6 coastal destinations that you need to visit in the Atacama desert

Beaches, national parks and archeological sites are some of the destinations you can find in the shore of the Atacama desert. We invite you to discover them!

ArmanMesh /Flickr
ArmanMesh /Flickr

Chile is known for being a territory with a extreme and varied geography, climate and biodiversity. The Atacama desert takes place in between the Arica and Parinacota Region and Coquimbo Region, with a weather that has given it the title of the driest desert in the world and begin the home for native flora and fauna species. But not only mountains, volcanoes and a huge variety of colors due to the minerals, is what we can find in the Atacama desert; here we introduce you to a “coastal circuit”; unmissable destinations in the coast and beaches of our desert.

Isla Pan de Azúcar

Daniela Snow / Flickr

Daniela Snow / Flickr

24 km away from the coast of Pan de Azúcar National Park, placed at the north of Chañaral, it emerges in the sea the Isla Pan de Azúcar. This place is home for Humboldt Penguins mainly, that get together in higher numbers in the nesting and change of feather seasons, this island is also home for other animals such as sea lions, marine otters and pelicans, besides typical vegetation of desert zones.
In order to get to the area, it is necessary to get sail from Pan de Azúcar. It is possible to get around the island but not to stay there.

Bahía Inglesa

ArmanMesh /Flickr

ArmanMesh /Flickr

With white sand and warm, crystal and turquoise waters, Bahía Inglesa is without a doubt one of the most popular beaches of the zone. Their beaches are an invitation to rest and also count with all the services for the tourists or anyone that would like to enjoy some days in the surrounding cities. The most popular beaches are; La Piscina, Las Machas, Blanca and El Chuncho.

Llanos de Challe National Park

Gabriel Campos / Flickr

Gabriel Campos / Flickr

In the coast of the Atacama Region, Llanos de Challe National Park is and ecological heritage site of our country and practically a paradise for endemic flora species, mainly of coastal desertic climate.
When the desert gets full of colors during the Blooming Desert (Desierto Florido), all the eyes are put in Llanos de Challe, that becomes the home for flowers that only bloom in this point and in this moment; such as Garra de Leon, which is considered one of the most beautiful.

Chañaral de Aceituno

cristinaharboephotography / Instagram

cristinaharboephotography / Instagram

Near the famous Punta de Choros, you can find this quiet place that for a long time has remained hidden as a secret in the Atacama Region. With a nice cuisine and beaches that are an invitation to rest, step by step Chañaral de Aceituno has became a new option for the tourists of the desert; but that is not everything, this small place is the paradise for sighting at least 6 different species of whales that travel through the Humboldt current, including the majestic blue whale.

Portofino beach

Only 25 km from Chañaral it is possible to find this idyllic beach in the north of Chile. With crystal waters, rocks in the depths and white and grey sands; Portofino beach is also a perfect destination for surf, diving and fishing enthusiasts.
The tranquility of the desert is the perfect combination for sunsets in this beach.

Changos petroglyph or Caleta Obispito

www.chileprecolombino.cl

www.chileprecolombino.cl

In the north of Calera, in the renowned Obispito, it is possible to find these cave paintings of the Changos, and indigenous group that lived in the desert. Most of them correspond to petroglyphs of underwater motifs, such as fishes, shells and sharks, they are unique in their kind; besides other objects of ritual connotation, such as clay and pottery.

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