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Vip Tour Group > Destinations > Chile > San Pedro de Atacama
 
 

San Pedro de Atacama

 

 

It is estimated that about 11,000 years ago the first towns of the north of Chile were founded, they chose the "puna" region and the gorges of the Atacama desert.

.. The "atacameños" (people from Atacama) were the founders of the so called "San Pedro Culture", they established themselves in the Loa's basin and in all the oases of the Atacama desert. They were the first farmers and therefore the first sedentary group of the country. As the cultivation zone was very little, they constructed terraces in the mountain slopes which were artificially irrigated and fertilized with Llama's guano. Their main economic activity was therefore agriculture, standing out the cultivation of seven corn varieties, quinoa, beans, Indian fig, cotton, pumpkins, potatoes, dry beans, etc.

This people also raised llamas and alpacas, and made use of the meat and wool of these animals. Llamas and alpacas were also used as a means of transportation in order to keep a constant commercial exchange with other towns from the coast. The "atacameños" showed their artistic development through pottery, weavings, basketry, wood carving, as well as through metallurgy, especially of copper and bronze. Well known are their wooden-made rape boards and tubes. Concerning religion, it is known that they believed in life after death and that they buried their dead with clothing and food for the travel to the other life. They adored different forces of Nature. No temples, or oratories have been found. The "atacameños" have been the most developed pre-Colombian people of Chile. With the arrival of the Spaniards they showed themselves as a pacific people receiving the expeditions of Diego de Almagro and Pedro de Valdivia, which came to get supplies from the oasis by mid XVI century.

San Pedro de Atacama (San Pedro for short) is a small village located in one of the many oases which can be found in the altiplano of the second region of Chile. Along this geographic zone it is possible to find some of the highest volcanoes of the Andes mountain range. Formerly the center of the Atacama culture, today San Pedro's population is of about 2.500 inhabitants. Nowadays this small town has a big importance because it is considered as the archaeological capital of Chile and also because of its extreme geographic position, the beauty of the landscape, and its eternal blue sky. Due to the amazing landscape of this zone, San Pedro has turned into the starting point of the tourist activity, and the excursions in the region. So we can find a big variety of services such as lodging, restaurants, travel agencies, handicrafts, telephone office, internet, post office, and police station.
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