The San Pedro de Atacama fiesta is one of northern Chile’s most important religious festivals and they go all out to make it a party to remember. The festivities start in the days leading up to the 29th and build to a midnight mass in the town’s iconic white adobe church which later gives way to dancing in the square as dawn breaks. This is followed by a spirited procession through the town by participants wearing brightly coloured traditional clothes and carrying the image of Saint Peter. The fusion of Catholic and indigenous traditions is on show in all its glory during this festival, as dances of thanks and praise are also offered to the Pachamama, or Mother Earth.

Festival “San Santiago” – San Pedro de Atacama – Chile

San Pedro is a small oasis town in the Atacama desert in northern Chile. It’s a quirky little place – low-lying adobe buildings line the narrow streets, leading to a sleepy tree-lined plaza that’s home to a pretty white-washed church and a fascinating small museum with some interesting mummies and various other Indian artifacts. Pleasant though the town is, the real attraction here is the phenomenal surrounding landscapes and scenery. Perhaps most well known is the unusual desert landscape of “Moon Valley”, just a short distance outside San Pedro, where other-worldly rock formations, unusual layer-cake landscapes and huge dunes combine to create some incredible views. The sunsets here can be amazing, the changing light turning the stone and sand a kaleidoscope of different colours, so the end of the day is definitely the best time of day to visit. There are a whole host of other activities on offer here, from star-gazing and visiting the Atacama salt flats, to horse-riding and mountain-biking in the surrounding countryside. The town itself is also a pleasant place just to kick-back and relax, with some good bars and restaurants thanks to the developing tourist-trade.


Chile has many different adventures to offer tourists: stargazing in the driest desert in the world, millennial glaciers in the southernmost part of the planet, enchanted forests, and lakes located at the foot of massive volcanoes. It has islands full of legends, winemaking traditions, great challenges to be overcome, and the modern and accessible city of Santiago. But, there is something about Chile that has not yet been said. Chile has wide-open natural landscapes, but you can also find this openness in the Chilean people. The feeling of being alive floods over you in these wide-open spaces in Chile. Here you can get in touch with nature or set out to explore pristine areas. The people of Chile will also pleasantly surprise you with their kindness and hospitality. This will be a completely new experience in a place where you will feel at peace.

View gallery festival San Santiago – San Pedro de Atacama – Chile


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Tashi Lhunpo Monastery, founded in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama, is a historic and culturally important monastery in Shigatse, the second-largest city in Tibet.

Tibetan Monk Shigatse

Tibetan Monk Shigatse

While in Shigatse at theTashilhunpo Monastery in 2012, during our Mount Kailash trek we made a short movie of shanting Yellow hat Monks. Tashilhunpo Monastery as one of the six Gelug monasteries is the seat of successive Panchen Lamas. Founded by the First Dalai Lama in 1447, it is an important monastery in Tibetan history and culture. Located at the foot of Drolmari, western side of Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet, it means “all fortune and happiness gathered here” or “heap of glory” in Tibetan. Covering an area of nearly 150,000 square meters, the monastery is the largest temple in Shigatse, which has about 57 halls and 3600 rooms. Among them, the Coqen Hall can hold 2000 people chanting at the same time. Featuring an interesting sprawling amalgam of traditional Tibetan monastic style, those halls, chapels and other structures are connected by precipitous steps and narrow cobblestone alleys. The interplay between the golden roofs and the white, red and black exterior walls creates a striking composition. Founded in 1447 by Gedun Drub, who was later named the First Dalai Lama, Tashilhunpo Monastery was constructed in the year of 1459. At that time, there were only five Buddhist halls with 12 Buddha enshrined and about 200 monks. Gelugpa (The Yellow Hats) The Gelugpa (Yellow Hat) order is the youngest school of Tibetan Buddhism, but is today the largest and the most important. It is lead by the Dalai Lama and was founded by Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), a lama who established a monastery at Ganden.

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© 1999 – 2018 Mazalien