The name Valle de la Luna tells us a lot about this place. As you can imagine, it was named because of the moon-like landscape. Various stone and sand formations have been carved by wind and water, featuring impressive range of texture, color, and shape, like the moon. Each section has a different combination of hills, sand dunes, rock formations, and volcanoes in the background. As one of the driest deserts in the world, Atacama Desert features some of the most extreme vista. Some of the areas in the valley never had a single drop of rain for last several hundred years. Some areas here have dry lakes, where the salt compound makes a white layer of the area. The dry salt crystals sometimes look like man-made sculptures. It’s a part of the nature sanctuary Reserva Nacional los Flamencos.
Most of the travelers head to the Valle de la Luna for the sunset, that’s because the dramatic vista here is the most stunning under the setting sun. It’s not easy to have a peaceful moment when in a popular place like this, but worries not. explora Atacama has their own spot for the sunset watching. Six of us were alone, where we could see the 360-degree panoramic view of the valley. From sand dunes to rocky hills, it was like sitting in the moon, but with more oxygen.
When you go, remember not to step outside of the trail. The thin white layer on the ground seems like nothing, but it works as a shield of the sand and dust against of wind. Nature is a delicate being. Leave no trace! Also remember to bring scarf of buff to cover your mouth and nose. It’s the driest place on earth, remember? The trail is sandy and dusty. If you’re going for the sunset, don’t leave right after the sun sets. The best part of the desert sunset comes after. Sit for a while and enjoy the changing colors on the valley and the nearby volcanoes around.