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Region of Atacama, Chile: Andes and Salt Flats

Maricunga salt flat (1)

Museo Virtual, Atacama
W. Griem, 2007 - 2017
Salar de Maricunga, seen from the north to the south. In the background, Copiapó Volcano, Atacama Region - Chile

Photo: Salar de Maricunga, seen from the north to the south. In the background, Copiapó Volcano, Atacama Region - Chile. Foto W. Griem (2007; Kodak13290) -  Large Photo

Photo Information:
Camera Kodak DX6490 | Focal length: 36,2mm | Time: 1:750
F: f/8 | Original size: 2304 x 1728 | Date: 2007/02/22/13:07 hrs.

Maricunga salt flat: p. 1 | p. 2

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The Maricunga salt flat or salt lake

The salt flat of Maricunga, which is a little over 15 km long, is the southernmost salt lake on the Chilean side. In good weather, the views of the Volcano Copiapó and the Tres Cruces chain are magnificent.


The seemingly infinite plain of the Salar de Maricunga is located at 3400 meters above sea level. The special thing about this flat is the lack of natural effluent. However, the high rate of evaporation does not turn this enclosed basin into a huge lake. But the salts remain in this process. Slowly a salt lake with huge sequences of saltworks formed in the underground.

The Maricunga salt flat has a length of 29.6 km (northern shore to the Santa Rosa Lake) and the active area is only 15.3 km long. The maximum width of the salt lake is 9.8 km.

The plateau in which the Maricunga salt lake is located is much larger: the longitudinal stretch is almost 40 km, the transverse stretch over 15 km. The main axis of the salt lake is N22°E

from Salar de Maricunga to . . . km
Copiapó 168
Border to Argentina 109
El Salvador 156
Diego de Almagro 182
 Negro Francisco lake 98
Rio Lama Region de Atacama Camino a La Ola Region de Atacama Cuesta Codocedo Region de Atacama Portezuelo Maricunga Region de Atacama Laguna Santa Rosa, Region de Atacama Llano Maricunga Region de Atacama Salar de Maricunga Region de Atacama
Carta del Salar de Maricunga en Atacama - Chile

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Atacama desert and Atacama Region, Chile

Intro Camino Internacional
Chulo (km 24,3)
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Salar de Maricunga near the Aduana station (Atacama Region - Chile).

Photo: Hill in the middle of the Salar de Maricunga near the police and Customs station (Atacama Region - Chile). (Foto W. Griem 2010; Ca50D-3039) - Large Photo

Photo Information:
Camera Canon 50D | Lens:55-250mm +pol.| Focal length: 55mm | Time: 1:160 | ISO100
F: f/6,3 | Original size: 4752 x 3168 | Date: 2010/09/16/11:03hrs.

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Published: 23.2.2007, updated: 19.9.2017, 4.8.2018
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