Norte Chico, Chile
Home to arid deserts, beautiful beaches, astronomical observatories and, at the same time some of the most fertile valleys of the country, the Norte Chico region has a mystified fame of goodness. Its signature valley, the Valle del Elqui produced tropical fruits long before green house agriculture made its entrance in Chile. It's not surprising tourism has developed strongly here.
Our plan was to visit the region in a very special time of the year: the beginning of spring when the desert starts to blossom and the typical ochre colors get pushed aside by timid greens —or so was our imagination of it. Instead, we found a symphony of soil colors, mineral rich and, indeed blossoming bushes and cacti everywhere. Beautiful.