A Road Trip in Chile’s Northernmost Desert – the Altiplano

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Emptiness, canyons, volcanoes, llamas and alpacas characterize Chile’s most northern, practically uninhabited corner (basically driving west from Arica to the triangle with the Bolivian and Peruvian border). What else do you need for a perfect overland road trip?

The hardship of off-roading through a desert at 15,000 feet is compensated for by natural hot baths.

To get really this far north you need your own wheels (or rent them). However, that’s not a necessity to visit other regions of the Atacama Desert in Chile. There are a lot of travel agencies that organize desert trips worth checking out.

Here are some visual impressions of the altiplano in Chile.

Road trip in Chile, driving to volcanoes.

It is in places like on Chile’s Altiplano that we feel richer and more privileged than ever with the lives we live. Driving here can be tough, dusty, tedious, tiring and we challenge the extremes we are capable of dealing with.

Road Trip in Chile; camping along a salt lake

On a road trip this remote, we have to watch our food supply and drinking water. Coen has to be creative in fixing Land Cruiser trouble along the way. Many will wonder what the pleasure is of such hardship, of traveling without the ordinary comforts of the western world.

We have all we need. Each other, a home on wheels, freedom to go and stop wherever we want. We are part of a world which is still largely unspoiled and uncontaminated and home to an abundance of wildlife.


During our road trip in Chile’s northernmost corner offers all the space in the world to drive, to hike, to safely rough camp, to sit and admire the blackest of nights because there is no light pollution. Daily we absorb the magnitude of creation.

How can that not be a privilege?

Road Trips in Chile, to the Altiplano or Atacama Desert

If you don’t have your own wheels, it’s practically impossible to explore this particular region – it’s too far from everywhere. However, there are fascinating other, remote regions in northern Chile, particularly in the Atacama Desert.

There are many tours to different places (Tatio Geysers recommended!). Many leave from San Pedro de Atacama, but you’ll find them elsewhere too. Click on the links below to learn more.

 

Check it Out: Our Explore-Stuck-Recovery T-shirt Collection

 

Fuel Up

Thank you to those who bought us a couple of liters of diesel to support our journey and/or website.

Would you like to do the same?

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Thank you for your support — Karin-Marijke & Coen

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