Torres del Paine National Park

Valparaiso - Santiago

San Pedro de Atacama

Valley of the Moon

 del Tatio geysers

Toconao and salar d'Atacama

The Atacama Desert to Iquique

Arica and the lake Chungara


From El Calafate, Argentina, we took a bus that brought us to Puerto Natales.

We booked our hotel room but not the car for

perform the 112 km to get to the Torres del Paine National Park.



Avis was the only car rental company known. The company had no more car to rent. we found a renter

local in the person of Mr. Pinochet who gave us a beautiful American 1950s. We were very

pleased with the services of Mr. Pinochet because we fell down in the park and he sent a car

to pick us up. He repaid the repair we had done to the hotel personnel.

From Puerto Natales, we also preserve the wonderful memories of our first grilled wild salmon

eaten in Chile. We had the unpleasant surprise of not being able to use our Visa card to pay

merchants. It only worked in ATC. So we paid our stay in cash.

Since we travel with a Visa card and a Mastercard.



Pehoe Hotel and the  Pehoe lake

We paid the hotel Pehoe from France.

We were not able to pay with our Visa card and

we had to pay with a cashier's check.

The hotels are very expensive inside the park,

we chose the most economical.




A great traveler in Quebec considers the Torres del Paine as the prettiest place in the world. Make up your mind?

We were there in late spring and we had the four seasons in one day. Too bad because if we had

always had a beautiful blue sky, we might have had the same opinion. Whatever, a trip to Chile must include

visiting the park Torres del Paine.


the 3 cuernos del Paine



the towers


Contrary to Glacier Park in Argentina where we

had sunshine every day, we have often here the 4 seasons

in the same day.





The Torres del Paine park also offers a rich fauna


the guanaco

the rheas


the guanaco


Black-headed swan is native to this region




the fox and her cubs


flamingos live with swans

Unlike swans and flamingos that were

difficult to approach, the guanaco is a curious animal

and we have not had any problems for the film.




We went to Lake Grey and took the tour on the lake. Unfortunately at this time

of year, icebergs were too many on the lake to see the glacier.


Lake Grey

Lake Grey


we were one of the posers who have had the pleasure of drinking a whiskey on the rocks with ice from

icebergs. images show that the sun was not at the appointment.



From Park Torres del Paine, we returned to Puerto Natales where we took a bus to the airport

From Punta Arenas we embarked for Chile's capital Santiago.






in Punta Arenas, we traveled with an official Chilean Francophile who was kind enough to bring us

to our hotel. Here, as in Argentina nobody speaks English and even less French. They speak the Castilian.

It required a great effort to remember some Spanish learned there are over 40 years.






With its 4.2 million inhabitants, Santiago has one quarter

of the country's population. The city is located 140 km

 from the sea and 53 km of ski resorts because it is

surrounded  the east by the Andes cordillera and

west by the Cordillera de la Costa.


Valparaiso is located 115 km from Santiago. A bus service operaes from 5:45 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily

between the two cities due to to a bus 15 minutes.






Valparaiso is the second largest city. Before starting

service of the Panama Canal, Valparaiso was the most

major port of the continent, but still today the most

Chile's main port. The city is built on

hills surrounding the bay, like San Francisco.

As this city, she has experienced many seismic

 shocks. The tourist attraction are the many

cable cars going up and down hills.

Here, we were told to watch out for pickpockets.

We have not felt this feeling of insecurity.








In Santiago de Chile, we embarked for Calama where we got to our car rented on the Internet.

We have not visited Calama and copper mine and we went directly to San Pedro de Atacama.

We stayed at the hotel Kimal, a hotel built in adobe.



This is from San Pedro de Atacama we visited

Valley of the Moon, the pukara Quitor, the Tatio geysers,

Toconao and the Salar de Atacama.





Valley of the Moon








The Moon Valley is located about ten kilometers

the village of San Pedro.





The Tatio geysers


We took a trip to the local agency Tatio geysers located at 4300 m altitude. the departure

takes place at 4am with an arrival on the scene at about 7am. During the climb, it is advisable to drink

plenty of water. That's what we did and we also took to homeopathy (coke). This is perhaps

This allowed us not to suffer from altitude sickness.


