Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Martian Landscape (Peruvian coastal desert near Arequipa)

From the Peruvian–Ecuadoran border south to northern Chile, the west coast of South America has one of the Earth’s driest climates. The National Geographic Society considers the coastal area of southern Peru to be part of the Atacama desert, including the deserts south of the Ica Region.

On the road to Arequipa, I drove through spectacular desert scenery. The coastal desert which extends south into the Atacama, one of the driest spots on earth, owes its existence to the cold Humboldt current. This stunning desert scenery combined with the huge cliffs overlooking the ocean made the drive along the Pan American highway seem much more scenic than its counterpart in N. America.

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