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Travel Guide of Salar de Atacama in Chile by Influencers and Travelers

Salar de Atacama is the largest salt flat in Chile. It is located 55 km south of San Pedro de Atacama, is surrounded by mountains, and has no drainage outlets.

Pictures and Stories of Salar de Atacama from Influencers

8 pictures of Salar de Atacama from Thomas Griggs, Raphael Nogueira, John Vincent and other travelers

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Learn More about Salar de Atacama

The Atacama Salt Flat is the largest salt flat or deposit in Chile. It is located in the Antofagasta region, south of the city of San Pedro de Atacama, at the foot of the high volcanoes Licancabur and Láscar.

The salt of the salar comes from the dissolution of salts from the volcanic soil of the surrounding region, by the water brought by the precipitations on the nearby Andean chain. In a first stage, the water infiltrates and accumulates in the soil, becoming loaded with salts. In a second stage, this underground water outcrops in the depression of the salar. The water then evaporates and the salts accumulate, forming a solid crust of mineral salts. This is cemented by the dust brought by the desert wind.

The small rivers resulting from the regular melting of the Andean snows from the surrounding peaks flow towards the basin of the salar, creating multiple oases. These were the privileged place for the development of the culture of the Atacamas Indians.

It has an area of about 300,000 hectares or 3,000 km21,2 . It is located at an altitude of approximately 2,500 metres. Its dimensions are about 100 km long and 80 km wide.
Located in the Atacama Desert, the driest desert on the planet, the air is also extremely dry, which makes it perfectly transparent, so that the view extends to the other side of the salar.

Frequently Asked Questions by Travelers planning a trip to Salar de Atacama

How do I access to the Salar de Atacama ?

-Plane : The best option is a flight Santiago - Calama (2 hours 10 minutes) operated by Latam and Sky Airline. ...
-Bus : 20 hours from Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama on the Ruta 5 Norte.
From San Pedro de Atacama there are excursions and tours to visit the salt flat.

The main by-products are potassium chloride, lithium carbonate, potassium sulphate, boric acid and magnesium salts.

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