High Plateu Lagoons
This circuit will visit small High Plateau Villages, and then it would enter the Atacama Salt Lake, were diferent kinds of flamingoes can be found, finally you will meet beautiful lagoons located at great altitud, that shelter endimics ducks of the region.
This village is found 38 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama and at 2475 meters above sea level. It is an oasis, whose sweet waters, free of arsenic, allow for the cultivation of a variety of fruit trees such as pears, plums, quince, and grapes as well as a large amount of vegetables. This pre-Hispanic settlement has an interesting architecture in local liparita stone, which is a volcanic soft and white stone, extracted from a quarry 2 kilometers up the local street.
QUEBRADA DE JERE
Another tourist attraction site is the Jere canyon, located at the base of the quarry, it is a large canyon surrounded by vegetation with the water flowing freely. This stream forms natural pools that are very crowded by tourist in summer season, to the north there is a rocky cliff wall were some petrogliph can be found. This canyon have a special microclimate that suits for fruit production.
SECTOR SONCOR Y LAGUNA CHAXA
Salar de atacama
Salar de Atacama
Located to the East of the Atacama salt lake, 62 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama and 2,300 meters above sea level, Soncor is a system of lagoons and wetlands. On the surface of Salar de Atacama you can observe salt crusts generated by the accumulation of crystals produced by the evaporation of the underground saline waters. In this sector you can find chloride crusts of up to 70 cms. high. These are transition crusts in the shape of polygons and whereas the sulphade crusts are smooth. In this area you can also find muddy lagoons that are not very deep, one of which is the beautiful Chaxa Lagoon where you can find Parinas and Flamingoes besides other types of birds such as the "Chorlo de Puna", "Playero de Baird", and the Andean Gull among others. These birds feed on microscopic forms such as one-cell algae, and micro invertebrates.
Located 100 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama, this is the last village the tourist encounter as they cross over to Salta - Argentina through the Sico passage way. In the past, Socaire was an important village for its gold mines located near the border. Today, it is known for its typical Atacamanean cuisine. Socaire has a population of about 380 people, whose main source of work is agricultural, and non-metal mining.
MISCANTI & MEÑIQUES LAGOONS
En este recorrido visitarás pequeños poblados altiplánicos, para luego ingresar al Salar de Atacama, donde se encuentran diversas variedades de flamencos, posteriormente conocerás hermosas lagunas ubicadas a gran altura, donde albergan patos endémicos de la zona.
This beautiful landscape is located 110 kilometers from San Pedro de Atacama and at 4,000 meters above sea level. This lovely landscape shows two beautiful lagoons surrounded by high summits with a spectacular view towards Atacama salt lake, a must see sight for tourists visiting this area.
This area forms part of the Flamenco National Reserve, and the native community of Socaire manages it. The landscape was different in the past with the thawing waters from the Miscanti and Meñiques volcanoes running freely down to the Salar de Atacama. However, with the eruption of the Meñiques volcano 1 million years ago resulting in the stagnation of water thus forming these two intense blue water lagoons surrounded with white banks. Several archeological site are found in this area containing ceramic fragments, arrow heads, and 40 circular stone constructions that stand as proof of an existing population 4,000- 3,000 years B.C.
The Wari and the Horned Coot (Tagua Cornuda), a species in danger of extinction, mainly make up the bird fauna. These birds nest in this area during the winter season.
You can also make a 2 hours and a half trekking guided by the park rangers for $7.000.