Salt Flats, Refreshing Pools

Waterfalls and Inca ruins. Cacti and fresh strawberry juice. The morning began with a boulder scramble in an oddly lush valley of the Altiplano, Chile's arid high plateau region. Five minutes of rain (the first precipitation in more than a year) and fresh snow on the surrounding Andean hills added a magical touch to the day. On our hike across the salt flats near Chaxa Lake, we saw flamingos feeding on brine shrimp. Chile's Atacama is truly a unique and special place! -- Diane

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