Salar de Atacama at Chile
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Panoramic photo by Guga Siqueira EXPERT Taken 10:42, 22/10/2008 - Views loading...


Salar de Atacama at Chile

The World > South America > Chile

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South from San Pedro, you get to the center of the impressive Salar de Atacama. Through the way it is possible to have a good sight of the volcanoes Licancabur and Lascar among others. Continuing with the travel you reach to Toconao and the Salar with the Chaxa lagoon which is inhabitated by flamingos.

Salar de Atacama is the largest salt flat in Chile.It is located 55 km south of San Pedro de Atacama, is surrounded by mountains and has no drainage outlets. To the east is enclosed by the main chain of the Andes, while to the west lies a secondary mountain range of the Andes called Cordillera de Domeyko. Large volcanoes dominate the landscape, including the Licancabur, Acamarachi, Aguas Calientes and the Láscar. The latter is one of the most active volcanoes in Chile. All of them are located along the eastern side of the Salar de Atacama, forming a generally north-south trending line of volcanoes that separate it from smaller endorheic basins.

The salt flat encompasses 3,000 km², is about 100 km long and 80 km wide, which makes it the Americas' second largest and is also the second in the world, after Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia (10,582 km²). Its average elevation is about 2,300 m asl.The topography of the core portion of the salar exhibits a high level of roughness, which is due to that the surface of this area is permanently free of water, unlike the most of the other salt flats, as for example the Salar de Uyuni, which is periodically covered with shallow water. It contains 40% of the world's lithium reserves. Some areas of the salt flat form part of Los Flamencos National Reserve.

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Nearby images in Chile


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This panorama was taken in Chile, South America

This is an overview of South America

South America makes up the southern half of the Americas and a large part of Latin America. It's home to the world's longest mountain range, biggest waterfall and largest river -- even these mammoths pale in comparison to the stunning variety of life forms thriving in the rainforest.

To the northwest, off the coast of Ecuador, lie the Galapagos Islands, which are unique for hosting species not found anywhere else on earth. These were the subject of study for Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution, which he himself said will require proof in every single case.

The main languages in South America are Spanish and Portugese, which basically tells you which European countries colonized the place. The South American wars of independence took place over two decades in the early 19th century, led by Simon Bolivar of Venezuela and Jose san Martin of Argentina.

Following liberation from Portugal and Spain, South America took off into its own development, capitalizing on the rich deposits of oil, gold, copper, silver and tango musicians.

Brazil is the largest country in South America and home to one of the world's best parties, Carnaval. Have you heard of samba music? How about bossa nova? Maybe dancing for three days straight?

I can't say enough good things about South America. All the world's continents have amazing secrets and treasures laying in wait for your discovery, but in South America... just have a look at our pictures while you're waiting for online confirmation of your plane tickets to hit your inbox.

Text by Steve Smith.

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