Canyon sights in Chile
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The dusty hike up Cerro de la Virgen, just north of town, offers vast panoramas of the entire Elqui Valley, but it's hot and exposed - bring water. The summit is less than an hour's walk from the Plaza de Armas.
Watching the sun set from the exquisite Valley of the Moon is an unforgettable experience. From atop a giant sand dune, you can drink in spectacular views as the sun slips below the horizon and a beautiful transformation occurs: the distant ring of volcanoes, rippling Cordillera de la Sal and surreal lunar landscapes of the valley are suddenly suffused with intense purples, pinks and golds.
The Valle de la Luna is named after its lunar-like landforms eroded by eons of flood and wind. The valley is San Pedro's most popular organized tour, with trips leaving in good time to explore before sunset.