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Attention honeymooners: The Atacama Desert is South America’s Most Romantic Destination!

By: Jeniffer Vega | Date: 15 July, 2019 | In: Adventure , Nature ,

It’s true, the World Travel Awards, also known as the Oscar’s of tourism, chose the Atacama Desert as the Best Romantic Destination in South America for the second consecutive year!  A dreamy oasis of nature and romanticism in northern Chile!

There are plenty of good reasons San Pedro de Atacama won this prize. It’s the main city in the world’s most arid desert and it’s a great place for getting away any time of the year. It has the clearest skies in the world, and a landscape of colors and different terrains that are unique on Planet Earth.

Volcanoes in every direction, among which the mythical Licancabur, the tallest volcano in South America, stands out majestically. Another spectacle of nature that allows us to witness its great force are the Tatio Geysers, with their boiling water that blasts out from the depths of the Earth. Lagoons and natural hot springs are in the high Andean Altiplano, an oasis for protected plants and animals. All this and much more make the Atacama Desert the worthy winner of this important prize by popular vote.

Imagen de una pareja de enamorados recorriendo el Desierto de Atacama en bicicleta

San Pedro de Atacama, the perfectly romantic destination for your honeymoon

If you are planning your wedding, check out San Pedro de Atacama as your honeymoon destination. It’s the perfect place to visit as a couple, combining rest, pleasant temperatures throughout the year and romantic sunsets, followed by star-gazing into its renowned clear night skies.

Exquisite restaurants, bike adventures, hot springs, and the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the planet, San Pedro de Atacama is without a doubt the best destination in South America for honeymooners.

Nowadays there is a wide variety of hotel offerings with prices that can suit almost any wallet. And since San Pedro is all about wellness, most hotels offer massages, meals and tours, to help visitors to have a well fed, well-guided, delightful experience in the desert.

The Atacama Desert and its surrounding towns are so out of this world that you’ll forget about the existence of your modern devices and all earthly preoccupations.

imagen de un hombre realizando sandboard por las dunas del Desierto de Atacama

Once you get reach and see the famous Valley of the Moon and Valley of Death (Valle de la Luna, Valle de la Muerte) you and your partner will feel like you’re walking on a different planet, a place of silence and mystery, bizarre landforms, colors and the most marvelous sunset you’ll ever see.

If you and your loved one like a bit more of an adrenaline rush and action, the Valley of Death has immense sand dunes for sandboarding, or else you can explore it on bike or gallop through on a horse.

After the sun sets and you’ve taken a relaxing shower, the town of San Pedro has an active night life to enjoy and a wide variety of restaurants to pamper your taste buds.

On the main street called Caracoles, dinner can be a moment to hear the typical music played live by its locals, sitting by a fireplace, treating yourselves to exquisite dishes that you wouldn’t ever imagine eating while you’re in the most arid desert of the world.

And if you still have energy and want more, there’s nothing more romantic tan gazing at the vastness of the sky, a spectacle available every night in this haven, which reminds us of how tiny we are in comparison.

Enjoy the Waters in this oasis

It seems incredible that this desert, the driest in the world due to its almost null rainfall, has nevertheless, a huge amount of different experiences associated to water, where you and your soul mate can connect to one another. No wonder it has been chosen as South America’s Most Romantic Destination!

Beginning with one of the richest and most unforgettable experiences, located 35 km (22 miles) from San Pedro de Atacama and at 3,475 meters above sea level, the Puritama Hot Springs, “hot waters” in the indigenous language, are inserted in a large stone ravine.  With temperatures between 25ºC and 30ºC, its waters have medicinal and therapeutic properties, nourished by the minerals of the Puritama river.

The pools of water are connected by wooden paths, and the place has some other amenities such as bathrooms, changing rooms, a cafeteria and on the weekends, you can get a massage. It’s wonderful to go as a couple, to have privacy and rest in midst of nature in all its splendor.

Imagen de un hombre caminando entre las fumarolas de los geyser del Tatio

Many tours that go to the Tatio Geysers, pass by the hot springs on the way back, but if you prefer to go directly, it’s easy to get there by car or taking another tour which can be hired in San Pedro de Atacama.

Another romantic and unforgettable experience to enjoy with your partner is going to Laguna Cejar and Tebinquinche. Inside the Salar de Atacama, the third largest salt flat in the world, there are lagoons of water so salty that you can float in them with no effort at all. Plus, you’ll marvel at the surrounding landscape which displays an array of colors, and is dominated by several large volcanoes.

After floating in the turquoise water, continue on the route towards the Ojos del Salar, or the Eyes of the Salt Flat, two lagoons of deep fresh water that emerge from the arid desert ground. Further south is the Tebinquinche lagoon, one of the favorite places where tourists come to watch the flamingos that feed here.

Enjoy an afternoon contemplating the reflection of the Andes mountains in the water, contrasting with the whiteness of the salt. The sunset, with its intense tonalities of yellow, orange and ocher colors, offers a true spectacle for your eyes.

And last but not least, the trip can continue towards the Miscanti and Miñiques lagoons. Also known as the Altiplano lakes, given their location at over 4,500 meters above sea level in the Andean highlands, they offer a truly mystical experience, as it can be so overwhelming to see such beauty that it detonates an explosion of emotions.

The Love Story between Licancabur and Quimal, volcanoes in love

It shouldn’t be hard to understand why the Atacama Desert was voted the Most Romantic place in the continent, when even its landscapes have love stories to tell, like the legend about the eternal love between Licancabur, the tallest volcano in Latin America, and his beloved Quimal.

Imagen del volcán Licancabur rodeado de animales y vegetación

According to the beliefs of the Atacama people, the volcanoes are strong warriors and the mountains are lovely maidens. Licancabur or “mountain of the people” and beside him, Juriques, a smaller flat volcano, were both in love with, Quimal, the largest of the Domeyco mountains, whose heart was true to Licancabur.

The legend tells that Licancabur and Juriques were two warrior princes, sons of the ancient and hot-tempered Lascar – the most active volcano of the Andes. Juriques, full of bitterness and blinded by desire tried to possess Quimal by force. When Licancabur found out what happened, he decapitated his envious brother with a single strike and since then Juriques is known as “the headless”.

The other volcanos cried for justice for their dead brother and Lascar, although he understood his son’s reasons, exiled Quimal to a place in the middle of the desert, a hundred kilometers to the west, on the other side of the salt flat.

Every year when the sun rises on the day of the winter solstice, you can see the shadow of Licancabur covering Quimal’s body completely. And on the other side is Lascar, the jealous and grumpy volcano, always spitting smoke and fire, scaring off the locals because of Quimal’s unrequited love.

So now you know, San Pedro de Atacama invites visitors to discover its legends and beautiful landscapes, considered the most romantic in South America, which is why today the World Travel Awards rewards San Pedro with this worldwide recognition.


Written by: Jeniffer Vega

Escritor de blog para Chile.Travel

Escritor de blog para Chile.Travel