Tamarugal Plateau: Humberstone, Santa Laura and the Pintados Geoglyphs
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Beverage - Water
Tour Participation Requirements
The world we live in today is nothing more than the remnants of what previous generations left behind. But few areas of Earth allow us to see undisturbed relics from as far back in time as the Pintados Geoglyphs.
These mysterious carvings represent the biggest collection of their kind in all of South America. Historians still aren't sure why or how they got there. Some believe that the ancients carved them to indicate safe routes for caravans traveling through the Atacama Desert. Another opinion is that they may have been used in religious prayer ceremonies performed by the natives. You'll have to formulate your own theory when you lay eyes on the sprawling illustrations for yourself.
For a more recent example of what those who came before us left behind, consider the mining outposts of Humberstone and Santa Laura. Originally erected in the late 19th century, when Chile's nitrate boom was near its height, these two towns were abandoned in the 1950s after the creation of synthetic nitrates sent the demand for natural salts into a downward spiral. Now protected national monuments, you'll see the movie theaters, houses, and processing plants that once hummed with activity. Walking around the town, you can almost still hear the hum of the salt processing machines and the chatter of the townsfolk, excited about the idea of long-term prosperity that would never come.
The Red Desert
The Atacama Desert is the driest place on earth. How barren is it? NASA scientists took samples of the desert's soil and tried unsuccessfully to grow organisms with it. There's only one other place where these scientists observed such lifeless soil: the planet Mars, where spacecraft captured soil samples strikingly similar to the Chilean desert.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.