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Beautifully located in the driest desert in the world, San Pedro de Atacama is a small town in northern Chile made up of narrow streets lined with adobe buildings. The town thrives as a tourist hub mainly due to the surrounding area which is full of barren moonscapes, fiery red canyons, vast salt flats, unique rock formations, turquoise thermal lakes and rising geysers. The area is also Chile’s most important archaeological site, with ruins of the pre-Colombian cultures still visible in the desert. Plus, the Atacama Desert is cloudless almost all of the year, sits at a high altitude and lacks light pollution which can interfere with astronomical observations. This makes it one of the best places in the world for star gazing – there are many astronomy tours that can be booked locally. The desert is even helping NASA better understand what life may be like on Mars, as most of the life in the Atacama Desert are microbes, the only living organisms capable of living in such dry conditions. Keep reading to find out how to spend your time in San Pedro de Atacama. 

Despite being almost five times smaller than the UK, Costa Rica hosts an astonishing 4% of the planet’s diversity. From sloths and four types of monkeys on the Pacific coastline to caimans and sea turtles on the Caribbean side, the country is brimming with wildlife. Not to mention the 890+ species of birds found in the cloud forests and jungles. If you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica, keep reading to find out what you might spot.