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Atacama Desert (Desierto de Atacama) description and photos - Chile: San Pedro de Atacama. Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photographs and a map showing the nearest significant objects. The title in English is Desierto de Atacama.
Photo and Description
The Atacama Desert is the driest area in Chile, bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes to the east. This desert, with an area of about 106,000 square kilometers, is located in the regions of Arica and Parinacota, Tarapaca, Antofagasta and the northern part of the Atacama.
The Atacama Desert is rich in salt lakes, hot springs and geysers, as well as mineral resources such as copper (28% of the world's copper reserves), iron, gold and silver, as well as large deposits of boron. salts of sodium and potassium nitrate. There are also many reserves of bischofite - a mineral obtained from the Salar de Atacama salt lakes, used in construction and pharmacology. The development and production of these minerals in the Atacama Desert is carried out by mining companies such as " Codelco " and " Lomas Bayas " (the world's largest copper mining companies), " Soquimich " (the largest company in Chile for the processing of salt, iodine and lithium).
Three million years ago, this area was part of the ocean floor. The main reason for the appearance of the Atacama Desert is a global climatic phenomenon that creates the deserts of the western coasts of all continents of the southern hemisphere at this latitude. The high atmospheric pressure of this zone forms the "Pacific Cyclone", which periodically moves along the coast to the east, creating storms.
In the Atacama Desert, rain can fall once in 15 - 40 years old. Periods of up to 400 years without rain have been recorded in this area. At night, temperatures can drop to -25 ° C, and daytime temperatures can rise to + 50 ° C in the shade. The desert has seasons of tornadoes and strong winds, the speed of which reaches 100 km / h.
The Atacama Desert has been inhabited since the beginning of American colonization. During the pre-Hispanic period, representatives of the Chinchorro culture lived here approximately 5,000 -1700 years ago.
The Atacama Desert got its name after the Spanish-American War of Independence, and due to the inaccuracy of the documents, this area officially became part of Bolivia. Despite the signed treaties, the bordering states were unable to settle disputes and in 1879 the territory became part of the Antofagasta region of Chile, initiating military action against Bolivia. In 1873, an agreement was signed on the defensive alliance of Peru and Bolivia, thus the war in the Pacific was officially declared in 1879, which ended in 1884 with the victory of Chile and the signing of the Ancona peace treaty.
The Atacama Desert is considered one of the best places in the world to watch the sky. Thanks to this, more than a dozen observatories are located in the Atacama Desert: Paranal (VLT), the ALMA astronomical complex, the largest astronomical project in the world La Silla and others. Chile owns 40% of the world's astronomical observations.
The Atacama Desert hosts off-road rallies such as Rally Baja Atacama, Rally Baja Chile, Rally Patagonia Atacama. The dunes of this desert are ideal for this sport. The Atacama Desert also hosts the Atacama Solar Race.
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Topic: Atacama Desert (Desierto de Atacama) description and photos - Chile: San Pedro de Atacama.