El Norte Grande Sights

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Cerros Pintados (Painted Hills) Review

The amazing Cerros Pintados within the Reserva Nacional Pampa del Tamarugal are well worth a detour. Here you'll find the largest group of geoglyphs in the world. These figures, which scientists believe ancient peoples used to help them navigate the desert, date from AD 500 to 1400. They are also enormous—some of the figures are decipherable only from the air. Drawings of men wearing ponchos were probably intended to point out the route to the coast to the llama caravans coming from the Andes. More than 400 figures of birds, animals, and geometric patterns adorn this 4-km (2½-mi) stretch of desert. There is a CONAF kiosk on a dirt road 2 km (1 mi) west of the Pan-American Highway.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 45 km (28 mi) south of Pozo Almonte,
  • Phone: 57/751–055
  • Cost: 1,000 pesos
  • Hours: Mon.–Sat. 10–4:30
  • Location: Reserva Nacional Pampa del Tamarugal

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