Exploring Machuca & the Río Grande
Llamas, Alpacas, Giant Cacti and desert flora abound on this immersive exploration of Machuca and the Río Grande. With a relatively consistent altitude of around 4000m (13,200ft) above sea level throughout the trek, you will follow a rough route which surrounds the Peñaliri riverbed, a sparsely populated stretch of desert tundra, hardy plants and unusually high number of native animals and birdlife for such arid plains.
Along the way, you will pass the settlements of Peñaliri and Río Grande Village to witness, among the dramatic backdrop of lofty peaks and an unforgiving wilderness, the traditional agricultural plantations of crops suited perfectly to an extreme, high-altitude environment, predominantly consisting of native potato species, corn and members of the onion family. This snapshot insight into the adaptability of both mankind and nature in such extreme conditions, serves as an evocative highlight during any time spent in the Atacama Desert.