How we crossed the Atacama Desert from Chile to Bolivia
Our adventures in South America continued north from Puerto Montt to Santiago and across the Atacama desert.
The Atacama Desert is a plateau in Chile, covering a 1,000-kilometre (600 mi) strip of land on the Pacific coast, west of the Andes mountains. Its’ unique location between two mountain chains (the Andes and the Chilean Coast Range) is of sufficient height to prevent moisture advection from either the Pacific or the Atlantic Oceans and creates a two-sided shadow with almost no rainfall at all.
Another fascinating fact is that its soil and sand conditions are pretty much similar to that of Mars and because of that, NASA uses this desert for testing instruments for missions to the red planet. The Atacama has also been used as a location for filming Mars scenes, most notably in the television series Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets.
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