Atacama Desert, Antofagasta, Antofagasta Region, Chile
Photo by Rogelio Elizalde
Atacama DesertThe Atacama is the driest desert in the world, and so still that the silence can be deafening. A series of natural wonders here includes geysers, glaciers, and valleys that resemble the surface of the moon. But perhaps the most jaw-dropping feature is not the desert itself but the sky. So just look up. At sunset, the colors of the heavens begin to change from light- to dark-blue shades, then lilac, deep purple, and magenta, fading finally into a startlingly clear black against which a million stars twinkle. The Atacama Desert is a magical place that evokes superlatives from even the most experienced travelers.