The Many Faces and Colours of Argentina’s Atacama Plateau—Captured in Visuals

As nomads, monotony is our sworn adversary.

In the September of 2023, a group of 12 adventure-hungry souls traversed the breathtaking vistas of the Atacama plateau. Every landscape encountered on this journey left an indelible mark on their minds. With striking colours, diverse textures, and an off-road adventure unlike anything experienced before, the Atacama expedition was a journey like no other.

Yet, what's a life-altering adventure without a few bumps along the road? Cars found themselves swallowed by soft sand, tires were deflated, and the mind faced tests on more occasions than one. In these moments, however, the strength of community and camaraderie prevailed, keeping the convoy going.

Describing the beauty of the Atacama plateau proves challenging in words—proof of which can be found in these photographs…

On the very first day of the Atacama expedition, travellers encountered the stunningly peculiar Cerro de los Siete Colores. This geological marvel, born underwater, provided a sneak peek into the enriching days ahead. Each layer, crafted over time from varied minerals and sediments, slowly emerges, revealing a stunning display through the process of erosion.

Embarking on the road less travelled, our convoy of explorers discovered that detours often lead to unexpected delights. As the convoy of explorers journeyed into Paso Jama, they veered off the paved roads drawing closer to the mesmerising Pacana Caldera.

Each colour, each abstract shape adorning the Atacama plateau has been formed over thousands of years in a process still unfolding before our eyes. This image is from Argentina's Salinas Grandes, among the largest salt flats in the world, revealing the timeless beauty shaped by the hands of nature.

At the base of the Antofalla volcano, a salt flat unfolds, resembling a microscopic vista. Specks of white and brown converge in this abstract panorama, tucked in one of the most deserted and inaccessible sections of the Atacama expedition.

A glimpse into a challenge conjured by nature’s wrath, akin to the opening shot of a blockbuster movie. The convoy had to switch gears at the last second, manoeuvring an unexpected sandstorm. It’s quick thinking and adaptability that make adventures like the Atacama expedition a success.

A sandstorm was enough challenge for one day. As the day unfolded, the need for comfort and a satisfying meal took precedence. Soon enough, a carefully curated picnic became a moment to relish both nourishment and shared tales of the day's adventures.

Nature stands as one of the world's greatest architects, painting with vibrant colors on the canvas of Altiplano. Every stroke of this masterpiece creates a unique piece of art, showcasing various lagoons, salt flats, and dried riverbeds across the Atacama region.

The terrain may deflate a tire, but it can never diminish the unwavering nomadic spirit of the group. Our most trusted experts prove their mettle in such situations, swiftly fixing things.

Navigating remote mining roads and canyons of Argentina's Atacama Plateau, we took an off-road route from Tolar Grande to Antofagasta de la Sierra. It was dusty. Captivating. Engaging. 

A natural hot spring pool is a welcome respite from the treacherous desert dust and terrain. The travellers, without hesitation, immersed themselves, cooling off and rejuvenating for the next leg of the journey.

While driving through the stubborn dunes of Antofagasta de la Sierra, travellers were compelled to linger in the embrace of the white expanse, as soft sand held their vehicles captive.

Even under a bright moon, we caught a glimpse of the majestic Milky Way. A remote private camping experience on the salt flats of Santa Rosa de los Pastos Grandes certainly has its perks.

The last day of the desert adventure through Atacama is bittersweet, as the caravan winds through the crimson crests of Quebrada de las Flechas. Majestic rock formations, folded and fractured by the Andean plates, create a path seemingly carved for wanderers to journey into the unknown.