Chile Part 2: Atacama Desert

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Valley of the Moon

We keep ending up in the desert. There’s something about the rugged, stark, enormity of them that draws me back. I like places that make me feel small, and the vast emptiness of the desert does just this. Plus, unlike the jungle there are far less bugs. Or at least, you’re more likely to see them coming. We would have preferred to head south, to Patagonia. But it’s the wrong season, so instead we flew north to one of the driest places on earth: The Atacama Desert.

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Chile Part 1: Santiago

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We flanked our time in Chile in Santiago, but to keep it simple I’m combining our time there.

Turns out, Santiago is far from San Francisco. It’s 7.5 hours to Panama City and another 6.5 to Santiago. Fourteen hours of flights. I don’t think we really thought about this when booking. But, we took a redeye, used miles to go business class, and with only three hour time difference it wasn’t all that bad. Definitely felt far more jet-lag going to Japan. We slept most of the way there, customs was easy, and grabbing the bus to city center was simple and efficient (and $2/person). Avoiding taxis is one of my travel musts. Santiago proved an easy city for this with a robust metro and Uber for if we got lazy. Once we arrived we checked into our hotel and grabbed some street sopapillas before heading to bed.  Continue reading