Monday, 17 October 2016
CHILE: San Pedro de Atacama Bike Tours
The recently-released book “Live the Altiplánico Experience San Pedro de Atacama” offers a compilation of maps, photos, and texts from over 20 places and routes to discover the surrounding areas of one of the most photogenic destinations in the north of Chile.
The book has useful information about how to visit this tourist destination via self-guided bike routes. According to the authors, the idea is for visitors to venture out on their own to enjoy San Pedro de Atacama from atop two wheels and at their own rhythm. It is an invitation to experience the landscape and culture in a personalized and sustainable way.
The book’s maps are very detailed, allowing visitors to learn about the distances, milestones, and altitude of each place. It also gives readers tips on how to get to each point, a description of the trail, the level of difficulty, and even whether there are spots to get water or food along the way.
One of the classic routes runs 17 kilometers (one way) from San Pedro through the Valle de la Luna (Valley of the Moon) and has a medium level of difficulty. The Cordillera de la Sal (Salt Mountains) provides the backdrop here, which is a unique geographic feature that has been shaped by water and wind over millions of years. There are numerous stopping points along the way such as the Cavernas de la Sal (Salt Caverns), the Duna Mayor (Great Dune), and an old salt mine, as well as gorgeous viewpoints that look out over canyons and the Licancabur Volcano.
Another route with a low level of difficulty takes visitors to the Inca Ruins and the Church of San Isidro. This route extends for 8.5 kilometers in one direction where visitors reach an old administrative hub of the Inca culture. The church is located very close to here, which was built in 1913 by the Italian settler Lucas Cenzano, and to this day is still maintained by his descendants.