Top Ten Chile Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Cross an Andes Pass

They look like a line of monks proceeding to services. Along the Argentine border east of the city of La Serena, Agua Negra is one of the highest passes over the Andes, at 15,679 feet. It's also the best place to see the monklike, frozen-snow formations called penitentes, which persist on the roadside throughout the summer. You'll also want to take the short hike to a relic glacier, much reduced from its Ice Age maximum. Whatever you do, you're almost guaranteed cloudless skies: The area's renowned clear blue ceiling has led several international astronomical observatories to place their Southern Hemisphere facilities nearby.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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