SPA: Tatio Geyser Field
4AM is very, very early but that was when our alarm rang so we could catch the 4:30AM pickup for the bumpy drive up, up, up to the Tatio geysers. Why so early? Because the geysers are most active right at daybreak when the air is cold. Sneaking a peak out the van windows in the wee hours of the drive did reward us with a stunning night sky, and the Milky Way visible to the naked eye.
After a chilly and early morning, the next stop was the chance to jump into some natural hot springs. There are no facilities here, so the changing room equals a towel and a low-rise wall. While this was an experience, the water was disturbingly dirty so prepare yourself if you ever get to visit. However, everyone seemed to be enjoying the novel, communal experience.
Our final stop was what tour companies called the cactus farm. Having never really visited the desert in the United States, we had fun gazing at all the different heights and shapes of the plants. And by this point & elevation, the thermometer had reached 86°F/30°C, quite a difference in just half a day.