Valle de la Luna
Valle de la Luna is an unusual area in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile, 15 kilometers from the town of San Pedro de Atacama. The valley is known for its huge salt plateau, in which amazing figures formed under the influence of erosion.
The name of the area translates as "Lunar Valley", and this is no coincidence. The area is very arid and not friendly. In the valley, scientists even checked the work of rovers in difficult rock and salt terrain. Rains in Valle de la Luna are very rare, and if they do, then once a year. Getting here during the rains is a huge success, because during the rainy season, lifeless dunes are covered in many beautiful colors.
The valley is surrounded by hills almost half a kilometer high. The base itself is located on a plateau of salts and carbonates several tens of meters thick, on top of the salt there is a small layer of gravel with sand. Under the influence of water erosion and winds, unusual stone sculptures are formed. Each sculpture has a name and legend associated with it. The indigenous inhabitants of the Atacama desert believe that the sculptures are guides for the souls of dead people. They also help shamans in their rites when traveling to the world of their ancestors.
In addition to sculptures in the valley, you can see numerous white salt lakes that change colors depending on the time of day. Caves, recesses, amazing stone giants with their shadows only add mystery. Valle de la Luna is best visited at sunset, when you can see the beauty of the landscape.
Valle de la Luna was included in the Los Flamencos Nature Reserve in 1982.