The Next Best Thing to the Moon

Thinking about going on vacation? Why not try the moon? Well not really the moon but about as close as you’ll get anywhere on earth, San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. Read about San Pedro in Journey to Mars: San Pedro de Atacama, Chile, by writer Max Hartshorne.

“San Pedro de Atacama is an oasis visible far ahead as we drive the rail-straight road out of Calama. The road shimmers and is unendingly flat, in the moonscape desert all around you; San Pedro is the only green patch. It’s called the Valley of the Moon. NASA tested out their Martian rover vehicle here, where these boulder-strewn flatlands look a lot like the photos of the red planet we’ve seen on TV.

The town is laid out in a square grid; the streets are full of mountain bikers, donkey carts, and expedition minibuses. San Pedro is town with a 500-year leftover head rush from the hallucinogenics taken so liberally by the Incas who once ruled here.

Chile’s Atacama desert is place where the vastness of everything around you makes you feel small, yet the warmth of the fires match the warmth of the locals. It feels like a place we’ll be reading much more about in the years ahead, as more and more travelers discover San Pedro.”