Happy New Year to Everyone who reads Lyn Taylor’s Adventure Travel Blog
I hope that 2011 is filled with lots of fun laughter and wonderful challenges.
My next adventure tour is a 35 day adventure trip to Patagonia, Salt and Atacama Desert.
Ten intrepid traveler’s will depart on this epic adventure on the 4th February.
Patagonia is the most famous region of Chile, Chilean Patagonia offers all the dramatic landscape one would expect from the world’s ultimate land’s end. Here the South American continent falls away in a dazzling explosion of islands, glaciers, icebergs and mountains. It is truly one of Mother Nature’s grand finales.
Chilean Patagonia is itself composed of two sub-regions; the northern Aisen and, to its south, Magallanes. Aisen is home to Parque National Laguna San Rafael, while Magellanes hosts the incomparable Parque National Torres del Paine. Isolated from the rest of Chile by fierce storms and impassable mountains, Magellanes can be reached only by air or overland from Argentina.
Magellanes is also home to the southern city of Punta Arenas, which first became prosperous during the California gold rush. The city’s site on the Pacific side of the Magellan Strait made it an ideal transshipment point for cargoes rounding the continent. Later, the city became the capital of Chile’s wool industry, which produced some of the richest barons on the continent.
Among the other wondrous sites in this remarkable region are: the Torres del Paine, a spectacular mountain range, which frames the Park of the same name, and extend to heights of up to 9,000 feet; the Cuernos del Paine, with a height of 6,300 feet; the hypnotic waterfalls of Salto Chico and Salto Grande; the Grey, Pingo, del Frances and Dickson glaciers; the Pehoe, Nordenskjold, Sarmiento, Pingo and Dickson lakes; and the Verde and Azul lagoons.
Some of the most hauntingly beautiful places in the world are found in Patagonia, making this area a favorite one for visitors from all over the world. In this tour we will travel fare beyond the usual tourist routes into an amazing array of landscapes where you will experience the contrast between beautiful turquoise lakes, moving glaciers, enormous granite towers to lush forests.
Lying on the Lerma Valley, Salta is the capital city of the harmonious province. It is situated in one of the most fertile and nicest sites ever created by nature in this region. It is located at 1,187 meters above sea level, at the bottom of Mounts 20 de Febrero and San Bernardo. Summer is mild and winter is warm and dry, with records of an annual average temperature of 22ºC, which makes the city an ideal place to live or visit.
The Hispanic architecture of the city outstands from the other cities in the country. The colonial spirit from the times of the foundation remains in its houses, streets, hundred-year-old monuments and narrow sidewalks surrounded by the mountains nearby.
There’s something magical about Iruya, a remote village just 50km from the main road but a world away. It makes a great destination to relax for a few days, and also allows proper appreciation of the region away journey is worth the trip in itself. The road winds down into another valley, where smallholders farm potatoes, onions and beans, and reaches Iruya, with its pretty yellow-and-blue church, steep streets, adobe houses and spectacular mountain landscapes (with soaring condors). It’s an indigenous community with fairly traditional values, so respect is called for. Chatting with the friendly locals is the highlight of most travelers’ experiences here. You can also trek in the surrounding hills or visit other communities in the valley.
Purmamarca – meaning “Town of the Virgin Land” in Aimara language- is settled at the foot of the polychromatic ” Cerro de los Siete Colores” ( Seven Colors Hill ) which provides the village with the ideal touristic contrast since it delights the senses of all the tourists that visit it. The climate in the region is mild with an annual average temperature of 20ºC with maximum temperatures of 25ºC and minimum temperatures of 2ºC. The village, with adobe buildings of cardon roofs and mud tiles, was designed around the Main Church from 1648 consecrated as St. Rosa de Lima which has currently been professed as National Monument since it has a particular architecture as well as valuable paintings and images from Cuzco inside. In the Square , there is a crafts fair where you can get regional products such as pottery, carpets made with looms, ponchos, musical instruments and typical clothes from the Quebrada ( Narrow path). In the surroundings of Purmamarca, you can enjoy the landscapes by means of going hiking, horse riding or on excursions of contemplative tourism along the bed of the river or in the Colorados Tour which has wonderful views with rock formations that have been naturally carved. Community celebrations such as the “misa-chico”, the dead worship, the Pachamama worship or the autochthonous music played with quenas ( Indian flutes), cajas, erques and sikus will delight you and show you the strong roots of the regional culture…
The Atacama Desert of Chile is a sparsely populated virtually rainless plateau, running from the Pacific Ocean to the Andes Mountains. The average width is less than 100 miles but it extends 600 miles south from the Peruvian border. The mountains nearest the ocean are the Pacific coastal range, with an average elevation of 2500 feet. The Cordillera Domeyko, a range of foothills of the Andes Mountains, lies east. The Atacama is made up of salt basins (salars) sand and lava flows. The landscape is so desolate it is sometimes described as “moon like”. In fact the Atacama has been chosen as a good site to test the prototype of a future lunar rover.
It is a shock then to learn that more than a million people live in the Atacama today. They crowd into coastal cities, mining compounds, fishing villages, and oasis towns. International teams of astronomers— perched in observatories on the Atacama’s coastal range—probe the cosmos through perfectly clear skies. Determined farmers in the far north grow olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers with drip-irrigation systems, culling scarce water from aquifers. In the altiplano, the descendants of the region’s pre-Columbian natives (mostly Aymara and Atacama Indians) herd llamas and alpacas and grow crops with water from snow melt streams.
Get ready to read more about this adventure in the coming weeks. Blogging will be limited so be patient.