Atacama is considered to be the driest desert. There you may find absolutely lifeless places, even the most resistant to the life in droughty places animals do not sustain dry hot and rarefied air and no rains during dozens of years.
The name of the driest desert on the Earth Atacama received quite deservedly. There are no rains here, absolutely none. The reason is that humid tropical air faces an obstacle on the way – the Andes, so atmospheric precipitates fall in the Amazon glen. Besides, the air from the other side, from the Pacific ocean is not humid as usual, but dry, because of the cold Gumboldt stream.
In spite of such aridity, Atacama desert is quite populated, about a million people live here. Basically, they are the inhabitants of port and oases, miners villages, scientists-astronomers and native Indian tribes aimara and atacamenio. The inhabitants of the droughtiest places learned how to get water of air using special traps.
There are many large caliche fields in the Atacama desert. In one's time they caused the Pacific war between three countries: Chile, Peru and Bolivia. Nowadays they do not extract caliche in the desert, though copper ore fields re being exploited.
Many tourists are looking forward to visiting the desert every year. Atacama is one of the most developed tourist routes in Chile. The basic tourist route is going through the main sights of the desert, including Moon Valley, Rainbow Valley, geysers with thermal waters and amazingly beautiful high-mountain lagoons, Sehar lagoon that is rich in salt. Archeological tours are also popular.