This is just a few kilometres from the Chilean border and here the sleeping and lodging options are almost non-existent, and being so remote and in a desert you’d never expect to find it either, except that there is one decent option here called Tayka del Desierto.

This high-altitude service is where I gazed in awe at this incredibly clear sky. The stars seemed closer than I’ve ever seen them, and with the lodge’s few lights being the only man-made light sources the light pollution was non-existent.


It’s well below freezing at night at this altitude, and staying outside is like a cold and windy Scandinavian winter! Fortunately I could stay warm in my room, waiting for the camera to do its work.

The 2 blobs or smears close to the center are the Small and the Great Magellanic Clouds, two satellite galaxies to the Milky Way – not visible to the dwellers on the northern hemisphere. Thus, the centre of the circle seen in this photo is the southern celestial pole.

Altitude: 4528 metres.