El Tatio

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67 travelers at this place:

  • Day8

    About freezing toes and hot geysers

    November 14, 2019 in Chile ⋅ 🌙 -3 °C

    Again without Machiel we had to leave as early as 4:30am with our tour to see the highest and third largest geothermal area of the world - Géisers del Tatio. Already in San Pedro we noticed that it was quite cold this early.

    After a 90 minute bus ride through the moonlit desert, we arrived once more at an altitude of 4200m and it was freezingly cold with -10 degrees. The contrast between all the steam and boiling water on one side and the frozen water on the marked paths, was quite a thing. And while walking with our tour guide through the area, I was happy to wear 2 pants and 4 upper layers. Nonetheless our toes and fingers started freezing pretty quickly and the sunrise was not only nice for the light effect but also appreciated for the warmth it brought. Overall a nice experience but after having been to Iceland also not that special. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of high water splashes.

    After breakfast in the first sunlight of the day, we had the chance to bath in some lukewarm springs to try to warm up our frozen body parts.

    Our next stop was a wetland with birds and on the way we were lucky to see again some cool local animals: rheas or ñandús (South American ostriches), viscachas (something looking like long-tailed bunnys which camouflage so well they are hard to spot in the rocky landscape), again vicuñas, more lamas and again flamingos 😊

    The last stop before returning to San Pedro was a small town with - according to our tour guide - 10 inhabitants but 20 houses and they were still busy building more... we did not really understand this but the local goat cheese was appreciated by Daniel 😉
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  • Day16

    El Tatio geysers

    October 5, 2019 in Chile ⋅ ☀️ -5 °C

    What could be a better reason for waking up in the early morning then driving to El Tatio geysers, the third largest geyser field in the world and located at an altitude of 4320m. 😁
    The curvy road was a bit difficult especially due to the condition of the “street” and darkness but it was worth it. Best time to visit this place is before sunrise as there are not so many tourists around and especially as the steam of the geysers is amplified by the outside temperature of -10 degrees.
    On the way back the landscape was beautiful (we could see where we are actually driving) and thus we had good reasons to make several stops...
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  • Day52

    El Tatio - Geysir National Park

    February 21, 2017 in Chile ⋅ 🌧 7 °C

    Um 4:30 Uhr ging es los zu den Geysiren, naja, 4:30 Uhr ging es aus dem Haus, abgeholt wurden wir erst 5:35 Uhr als wir schon wieder reingehen wollten.
    Im Bus hat dann eine Chilenin zur Krönung 10 Minuten vor Ankunft in den Gang gekotzt. Herrliche Ausgangslage.
    Zu spät waren wir auch noch, die Geysire sehen nämlich so richtig gut aus, vor Sonnenaufgang, wenn es noch dunkel ist. Wir waren vor Sonnenaufgang da, aber es war schon hell.
    Trotzdem geil, lauter Geysire, die ordentlich Rauch und Laute von sich geben. Das Ganze auf 4200 m Höhe. Nach Sonnenaufgang dann wunderschöne Berglandschaft zu sehen, mit Schneekuppen, Geysiren und kleinen Flüssen.
    Als nächstes zu einem Thermalbad, bei dem ein Fluss (kalt) und mehrere heiße Quellen zusammenfliessen.
    Nach 5 Minuten hat dann eine Dame im Bikini ihren Fuß in die Quelle gehalten und sich übel verbrannt.
    Die Chilenin hat derweil weiter gekotzt, nicht in die Natur, sondern alleine im Bus in den sie sich gesetzt hat.
    Auf Tagesausflügen mit Bussen kann man manchmal den Glauben an die Menschheit verlieren.
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  • Day122

    Los Geysers del Tatio

    February 3, 2017 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    4.30 morgens, ich bewundere den Sternenhimmel über der Atacamawüste bis mein Bus eintrifft, der mich zu den nördlich gelegenen Geysiren "el tatio" bringen wird.

