South America is a unique place. It is a continent full of contrasts. In South America, you can find beaches, mountains, valleys, jungles, deserts, and snowy peaks. All in the same place. From Patagonia to La Guajira. South America is a continent that has everything between the Pacific and the Atlantic. All are welcome to a place of scenarios and magical landscapes. These are the largest deserts in South America.
From south to north, the largest deserts in South America
Eastern Patagonia Desert – Argentina
The largest desert in Argentina and the seventh-largest in the world. A place of ancient peoples and indigenous tribes. A place inhabited by dinosaurs more than 70 million years ago. Unlike what you may think, this is a cold place. In the desert of Eastern Patagonia, temperatures rarely exceed 12 degrees Celsius. Flora and fauna that can only be seen in this place. A place of unique geography, with the imposing Andes on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. On a trip to Argentinian Patagonia, you will surely enjoy this desert, one of the largest deserts in South America.
Dunes of Cabo Polonio – Uruguay
With dunes that exceed 30 meters high, this desert has become a place to visit in the Eastern Republic of Uruguay. Despite not being as big as the other deserts in this list, it is the largest in Uruguay. One way to understand the magnificence of South America is to find this type of ecosystem in every corner of the continent. The desert stretches along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
Atacama Desert – Chile
Maybe it is the most famous desert on the list. Do you remember the miracle of the miners of Chile? A story that was immortalized in the movie “The 33”. This desert in northern Chile is the driest place on the planet. The Atacama Desert is on the other side of Eastern Patagonia. Therefore, you will find that it is surrounded by the Andes in its eastern part and by the Pacific Ocean in the west. The Atacama Desert is known as the driest non-polar place in the world. It could be several years without rain in one of the largest deserts in South America.
Desert of Siloli – Bolivia
Although it could be considered part of the Atacama Desert in Chile, this is another of the largest deserts of the continent. Located in the department of Potosí, it is a very arid region. As in the Chilean desert, years could pass without rain in this place. A desert with great biodiversity, lots of reptiles and small mammals inhabit the area.
Coastal Desert of Peru – Peru
The Coastal Desert of Peru is one of the largest deserts in South America. Well known for the realization of the World Rally in this place. It is a set of deserts that extend along the Pacific coast of the country. The desert of Ica is one of the most beautiful of this desert barrier. On your trip to Peru, do not forget to visit Ica and Huacachina, a beautiful oasis that has become an unmissable tourist destination. The country’s wealth of ecosystems has made all kinds of travelers attracted to one of the most visited places on the continent.
La Tatacoa Desert – Colombia
It is one of the two deserts of the country. In Colombia, the Andes mountain range is divided into 3 branches. La Tatacoa in Huila Department is located in an extensive valley that is formed between the central and eastern mountain ranges. It is one of the driest areas of the country, so the fauna is scarce. However, in its panorama, you can see a lot of plant species. Tatacoa desert is characterized by red rock formations. One of the most important pieces of information to know about this desert is that it is a spectacular place to observe the stars. An astronomical observatory that has become one of the most important places for this activity in the country.
Médanos de Coro – Venezuela
The largest desert on the Caribbean coast in Venezuela. So, it becomes one of the largest deserts in South America. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993. Being a very arid place, life is scarce.
La Guajira Desert – Colombia
La Guajira is the largest desert in Colombia. Located in the northernmost point of South America. This is the end or beginning of the continent on the Colombian Caribbean coast. It is inhabited by the Wayúu indigenous people, one of the most important indigenous ethnic groups in Colombia. This area has large reserves of coal, so here is the largest open-pit coal mine in the world. Cabo de la Vela is one of the most visited places in the country. On your trip through Colombia, arrive at Punta Gallinas. The northernmost point of the continent.