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Atacama desert News

Perfect conditions allow Death Valley to erupt in vivid color

Death Valley - Perfect conditions have led to a burst of colorful wildflowers in Death Valley National Park in Central California this month. The usually barren landscape has been transformed into a palette of vivid colors.

Death Valley's 1,000-year-floods — A preview of El Nino's wrath?

Death Valley - California's Death Valley National Park endured torrential rains in October this year, making it the wettest month on record. The hard-hitting storms and weather system were responsible for the 1,000-year-flood event that followed.

Flowers bloom in the Earth's driest place — The Atacama desert

Atacama - Something spectacular has happened in South America this year. The Atacama desert of Chile, known as the driest non-polar place in the world, erupted in bloom, not once, but twice over the past year, a phenomenon never before seen.

Decay of 7000-year-old mummies attributed to climate change

Arica - The mummies of the Chinchorro culture, deemed the world’s oldest, are being threatened by environmental and biological issues that experts link to climate change. The Chinchorro Indians lived about 9,000 years ago in the coast of the Atacama Desert.

Rescued Chilean miners gather to cheer their national soccer team

Santiago - Remember the ordeal of the 33 miners who were trapped for 70 days in the San José copper mine in northern Chile in 2010? They came together again to film a moving video in support of Chile’s national soccer team playing in the World Cup Brazil 2014.

Preview: Chile documentary shows the wildlife of a long country

A team of adventurous filmmakers has made a documentary that shows the opportunities to see wildlife along Chile, from the arid regions of the Atacama Desert to the Patagonia and Antarctica, and from the high Andes to the Pacific Ocean.

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

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.

Photo Essay: Llamas — Legacy of the Incas in the Andean highlands Special

Llamas are Andean mammals related to camels and dromedaries. Llamas were first domesticated about 5,000 years ago by the Incas of the Peruvian highlands and they are still bred by the people of the Andes for their meat, wool and as beasts of burden.

Photo Essay: Toconao — ‘Stone town’ in the silence of the desert Special

Calama - Toconao, a small town in the Atacama Desert is home to an ancient native community. The charm of the village comes from its plainness, the calm of its people, its special climate, and its lovely religious architecture that has stood the test of time.

Photo Essay: Surreal landscapes of highland lagoons near the sky Special

Calama - About a million years ago a volcanic eruption stopped the flow of mountain creeks. The water collected on a plateau high above the Atacama Desert forming two lagoons of breathtaking beauty now occupied by waterfowl species typical of the Andes.

Photo Essay: 'San Pedro de Atacama' — Oasis in the Atacama Desert Special

Calama - This charming little village offers many historical and cultural attractions typical of northern Chile, and is surrounded by breathtaking natural scenery such as volcanoes, geysers, hot springs, and varied flora and fauna.

'The Desert Hand' — A tribute to victims of torture and injustice Special

Antofagasta - In the middle of the Atacama Desert, in a parched and forsaken region, a giant hand comes out of the ground. It is a sculpture by Chilean artist Mario Irarrázabal representing the victims of injustice and torture during the military regime in Chile.

Antofagasta Fishing Cove — Seafood landings on the desert’s edge Special

Antofagasta - The port of Antofagasta, located on the Pacific Ocean at the edge of Chile’s Atacama Desert, is mostly a mining and industrial center; however, fishing is also an important economic activity attracting local buyers and external visitors.

Barrick Gold: ‘We regret environmental problems, we’ll comply’

Santiago - Canadian mining company Barrick Gold Corporation said today that it will comply with the details of the resolution of Chile's Superintendent for the Environment (SMA) in which the authority fined the company US$ 16.4 million.

The old ‘Baquedano’ Station and Railway Museum, Chile Special

Antofagasta - The old Baquedano railway complex, located 90 kilometers northeast of the city of Antofagasta in the arid Atacama Desert in northern Chile, was the converging point of Chile’s North-South railway line and the East-West Antofagasta-Bolivia Railway.

The amazing flowering Desert of Atacama Special

Vallenar - The Atacama Desert of Chile is known as one of the driest places on Earth; however, because of higher than usual winter precipitation related to El Niño phenomenon, the desert can burst in a sensational bloom of colourful flowers.

Fossil of giant prehistoric bird discovered in northern Chile Special

Santiago - The fossil remains of a prehistoric bird of huge proportions discovered in coastal sediments of the Atacama Desert of Chile, near the town of Bahía Inglesa, has been described as a new species.