    Es ist ziemlich frisch und ich bin froh, dass ich meine guten Outdoor Klamotten habe. Lange Unterhose, drüber die Trekkinghose, dicke Socken, Fließpulli, zwei Jacken, Mütze und Handschuhe - mich erwarten Minusgrade dort oben.

    Auf 4300 Metern schoss das heiße Wasser (über 100°) aus der Erde. Ein Naturspektakel. Meine Kleidung hat mich bei -7° gut warm gehalten. Nach der Geysir Besichtigung konnte man in die heißen Quellen springen, allerdings ist das Abtrocknen und Umziehen dann bei Minusgraden nicht sehr angenehm.
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  • Day6

    Brrrr . . . Cold all day

    February 21, 2018 in Chile ⋅ 🌙 0 °C

    Pick up in the hotel lobby at 5 am. Seriously? I was assured that seeking the Tatia Geyers was worth getting up literally before the crack of dawn. So, I stumbled out of bed, bleary eyed, threw on every piece of clothing that might possibly keep me warm and made my way to the lobby.

    We were picked up at 5:05 and climbed into a van. We spent the next 30 minutes winding our way through the streets of San Pedro, picking up fellow travelers at different hotels. One couple was a no-show, or maybe the guide just couldn’t find them. Hard to say, although there were many calls back to the office, before Rodrigo announced that they were a no show. So, we were off, as the goal was to get the geyser fields before the sun rose.

    We drove up into the Andes. It was pitch black outside, and I could already tell that it must be incredibly cold outside, as I could feel it through the window of the van. After about an hour an a half, we arrived at the National Park. The sky was just starting to lighten and there were lots of buses, and tons of people. Our guide, Rodrigo, told us that the Tatio Geyers are the third largest geyser fields in the world, behind Yellowstone (no. 1) and someplace in Russia. While I am not one to say that everything is bigger and better in the U.S. of A., I must tell you that after seeing Yellowstone, these geysers were extremely disappointing. Also, because the sun was just rising, and we were at 14,050 feet, it was freezing cold. I was wearing everything that I had that might keep me warm, including a cheap pair of gloves that I’d bought in San Pedro. But, it was far from enough, as it was about 20 degrees outside. We walked around for about 30 minutes, and then I climbed into the van to warm up. Arie eventually enticed me to leave the van with an offer of eggs that had been cooked on a little camping stove and hot tea. With a little warm food in my body, I felt better. While we stood around, a couple from England asked our guide why all of the tour groups went to see the geysers at the crack of dawn. He gave an explanation about being able to see the steam clouds best at dawn. But, by that point, it was pretty sunny and you could see the vents just fine. I think that the real reason is that this lets the tour companies run a morning tour and an afternoon tour. Oh well.

    Next stop was a “pool” at the hot springs. Arie and I decided not to shed our clothes, and instead walked through the nearby geyser field. While this field still didn’t hold a candle to Yellowstone, I thought that it was nicer that the first one at which we’d stopped.

    On our way back to town, we got to see some flora and fauna — a lagoon with coots and Chilean geese, wild vicuña on the hills, and an animal that looked like a rabbit but is actually a viscacha. The coot was pretty interesting to watch, as it we could see it building its nest in the water. This is done to protect the eggs from foxes, and because the grasses combine with some enzyme to create a reaction that generates heat in the cold winter months.

    Not too surprisingly, when we got back to the hotel, we settled in for a well-deserved nap!

    For the evening, we had a star gazing tour scheduled. We were supposed to be picked up at 8:40. But, by 7 pm, the sky was grey and covered with clouds. We were pretty skeptical about seeing any stars, but there was no message from our tour guide, so we once again put on all of our warm clothes and prepared for our pick-up.

