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article imagePhoto Essay: Out of this world scenery at ‘Valley of the Moon’ Special

By Igor I. Solar     Sep 15, 2013 in Travel
Calama - There are locations on Earth that resemble otherworldly landscapes. Chile’s ‘Valle de la Luna’, or Valley of the Moon, in the Atacama Desert, near the Andes foothills, is one of those places.
Located 13 kilometres west of San Pedro de Atacama there is a section of the National Reserve “Los Flamencos” known as the Valley of the Moon because its topography resembles the lunar surface. The site, located about 2,500 meters above sea level, is a pre-Andean depression of about 500 meters in diameter covered by saline terrain surrounded by small hills with sharp ridges product of a profound transformation of the desert crust which occurred over thousands of years. Successive folds of the lake bottom in this sector of the Atacama Salt-flats, and the erosion of the wind, have resulted in amazing rock formations, caves, salt surfaces and gigantic dunes.
Valley of the Moon is a pre-Andean depression in the middle of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.
Valley of the Moon is a pre-Andean depression in the middle of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.
Valley of the Moon  a section of the National Reserve  Los Flamencos  at about 2 500 meters above se...
Valley of the Moon, a section of the National Reserve "Los Flamencos" at about 2,500 meters above sea level, is a pre-Andean depression in the middle of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.
Valley of the Moon  in the Atacama Desert  northern Chile.
Valley of the Moon, in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile.
The changing colors of the sand and rocks produce beautiful visual effects especially at dawn and dusk. It is a barren landscape, devoid of moisture where only occasionally has been observed the presence of a life form: a grey and yellow lizard, endemic of the region, adapted to very dry and saline environments known as the Fabian lizard (Liolaemus fabiani).
The Valley of the Moon, part of one of the driests deserts on Earth, is an extraordinary place where the lighting conditions along the day gradually change the hues of the surrounding hills and the volcanoes that can be seen in the distance, ranging from shades of gray, to pink, to deep red.
Valley of the Moon  a section of the National Reserve  Los Flamencos  in the Atacama Desert in north...
Valley of the Moon, a section of the National Reserve "Los Flamencos" in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.
Valley of the Moon  in the Atacama Desert  northern Chile.
Valley of the Moon, in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile.
Dunes in Valley of the Moon  at about 2 500 meters above sea level  in the Atacama Desert  northern ...
Dunes in Valley of the Moon, at about 2,500 meters above sea level, in the Atacama Desert, northern Chile.
Valley of the Moon  a section of the National Reserve  Los Flamencos  at about 2 500 meters above se...
Valley of the Moon, a section of the National Reserve "Los Flamencos" at about 2,500 meters above sea level, is a pre-Andean depression in the middle of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile.
Related articles on the San Pedro de Atacama region:
Photo Essay: 'San Pedro de Atacama' — Oasis in the Atacama Desert
Photo Essay: Toconao — ‘Stone town’ in the silence of the desert
Photo Essay: Llamas — Legacy of the Incas in the Andean highlands
Volcanoes, lagoons, monks and cathedrals in the high Andes
More about Valley of the Moon, Atacama desert, San Pedro de atacama, Fabian lizard, Atacama saltflats
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