San Pedro de Atacama – North Chile

After leaving Bolivia, San Pedro became my home for two days while I waited for a bus to take me back to Argentina. Known as a tourist mecca in the north of Chile, this little town is always filled with foreigners. It is small, quaint, and not very cheap to live, but has some interesting sights.

local church
The local church next to the main plaza.

Being out of season, when we got off the bus, we were accosted by several representatives of different hostels in the township. Each one shouted about the benefits of going to their place, emphasising the price. As we continued to hesitate the prices started to fall, until we finally took a place for only $3,000 pesos per night ($6 USD) in a private room.

Exhausted from a lack of sleep the night before because of the high altitude that we were at, I took advantage of the room and slept three hours this afternoon, feeling tremendously better when I finally arose.

camino de artesenales
The artesian arts walkway.

Five of us from our tour were in this room the first night. The German girls, Jasmine and Anna were leaving the next day to head down toward Santiago, but Jan, Sophie, and I decided that we would visit the worlds biggest open cut mine the next day.

Our visit took the entire day, and our time in the nearby city of Calama enabled us to book our ongoing bus tickets to Iquique, Chile and Salta, Argentina respectively. We finished the day with a very tasty home cooked pasta meal, thanks to Sophie.

three padlocks
Playing it safe with security.

The morning of the third day was very short, and by 10am we were waiting for our respective buses at different parts of the township. I had to leave my postcards unstamped at the post office because the town post office had run out of them. They promised me that they would stamp them and send them when the stamps finally did arrive.

Soon my bus came and swept me away from this interesting little township. By the end of the day I was in Salta, my journey through Bolivia and short stop in Chile were finished. Finally, I was back in my home country again.

shop door
Putting advertising wherever it fits.

local mountains
The local mountains are only a couple of kilometres from the town.

street sign
Local street signs are all made from wood.

driving down narrow streets
Some streets are really narrow for the cars.

local government building
Arches of the local government building.

man delivering goods
Early morning deliveries.

typical street
Street lights seem to be the only modern item in the town.

old church
A local rides past the old church on their way to work.

inside the church
The view inside the old church.

Andes mountains
Looking down the main street toward the Andes range in the distance.

two cyclists
Two cyclists head down the main road toward the Andes mountains.

slums
The cheaper area of town, where people build what they can.

my hostel
The hostel where we stayed for the two nights.

view of hostel from above
Looking down on our hostel from the viewpoint of the water tank.