Desierto Florido

This week was a long 4 day weekend to celebrate Chilean Independence Day.  So, we made the most of the time off and went to somewhere very special.DSC_0136DSC_0111DSC_0115We travelled 740km from Santiago to the south of the driest desert in the world: Desierto Atacama.  If you imagine the world’s driest desert, it is usually sand, after sand, after sand.  Very little grows there asides from cactus.  DSC_0095DSC_0130However, something magical happens in this desert and we got to see it.  This phenomenon is called Desierto Florido (Flowering Desert).  Every few years, related to El Niño, after very high and unusual rainfall during winter, the desert blossoms!  As it doesn’t happen very often, we jumped at the chance to see it all.DSC_0110DSC_0126DSC_0135This year was the best in twenty years, meaning everyone in Chile is talking about it, so we knew we had to take the trip and it was everything I expected, and more.  It’s very hard to believe that you are in the desert because of all of the colours, and that just makes it even more special, as you know that this happens so infrequently.DSC_0108DSC_0134DSC_0106There is one strip of Ruta 5 that is particularly special as there are huge areas of light and dark purple, created by these beautiful flowers.  It really was a beautiful sight and one I will remember forever.  The contrast of the usual desert colours combined with the flowers was just picture perfect.DSC_0107DSC_0129DSC_0128The patches without flowers just remind you where you are: the world’s driest desert! We drove along the road stopping to admire the colours, record it with our cameras and take in the beauty, as well as the sun!DSC_0113DSC_0125DSC_0124DSC_0119DSC_0109DSC_0105DSC_0104DSC_0102DSC_0101DSC_0100DSC_0098DSC_0097DSC_0096DSC_0094DSC_0092DSC_0091DSC_0088DSC_0087DSC_0086DSC_0085DSC_0083DSC_0082And just to add to the beauty of the flowers in the desert, we spotted a guanaco as we left, and it just happened to pose for my camera, too!DSC_0139DSC_0140It was so worth the really long road trip to get there!  The colours were just amazing and it really was nature putting on a show 🙂  Next week, I’ll be posting about a national park within the desert where we got to see a huge variety of flowers in a place that usually has very very little growth.

Where have you seen beautiful colours of nature?

Marcella xx

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57 thoughts on “Desierto Florido

  1. Wow Marcella, it sure is hard to believe that is the desert with all those beautiful purple flowers!!
    I love that pose by the guanaco too. Is that a relation to the llama? I havent heard of a guanaco before? Lorelle 🙂 #WanderfulWednesday

  2. What an amazing long weekend trip and very cool you got to go see this phenomenon. I loved your photos, especially the ones with cacti and the guanaco (I would’ve said ‘llama’, hah). How long did it take to drive there from Santiago?

  3. This is SO cool! Wow, I mean what perfect timing! That you get to see it for yourself! How long was the drive there? I remember you saying road trips can get lengthy in Chile which totally reminds me of Texas!

  4. You definitely made the most of your long weekend! This is absolutely stunning. I’m glad you didn’t miss it in full bloom, especially if it is the best it’s been in 20 years!

  5. Wow, it’s crazy to think those guanacos are just running free where you are! I’d be terrified, haha. So cool. Desierto Florido – I love the sound of that. So beautiful. The pops of purple are so gorgeous!

  6. I never would have guessed that was the desert! I’m so glad that y’all were able to get out and experience this for yourselves! It’s just so beautiful and colorful!

  7. Wow! Those desert blooms! Soooo beautiful and how awesome that you were able to see them live in person. Just loving all the purple and also, that guanaco looked ready for his photoshoot haha. So poised. 😉

  8. These pictures are absolutely gorgeous!! Love the purple flowers, but there’s such a wow factor when you add the color of the sky!! Absolutely stunning. 🙂

  9. This sounds exactly like the super bloom we had in the California deserts this year. The only thing is that our deserts have tons of orange flowers, so, the carpet of flowers is different. But, this is awesome! So nice you had the opportunity to visit. #wanderfulwednesday

  10. This is so cool! What an opportunity to see such a rare event. It really is so striking, and the colours are absolutely beautiful. And check out that guanaco! What a dude. Definitely worth the road trip, I say, and I’d be doing the exact same thing 🙂

  11. Wow!! I can’t believe a desert would have such a huge mass of beautiful flowers like this. What a treat to see it, especially since this only happens every few years. Totally worth the road trip! How long did it take to drive there?!

  12. Reblogged this on Ostendnomadography and commented:
    Last year went three times to Chile… Atacama Desert, Valparaiso, Santiago and the south. Chile is such a lovely country, so much nature. Pure nature. So nice to see that the owner of this blog, Marcella, experienced the “Flowering Desert”. Enjoy her awesome photogallery and be inspired:).

  13. Beautiful photos. I was in Chile in 1984 and on the Independence Day then there were protests and in Santiago, where I was staying, there were heavily armed military and tanks . I would rather have seen your lovely flowers!

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