Chile

Hike through Jerez canyon

A beautiful Atacam oasis

Petr Liška
Wrote 2007 articles and follows him / her 154 travelers
Hike through Jerez canyon
Inserted: 28.01.2016
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The landscape around San Pedro de Atacama offers not only bizarre rock formations, salars or volcanic geysers, but also a number of beautiful canyons. Quebrada de Jerez (sometimes referred to as Valle de Jere) is one of the best accessible and least visited canyons. The hiking trail starts in Toconau by bus or stop from the much larger San Pedro.

Toconao

The start of the tour is in the small town of Toconao, located on the main road number 23 connecting San Pedro de Atacama with Argentina via the Paso Sico pass. The only monument here is a typical Altiplalan white bell tower. The town itself is very poor with low houses.

Toconao
Author: © gigaplaces.com

View of the Altiplano volcanoes

From the center of the village, go straight up (east) and after 600 meters you are at the end of the development. The surrounding landscape is very desolate. The horizon is dominated by Lascar volcanoes (5,592 m above sea level) / still slightly active / and nicer and higher Aguas Calientes volcano (5,924 m above sea level)

View of the Altiplano volcanoes
Author: © gigaplaces.com

Road over the canyon

Then you will finally get to your own canyon. The tourist path leads as if in the middle part. Deep below you is a green oasis and above you there are cracked rock walls.

Road over the canyon
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Cracked rock peaks

Outside the main canyon, you will find sparse vegetation only at the mouth of the side valleys. There are peaks above everything, which seem to have to fall apart at any moment.

Cracked rock peaks
Author: © gigaplaces.com

An oasis in Jerez Canyon

From the beginning of the hike, the canyon is still relatively wide – right at Tocona, its bottom serves as a field and garden in one.

An oasis in Jerez Canyon
Author: © gigaplaces.com

Landscape of red rocks

Over time, the river cuts more and more into the surrounding red rocks and disappears in a really narrow gorge. Although there are literally mountains of rocks all around, but the trail itself is covered only with small stones, so the hike can be done even in sandals.

Landscape of red rocks
Author: © gigaplaces.com

Amazing gorge

Some of the views of the canyon are truly amazing and only confirm the incredible power of the water.

Amazing gorge
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Monumentality with scale

The disadvantage of photographing huge rock walls is that they do not have a scale in the photo, and a ten-meter rock looks almost the same as a kilometer – so it will serve well as a suitable scale, a lone man.

Monumentality with scale
Author: Jan Miklín © gigaplaces.com

Crossroads of canyons

After more than an hour's walk, you will come to a monumental crossroads of canyons. But all you have to do is stick to the road on the south side of the canyon. This part that you will continue to even has a name – Quebrada Zapaques

Crossroads of canyons
Author: © gigaplaces.com

At Native American walls

After a while you will walk to places where you will find the remains of old Indian walls. So the human element was here many centuries ago. If you have about half a day reserved for a trip, this is the right place to turn around and go back. Who has more time can, of course, move on and on.

At Native American walls
Author: © gigaplaces.com

A large oasis in the canyon

Unfortunately, you will have to go back the same way. However, the last view just before Tocona is very nice, when you will see the whole oasis in the palm of your hand. There are, of course, a number of volcanoes on the horizon.

A large oasis in the canyon
Author: © gigaplaces.com
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