For a first mountain experience, coming to Cerro Toco was an excellent decision.
At 5616 kilometres above sea level, this dormant volcano just 60 kilometres southeast of San Pedro de Atacama greeted us with excellent weather conditions, facilitating our ascent in just two hours.
It is a little cold and a light layer of snow covers our path.
However, the contact with nature far outweighs these minor inconveniences.
Twenty years ago, Cerro Toco, "corner" in the Kunza dialect, was used as a sulphur deposit for Chuquicamata and today its slopes are home to the ALMA observatory, the world's largest astronomical project.
Amazing, isn't it? When we reach the top, we are greeted by a spectacular view. From the top, we can see the majestic Licancabur and Juriques volcanoes, the Chaknantor plain and Bolivian lagoons in the middle of the desert landscape.
And so, little by little we recovered our breath, sharing our experiences with a delicious breakfast and preparing ourselves for the return journey.
Before leaving, we said goodbye to the two rock totem poles that accompanied us at the viewpoint, which we made grow with more stones and our silent desire to return to this incredible place.