Chile’s Cerro Tololo Observatory: a window to the Southern sky Special

La Serena - Chile is home to several astronomical observatories located at the foothills of the Andes Mountains in the Atacama Desert, where around 300 clear nights per year and a very stable atmosphere allow international astronomers the study of the southern sky.

Chilean miners: Message stuck to end of probe: ‘We are all alive’

Santiago - A message in a plastic bag written in red ink on a paper stuck to the end of the probe that carries out rescue operations brought extreme joy to the families of 33 miners trapped 17 days ago at the site of the San José mine in the Atacama Desert of Chile
 

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Shoreline of the Atacama Desert in the Antofagasta region. These beaches were locations inhabited by...
Shoreline of the Atacama Desert in the Antofagasta region. These beaches were locations inhabited by the aboriginals of the Chinchorro culture.
Cactus and other rare plants show their best appearance during the blooming season  after the occasi...
Cactus and other rare plants show their best appearance during the blooming season, after the occasional winter rains.
Succulent desert plants show their bright green color contrasting with the blooming flowers.
Succulent desert plants show their bright green color contrasting with the blooming flowers.
The man wearing a red shirt is one of many  fish-cleaners  at the Fish Terminal. He works cleaning f...
The man wearing a red shirt is one of many "fish-cleaners" at the Fish Terminal. He works cleaning fish for customers in exchange of tips. Fish cleaners have "devoted followers" among the local marine birds.
No much traffic in  downtown  Toconao. This man brought his chair to the middle of the street to enj...
No much traffic in "downtown" Toconao. This man brought his chair to the middle of the street to enjoy the afternoon sunshine.
Altiplanic lagoons Miscanti and Miñiques. The sky is clear  the air is crisp  and the summits of th...
Altiplanic lagoons Miscanti and Miñiques. The sky is clear, the air is crisp, and the summits of the highest mountains of the Andes are very close.
Desert flowers struggle for survival in the middle of one of the driest deserts in the world.
Desert flowers struggle for survival in the middle of one of the driest deserts in the world.
Bikers take advantage of the shadow projected by the giant  Hand of the Desert .
Bikers take advantage of the shadow projected by the giant "Hand of the Desert".
Large extensions of the Atacama desert change colour with the sequencial blooming of the desert flow...
Large extensions of the Atacama desert change colour with the sequencial blooming of the desert flowers.
This simple construction is the oldest building in San Pedro de Atacama and perhaps the oldest in Ch...
This simple construction is the oldest building in San Pedro de Atacama and perhaps the oldest in Chile. It dates from June 1540 and was constructed to provide refuge to Spanish conquistador Don Pedro de Valdivia during his visit to the budding town.
The bell tower was built separately from the chapel. It is opposite the church in the small town squ...
The bell tower was built separately from the chapel. It is opposite the church in the small town square.
Late afternoon at the Altiplanic lagoons Miscanti and Miñiques. Several species of waterfowl use th...
Late afternoon at the Altiplanic lagoons Miscanti and Miñiques. Several species of waterfowl use the grass in the margins of the lagoons to nest in the spring.
The impressive sculpture is continuously targeted by graffiti  which requires frequent maintenance a...
The impressive sculpture is continuously targeted by graffiti, which requires frequent maintenance and cleaning. Unfortunately, soon after it's cleaned, it is attacked again.
San Pedro de Atacama Church. The  building is constructed of adobe walls and ceilings made of wood f...
San Pedro de Atacama Church. The building is constructed of adobe walls and ceilings made of wood from native trees covered with a mixture of straw and clay. In 1951, the old church was declared a National Monument.
Succulent desert plants show their bright green colors contrasting with the blooming flowers.
Succulent desert plants show their bright green colors contrasting with the blooming flowers.
The fishing cove is protected from the wind and the waves of the Pacific Ocean by a long dock leavin...
The fishing cove is protected from the wind and the waves of the Pacific Ocean by a long dock leaving a channel between the red and green light signals for the boats to come in and out.
The Toconao Square is surrounded by stone constructions with flat roofs held in place by stones. Bei...
The Toconao Square is surrounded by stone constructions with flat roofs held in place by stones. Being in the middle of the desert, some of the square's vegetation consists of old, thick cactuses.
The South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens)  also known as the Patagonian sea lion  inhabits the...
The South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens), also known as the Patagonian sea lion, inhabits the coasts of Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina and Southern Brazil. They are not very popular with fishermen because they damage nets and steal fish. Those living as families at the Antofagasta fishing cove are very tame.
When fishing is slow many boats remain moored within the terminal  serving as perch for seagulls.
When fishing is slow many boats remain moored within the terminal, serving as perch for seagulls.
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.