Laguna de Aguas Calientes, Laguna Miscanti and Laguna Miñiques

25th November 2015. Salar de Atacama, Atacama Desert, Northern Chile.

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We set off to visit three salt lakes high in the Atacama Desert.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

This image was take from the moving bus.  I was struck by the lenticular cloud over the volcano.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

We had stopped and got out of the bus for this one.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

… and the reason was to photograph this vicuña, grazing by the side of the road.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

This image and the next one, we are en route.  I’m not sure whether they were taken from inside or outside the bus.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

And now we have arrived at Salar de Aguas Calientes.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

In other words, the Lake of Warm Waters, presumably due to the volcanoes towering above.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

There was also quite an array of lenticular clouds.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

The area was designated a wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention in 1996.

.Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is windswept foam gathering at the edge of the lake..

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

We are at 4,850 metres, or 16,000 feet.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

We are on our way again now, still with lots of spectacular lenticular clouds around.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife .

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

I was clearly out of the bus for this one.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

And now we have arrived at Laguna Miscanti.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

We’re a little bit lower here, at 4,140 metres or 13,500 feet.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

The lake is up to ten metres deep.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

It has no surface outflow.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

Looking back at Lago Miscanti, as I walk to Lago Miñiques.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

I didn’t have any problem with the altitude, even with a photographic pack of about 16kg.  No prospect of running, though.  You have to take things a little bit easy.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

This is Laguna Miñiques, at 4,300 metres or 14,000 feet, with Miñiques volcano towering above it.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

On the way back, we stopped at the village of Toconao.  This is a tour bus from a different company, whose passengers were wandering around the town and had been for some years.

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Atacama Desert, Chile, Landscape, Nature, Panorama, Photography, Salar de Aguas Calientes, Salar Miñiques, Salar Miscanti, Travel, vicuña, Wilderness, Wildlife

And this is the door of the bell tower.

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6 comments on “Laguna de Aguas Calientes, Laguna Miscanti and Laguna Miñiques

  1. adelle says:

    The colours in these photos are fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. […] Laguna de Aguas Calientes, Laguna Miscanti and Laguna Miñiques […]

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  3. Thank you for the prompt from the other post – no I hadn’t been catching up with you. The photo above ‘Didn’t have any problem with the altitude….’ is particularly spectacular. The comment then points out why I would probably not be able to enjoy the Atacama, I really can’t take altitude about about 7,500 ft.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] On the way to Laguna de Aguas Calientes. […]

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