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San Pedro de Atacama: Where the past and the present embrace in the desert

San Pedro de Atacama, a picturesque corner in the heart of the driest desert in the world, is much more than just a small town. This beautiful oasis is located north of the Salar de Atacama, under the majestic shadow of the Licancabur volcano, part of the imposing Andes Mountain range. In this article, we invite you to explore the wonders of San Pedro de Atacama, a jewel that contains centuries of history and culture.

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A Growing Archaeological Heritage

San Pedro de Atacama, known as the archaeological capital of Chile, has become increasingly important over time. In its surroundings, you can find countless Atacama archaeological sites, such as the Pucará de Quitor, the Aldea de Tulor, and Zapar, among others. The archaeological heritage of the region is of incalculable cultural and scientific value. Many of the archaeological pieces discovered by the Atacama community are on display at the San Pedro de Atacama Museum, a place worth a visit for history lovers.

The Spanish Colonial Influence in its Architecture

The center of San Pedro de Atacama exhibits an urban layout and architecture that reflects a clear Spanish colonial influence. The old adobe houses and the town church are witnesses of this rich historical heritage. Walking through its streets is like taking a step back in time and discovering the fusion of two worlds: the ancient legacy of Atacama culture and Spanish colonial architecture.

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A Community Organized in Ayllus

The town is divided into 14 Ayllus, which correspond to the ancestral division of agricultural properties of local families. Each of these Ayllus works in an organized manner, with a board elected by their respective communities. The Ayllus furthest from the town center are mainly dedicated to agriculture, growing corn and alfalfa, and raising sheep, goats, llamas, birds and rabbits.

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A Diverse Growing Community

Today, San Pedro de Atacama is home to around 5,000 residents, mostly Atacama families. However, a significant number of inhabitants are “outsiders”, people from other regions of Chile and even from around the world. Enchanted by the treasures of the desert, these people have decided to settle in this unique corner of South America. This diversity of cultures and origins enriches the life of the town and contributes to its welcoming and friendly atmosphere.

San Pedro de Atacama, with its fascinating history, stunning landscapes and diverse community, is waiting for you to discover. Come visit it and be captivated by the magic of the desert!

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