We spent a good part of the afternoon at the Santa Catalina Monastery
The Monastery of Saint Catherine (Spanish: Santa Catalina) is a monastery of nuns of the Dominican Second Order.
It was built in 1579 and was enlarged in the 17th century. The over 20,000-square-meter monastery was built predominantly in the Mudéjar style, and is characterized by its vividly painted walls. There are approximately 20 nuns currently living in the northern corner of the complex; the rest of the monastery is open to the public.
We have made it to the border between Chile and Peru, the next leg of our road trip is about to begin.
Welcome to Arequipa Peru.
Arequipa is the colonial-era capital of Peru’s Arequipa Region. Framed by 3 volcanoes, it’s filled with baroque buildings constructed from sillar, a white volcanic stone. Its historic center is anchored by the Plaza de Armas, a stately main square flanked on its north by the 17th-century neoclassical Basilica…
Lama are descendants of the camel.
Sights in town.
Leaving Atacama, six hour car rode, hour and a half plane ride. Over several beautiful mountain ranges.
Below is a National Monument , The Atacama Giant.
The Atacama Giant (Spanish: Gigante de Atacama) is a large anthropomorphic geoglyph in the Atacama Desert, Chile. Located at “Cerro Unitas”, this is the largest prehistoric anthropomorphic figure in the world with a height of 119 metres (390 ft) and represents a deity for the local inhabitants from AD 1000 to 1400.
The figure was an early astronomical calendar for knowing where the moon would set; by knowing this the day, crop cycle, and season could be determined. The points on the top and side of the head would say what season it would be depending on their alignment with the moon, which was very important in determining when the rainy season would come in the barren Atacama.
The Atacama Giant is one out of nearly 5,000 geoglyphs – ancient artwork that are drawn into the landscape – that have been discovered in the Atacama in the last three decades. Although geoglyphs have always been the subject of wild conjectures and bizarre theories, it is now widely believed that they are the work of several successive cultures that dwelt in this region of South America, including the Tiwanaku and Inca.
The stables at Explora Atacama
Valley of the Moon
The daily Explora board.
Trecking through The Valley of the Moon (Valle de la Luna).
Horseback riding around San Pedro de Atacama
Heading to Explora Atacama, 2 hour flight and about hour and a half car ride.
Atacama “desert alive”. A high desert so vast, that time and direction seem to have no meaning. Enormous mountains and volcanoes tower over geysers, multicolored lagoons and salt flats in the midst of an ancient civilization.
We have left the green mountains and ice bergs of Patagonia and have arrived in the driest desert in the world.
Views on the drive.
When we got back to Hotel Santiago, we were happy to see that the enormous Christmas tree was lit and beautifully decorated.
Late night dinner at the hotel, we have to get up early for our flight to San Pedro de Atacama.