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Adventure Travel

Wilderness Wonders: Driest Desert

If your going to Chile's Atacama Desert, don't forget the sunscreen.

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Biggest Cave |
Scariest Predator |
Driest Desert |
Hottest Geysers |
Largest Glacier |
Higest Peak |
Tallest Tree |
Highest Biodiversity |
Largest Primate |
Most Active Volcano |
Strangest Rock Formation |
Biggest Bear |
Largest Crater |
Farthest Migrator |
Tallest Waterfall

What These ecosystems are defined by dryness, not heat–and some of the stark salt flats and sand dunes that form South America’s Atacama Desert have gone 40 years without a drop of rain. Parts of the landscape are so mind-bogglingly barren that NASA has tested Mars-exploration technology here. But the Atacama also has its oases: lakes harboring flocks of flamingos, geysers, and the Cordillera de la Sal mountains (minerals in the rock give them a signature white hue).

Where Atacama Desert, Chile. From the town of San Pedro, begin a 10-day trip crisscrossing the region’s volcanoes, dunes, canyons, and lakes on horseback. hiddentrails.com