ft 11  You know we didn’t know what to expect from San Pedro.  We had come for the stargazing actually, but were amazed at how much we loved the town and the desert itself, and of course the volcanoes!  For me, there is an immense feeling of joy and wonderment when I see these magnificent snow topped volcanoes towering above the flat plains.  You can feel how powerful they are from miles away.  There are so many options for tours here.  We had thought about the tour to see the geysers, but that involved an all day commitment, starting at 5:30 am.  We just couldn’t work up the enthusiasm for waking that early.   San Pedro encourages a slower pace, so we opted for the tour to the Reserva Nacional Los Flamencos. 

We have seen flamingos before, in Aruba and Bonaire, but these flamingos were different.  Max, again our guide, and a driver, drove us to the reserve.  Here in the salt flats, we were able to get fairly close to several groups of flamingos.  The flamingos here differ from their Bonaire cousins by the addition of a few black  feathers.   There are two  types of flamingos at the reserve, the James flamingo and the Andean flamingo.  The James flamingo has some black underfeathers and a bit of black at the end of its beak, while the black feathers and black on the beak are much more visible on the Andean flamingos.  Even though we were here in mid May, which would be the equivalent of a North America late November/December, the weather was fabulous.  In the day we could go about in shirt sleeves, but at night, it was definitely cold. 

FT 6a  James and Andean Flamingo

flamego tour James flamengo

ft 10a  The flamingos make their home on these remote salt ponds and are protected by the national park

FT 9

FT 7

flamengo tour 1  The white you see is the salt.  It’s very thick and crunchy underfoot. 

FT Volcano in the distance, reflecting off the lake

flamengo tour Ojos  Ojos del Salado, Chiles highest peak at  22,614 FEET!  It’s the highest active volcano in the world.  If you look carefully you can see the steam coming from it’s smaller peak.

flamengo tour 2  Notice the shades of blue in the sky


Flamego tour Ojos del Salado  Look close for the steam coming from the left top of the volcano.


flamengo tour Inglesia San Pedro  Iglesia San Pedro built in late 17th century

flamengo tour  Vicuna

Flamengo tour our room  Back to our wonderful hotel room