The first glimpse you take at the Valle de la Luna (translated: "Moon Valley") will make you feel like you're visiting another planet. The deep red rocks, the massive sand dunes, and the speckling of salt across the surface is like nothing else I have seen on Earth.
Peer closely at many of the rocks and you will see deep veins of salt. Stand close (and be quiet) and you can hear the rhythmic crackling of the salt as a result of the pressure in the rocks. The valley itself is 22 million years old, and scientists believe the salt was left behind from when an ocean covered this part of Chile.
Located just a few miles outside of San Pedro de Atacama, the Valle de la Luna is an incredible place to hike, bike, and take in a spectacular sunset.