A four-wheel drive vehicle can easily take you back in time in northern Chile. These perfectly preserved petroglyphs were seen at Yerbas Buenas, a 45 minute drive from San Pedro de Atacama along both paved and dirt roads. The area is cared for by a park ranger (there is a small entrance fee), and you can enjoy well maintained trails and more than a thousand prehistoric petroglyphs. The petroglyphs were created by the Atacameno people and date back approximately 10,000 years. For the more adventurous, a rocky road leads you back to more remote sites.
Also nearby is the stunning Rainbow Valley, where you can view rocks and cliffs in all shades of colors, including beautiful greens and blues. Be forewarned that the area surrounding Yerbas Buenas and Rainbow Valley is extremely remote. There are no tourist facilities at all other then well cared for bathrooms at Yerbas Buenas, so come prepared. However, it is well worth the drive, as you will be rewarded with brilliant views, particularly at sunset.
© 2013 AFAR Media