Where It's At
The Geysers del Tatio are situated around 50 miles from the
oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama in Northern Chile.
Situated 13,000 ft in a high altitude plain, these are said
to make Del Tatio the highest geyser field in the world. With
its remote setting and spectacular scenery the geysers are
certainly one of the most impressive to visit.
What's a Geyser?
Geysers are found in volcanic, or recently volcanic, areas
around the world and scientists believe they indicate the
presence of magma beneath the earths surface.
They are a type of hot spring that erupt in a burst
of hot water or steam and are formed when rain water soaks
into the ground and runs deep into the cracks of the earth.
The water then comes into contact with heated rocks which
cause it to boil and push upwards with great force in either
steam or liquid form. These spectacular eruptions can last
from anything between a few minutes to a few hours.
Visiting del Tatio
The best time to visit the Geysers del Tatio is between 04.30am
and 07.00am when its streams can reach up to 30ft high. This
means an early start in San Pedro where tour operators all
require a 04.30am start for the two and a half hour drive.
The tour is highly recommended as it is cheap and it's a difficult
to find location if you travel privately.
Unlike many other geyser fields in the world the area is
unrestricted, offering a real close-up view of this rare activity.
There are even thermal water pools where visitors can take
a warm bath if they are brave enough to strip down in the
cold early morning weather.