It is hard to convey the grandness of the landscape around San Pedro de Atacama with a photo. A large volcano looms behind. And local sights included a giant hole made by a meteorite, only recently discovered through satellite photography.


Strange vast vistas abound.


Jason stood Wile E. Coyote style.


One evening, we hiked through the Valley of Death, and appropriately, watched a couple mountain bikers and a ¨sand boarder¨ risk life and limb on the dunes.


The Valley of the Moon, which gets amazing light at sunset, sounded more tranquil. We headed over with our group of nice British and Canadian tourists. Climbing up the hill to see the red-lit landscape was incredibly exhausting, due to the high altitude of San Pedro. We also noticed that one wrong step could lead to a lethal tumble down the hillside. Not so tranquil. It was an incredible, martian sunset though.


Jason commented that the landscape looked like a backdrop from a B-rated sci-fi movie.

The trip down, after dark, was a little scarier. The "being responsible for your own life or death" concept is big in South America.