Backcountry route to El Tatio
Ruta 5 - Huatacondo to Ollagüe
I am now heading in the backcountry and the high mountains of the Andes Mountains. I am still in the great Desert of Atacama which still offers me superb landscapes each moment of the journey. My goal is to reach the El Tatio geysers.
These are routes far away from civilization with little traffic, so I must plan for the necessary food and water. Also, between Pozo Almonte, the geysers, and the next gas station, there are more than 800 kilometres to drive. It should be possible to resupply halfway in the village of Ollagüe where I should find fuel sold by individuals. I hope they will have some!
Santuario de Kosca
This small isolated village at an altitude of 4100 metres is not abandoned, but it seems that very few people lives there year-round. I didn't find any information on the origin of the place, but it is a well known and important religious centre.
The village is the home of the Kosca Sanctuary where an annual fiesta is celebrated year after year since December 25, 1912. When I visited, I only saw two people in their respective house. All the rest of the village seemed to be shut down.
The village is tiny and the sanctuary seems to be about a church and especially the Virgen of Andacollo de Coska (or Kosca) whose effigy is located in a lovely cave.
Road from Ollagüe to Estación San Pedro
Mining ghost town whose main resource was sulphur.
Salar de Carcote
Salar de Ascotán
Trail from Estación San Pedro to El Tatio
After a long day driving, I deserve a majestic camping site.
I set up camp on the side of the road, but hidden by a small hill. I am at an altitude of 3674 metres.
La Noria and the Pintados Geoglyphs
El Tatio Geysers