    Jorge, who runs the stargazing company, is a one man operation. He books the tours, he drives the van, and then he gives a long lecture about the stars and planets. (The only thing he doesn’t do is prepare and serve the snack, which is his wife’s domain.). As people piled into the van, everyone asked whether there would be anything to see, given the cloud cover. He was very coy with this answer, and told people to get into the van. When we had a full compliment of 13, he headed to the outskirts of town. When we arrived at his property, he told us that the cloud cover was currently making it impossible to see anything, but that might change. He said that his suggestion was that he’d start with an astronomy lecture of 1-3/4 hours, and if the clouds were still covering everything, he’d feed us a snack, and take us back to the hotel, no charge. If the clouds cleared, we could have the star tour. He asked what we all thought, but since we were already at his house, what choice did we really have? Of course, everyone said, sure, why not . . .

    We got out the van and entered into a fenced yard. Once our eyes acustomed to the dark, we could see about a dozen (maybe more, it was dark) telescopes of different shapes and sizes, some chairs with blankets over them, and heaters. We started by looking at moon, which was quite beautiful. Using the telescopes he had, we could see craters and mountains. After looking at the moon in a variety of telescopes, we all settled in for the lecture. Jorge is an accomplished amateur astronomer, and for almost 2 hours we learned about the stars, and the history of astronomy. Some of it was very interesting, and some not so much. As we sat, the clouds seemed to cover the entire sky, including the moon which he had earlier been able to see. I was pretty darn skeptical that we were going to be able to see anything. Then, as the temperature dropped, and dropped, some of the clouds disappeared. The longer he talked, the clearer the sky became. And, by the time he was done, there was not a cloud in the sky — unbelievable. What there was, however, was the Milky Way, clear as a bell to the naked eye. With the telescopes, we saw stars, nebula, the sombrero galaxy, and Jupiter with three of its moons. Super duper cool. But, by the time were were done, it was 1 am and I was once again, freezing.

    A good day, but boy was I cold!
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  • Day66

    Geysers del Tatio

    December 4, 2017 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 2 °C

    We had 2 tours planned for today. The first half of the day was for the Geyser del Tatio and in the afternoon was the Tour to Escondidas lakes.
    Our pickup was at the hostel at about 4:30 am. We were up at 4 am and were ready before the van arrived. The eary departure was needed to be at the geyser field by 6:30 am since early morning, when the sun is rising, is the best time for the geysers to be active. It was still dark when we were picked up and most of us slept while on the way to the geysers.

    El Tatio is a volcanic geyser field with over 90 active geyser-water pools, located at 4,321m above sea level, in the heart of the Andes Mountains 210km from San Pedro, high in the Altiplano. The drive from San Pedro takes about two hours. We reached there by about 6:45 am. It was extremely cold but not very windy. From the parking itself, we could see many places where the steam was rising from the hot water pools.
    After purchasing the tickets for 10000 CLP per person, we drove in near the geyser fields.
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  • Day66

    Hot pools at El Tatio

    December 4, 2017 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    The whole surface was interspersed with hot pools and fumeroles bellowing out steam from below the surface. There were mud pots and hot springs everywhere. The rising steam with no breeze to blow it, created a spectacular view with the rising sun.

  • Day66

    The main geyser

    December 4, 2017 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    There are two main areas here, and you can see the water start to bubble out of the frozen surface of the earth as the sun’s rays warm it. There is a large geyser that shoots water some 4-5 meters in the air. It was here that we met some of our group mates from the previous day's tour.
    The water in the pool would start bubbling and then explode a few times before becoming calm again for 6-7 minutes. By now, a steady breeze had started and it blew away the steam so the exploding water and the pool below was clearly visible.Read more

  • Day66

    Mud pots & fumeroles

    December 4, 2017 in Chile ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We spent another half an hour walking among the boiling mud pots and smoking fumeroles. This place reminded me of Yellowstone National Park in the US.
    There were some amazing formations due to the hot water and the clay and other minerals accumulating around the pools.
    After walking around in the geyser fields, we returned back to the parking where our van was parked. The driver and the guide had prepared a breakfast table for us. All the tour vans were parked here and we met some more of our tour mates from the day before.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Géiser del Tatio, Geiser del Tatio, El Tatio

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