Mon, 04 Feb 13 00:00:00 +0000
The Camélidos are native animals of the Andes, offspring of the camels. They were the only animals available for transportation in the pre-Hispanic Andean cultures. There are 4 zoological species, two of which are domestic and the others are wild. Each of the species can cross, but the second generation will return to the dominant species.Its meat is of a special taste and of low cholesterol; normally it is prepared with herbs of the region.
The biggest of the four is the Lama, domestic animal that was used as pack animal. Its wool is the thickest and each of the animals gives 4kg every shearing (every two years). The Lama is to find in the pre-cordilleran regions and the highland of the Atacama usually close to accumulations of water or wetlands.
AlpacaA little bit smaller than the Lama, the Alpaca has a thicker layer of wool that almost covers the eyes. Its wool is of different colors and every shearing one animal gives 5 kg of wool, which is of fine and silky texture. That is why it is the most used wool for high quality fabric.The Alpaca lives in the Andean and Aymara sectors, especially in the north of San Pedro de Atacama and in the Bolivian[...]
Thu, 31 Jan 13 00:00:00 +0000
The Atacama Desert in the North of Chile has been a valuable destination for journeys for a long time.
The environment of this region has been compared with the surface of the Mars and some of the bizarre rock formations and imposing landscapes of the area give the impression to be living in a different world.
It seems incredible that there are enough resources in this inhabitable part of the earth to nurture one of the most fascinating ancient cultures that was ever discovered. The village Chinchorro in the north of Chile and in Peru was a village of fishermen who have settled in the very west of the Atacama Desert since about 10.000 years.
The Chinchorro were half-nomades and studying their remains has demonstrated that their diet almost completely consisted of seafood, the only way to solve the problem of the lack of alimentation in the Atacama.
The most ancient mummies in the world.
The most fascinating part of the Chinchorro culture, however, is their relation with the dead – disproving the idea that the Egypt were the ones to first practice the mummification. The sophistication and various methods of the Chinchorro to preserve the dead were[...]
Thu, 31 Jan 13 00:00:00 +0000
The Biosphere Reserve and National Park Lauca is part of the worldwide net of biospheres and offers many possibilities to realize excursions and to appreciate incredible landscapes in all its beauty. The park was declared National Monument in 1983 by the UNESCO. It contains an area of 137.883 hectare which presents a valuable environment. The Reserve includes the National Park Lauca, the National Reserve of the Vicuñas and the National Monument Salt Lake Surire. It is the only Biosphere Reserve in the Great North and one of seven in the whole country. The richness of the flora is represented by different types of vegetation like the wetlands and the fauna impresses with lamas, alpacas and different kinds of birds (ducks, giant taguas and flamingos), what offers a great variety to the visitor. Enjoy the beauty of this Andean paradise and realize hikes, climbing, trekking, adventure-tourism, eco-tourism, photo tours and a lot more.Furthermore the region is full of cultural attractions related to the Aymara culture, such as the ancient architecture in the villages, the habits and the traditional celebrations.The villages captivate with its churches and religious habits that[...]
Thu, 03 Jan 13 00:00:00 +0000
The high number of celebrations and festivities is impressive. Religious, agricultural or popular celebration, on every opportunity the region is full of dances, music, singing and traditions of different origins.In the north, for example, there and many festivities that take place in villages of the highlands. Some of the most important festivals are:-The carnival in Putre: Before the Cuaresma is celebrated on the last days of February, the Aymaras of the surrounding villages in the highland meet up in Putre to celebrate the colorful carnival. A great part of the dances, the clothing and the rhythms that accompany the feast are Andean traditions.-The celebration of the Pachamama (Mother Earth): In almost all the communes in the north of Chile is celebrated the Pachamama in August, a thanksgiving to the Mother Earth for its gifts, for taking care of the animals and for protecting especially the small villages. With different rituals the men demonstrate the importance of and the respect for the nature.-The Tirana: Every July 16th a small village in the dry north of Chile is decorated with beautiful colors and religious devotion. Heathenish dances are mixed with godliness, and[...]
