Atacama and Patagonia Photo Tour 2018 - Day 4

 

View from Lipan Pass of Highway 52 in the Andes Mountains near Purmamarca, Jujuy Province, Argentina.

Day 4 -- Driving through the Andes to the Atacama Desert is not for the timid.  First you must wind nearly 14,000 feet through switchbacks to Jama Pass.  There you discover colorful figurines tucked in tiny rock shrines that will assist you on your journey.  One is a gaucho that apparently was a bandit who mended his ways after death and now helps travelers making their way through the pass.  The other is a mother and child—the mother died crossing the mountains, but when the baby survived, it was seen as a miracle.  

A shrine erected for protection of drivers along Highway 52 at Lipan Pass in the Andes Mountains near Purmamarca, Jujuy Province, Argentina.
Highway 52 near Susques in the Andes Mountains, Jujuy Province, Argentina.
A vicuna crossing sign along Highway 52 near Susques in the Andes Mountains, Jujuy Province, Argentina.
Tourists photographing Salinas Grandes, a salt pan in the Andes Mountains - is situated on an altitude of 3.450 meters on the border of the provinces of Salta and Jujuy, Argentina.

Back to your journey…After you get to the pass, and receive the blessings of the gaucho and the mama, the altitude starts to get you.  But now you need to haul your cameras and luggage through four lines at the Chilean border.  Once you are through, just when you think it is time to descend, you realize your little bus needs to climb another 2,000 feet.  After the described crossing, we are delighted to arrive in the Atacama and are rewarded with the majestic volcanic peaks of the Andes, dotted with grazing herds of Vicuna.

Llamas with Licancabur volcano, 5,920 m (19,423 ft), in background, which is a highly symmetrical stratovolcano on the southernmost part of the border between Chile and Bolivia, near the Jama Pass in the Andes Mountains, Chile.

If you are interested in a future trip or other trips, please email me at info@phototours.us or check out my website www.phototours.us. Thank you.