Tatio geysers

Tatio geysers


Tatio geysers

We are in a landscape of the Altiplano with this

geothermal field fed by the volcano del Tatio





Toconao and the salar de Atacama


By visiting Toconao, we met the charming owner of El Tellar craft store,


       click on the picture to see the video


This charming lady's knits alpaca wool with cactus spines. We bought her a

tapestry with llamas and cactus.





crossing the Atacama desert to Iquique


We did not take the road along the Pacific Ocean because we wanted to visit the Pintados.

This road is monotonous, the desert is a sad gray. The road is lined by telegraph poles.



along the road, we were surprised to discover

a hole in the gray desert, with in the background, an oasis.




We visited the oasis of Pica and Matilla 116 km from Iquique before arriving at Pintados, 20 km away.

It took much effort to visit the "pintados", these hills with huge drawings on their flanks.


Here we distinguish humans and animals

there, an abstract form



The geoglyphs show figures by removing

land on the hill or adding black stones on the

hillside. We struggled to

visit because it was closed. We followed a car

who opened a gate .....



In 1879 the city of Iquique in Chile became after Chile's victory over the coalition Bolivian - Peruvian.

This city owes its existence to the operation of saltpeter, and was the cause of the revolution of 1891 which led to the

military junta to maintain the operation of saltpetre to private capital.



Iquique means in Indian language, the quiet place,

where people sleep.

Today Iquique is the first port of

fish meal in the world


Iquique theater

The theater was built in 1889 at the time of operation

of saltpetre. It is a copy of the theater in Manaus, Brazil.

At the end of the 19th century the theater has seen all

 the great international artists. We attended a

performance of dances of South America and

we were a small handful viewers, less than 10 in

this huge room, because a political rally for

the presidential election.




We offer you a Bolivian dance, hoping that many of you will enjoy it. Please click on the picture






ARICA and the road to Lake Chungara


The road between ARICA and Iquique is nice. To visit this

region, it would be preferable to do Calama - Iquique by plane and rent

his car in Iquique to visit the area. North of Iquique, we have

never seen the sign for the road leading to the largest of geoglyphs:

The Giant of Atacama and yet we stopped to ask

our way but our Spanish was a bit just to understand the directions.






Arica is a bustling city of 160,000 inhabitants.

we stayed at Arica,  first before we go to

Putre and Chungara lake, then return before taking

the plane to France.



This church was designed by Gustave Eiffel, it was made

in France and sent by parts in Arica.

We visited the Archaeological Museum of San Miguel

 de Azapa and were impressed by the oldest mummies

of the world. This is the dry climate of the region

 that allows their conservation.

 A Visit!




We drove from Arica to Putre at 3500m. The winding road is mostly traveled by trucks

overloaded who travel to Bolivia.



Along the road we filmed these candelabra cactus.
These cactus grow between 1700m and 3000m.



This church looks more like Peru or Bolivia.


We left the road and borrowed a winding road that leads to Socorama, a typical village that prefigures

Bolivia and Peru. Then we went at Putre where we have lunch and took possession of our

hotel room. Wisdom was that we stopped here but we made the mistake to

visit Lake Chungara at 4570m above sea level and we had altitude sickness.

We went back down to Putre where we slept very badly.





lake Chungara



lake Chungara



lake Chungara


lake Chungara


lake Chungara


flamingos in the lake Chungara


moorhens on Lake Chungara


a vicuna on the Altiplano


a rhea near Lake Chungara

Chungara Lake is the highest lake in the world

with 4570m. As the road overlooking the lake, we surely

exceeded 4600, our record in altitude. This lake is

surrounded by volcanoes that exceed 6000m.



After our night at Putre, we took the Lake Road Chungara with the goal to go to

the Salar de Surire and join Putre and Arica. Our plan was frustrated by police. We first

had a control wheel on the track and we were stopped for at least 1 hour. Then we again

stopped at a fixed control and we rechecked our passports. Finally, we had more time to

go to the salar and we visited the small village of Gualatire with its volcano of the same name.

it was probably paid to go






It was a beautiful time on the Altiplano during the day

by against at the dark, it was cold and we were

obliged to put the heating in our room at Putre.