Discovering the Atacama Desert!

ATACAMA  DESERT! A dry and barren lunar-like geology surrounded me. Silence filled the air. I felt as though I had somehow stepped foot on another planet. It was otherworldly. In the heart of Northern Chile’s Atacama Desert, Valley de la Luna’s jagged land is one of the the driest places in the world, shaped by the Atacama Desert colliding with the Andes mountains, pushing salt lakes below surface, leaving salt flats in view. Despite these arid conditions, the Atacama Desert holds diverse landscapes painted with soaring volcanic and Andean mountain backdrops, contrasted by vast salt flats, fiery rocks and flamingo-filled lagoons with beautiful symmetries in their waters. The towering summit of the Volcano Licancabur formed the natural border between Chile and Bolivia. Rock-formed ‘Monks’ and ‘Cathedrals’ shaped by volcanic eruptions and winds watch over the sweeping sand dunes, commonly compared to the ‘Moais’ of Easter Island. Spouting geysers and thermal springs lurk at higher altitudes. Local villages are filled with artisan crafts and designs, surrounded by wandering llamas and vicuñas. This enchanting canvas is transformed with the settings of the sun and the revealing of the immense starry skies and milkyway that leave lasting imprints on your memory.

[excerpt from my ‘Snippets of a Nomadic Year: From South America to the Balkans‘ article published in F*Shift Magazine‘s Explorer issue, Oct 2016, pp. 40-41]

Just got back from an incredible trip exploring the surreal Atacama Desert in northern Chile! If you’re an adventure-seeker, nature-lover, photographer, archaeologist or explorer… Atacama is for you!

Here are a few snaps from the adventure:

Valle de la Luna

Lagunas Altiplánicas, Piedras Rojas y Laguna Chaxa

Star-gazing and the Milky-way (with Space Observatory)

Atacama’s starry sky and milky-way. Photography: Steven Lopez

Rock cathedrals and Monjes (Monks) de la Panaca in Salar de Tara

Geysers de Tatio y Thermal Springs

Laguna Cejar, Ojos del Salar and Laguna Tebinquinche

Fun shots with amazing people:

For a detailed low-down on how to plan your trip with tips on what to watch out for and things to not miss out, check out: Oh Snap! Adventures blog post!

And make sure you add Atacama Desert to your bucket list!!!

‘From Shipwrecks to Ice Caves: stories from an underwater archaeologist’

Exciting news! I was honoured to be asked to write an article  for Fashion Shift Magazine about being an underwater archaeologist and fashion model – out now!

Check it out here, I hope you enjoy the story! 🙂
‘From Shipwrecks to Ice Caves: stories from an underwater archaeologist’ (p68-71)…/…/f_shift_magazine_winter_2016

Thanks to those who helped with creative editing and images! And a big thank you to F*Shift for the opportunity!

Wreck diving in Valparaiso

Centre for Maritime Archaeology alumni (University of Southampton) reunited in Chile! Diving on a shipwreck in Valparaiso. I’ll update this soon with more about the wreck and what diving is like here, so stay tuned!

Centre for Maritime Archaeology alumni (Uni. of Southampton) reunited in Chile! Diving on a shipwreck in Valparaiso.