San Pedro de Atacama

We had never heard about San Pedro de Atacama until we were told about it from a group of English guys staying at La Chimba hostel. It sounded like such a great place that we decided to go and I’m so glad we did!

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I’ve never been somewhere that is in such close proximity to so many different landscapes that are all incredibly stunning. In the week that we were here, we saw snow capped mountains, volcanoes, lagoons, salt flats, hot springs, wild alpacas, llamas, vacoonas and flamingoes – all from the driest non-polar desert in the world! It simply blew my mind.

Having arrived at night after travelling a couple of hours from the nearest airport in Calama, we had no idea about the scenic treat that was in store for us when we awoke…

Going into the kitchen of Backpackers San Pedro hostel, I looked out of the window and saw the stunning volcanos: Licancabur and Juriques – wow. From the moment I laid eyes on them, I looked at them every opportunity I had. Pictures and words pale in comparison to seeing and being here. I loved every second I was in and around San Pedro de Atacama and I would definitely go back if I get the chance.

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San Pedro de Atacama is such a unique little town that it looks as though it has grown out of the sand. The ‘roads’ and ‘pavements’ are just sand, unspoilt by road markings and signposts and worn down to a shiny surface. Car tyres glide along, producing such a satisfying sound.

The buildings are single level, the only high rises being the majestic volcanoes proudly standing watch over this little huddle. The desert is everyone’s endless garden and the sun and moon always smile brightly like two of your best friends.

Just writing this post makes me nostalgic for this surreal little part of our world and I’m so happy to have experienced its beauty.

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Food and Drink

Always worth a mention as we spend so much time looking for and consuming it! For such a small place there is an abundance of choice for food and drink. Also every time you want to drink alcohol, you have to buy food, so there we have it, lots of eating. Below are our favourites.

Barros

The only place that had live music every night and was always beating. The guys out the front were top and always chatted to the groups of people waiting at the door. Effortlessly casual, you are seated in a gap in between other people. Saying, ‘hola’, we settle in with our new dining mates. With a free Maracuya Sour (compliments of San Pedro Backpackers) and a soup, a big dish of various stir-fried meat and veg and small desert, our meal only came to 7000 pesos (£7) each. Here tourists and locals come together to have a good time!

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Ckunna

This restaurant is a great place for both lunch and dinner: a beautiful sunny courtyard by day and an open-fire by night – perfecto! Although a little more on the pricey side, the food quality and presentation is fantastic. We were waited on by Miguel, a sound guy, who we actually ended up hanging out with during our stay.

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Roots Pizza & Cafe

The name says it all really – great reggae music, funky decor and a chilled atmosphere. We came here a couple times for a cooked brekkie and coffee and it was delicious!

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