sunsets due to the variety of the sunlight.
Climbing the highest dune to reach the top where you see the wonderful scenery and the sunset.
GEYSERS TATIO When steam is beautiful
At a distance of 98 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama there is the Tatio Geyser, its access is through a rough dirty road that is nerverending and it takes about two hours driving. Departing is at at four o'clock in the morning and the cold is extreme. The closest you are, the coldest it is. The temperature in the geysers this morning is: -14 and -15 degrees. It is very important to arrive at sunrise. The watery craters make impressive steam smoked activity produced by high temperatures producing a strange phenomenon.
The maximum expression of these steamed smokes and water that reaches temperatures of 85Â°C occurs approximately between 6am and 7am. It emerges from the earth with such force reaching heights between 7 and 8 mts. It's a real sight to see the stream rises accompanied by a sound reminiscent of the old steam locomotives.
The Geysers is located in the Andes Mountains at 4,200 meters height and it is surrounded by mountains that reach 5,900 meters. This is another of the precautions that we have to consider because altitude sickness can affect us. Anyway as we already come from San Pedro de Atacama, the body is more used to
these heights because In Atacama we are at 2,500 meters. It is not the same height but it helps us to adapt better to this situation. Each dawn appears violent streams of steamed water that stand out against the colorful soil and the blue sky. These beautiful columns moisturise the morning and beautify the place.
The way out of the streams make some wells around these steamed eruptions and water. It contains minerals highly toxic and it is very fragile so it is not recommended to get too close. Many visitors have ignored this warning and have resulted with first degree burns. Studies were made to harness geothermal energy to produce electricity due to the heat generated in this area. Another recommendation is to be enough equipped against the cold. The majority of tourists visiting the place has not been informed in advance, so it is often see many of them in shorts and T^shirts.
HOT SPRINGS The hot springs are formed in nearby wells allow a restful thermal bath while sunrise is contemplated. The water temperature of the jets can reach 30 degrees, and it can be heated milk or fry an egg without any problems.
Many tourists arriving without the necessary clothing to withstand the low temperatures that are supported. Luckily there are the hot springs and most take the opportunity to bathe in this way cause the body to regain its temperature, once the body becomes acclimated at that temperature the output is not as traumatic, and it is joined that as the day progresses the temperatures rise, it is therefore a good way to adapt the body to the climatic environment. Anyway I recommend bringing clothes to withstand temperatures of 15 degrees below zero.
In a landscape of ten square kilometers of the geothermal field, with the background of the peaks of the volcanoes, on a metallic blue sky. Witness the first rays of sun, the cold is intense, even with gloves, your hands are freezing. But can the illusion of seeing more steam jets and beauty they cause. These first steam jets encourage the illusion and as a child these jets are expected to reach the maximum height.
Especially remember altitude sickness, and as I have previously recommended taking coca tea, and drink about two liters of water before arriving. And sorry to be heavy but wear appropriate warm clothing and waterproofs by high temperatures leaving the water jets. Bring trekking shoes or boots and gloves. Donâ€™t forget to bring a bathing suit if you want to enjoy the hot springs.
Such is the steam generated at sunrise, that it seems that you are under a heavy storm. It is very necessary shelter well because this steam can cause burns. The vision of the place is spectacular for all involved and the situations that create the geysers. It is a place you should not miss on a trip to this area of northern Chile.
TWO ROUTES: SAME DESTINATION Leaving the Tatio you can get back to San Pedro for two routes, as shown in the attached map.
This is the path that leads to Machuca. It is longer but is appreciated for the beautiful landscape that crosses. In it we encounter the Putana river, one of the few freshwater that exists in the Atacama region. In this part of the territory temperatures are higher, especially around noon, now almost all the spare clothing. In the background is the Putana volcano and in his river you can observe as ducks Tagua Co r n u d a s w i m , a re called thus by its noseshaped horn.
Mach The village of Machuca, is located at 4000 m.s.n.m. It is in a kind of valley and its icon is the whitewashed church and thatched roof, with just twenty houses, is a place where the sun burns more brightly than the cold that is seen in the Tapio. A town that thanks to tourism is getting another source of income since all the buses on that route stop there. And the truth is that tourists appreciate it, first be lucky enough to witness the magnificent landscape that draws the arid soil and the touch of the church. And the other is how many hours up after visiting the Tatio and hunger, is very present, and this place thanks to fill the stomach. And that situation is also witnessing the beauty of the place, it leads to visit and few people have taken advantage for income and offer good coffee, water or soda with delicious dumplings with goat cheese that taste glory, besides skewered llama meat or tasting a tea of chachacoma you and for those who have altitude sickness, a good infusion of coca leaf, we must not forget that we are at 4000 meters high.
This town is devoted to grazing llamas, but every day tourism offers best business conditions. Lately much backpacker looking for accommodation, because if in the valley of the moon witnessed one of the best sunset, in Machuca is not he left behind, not the sunset only, if not at night, where you can witness a starry sky as if it were an observatory.
The first impression you have is to see the church in the middle of the mountain, but also is building their mud and straw houses, which are often seen throughout this part of Atacama. But even looking that is a totally forgotten in the mountain village, it would still possess a modern solar panel system, which gives you the energy you need to have heating and hot water.
This village is adjacent to a wetland due to the high Andean plateaus in vegetables or plants that habit it are plant hidrofiticos, is a wetland that is very close to Machuca. There live water birds like flamingos, coots, ducks and Andean gulls. And nearby too we find the salt lagoon where besides flamingos ducks and gulls, we find vicunas, coots, guallatas, and vizcachas, all these species live in a place where silence only is broken for cars approaching from tourists.
Gorge of Guatín (Quebrada de Guatín) Continuing towards San Pedro de Atacama, once you leave Machuca, we follow the path that leads to the gorge Guatín which is 20 km from San Pedro de Atacama. The scenery is spectacular no longer have the mountains of Tatio and Machuca dryness, and the passage reminiscent of the films of the American West. In Guatin the river Purify gather, a river with icy waters, which in summer is appreciated due to high temperatures. And the Puritama thermal water, which at low temperatures is ideal, plus it contains healing properties. These two rivers originate the Vilama river, hence the Valley of the Cactus, whose species echinopsis atacamensis or San Pedro, popularly named as they are known to tall cactus begins. All the creek is full of these cactus. You get there by car and once in the gorge trek begins through the forest of cactus, down to a canyon of rock formation and numerous waterfalls. Walking is an oasis in the desert, thanks to the stream. You walk along a path that historically was crossed by caravans of Llamas transporting goods, for the same trails where today walk shepherds with their sheep.
Cactus Valley (Valle de los Cactus) On each side of the slopes itâ€™s possible to see infinities of Cactus, of all sizes some are surprisingly high, and hence the age of those cactus is reflected as each centimeter a year. On each side of the slopes itâ€™s possible to see infinities of Cactus, of all sizes some are surprisingly high, and hence the age of those cactus is reflected as each centimeter a year. In addition to the cactus in this stream, live birds like chirigo green and black swallows back. Once you exit the canyon the landscape opens in all its splendor desert, and in the background, we can see the Domeyko mountains, covered with dark lava from forty million years ago. In the gorge we completed our report of Atacama. A place for those who like to visit places of great beauty with different landscapes there is no other in the world.
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Published on Aug 1, 2016
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