The tour starts out with a visit to Toconao, an Andean village located south of San Pedro de Atacama and mostly inhabited by Atacamenan craftsmen who carve volcanic stones, especially liparita or pumice. The town’s square is quaint and picturesque; the San Lucas church and church tower were built in 1750 (both declared national monuments). The next stop is at Quebrada de Jerez (Jerez creek) where the beauty of the Toconares canyon can be admired. This canyon has a unique microclimate and its waters flow down from the cordillera (mountain range) providing fertile soil that turn it into one of the greenest areas in the desert, with generous fruit orchards and diverse flora. A visit to the Laguna Chaxa sector and the Atacama Salt Lake, in the Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos (National Reserve), comes next. Its diverse bird species, the flamingos’ colours, the deep blue skies of Atacama, the soaring Andean volcanoes and the red hues of the evening sky at sunset will take your breath away and end the journey on a perfect note.
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