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Declared a National Monument in 1951, the church is built from adobe walls and its ceiling is made from wood of the Cañar and locust tree, and clay then covered over with cactus-wood. Valley of the Moon Located 19 km from the village of San Pedro de Atacama and a popular tour for practically all visitors is the "Valle de La Luna" (Valley of the Moon), so called because of its resemblance to the surface of the moon.Departure fromexplora by van (35 min.) on the road towards the North-East.You should NOT participate in any high altitude excursions if you are not fit, are in bad health (ie have a less-than-healthy heart condition) and without first adjusting to the altitude in San Pedro de Atacama.You should also drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids and get a good amount of sleep.The road entrance is located about mid-way along the eastern side of the salt plain, approximately 80 km south from San Pedro de Atacama.Within this salt flat is the Chaxa Lagoon, which is within the Los Flamencos National Reserve, home to flocks of pink flamingos and other types of birds, all feeding on microscopic organisms in the shallow waters.South Toconao village, with a population of around 700 people, is at 2,475km above sea level and located 38km south of San Pedro de Atacama, sitting on the edge of the vast salt flat “Salar de Atacama”.The geographic landscape that surrounds the village is formidable.
The vast majority of excursions out from San Pedro de Atacama are at higher altitudes, some reaching over 4,000m.The excursion starts out by descendingfrom the Guatín settlement until Punta del Inca,following the river’s course down through the ravine/canyon.Return by van (35 min.) Departure from Hotel de Larache by van (35 min.) towards the Valle de la Luna.The view of the unbelievably impressive, surrounding landscape whilst bathing is a draw-dropper.Note: The surrounding edges of the lagoon are made from salt crystals that are sharp and can cut feet, so best to wear bathing shoes.
On the return journey there is a spectacular view back over the massive Salar de Atacama.