San Pedro de Atacama is definitely one of those amazing places. A very old Indian town sitting in a ring of volcanoes, warm year-round...sort of like Taos cubed. This is the heart of the Atacama Desert, with lots of old pueblos from Inca times and long before. It's touristy but it's far enough from any major city to still feel very out in the middle of nowhere. I took the night bus from La Serena...17 hours... the buses here are excellent, with huge seats that are easy to sleep in, so it's not as bad as it sounds.
The Indigenous have it right..pachamama the earth mother front and center, up top :)
I rented a bike yesterday and the pics speak for themselves...an incredible, vast and enchanting landscape....
Juan, an Argentine who runs a little corner cafe...very cool guy, who just happened to have a different edition of the same book Fede gave me....'Pelotudos' are idiots in the Argentine idiom and it's a book of humorous send ups of different types. We have coffee together every afternoon and he makes the best empanadas in Chile--Argentine style! :) (which means smaller, with thinner crust, and more spices and flavor)
View of volcano from Juan's corner eatery, Qu Qu