Thu, 20 Dec 12 00:00:00 +0000
On a summer day in March 2010, a doctor from Scotland met up with some of the best athletes in the world under the heat of the Atacama Desert.There she was waiting for one of the most extreme competitions that you can ever imagine to start: an individual footrace of seven days and 250km through one of the driest places in the world. Never before, Jo Zakrzewski has participated in a competition. Her decision to participate in Atacama Crossing was even a last minute choice, taken while she was drinking wine with some friends. When Zakrzewski crossed the finishing line, she did not only leave all the other participants behind, but she did it with an advance of 4 hours. Directly she converted from a person once unknown in the world of the ultra-marathons to one of the most feared combatants.“I am surprised by what happened”, says Zakrzewski to Chile.Travel. “All I had planned was to go on vacation and run a little. I never thought it would result the way it did.”
“An empty land” – La Araucana.
It is not necessary to explain that Zakrzewski is a special case. In March, when the almost 200 participants start the Atacama Crossing 2013, most of them won’t even get[...]
Mon, 17 Dec 12 00:00:00 +0000
The Region of Arica and Parinacota was once territory of the Inca, settled by Aymaras, Chinchorros, Changos and Quechuas.In the pre-columbic epoch the messengers of the Inca, called Chasquis, travelled very fast between the Tambos (constructions that were used as accommodation, resting place, storage for wool and food and a place to wait for new messages), that were located between the National Park Lauca and Arica. The Chasquis travelled frequently to the KapajÑam (today known as the Way of the Inca “El Camino del Inca”), and on their way they stopped at the Tambos on the way to rest before they continued their journey to deliver their messages.Because the Incas didn’t use a modern system to measure distances, they created markers out of stones on the way, so called Apachetas, that indicated the most important places on the route. In the course of time the cultural hybridization in the region began and they added garlands and cruces to the Apachetas that show the Spanish influence.
Discover the heritages and the architecture in the region.On the way that connects Arica with the National Park Lauca you will find a high number of monuments of the Inca, some of[...]
Fri, 07 Dec 12 00:00:00 +0000
The Regions of the PlantsAccording to the main forms of vegetation, in the Altiplano there are three different regions:The so called Tolar Andino mainly consists of low bushes. The most dominant species of bushes are the Tolas and between the numerous herbaceaus plants grows the Chachacoma. Akso you can find different types of cactus plants which underline the beauty of the highlands when they florish.The Pajonal Andino is formed by indeciduous grasses and many small herbs. The most common species are the Paja Brava, which was used for roof constructions, and the Iru.The Bofedales (wetlands) are constantly humid areas where vegetation grows with high density due to the organic and peaty soil. Some of the characteristical species are the Paco, the Sora and the Colipaco. The most notable Bofedal is close to Parinacota, and its high productivity allows the existence of an impressive fauna.Another typical form of vegetation that once was in danger of extinction is the llareta, a plant that was used as combustible due to its high content of resin.Birds and MammalsThe ecosystem of the Altiplano is a paradise for many different kinds of birds, mammals and insects that adapted to the[...]
Thu, 15 Nov 12 00:00:00 +0000
Deserts, oases, warm beaches, mountain peaks covered with snow. The landscapes of this area have one thing in common – their overwhelming beauty. The Great North reaches from Arica in the north to the region of Antofagasta, its limit in the south.The most arid zone of the countryThe Great North includes the region of Arica and Parinacota, the region of Tarapacá and the region of Antofagasta. It is the driest area in Chile and the place, where the Atacama-desert is located. Nevertheless, there are also valleys, oases (like the valley of Azapaod the Oasis Pica), canyons and salt lakes to find in this district. The mining industry plays a big role in the north, especially the extraction of copper.The north has an enormous biodiversity, which representative species are protected in parks and national reserves such as Lauca, Isluga and Salt Lake Surire.Its most famous cities, Arica, Iquique and Antofagasta, are located on the coast and offer harbors and beautiful beaches. The climate conditions in the Great North allow the development of marvelous landscapes, such as the surroundings of San Pedro de Atacama where we can find the Moon Valley with its incredible formations of rocks[...]