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DuNeS | by HeLMut G.
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DuNeS

Valley of the Moon (Valle de la Luna)Is located 13 kilometers west of San Pedro in the Cordillera de la Sal, in the Atacama desert of Chile. It’s an interesting place with stone and sand formations which have been created through the centuries by floods and wind, which has also given it an extraordinary color and texture, looking similar to the surface of the moon. From a large sand dune in the valley, it is possible to appreciate all the marvelous and surprising features of this zone. In Valle de la Luna there are dry lakes where the composition of salt makes a beautiful white covering layer of the area; escarpments in all colors; green, blue, red and yellow, which color the sunlight changes depending on the time of day and is especially beautiful at sunset. It presents diverse saline outcrops which look like real sculptures and contains as well as a great variety of caverns.

 

At nights of a full moon, the valley also presents an indescribable, majestical and silent aspect, coldly beautiful and imposing.

 

Valle de la Luna is a part of the Reserva Nacional los Flamencos and was declared a Nature Sanctuary in 1982 for its great natural beauty and strange lunar landscape, from where in inherits it’s name. It’s visited by hundreds, if not thousands of tourists every year, being one of the most famous attractions of Chile.

 

The valley is also considered one of the driest places on earth, as some areas have not received a single drop of rain in hundreds of years. A prototype for a Mars rover was tested here by scientists because of the valley's dry and forbidding terrain.

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Taken on June 2, 2009