Deserts, those inhospitable territories, with extreme temperatures and places with limitless horizons, occupy about a quarter of the planet’s surface. Surely few places like these offer an oasis of tranquility, even solitude.
Why is it that deserts always attract travelers? So that you start dreaming about some of them, here is a selection of seven deserts in the world in which, surely, you would like to lose yourself.
Gobi Desert, Mongolia.
The Gobi desert is, perhaps, one of the best known by travelers who, eager for curiosity and after having heard about this mythical place so many times, want to know yes or yes, when they arrive in Mongolia.
Although we keep in mind that the Gobi is a desert landscape, the truth is that it is an area with many very different landscapes.
Perhaps the most characteristic image of the Gobi is a large dune, called “Kongoryn Els”, 100 km long and 12 wide, emerging within an area of green meadows and which, at first glance, may seem like a mirage.
Going up on foot to the top of this 300-meter-high dune is not easy, since with each step you take your foot sinks and it becomes difficult to ascend at a good pace without stopping along the way. But getting to the top has a reward: Unbeatable views of the dune and a horizon with a spectacular sky!
Lut Desert, Iran.
With the premise that Iran is one of the 5 countries to visit before they change, the Lut desert is perhaps one of the least known to travelers, an inhospitable and uninhabitable place. That is why it is so recommended.
It is characterized by being one of the warmest places on the planet, reaching temperatures of up to 70ºC in summer, almost nothing! To get there from Kermán, the city closest to the south of the country, you have to drive 180 km (preferably an off-road vehicle) which translates into about four hours of driving, due to the difficult terrain.
In the first kilometers of incursion into the desert, there is a sudden change in altitude and temperature: it goes from 2000 km to 200 above sea level, which can become quite an adventure for the visitor.
A few kilometers later, when a horizon full of cracks with a thin layer of salt appears, we know that we are already in the desert itself. That is when you have to leave the road behind and go into an SUV, dodging immense dunes until you get to see the Kaluts, rock formations that have been sculpted by the wind and that have unreal shapes, more typical of a lunar landscape than a terrestrial one.
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Uyuni salt desert, Bolivia.
Uyuni is located in the Andes mountain range, in Bolivia, it is the highest continuous salt desert in the world, with 10,000 square kilometers. Apart from its salt, this area is very important for the treasure that is found in it: the largest lithium reserve that exists on the planet.
Crossing the Uyuni salt flat with an SUV is one of the most fascinating activities that can be done in this desert. Even if you have seen photos of the place before, there is nothing like seeing it with your own eyes. Travel for hours through a snow-white horizon until you come across Fish Island, a curious island full of huge cacti in the middle of nowhere, which will pleasantly surprise you on your way.
If you plan to travel there, it is advisable to wear glasses with UV protection, so that the sun does not bother you and you can enjoy the journey through a landscape as white as snow. A pearl of the South American continent that will remain etched in your retina forever.
Atacama Desert, Chile.
If you plan to travel to Chile, I recommend you visit the Atacama desert, although keep in mind that you must be well supplied with water, since it is the driest on earth. With an area of 105,000 square kilometers, it borders the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Andes mountain range to the east.
Due to its height with respect to sea level, to the fact that there is no light pollution and the almost non-existent cloudiness that exists in it, the Atacama desert is considered one of the best places on the planet to observe the sky and astrology.
So much so, that one of the most advanced astronomical complexes on the planet (with a dozen observatories) has been established there, from where the stars can be seen with the greatest accuracy and transparency. Imagine what it must be like to sleep there one night under the stars!
Sahara Desert, Morocco.
It is the largest hot desert in the world (it encompasses most of North Africa ), second only to Antarctica and the Arctic since a desert is defined by the lack of rain and not by the amount of sand it contains.
The Sahara desert is also the closest we have, so if you’ve never been to one, we recommend you take a trip to Morocco and from there take an excursion to get to know it.
The best thing is to sleep at least one night in a tent, to soak up the Berber culture, and also drink Bedouin tea, possibly the sweetest you will ever taste.
Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan.
It is known as the Valley of the Moon or the Red Desert, due to the crimson color of its land, due to the erosion of the sandstone mountains that surround it.
It is, without a doubt, one of the most incredible lunar landscapes that exist on the planet. In fact, many have found it the perfect setting for a science fiction movie. Without going any further, the movie Mars has been shot in this desert.
Like Lawrence of Arabia or Ridley Scott, who visits Wadi Rum, Jordan, is instantly absorbed by this landscape. Going around it on foot, by dromedary or jeep, enjoying a sunset or spending a silent night in the light of the stars which Bedouin makes this an unforgettable trip.
Danakil Desert, Ethiopia.
The Danakil desert, located north of eastern Ethiopia and south of Eritrea, is one of the hottest spots on the planet, with daytime temperatures that can exceed 50ºC in summer.
In fact, it is one of the most inhospitable regions on the planet. Some points in the region can even reach 150 meters below sea level, so we can see incredible formations of salt, sulfur, or sulfur that sprout from the bowels of the earth, in addition to some active volcanoes that generate a landscape that we could imagine from another planet. One of the best known for its spectacular nature is the Erta Ale volcano.
Keep in mind that entering the depression of the Danakil desert involves taking risks: the region is extremely dangerous due to the existence of armed separatist groups, so excursions must be carried out accompanied by armed guides. For more information, always be cautious and check the situation in the area before making a trip there.