San Pedro de Atacama- Lagunas Miscanti y Miñiques

This morning was our full day excursion out to Lagunas Miscanti and Miñiques. The story is that they were once one body of water and Volcano Miñiques erupted with lava flow coming down and separating the two lagoons. The drive is about an hour from San Pedro de Atacama but you will pass over the salt flat and through the desert town of Tocanao and then the mountain town of Socaire. Once past Socaire you will head up to the altiplano and then still higher reaching past 14,000 ft. In this area you will see vicunas and flamingos and this beautiful wheat colored grass called paja brava that only grows at high altitudes. This was definitely the most picturesque scenery I have ever seen with my own eyes. The Chileans do such an amazing job of preserving the natural beauty this country has. 

On our way back to town we stopped at Laguna Chaxa which is part of the Los Flamencos National Reserve in the Atacama which covers about 180,000 acres. There you can observe both Chilean and Andean flamingos feeding and their nesting sites. 

 

Laguna Miscanti

Laguna Miscanti

Laguna Chaxa

Laguna Chaxa